Customer Review

92 of 129 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Many reservations, April 12, 2012
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This review is from: The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies: 1,001 Doctor-Approved Health Fixes and Injury-Prevention Secrets for a Leaner, Fitter, More Athletic Body! (Paperback)
This book covers a lot of ground, and provides many "hopefully" good ideas for curing numerous injuries. I have however a few reservations.

Dr. Metzl claims to have 20,000 patients. Let's do the plain arithmetic here. Let's say he sees 40 patients a week and works 50 weeks a year. That's 2,000 patients a year. At this workaholic pace, it takes him a full decade with little vacation to see each of his patients just once! Good luck if you need two or three follow up sessions. Meanwhile he still has time to train tens of hours a week to do Ironman triathlons in Hawaii and elsewhere. Something does not add up here.

Per the back cover of the book, he claims to be "one of the nation's leading sports medicine physicians." I did a quick search for him on the Internet and did not find a whole lot. However, a doctor rating website gave him only a 2 star rating out of 5, as given by nearly 20 different patients. And, the same site recommended several other sports medicine doctors all with 5 star ratings. This did not make him look like "one of the nation's leading sports medicine physicians."

His approach is interesting, but it may not be for everybody.

His dynamic stretching techniques are associated with vigorous bouncing while carrying heavy weights that will put much pressure on all your joints. If you are a 28-year-old triathlete, this approach may be fine. If you are a 50-year-old weekend athlete, this may be a recipe to injure yourself before you have the opportunity to injure yourself doing the sports you like.

He is really big on hard rolls. That's where you roll the side of your body on some really hard foam cylinder. You have to try it to understand what it is like. I have and I found it nearly excruciating with unclear benefits. Maybe it is reasonably more comfortable and rewarding for others.

He also is big on going nearly full out every single day. That seems excessive at least for the middle age weekend athlete type. There is a confusion between a daily active lifestyle that may include mellow days of just walking, hiking, gardening interlaced with more vigorous sports days vs his daily full out style. For middle age people the former lifestyle may be more sustainable and injury free than the latter.

His decision-making is sometimes typical of the Spartan macho archetype. He goes on advising that you should listen to your body and not incur excessive competitive sports stress when you have an injury. Then he goes on sharing that he also had such a crucial decision to make as he had a disabling injury just before doing an Ironman. It seemed a slam-dunk decision that he should not have participated in such a stressful event with such an impairing injury. Then, he goes on telling you that he decided to do it anyway and finish the event in 12 hours, a remarkably good time for someone at any age when you understand what such event consist off. From a medical standpoint it seemed like a stupid thing to do risking permanent damage to his body.

Besides all that, this book may be fine.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2013 12:01:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 12, 2013 12:02:29 PM PDT
M. Haynie says:
I was curious by your review so I looked up the reviews. Although 20000 seems like an inaccurate amount, I could see that perhaps as a sum of all the patients he's ever seen plus anyone who has taken one of his classes. A lot of the negative reviews were because of long wait times and lack of quality appointments. It would appear that Dr. Metzl sees way too many patients and overbooks appointments to the point of not being able to offer quality care. There were a fair number of complaints about misdiagnosis, and based on the similarities in Dr. Metzl's diagnoses, it looks like he has a tendency to assume a common problem without taking the time or effort to check for a less common problem.

That being said, I don't think either of those complaints will carry over to this book. On the other hand, I think you have a very detailed and plausible rating that brings up some interesting points. I'm going to look around a little more before purchasing this book. Do you have any recommendations? (I am currently training for a marathon but am experiencing pain and am trying to find a book with specific instructions/exercises and explanations to help me avoid injury.) Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2013 12:46:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 12, 2013 12:48:46 PM PDT
Gaetan Lion says:
I think this book is a classic on stretching: Stretching: 30th Anniversary Edition. That book is I don't think that focused on injuries but is focused on injury prevention.

Years ago, I did complete 22 marathons (the full 26.2 miles bit) over a 5 year period. I ended up having chronic pain in both knees and tenderness in the Achilles' tendons. I quit running soon after. I now bike, hike, and play tennis.

Marathon running is a wonderful extreme sport. As we know, it can be brutal on just about all the lower belt joints. I think long-term success in that endeavor has in good part to do with build, genetics, joint robustness (cartiledge cushion etc...).

Posted on Dec 13, 2013 2:28:12 PM PST
Just a note on your math. Spending 20 minutes per patient, he can see 24 patients in an 8 hour day, and 20 minutes is pretty generous in today's times, when you're lucky to get 10 minutes of your doctor's attention. At 5 days a week, that's 120 patients a week, or 6,000 patients a year, not 1,200. So just over 3 years to see everyone -- and most people will stay "on the rolls" for many years, so if he's been practicing for, say, 15 years, he could have seen everyone at least 4.5 times -- and most people don't need that many visits, so 20,000 is pretty reasonable, actually.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2013 3:01:18 PM PST
Gaetan Lion says:
Nicholas, I am a lot more comfortable with my assessment of his work schedule than yours. Especially for a sports doctor that practices physical rehabilitation, etc... Yet, even imagining that you are right combining his 20,000 patients with his Ironman triathlete sport regimen is really absurd.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2014 5:26:16 PM PDT
KH says:
unless he does not operate and does not do any office/paper and administrative work, he can potentially have clinic 5d/wk. normally this is not the case. plus, those 24 or even 34 patients per day are not all new patients. some new, most follow up patients.
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