People present to the office with numerous different complaints throughout the year. Whether it is headaches, knee pain or generalized back pain, I try to offer sound advice and care for everyone that walks into the office. This office was a little bit of a strange one from the patient care stand point, as a couple people needed to be referred out and some unusual requests were being made that I don’t get to hear all that often.
At National where I went to school, we were trained to be a provider of first contact. In Illinois, chiropractors have the ability to do lab work, along with other aspects that you would expect to see from a primary care provider. While Nebraska has essentially the same scope of practice, I choose not to practice in this manner as I feel that there are other providers out there that are far more qualified than myself to treat certain conditions.
A couple of cases this week reiterated the fact that I have been trained in this manner and that I do have the knowledge and ability to guide you through care. Abdominal pain for the past 6-8 months is not a normal symptom, the patient was presenting for back pain and it was confirmed that this was not connected. He has seen numerous surgeons but did not want to step on the toes of his PCP (primary care physician). I had no problem in helping direct him to a group of providers that would be able to get him a straight answer that does not necessarily result in a surgery.
Upper back, left arm and chest pain is never a good idea. Trust me that presented this week as well. Blood pressure and numbers were relatively stable while he was in the office but he did not necessarily have a mechanism of injury. Normally when someone presents with pain, they know what they did to cause the pain, if the pain presents for no reason you are normally a little more aware of the situation as there may be an underlying condition. The patient was sent to his PCP in order to investigate this.
I normally default to send patients to their PCP in order to get a problem resolved quickly, as the primary normally knows the patient much more in detail than a specialist would and if they do need to get sent out from there, the PCP can normally get the patient in much quicker than I can. If I call a specialists office, I normally get scoffed at, so I default to the PCP and let them handle it.
Lastly, a patient that I have treated for some time, has been having knee pain for awhile. Nothing seems to be helping the pain and it seemed as though she was fed up with the situation. After talking to the patient, she was going to be more comfortable seeing her PCP and I was perfectly fine with this. If I have treated you numerous times and the pain is either worse or no better then another approach should be taken. The patient trusts you as you are not going to drag the treatment out with no significant help and I feel better because the patient may finally get an answer to the pain.
These cases are prime examples as to why I enjoy doing DOT/CDL physicals so much, because it allows me to use my diagnostic abilities on a regular basis. I take blood pressure daily, listen to hearts and lungs, feel pulses and have you put people through an exam while performing this type of physical, so if a chiropractic patient presents with symptoms that do not necessary follow the typical presentation, I have the ability to investigate the problem with a level of confidence. My schooling and extra training give me the peace of mind that I can piece together problems and if I cannot, I have the sense to get you to someone that will be able to help.
I write this article, with the purpose of indicating to patients and future patients that sometimes treatment may take awhile. Acupuncture rarely works with just one or two treatments, chiropractic may require a few follow up visits. I am not doing this for the money grab, I am doing this for the patients best interest and following sound medical guidelines that indicate that this may be necessary in order to get the best results, but just know that the offices have the ability to properly diagnosis problems that may be beyond the scope of chiropractic care and that we will do our best to direct you in a direction that is in the best interest of everyone involved to resolve the problems in a timely manner.