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Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
March, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 03
Introducing Yourself to Your Client's Health Care Team
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
When patients experience pain, they instinctively touch the area that hurts. Since opening my clinic in 1992, one statement I hear on occasion from patients is "feel this bump, it was never there before." Sometimes they are right, the bump is abnormal and they must consult their doctor immediately.Other times, the patient is pointing to a bony landmark. I want to share a few practice building tips for educating your patients about their "bumps," which can then provide ways for you to introduce yourself to their health care team.
The foundation of my practice continues to be medical doctors referring patients for the treatment of myofascial pain in the head, neck and back. The pain usually originated from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, while performing a home improvement or work related activity. So, in my clinic, patients most commonly report the following bony landmarks as "never there before:"
Pain affects every area of a patient's life: physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationships at home and work, etc. Patients are scared and concerned about their pain. As health care providers, we must assume our patients do not know about bony landmarks or the structures that attach to them. This is a perfect opportunity to educate patients about form and function. To teach them about the roles bones and muscles play in providing structural support and movement.
I educate patients about bony landmarks using charts and models. I explain how and why bony landmarks form, why they might be tender after physical activity, stress or trauma and how we as health care providers use bony landmarks for postural analysis and other physical assessments. I also show the bony landmark on myself and on other people in the clinic. It is reassuring and comforting for the patient to understand the "bump" is normal and exists on everyone.
Some patients, when they are in pain, will see many different healthcare providers at one time. They will leave your clinic and drive directly to their chiropractor and or medical doctor. So, here is a simple and effective practice building tip. Write the name of the bony landmark with a note on the back of your business card and give it to the patient. For example "The External Occipital Protuberance is tender to palpation." You would be amazed how the patient will show your card to their doctors. This starts a conversation about your practice and the next thing you know, the doctor wants to meet you.
Patients are relying on you for guidance. It is important that you are familiar with normal human anatomy so you can identify abnormalities. Sometimes, the painful spot, is a "bump they have never felt before" and the patient is pushing into soft tissue, not a bony landmark and could cause potential harm. For example, if the spot is in the anterior neck region, running along the sternocliodmastiod muscle. The "bump" may not be the mastoid process, but a swollen lymph node or something more serious and the patient should be referred to a physician. The carotid sinus, body and vessels are in the same region and fatal circumstances could result from the patient randomly pushing deeply into the anterior neck.
Your knowledge of anatomy helps to protect your patients, improve assessment/treatment outcomes and build your practice by educating patients who then become raving fans. One unique way to learn about the skin, fascia, muscles, nerves, ligaments, vessels and other structures that compose the body is in an anatomy lab. Performing a human dissection is a unique opportunity to see, touch and learn about the body without any concern of causing harm. You can compare the same structure on multiple specimens of different gender, age, size, cause of death and occupation. You palpate diseased and normal organ tissue, examine surgical incisions to uncover pacemakers, artificial hips, or the rods, screws and connectors installed during a spinal fusion. You feel the elasticity, density, size and position of structures throughout the body like the spinal cord, heart, lungs, organs, etc. You leave the lab with a new level of confidence and knowledge that is integrated into your practice.
Be prepared when you here the words "feel this bump… it was never there before." If you laugh and make fun of the patient for pointing to a bony landmark, the odds of them scheduling follow-up treatments or referring others is very low. There is also the possibility you could identify an abnormality that ultimately saves their life. Apply your knowledge and turn the situation into a patient education and practice building opportunity.
Click here for previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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