In the USA, the medical system manages many conditions such as kidney problems, diabetes, blood pressure, and even congestive heart failure to name a few.
Why problem management makes us more chronic, instead of improving our quality of life.
For many of these conditions, management is the only solution patients are given, yet most of us would want a cure instead, no?
Part of the problem is that medicine is designed around managing chronic conditions and responding to life-threatening emergencies. It is not about healthy staying out of your doctor’s office care designed to cure your problems. The result is many of us, as we age have pill bottles labeled Sunday to Saturday for medications that will manage the symptoms we experience. Few of the medications that drug companies develop are going to cure and medicine follows the drug model instead of trying to figure out why your blood pressure is high or why your kidneys are a problem or how can you get rid of your diabetes and the insulin resistance that caused it.
What makes this worse is that all the care for the symptoms we experience is one size fits all. The truth is, we are all different physiologically, and genetically, and even the foods we eat affect our overall health. To understand us requires a village or does it just require a doctor to talk and help us sort this all out instead of being passed around?
The management problem is aggravated by the lack of true primary care which has been replaced by the multiple specialty model, where each specialist passes the patient around while the patient hopes for a cure which ends up being the management of their problems, usually, with a drug that is non-curative.
In the world of musculoskeletal medicine, the specialty model fails spectacularly since we are simply not built that way. A great example of this is the mindset many patients have developed while using the medical model that no symptom means we are healthy. The evaluation showed that her neck problem was a result of her back and knee problems that were treated symptomatically. The treatment for this elderly person in the past was injections that relieved back and knee pain yet, her movements and even her ability to touch her toes were compromised by these problems that were now chronic. Her normal was to have bad balance, stiffness, and pain that at times would exacerbate in different areas of the body.
Using a chiropractic primary care approach, it was discovered that her custom foot orthotics were ineffective, her legs were tight, scoliosis, and distortion of the pelvis which existed for years, yet the treatment was pain management to areas that ached rather than improving the quality of movement so she was less stiff, had better balance and was free of the knee, back and neck pain. She was never sent for any type of therapy by the pain management doctors. She left our office with markedly reduced neck pain, improved gait and balance, and a better sense of well-being.
In the medical world, management would be a diagnosis, medication to reduce global pain and inflammation with its associated side effects, physical therapy which is typically the same protocols everyone else got, and then a month later, a follow-up visit to see if they still hurt and maybe some exercises that you will do in the morning forever so you can function.
Why you see first for a health problem can determine your journey, costs, and outcomes. For musculoskeletal problems of the back, neck, shoulder, knee, hips, and feet, chiropractors are the best-trained professionals for musculoskeletal primary care. Chiropractors keep it simple, often with a solo or group of chiropractors who evaluate and treat first while testing only if the problem does not resolve in a reasonable period of time. Your healthcare dollar goes farther in chiropractic offices due to the efficiency of how they work.
What to expect on your first chiropractic visit.
Resolving a problem always begins with
- A deep holistic history. This includes your main complaint and past problems that may no longer hurt but may be an important clue as to why you hurt.
- A thorough functional evaluation to understand how you move and figure out why you hurt.
- Foot orthotics are often recommended to correct body imbalances that are genetic. Many chiropractic patients find out these imbalances are part of why they hurt.
- X-rays may be taken if there is trauma or if the problem is chronic or long-standing.
- Treatment often commences during the initial visit and can include myofascial release treatment, manipulation of the spine and extremities, and exercises to begin training the area and reduce the pain. Our treat test treatment protocols for care improve our efficiency by allowing us to test the effectiveness of that day’s visit. Our office is all about getting you results and working toward resolving the problems behind why you hurt.
- The treatment goes are designed to help you resolve your problem rather than manage it and once maximum improvement has been reached, the patient is discharged from care.
Many patients choose to visit periodically after discharge for future functional benefits that help them stay healthy.
Problems in the musculoskeletal system often respond best when care is simple, rational, and thorough. In most chiropractic offices, the doctor does most of the work and instruction keeping things simple as they monitor your progress.
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