I am often frustrated by most people and the problems they face with their back, neck shoulders, knees and other parts of their body that appear to be breaking down as they age. Part of the problem is that our healthcare system has become so specialized, that nobody looks at the person. For example, if you have knee pain, your primary doctor will likely either give you medication or send you to either a therapist or an orthopedic doctor. For some reason, the rarely consider the chiropractor. The person they refer to treats the supposedly injured part and the results are often mixed, leading to more medications or sometimes high tech tests or surgery. On another occasion, this same person, may have a lower back episode. This is likely treated with more pills and if they dont relieve the pain, the patient is referred to either a therapist, orthopedist and sometimes is lucky enough to be given a chiropractic referral. On another occasion, this same person develops shoulder pain. The same thing ensues and they either get pills, therapy, a shot and rarely a chiropractor. During these episodes, the patient sometimes will get relief and that relief may often be short lived.
There is a common thread that runs through all of this. Problems with someones gait (the way they walk which is by the way inherited) will predispose the patient to all of the above types of problems. If we just look at the area of pain, are we missing what is really wrong with the person.
This is where our practice is different. We look at people, then get a list of their symptoms and then try to make sense of what we are seeing. This then leads to more appropriate and effective therapy. Most gait issues are caused by body assymetries that create strain on one side of the body causing chronically painful conditions. The medical literature if you look deep enough actually shows this to be the case.
My point is that as physicians, we are trained in the medical symptom model, not the mechanical function/malfunction model. I often tell people I work in a different paradigm than many of my collegues. The great thing is I help solve many difficult chronic long term pain cases, many that were called myofascial pain syndrome of fibromyalgia.
Our office gets predictable results with neck pain, shoulder problems, knee, hip and back pain for most patients unless there is a more severe problem that requires advanced diagnostics. The good news is that most people do not require advanced diagnostics and we save the system tons of money by avoiding unnecessary tests, MRI’s and instead, use that insurance money toward getting the patient better.
I am currently writing a consumer level book discussing our model, why many conditions can get better with the right thought process and debunking myths of many conditions patients often tolerate off and on all their lives and never get resolved. I hope to have the book completed early next year and will be looking for a publisher who wants to have a book of the general public that helps them understand why people are in pain and how to find someone who really understands how to get them out of pain without drugs or surgery.