Huh; The symptom was knee and ankle pain but the problem was in your upper body.

How does your doctor look at you?

Huh; The symptom was knee and ankle pain but the problem was in your upper body.

Every healthcare practitioner should at one time or another ask themselves “If what I do is so effective, why are our results so uneven”

Depending on what your expectations are, healthcare providers are taught about diseases, diagnoses, and treatments for these problems.   They are taught that one size fits all.  A shoulder is a shoulder, a knee is a knee, a foot is a foot, and so on.  This is why we have a specialist for everything model and primary care is no more than a referral doctor or urgent care for one-size-fits-all solutions that can often help you get out of a tough spot or get some direction on a health crisis you are experiencing now.  Once you see your primary doctor who probably is no longer in independent practice, they pass you around the system while writing in the patient record shared by everyone in that system.    Gone are the days of a primary care doctor taking their time to keep you out of the system.

Expectations, fears of life-threatening problems, and a lack of understanding of how things work in our bodies.

In the real world we live in today, seeing a doctor can be hit or miss when it comes to solving your problem(s).  Sometimes the problem is the patient as well who may just decide not to follow up on the next appointment because of financial reasons, they feel better, or a host of other excuses.  Sometimes insurance companies get in the way with unreasonable referral or precertification requirements or perhaps an absurdly high deductible which is all too common.

Expectations also get in the way.  Often, patients with a chronic problem who have waited too long now have a more complicated problem to resolve.  The doctor knows this, the patient was explained what the problem is and for various reasons, they decide they just do not wish to do what is necessary.

Part of the problem is what we are taught from early on which is that health care is a numbers game such as your cholesterol, your blood pressure, your other screens found on common blood tests, and what they mean. While this may be a window into your overall health, often this oversimplification is not healthcare at all, but several parameters that are used to give us something more to worry about when the number itself may be a symptom of a different systemic issue your doctors may not ever look at.

In the musculoskeletal system, medically, they refer you to the orthopedic who looks at the painful part or the rheumatologist who looks at the inflammation but often ignores the cause and often has a magic pill to reduce the inflammation.  Sometimes, they refer you to a therapist to do things to the painful part often the injection or other intervention fails to resolve anything.  Often this fails too. The newest problem is failure to refer to the appropriate practitioner outside the hospital system that now likely owns your doctor’s practice and incentivizes them not to refer outside their system.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you have heard this before but you do have other options.  After all, it’s your health and ultimately you have to live with your choices, so why not think differently?

My knee is killing me doc

I have treated thousands of folks with painful knees and while some of them have damaged knees, most have problems in other areas of the body causing knee pain.

Years ago, a 14-year-old runner visited me with knee pain which the orthopedic called chondritis desiccants, and wanted to drill holes in his knee to help him get through it.   While his problem started after a large growth spurt, the knee function did not fully resolve until I figured out it was his abdominal muscles.   He finally told me he did three hundred situps daily.   Once I loosened his abdominals and he stopped this exercise, the problem was resolved.

Patients whose mid-back and neck pain is caused by tight legs, often improve markedly by working in the axilla (armpit), and their neck and shoulders not only feel better but their legs loosen up.

A dysfunctional shoulder can cause hip pain and visa versa.

Chiropractors often excel in solving painful conditions in the body because they think holistically, look at everything and improve the way you move using proven effective methods such as manipulation of the joints, soft tissue techniques, and exercises to strengthen and retrain an area.  They keep it simple.

Often many systemic problems that can show up as problems on blood tests can improve as well with some dietary counseling.

Chiropractic is a one-stop shop for healthcare that keeps things simple.

I often tell patients I follow the KISS principle with healthcare problems.  Keep it simple.

Also, be holistic, as this is how we are built.  Every system communicates with every other system.   The musculoskeletal system can give us symptoms that mimic a diseased gall bladder and visa versa.

Looking at the body from a specialist window or through symptoms is a fool’s game unless the area was traumatized by a fall or in football or by something else which makes the idea of looking at the damaged part work.

In most cases, the problem worsens over time until you wake up in pain and cannot move your neck, or your back locks up by reaching for something.   Often heel pain is from impact to the ground caused by a problem that can involve the diaphram and the core.

A frozen shoulder could have developed from a hip problem, etc.

Chiropractors are primary care for the musculoskeletal system.  A good sports chiropractor can often explain to you the why behind your neck pain that day.  They can also usually offer you relief and you may be surprised to find out where you hurt is not why.

If you have joint pain, your local chiropractic sports physician is an invaluable resource.

Visit a system where everyone spends more time writing prescriptions or notes, or see the chiropractor for a holistic evaluation to understand why you hurt.

Why you visit first will determine your cost and your results.  Seeing a chiropractor first is a smart consumer choice.   If you require medical intervention, your chiropractor will refer you to the proper practitioner.

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