Do You Find That You Aren't Getting Answers When Visiting A Provider For Musculoskeletal Pain Or Injuries?
Far too often in today's healthcare system, patients are being let down by their healthcare providers. As a patient, you deserve to be guided back to health appropriately and efficiently. Too many injured and ailing people are not being thoroughly evaluated, therefore not receiving appropriate conservative care, nor are they given a game plan to prevent pain or injury from returning in the future. (This can put you in a place where you feel that surgery may be the only remaining answer.)
There are 3 fundamental aspects of care you deserve as a patient
- Comprehensive Evaluation and Assessment
- Conservative Treatment Options
- Prevention Training
Comprehensive Evaluation and Assessment
When you go to your primary care physician or specialist you are given a proper history and consultation, but often only a very low-level musculoskeletal exam. Many times, the doctor doesn't even assess your muscle tissue, joint function and/or movement. They may perform a few orthopedic tests and refer you for some diagnostic imaging, before concluding that 6 weeks of rest and some prescription medication to will help "manage" the condition. When we give medication, are we really managing a condition or are we covering it up?
As a patient it is important to understand what you should expect from a comprehensive evaluation and assessment. Your evaluation and assessment should provide you with a working diagnosis and the potential indirect causes of the pain or injury. The diagnosis should be specific and clearly communicated.
In order to determine an appropriate working diagnosis a comprehensive evaluation should include, but is not limited to:
- A thorough History & Consultation
- Functional Assessment: Assessing weakness, tightness, faulty movement patterns
- Orthopedic Exams, Range Of Motion, Neurological testing as needed
- Muscle and Joint Palpation/Testing
- Gait Analysis (if necessary)
When a thorough evaluation and assessment is performed it provides the healthcare provider with the information required to determine the appropriate course of care. This allows for an informed decision regarding what treatment options would be best suited for your individual case.
Conservative Treatment Options
As a patient, you deserve to have a comprehensive hands-on approach to your pain or injury. Most complaints respond best to a specific combination of therapies. This may include muscle therapy, chiropractic adjustments, rehab exercises, and advice on how to train and prevent further exacerbation of the injury. You may not need both the muscle therapy and chiropractic adjustments for all pain or injuries, but many will optimally benefit from a combination of all four approaches above.
Conservative treatment should never be a "one size fits all" approach. With multiple therapies available, each which target different issues it is important that your care plan is individualized based on the findings from your comprehensive assessment. In the case that conservative options are not the best fit for you, we will happily refer you to someone who can best care for your condition.
There are few things more frustrating from both the patient's or doctor's perspective than the return of the pain or injury. There are many potential factors that can contribute to re-aggravation of your injury or symptoms. These include over-use strain from work, life or sport, not following the prescribed exercises, or the lack of injury prevention training from your healthcare provider. As an informed patient, these are a sample of some prevention options you should expect instructions on:
- Activities of Daily Living Training: Many activities we do in our daily life cause physical strain when performed improperly
- Return to Work/Sport Advice: Proper time frame for return and potential modifications
- Body Awareness and Preparation: Proper lifting/bending mechanics, etc
- Corrective Exercises: Core stability exercises
- Desk Ergonomics Tips
- Proper Equipment Recommendations
To summarize, there are many potential shortcomings that you may experience when you see any healthcare provider for your musculoskeletal pain or injury. The first step is being an informed patient, and understanding what quality care entails.
At Morrison Chiropractic, we are dedicated to being a healthcare provider you can count on. If you're experiencing any musculoskeletal issues, we are always here to be your advocate.
Adapted from Evaluate, Fix, Prevent courtesy of Chiropractic Success Academy, 2020.