Functional Orthopedics

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long-term recovery today!

Top Los Angeles, CA osteopathic doctor, Dr. Shounuck Patel has coined the term Functional Orthopedics based on his foundational philosophy focused on Osteopathic Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R or Physiatry), and Functional Medicine.

  • Functional Medicine is a new specialty in which underlying causes of chronic illnesses are addressed through identifying and correcting core clinical imbalances.
  • Physiatry itself is holistic and collaborative in nature, with a focus on optimizing function in the face of injury.
  • The philosophy of Osteopathic Medicine states that (1) the body is a unit, (2) structure & function are interrelated (Physiatry), (3) the body has self-regulatory & self-healing mechanisms (Regenerative Medicine), and (4) rational treatment is based on applying these principles (Interventional Orthopedics)
Functional Orthopedics Los Angeles CA
I have adapted key concepts from these above schools of thought to create a comprehensive approach to orthopedic care. As depicted in the Functional Orthopedics Tree above, I look at the symptoms that are like the leaves that we can see, systemic imbalances that are the central trunk, and root causes that are underlying the surface. In such, Functional Orthopedics is as much a philosophy as it is a system of care. This methodology is not necessary for many orthopedic injuries in which there was a specific trauma or straightforward reason for pain. But if you have multiple areas of pain, or don’t know how you became injured, Functional Orthopedics is made to help you answer the question “why?”

How does it differ from Interventional Orthopedics?

Interventional Orthopedics solves some of these problems by taking image-guided injection procedures to the next level. No longer do we just inject the “pain generator,” but we also address all of the structural tissues that are involved in the functional unit of the body part that has an injury. In the knee, for example, pain may be coming from inflammation due to osteoarthritis, but there may be looseness to the ligaments, irritation to the tendons, wear of the bone under the cartilage, and tearing of the meniscus shock absorbers which are all involved in the function of the joint – treating all aspects with orthobiologics provides comprehensive treatment with better longer lasting results.

In the absence of a specific trauma or injury, what is the reason why your knee became painful in the first place? Why does the outside of the knee hurt even though the inside has more arthritis? And why is it only one knee that is bothersome? Or why do you have pain in your elbow and shoulder on the same side? Or why do you have pain in your left hand if you’re right handed? You get the point.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are Osteopathic physicians, Chiropractors and Functional Medicine providers that do a tremendous job at looking at the body as a whole and underlying issues, but may be limited in the breadth of their treatment options when it comes to orthopedic injuries and pain conditions.

Putting it all together.

Holistic Care

Functional Orthopedics is Dr. Patel’s overall approach that utilizes Interventional Orthobiologics, Osteopathic Manipulation, exercise, nutrition, and collaboration with other clinicians. This approach provides the patients  with the most comprehensive non-surgical care for orthopedic injuries and pain conditions. 



After 3 times of back surgery on my L4-L5, I was still having some major pains on my back to all the way to my tow. The quality of my life doing all the activity was really limited so I took the PRP treatment about 6 years ago with Dr. Patel, then my life was literally back to normal, and just to be safe side, I had one more treatment last year, and now I play a golf 4 times a week and be able to do my running as my usual routine and other activities. He changed the quality of my life, and now I am a more firm believer of his treatment than Dr. Patel himself. My only regrets is that I would have met him before I did all those painful surgery on my back and it would have avoided all those painful days before PRP treatment.

I’ve been dealing with pain in my lower back for the longest time and have tried many different types of therapies and treatments - nothing ever seemed to work. What’s even worse is that the pain affects all areas of my life including work, relationships, mood, etc. I was feeling down and out for the longest time until one day I was introduced to Dr. Patel and his functional regeneration practice. Dr. Patel is one of the most down to earth and professional doctors I have ever met. Fast forward to a couple months after the procedure, I’ve been feeling a lot better than when I first went in and I’m still continuing to heal every day. I’m super grateful to have gone through with the procedure and feel like I got a second chance at bettering my health. Thank you Dr. Patel!


I have had PTSD and anxiety for many years. It has been a struggle to keep it under control so I can function well in my daily life. I have tried many treatments over the years. Some helped a little, some a lot (medication) and some did nothing. I decided to try something “out of the box” figuring I had nothing to lose. I had a Stellate Ganglion Block with Dr.Patel a few months ago and immediately following the treatment I had tremendous relief. I felt more relaxed than I have felt in a long time. I had the procedure performed 2 more times when a tiny bit of anxiety returned. The procedure was painless and Dr. Patel was helpful and reassuring as well as being extremely knowledgeable and technically excellent. His assistant Jessica went out of her way to make me feel safe and comfortable. Lately no major issues that would definitely trigger panic have come up. I was curious to see what would happen when one did. I wasn’t hoping for one but wondered if my results would hold. Two weeks ago my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and will be having surgery soon. The good news is it was caught early and with surgery the 15 year survival rate is 99% so essentially he will be cured. Since he is my second husband and my first husband died at a very young age from cancer, this is the type of news that would normally send me into a complete panic. The fact that the prognosis is excellent wouldn’t matter because cancer has long been a trigger for me and the panic isn’t rational. I am amazed to report that there has been no panic and I have remained calm and level headed. I cannot attribute this to anything other than the Stellate Ganglion Block and I am so relieved. It is great to know that I will be able to be there for my husband and not incapacitated by panic. Should my panic attacks ever return I would not think twice about calling Dr. Patel and repeating the procedure. For me it was a life changer.


My experience with Dr. Patel and their staff was like no other I’ve had in a very long time. Everyone is very kind and attentive as well as helpful. One of the best things for me is how thorough Dr Patel is when he examines you. Takes his times with you and asks you a lot of questions in order to get to the root of the issue which most times is more complex than we think. I’m extremely happy and thankful i was able to find them. As i already received two treatments and doing physical therapy I’ve improved a lot from the pain I was in. I have recommended Dr. Patel to many of my friends and colleagues and i would recommend to anyone. I’ve slowly made my way back to dancing which is my profession and I’m hoping to be back %100 very soon. Thank you Dr. Patel and staff 🙂

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