Call it a ‘Comeback.’ Park City neurosurgeon’s podcast aims to inspire people recovering from serious injuries
Team just shot episodes in the Wasatch Back
Park City-based neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Masson wants to help those who have suffered spinal and orthopedic injuries to make a comeback.
That’s why he and his colleagues — certified strength and conditioning specialist
Trevor Anderson, physical therapist Frank Van Kouwen and biomechanist and functional anatomy specialist Chuck Wolf — have started “The Comeback Team” podcast.
The podcast, accessible by visiting comeback.team, was created to inspire people from all walks of life to transform their lives and start journeys of becoming their best-selves, Masson said.
“As a neurosurgeon, I’ve been practicing under the philosophy of showing up strong through pre-habilitation and reshaping the dialogue with patients surrounding their recovery for years,” Masson said. “The practice incorporates a holistic, philosophical use of surgery after conservative methods of care have failed, and my goal with my surgical patients is to restore joy, passion and purpose utilizing surgical procedures to bring the patient back to active pursuits.”
During the podcast, which is available also available in video form, listeners and viewers can discover new ways to improve their weakness and reinforce their strengths each week, according to Masson.
“People lose so much of their physical confidence and self-esteem when they get a severe orthopedic or spine injury,” he said. “They get a lot darker than most people realize. This podcast brings this to the light and has been very powerful. We want to give our patients the confidence they need so they can put their best selves forward.”
“The Comeback Team” coaches, who have more than 100 years of combined experience in the health and fitness industry, all approach spine health and spine injury care differently, Masson said.
“Each of these guys are high-level influencers for professional athletes and high-level amateur Olympic athletes, and we’re focused on training people how to recover and restore their physical state in more of a sports/spine mantra,” he said. “The intent is to build a comeback community by using our experience to help the community.”
Although the first episodes were fueled by recent examples of patients the coaches have treated, the podcast will shift its focus to these community members as it evolves and matures, Masson said.
“We plan to bring in a lot of pro athletes from different sports to the podcast,” he said. “We’re excited for the opportunities that inspire to inspire.”
Masson has thought about doing a specialized podcast with his colleagues for some time.
“I’ve trained several hundred surgeons through live, web-based training and live webinars, which are similar in podcast design,” he said. “We’ve worked together privately for more than a decade with our clients and patients. We’ve talked about doing something collaboratively, because we realized we had an opportunity to advocate for adult, physical confidence and performance at large.”
One of the challenges their patients face is recovery continuity.
“We have a lot of people fly into our practices for care, and after we see them, they would all go back to where they came from,” Masson said. “When they do that, they lose the same type of collaborative team approach that we tend to provide for our high-performance athletes.”
These athletes all have a team of practitioners that include biomechanists, physical therapists, trainers and surgeons, according to Masson.
All of these people work as a team with these athletes and don’t compete against each other, as they do in the private sector, he said.
“They don’t collaborate as much, and we saw (the podcast) as an opportunity to collaborate and deliver the highest level of exercise, fitness and flexibility algorithms to people in whatever zip code they live in,” Masson said. “We pivoted early during COVID-19 to tele-medicine in the heat of last March and April, when it became so obvious that we could accomplish so much via the web.”
“The Comeback Team” already has posted five podcasts on its website, and it just shot and recorded five new ones in Park City last week.
“We are calling these five the Park City Edition, because ultimately we’ll travel around and do these podcasts,” Masson said. “We’re going to Moab, we’ll do Scottsdale, Arizona, and we’ll be at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships this September in Queens, New York. We want to reach out to all the demographics of physical lifestyles to ensure no one is left out.”
In addition to having a home in Park City, Masson, who also lives in Orlando, Florida, selected Park City because of its active culture.
“Park City has been a big inspiration for this, because it is the spirit and the emotion of the perpetual, seasonal lifestyle,” he said. “My guys, who all live in Florida, left Park City five times more motivated than they did when they arrived.”
For information about “The Comeback Team” podcast, visit comeback.team.
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