In this year, at June Balance Movement Centre celebrated the 5. birthday of the establishment. We were talking with Dr. Pető Erika, the constituter.
R: Tell me about the beginning, how did you start, how did you get the idea to create a Centre like this?
Erika: It was a personal motivation. I have been diagnosed with disc hernia and it changed my life for a long time. Then the centre and my new thoughts changed everything and I started a new direction with my career.
R: Don’t go so fast. How was the conception of the hernia? Because this problem not congenital. You should work for it.
E: You are right. I worked for it so hard. I was doing sports fanatically. I did it very often and I tried different type of them. I was working out when I was happy, also when I wanted to run from the stress. Of course I had coaches with me, but I wasn’t thinking of the sings. Today I think it was clear.
R. We are know, that mental conditions can cause diseases too. Can you confirm it?
E. Yes, of course, it’s true. My son has grown up, and went to England to continue his studies. It was hard to let him go. My children’s father is diagnosed with cancer. I am a lawyer, that’s not a dream work. After a few weeks the hernia started to cause problems.
R: How did you find out, that this is the problem? What did you feel?
E: Momently i couldn’t stand on my feet. I wasn’t be able to wake up from the ground, I was in a terrible pain. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I found a surgeon, who deals with the spine. After the MRI, he told me, that I need an operation. I started to search, and when the day of the operation came, i knew, that I have another opportunity, and I didn’t accept the operation.
R. It must be a brave decision.
E. Today I know, that it was a good decision, because the discus hernia is a condition, when you can’t solve the problem only with the operation. You can’t do it instead of the rehabilitation, you can’t prevent recurrency. Today, the doctor is my collegue, who respected my decision, and supported me, and I am very grateful for that. The next step was to find a specialist, who could help me with the rehabilitation.
R: That was the time, when the Balance Mozgás came? Didn’t you find a health center, that you needed with your problem? Because most of the people told me, when I asked them about what they love most in the Balance, that in your center the therapists look at the musculosceletal disorders in a different way, than in other institutes. Here you give an individualized, komplex treatment for the patients, the prevention gets very important, and the rehabilitation is different, in contrast with other sport centers.
E: Yes, the trainings are continous for the collegues. There is a hard team-work, by this we are very effective. Great specialists from different fields work here together, for one purpose: to make the rehabilitation easier, faster for the patients, and keep them problem free. The patients get all of the information, that they need for making decisions, and recover completely. After the diagnosis, and before the rehabilitation you must not spend much time, because the field of sport injuries and rehabilitation it can be very harmful. If the treatment doesn’t start in time, it can cause deformations int he body, which can make the end of the carreer of a leading sportman. And we haven’t talk about the prevention of the recurrence of a disorder, or the prevention of sport injuries. For example, this hernia would have been avoidable, if my trainers and I got some knowledge, and I don’t think that a massager is enough. It’s very easy to prevent the discus hernia, but if you already have one, it’s very hard work to correct it. It can develope again, it can develope at another part of the spine, then it’s is very hard to avoid operation and it can cause many consequence. There are many diseases that we can’t prevent, however we want to, but the hernia is not this type of disease, we can prevent it. And during the preventive preiod it can be easily done in this case if we have enough knowledge about it. I think this is the area where i can be authentic. This is the area where I can help to get enough knowledge about the prevention of spinal hernia, and the prevention of movement disorders as well.
R. It fits into this mission consciousness – those who know you have heard this many times before –that this type of knowledge transititon should start in childhood?
E: It is my dream from the start that those health checkups which we are doing, such as the functional motion filtering, should be part of the physical education lesson. Who knows? Maybe if we say a lot in many places, it can still be accomplished once.
Which needs to be addressed in children is the sudden growth associated with lesions. If this is supplemented with a larger physical burden, competitive sports and the child isn’t prepared physically, it can have serious consequences.
Not only appeared to be a clumsy child. They can get injuries because the muscle can’t follow the pace of the sudden growth, due to this the overload happens, with lacerations, injections, surgeries, half-a-year omissions ect.
Then the racing is over, which mentally shakes the child. In these cases, there is mostly anger in me, because they should listen to us and there would not be any problem.
The child should not give up on being at world’s first in the chosen sport. We advise to all parents, coaches, and PE teachers if the child complains about the pain of his or her knees, limbs, and in any case, take the child to a physiotherapist.
R: So, if I understand correctly, you really set the target for the Balance Movement Center, that mostly healthy people enter your doors.
E: Yes, we would like to see patients not only when they are already injured, but as we occasionally show our teeth to our dentist, we should also look for therapists regularly.
Because we need a health check at all stages of our life, as our spine changes, our cartilage is dripping, and it’s getting more and more difficult to our joints to bear the load, and our muscles are reducing. These changes can be corrected nicely, we can be in the top shape again, and to this we need expert help.
R: You are already available at three places. In addition to the Balance Center, the Balance SportMed Center operates at Buda Judo Academy, and in summer you opened in the Buda Tennis Center in the XII. district. where the focus is on prevention. Did you come up with the idea of opening up your Sports Prevention Center because you were injured during sports?
E: A completely different approach is needed for sports athletes and sports injuries. We need to be more effective in prevention, which is always sport-specific. In the event of injuries, we must work closely with the trainer and team members involved in the preparation of the athlete.
The athletes are also training when they are injured, our task is to secure it safely during the recovery period.
In October, we will be attending the world’s elite sports therapists and the most advanced sports science conference in Porte de Lima. 75 workshops during 6 days, we are looking forward to it.
In Western Europe, beside every successful athlete, there is a therapist who in good cases is not only a physiotherapist and / or a functional trainer but also an osteopath who performs manual treatments. All of our colleagues have this complex and specialized knowledge, which is the future of this field as well.
R: According to my information, there will be an injury prevention program for athletes and hobbyists.
E: Yes, you know it well. According to this, you did not just talk to our patients but also with my colleagues.
This will be a complex injury prevention program, which is based on the experiences of the past few years, the experiences of rehabilitation and the knowledge learned from international conferences. It will be personalized and sport-specific, and the focus of course will be on the prevention.
Because obviously, if an injury occurs, we can handle it, we can handle it well, we have all the tools and knowledge we need to get over the injury as soon as possible. But this should not be the goal. The goal should be to avoid injury.
R: And then here comes the instrumental manual therapy and flossing therapy.
E: This is exactly where instrumental maneuvering comes to the picture, which today is still unknown in Hungary, while abroad is part of the therapies. In the lead sports, for example in Spanish or Mexican football players, this tool is in the hands of the therapist.
We are going abroad a lot, looking for new methods and therapies. During an international congress, we encountered instrumental manual therapy.
With my colleague Hugyák Éva, last year we organized the first training in Hungary and this year we can already teach it independently and we can train instrumental manual therapists.
This is a great success for the center and very good news for the patients, because hopefully within a year or two the therapy will be available at many points in the country. In flossing therapy, the first course we will organize with Stefan Richelli will be in November.
R: You mentioned that you are a lawyer, but I know that you are attending training sessions and attending medical conferences.
E: I caught the feeling from our colleagues, that our patients come quietly with the shadow of pain on their faces, but when they leave, they always smile and laugh. It’s good to give health. I started with the FMS Instructor course, then I got a Yoga and Spine Therapy trainer qualification.
On the other hand I wouldn’t miss out the hungarian and international conferences. There’s only one thing in the hungarian conferences what frustrates me: While the physicotherapists attend on the doctor’s lectures, you cannot tell the same thing vice verse. I don’t understand this as a patient nor as a professional. And one more thing, I don’t understand where are all the personal trainers, massage therapists, who are created by the fast-course training system of the hungarian market.
R: Do you have personal stories about patients (without mentioning any names, of course)?
E: Yes, i do, a ton of them. That is because you can usually find me at our waiting room, you also know this. I have wonderfull stories and some sad ones as well. I love it when on Friday afternoons our pensioners arrive to our group therapy session, which is free of charge. I thought that we should provide help to them, so they can also have the advantages of the private practice service in this form. Since they are attending our sessions, they also practice at home. This is a really good thing.
The saddest moments on the other hand are when children come to operations not for the first time. These things should never happen.
And I also have stories about the tricky way of life: About 10 years passed since I met somebody for the first time, with whom had a common work project in a completely different area. He was a grumpy, moody tyrant person. We did not like to work together. Then later the information came to me, that the reason of his unfirendlyness was his intense, continuous back pain. He came to our sessions about a year ago. It was me who welcomed him at the reception. I thought he will leave immediately, but he didn’t. He let himself over to us, and nowadays the previously sad person arrives with a simle on his face. From his smile, we know we are in the right path. I think he did not tell anybody before, that he is thankful for something. He did tell us now. But we already knew this, before he told us.