Back pain is likely the most mismanaged condition in health care.
A few of the reasons people find themselves with chronic back or neck pain include the following bad habits of some healthcare providers:
- Failure to Diagnose the Problem: While an MRI shows us what your spine looks like, it doesn’t tell us everything. Research indicates that the ability of doctors to perform proper physical examinations of the spine has dropped considerably. Many patients are treated based solely on their MRI report, spending years focusing on the wrong problem.
- Failure to Communicate: Orthopedists, surgeons, therapists, chiropractors, pain specialists and therapists often the spine from different perspectives. Each are notoriously bad at communicating with one another. Mountains of research show that back and neck pain are best treated with collaboration. Regardless, it’s rarely done.
- Satisfaction with Meager Results: Too often patients tell me a doctor said that they may have to “live with it” or something similar. It would be more accurate to say “fixing back pain is a lot of work and a hassle”. Simply put, doctors and patients are both, very often, too lazy to begin the daunting task of rebuilding a lumbar spine via physical work.
- The Spine is Everyone's Money Maker, so the focus tends to be on the treatment a provider does, not the dysfunction of your particular back or neck problem. Treatments are thrown at “pain” as a general condition, not your particular condition. It becomes about them, not you.
WHAT I DO ABOUT IT
- I do a very good examination. Orthopedic tests, functional movement screening, range of motion testing, myofascial pain assessments. If you haven’t heard of these, you may have never even had a decent examination.
- I collaborate with other physicians and therapists that can help us. I like to think of myself as your “quarterback”. I might run with it or throw the ball to someone else. Regardless, it’s my job to get us to the endzone.
- I’ve diversify my methods of treatment and pull tactics from just about every medical discipline, I build a goal-oriented game plan for getting a patient’s problem resolved. I'm not afraid to send a patient to someone else who can help us fix the problem
- I don’t get paid to see you; I get paid to fix you.