Why your doctor wants to hear about your “and by the way” symptoms.

Why your doctor wants to hear about your “and by the way” symptoms.

And by the way doctor, my knee has never straightened out fully.

And by the way, my hip pops when I do this.  Is that normal?

And by the way, my hand goes numb when I lay on my right side.

And by the way, my toes usually hurt when I wear shoes but are fine in sandals.

And by the way, I could never do this exercise on the left arm for the tricep.

What your doctor should be thinking.

“And by the way”, comments are usually things a patient believes are normal for them.

There is some prejudice there because what you think is normal for you may be an important clue that the doctor needs to solve your problem.

This is why I always tell patients to let me know everything, not just their main concern.

The musculoskeletal system is an integrated system of movement. You may have visited for plantar fasciitis although your lower back soreness that has been there for years may be an important clue in solving your problem.   This is also true for most shoulder problems as they almost always involve the hips, pelvis, and overall flexibility.  Headaches may be due to one side of the body being tight so those occasional symptoms may lead your doctor to figure out what is causing the tension in your neck.  Also, your vertigo may have a similar cause.

Doctors always say, if you speak with someone long enough, they will tell you what is wrong with them.

In the hurried world we live in, hurrying through your doctor’s consultation with you can be a huge mistake.  While doctors need to be efficient and other people are waiting, the details are often going to help them help you.

Don’t worry, your doctor will let you know if they have what they need to diagnose you and then perform a proper exam

This is especially important in the chiropractic office.  As chiropractors are holistic which means thorough and like to look at everything, leaving out details while the doctor is digging for facts may lead to an incomplete exam and an inappropriate diagnosis.

Chiropractors who perform functional evaluations are likely to figure out what you didn’t tell them and point those problems out during the exam.   If your doctor does this, be sure to offer all the details.

Often during a new patient consultation, patients are often wondering why the doctor asks about so many different things seemingly unrelated to the main complaint.   A good history is a roadmap to why you hurt and often, during an initial consult, the patient may not realize the doctor has never met them before so they need to ask those questions.

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