Updated: 4 days ago
Majority of the time in today’s healthcare system, patients are being disappointed by their healthcare providers and service.
As a patient, you deserve to be aided back to health appropriately and efficiently. Too many injured and people in pain are not being thoroughly evaluated and therefore not receiving appropriate conservative care. They are also not given a game plan to prevent the pain or injury from returning in the future once things have settled down. There are many types of injuries and illnesses, but for the purpose of this article we will be discussing musculoskeletal pain and injuries, involving joints, nerves and muscles.
Three pillars of healthcare you deserve as the patient
Complete Evaluation and Assessment
Various Conservative Treatment Options
Prevention Training & Rehabilitation
Complete Evaluation and Assessment
Far too often a patient goes to their primary care physician or specialist and they are given a proper history and consultation, but a low quality musculoskeletal exam. Many times, the doctor doesn’t even assess the muscle tissue, joint function and/or the movement of the patient.
In the majority of cases they perform a few orthopedic tests, may refer you for some diagnostic imaging and before concluding that you must rest for 6 weeks and finally prescribe you some medication or pain killers to help “manage” your condition.
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 various indirect causes of the pain or injury. The diagnosis should be specific and clearly communicated to you as the patient.
In order to determine an appropriate working diagnosis a complete evaluation should include, but is not limited to:
A thorough History and Consultation.
Functional Assessment: Assessing weakness, inhibition, tightness, and incorrect movement patterns.
Orthopedic Exams, Range Of Motion, Neurological testing as needed.
Muscle and Joint Palpation/Testing.
Gait Analysis as needed.
When a thorough evaluation and assessment is performed it provides the healthcare provider with the correct information necessary to determine the appropriate course of action for you. This allows for an informed clinical decision regarding which conservative treatment options would be best suited for your individual issue.
In my opinion, you deserve to have a comprehensive and complete hands-on approach to your pain or injury. Most patient presentations respond best to a specific combination of therapies. This could include muscle therapy, joint restriction chiropractic adjustments, rehab exercises, modalities (Class IV laser, Interferential Current IFC), and advice on how to train and work, to prevent further exacerbations of the injury. You may not need all the various therapies for every injuries or issue, but many will optimally benefit from all the approaches above.
Overall conservative treatment should not be a “one size fits all” approach. With multiple therapies and options available, each which targets different tissues to promote healing it is important that your care plan is individualized based on the findings from your complete assessment.
There are few things more irritating from both the patient’s or doctor’s perspective than the return of the pain or original injury. There are many potential factors that can contribute to re-aggravation of your injury or symptoms. These could include over-use muscle strains 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 (ADL) 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 once things have begun to heal and improve
· Body Awareness and Preparation: Proper lifting, bending, posture, etc.
· Corrective Exercises: Core stability exercises.
· Desk Ergonomics Tips: Desk sitting is causing many of your conditions.
· Proper Equipment recommendations: Proper running shoes for a runner, bracing, taping etc.
· Skills/Technique Training: Golf swing technique from a teaching professional, proper lifting technique.
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 of care entails. I have outlined some key points to help better inform you as a patient to the aspects of care you should expect from your provider when you seek treatment for any musculoskeletal condition.
· A complete assessment including but not limited to a thorough history, movement assessment, palpation of the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
· An exam that assesses the body as a whole unit in order to determine the root cause, and does not only focus on the point of pain where things are “sore”.
· For example, many times a patient with low back pain has hip issues and mid back mobility problems that have led to the low back being over-worked and injured.
· A specific working diagnosis based off of the complete physical examination.
· All your conservative treatment options should be explained and discussed; offering you a chance to ask any questions you might have and provide clarity regarding our treatment plan.
· You should expect to receive advice regarding preventative care measures for your injury, so once you are out of pain, you can avoid re-injury or aggravations of the condition.
Dr. Mike Hadbavny
Chiropractor, Sports Sciences Resident RCCSS(C)
If you are interested in learning more about how chiropractic care can be effective for your particular condition or health goals, contact Dr. Mike Hadbavny at 250-881-7881 today to make an appointment and discover the many benefits of chiropractic care in Victoria, BC. Contact us today.