Pain is a hard thing for patients to understand. For them, pain is pain. They don’t care if it’s localized or referred, chronic or acute, nerve or muscle-based. They just want a solution that alleviates their pain and restores their quality of life. This is what makes explaining neuropathy so hard.
There’s often a gap in understanding between the explanation a chiropractor gives and a patient’s comprehension of what, exactly, neuropathy and neuropathic pain are. This further slides into a lack of understanding about how to treat or manage chronic pain. These misunderstandings often culminate in frustration when pain persists and chiropractic approaches are seemingly varied.
At Ideal Spine, we encourage a holistic explanation of neuropathy. Patients need to understand three very important factors:
- Neuropathic pain is not localized; therefore, treatments won’t be localized;
- Neuropathy has many symptoms and many causes, all of which require investigation;
- Neuropathy may not be able to be cured, only managed.
Being upfront and honest about these critical factors will help set the expectation for patients seeking relief. They need to understand the process of assessing symptoms, understanding catalysts, and building a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) plan to address them all.
Measuring the scope of pain
The first lesson for patients is an important one: Pain is much more than a feeling. Breaking the “pain is pain” generalization helps patients realize the holistic nature of the human body – specifically the central nervous system.
Take the time to help patients understand the concept of referred pain and why it occurs. Use their own situation as an example. Trace the chronic pain in their hands to a pinched nerve or explain how a vitamin deficiency has caused nerve inflammation.
Be sure to also emphasize that the nature of pain is a determinant for how to exercise relief. Nerve pain and muscle pain won’t respond to the same treatment, for example. Apply this and other aspects of pain understanding to patients to illustrate the scope of their pain.
Identify the cause of neuropathy
As mentioned, this is an arduous process that demands diligent investigation of all possible catalysts. CBP can help narrow the scope of focus through physical palpation, diagnostic imaging, and review of patients’ medical histories – but even a narrow scope still involves broad possibilities.
Explain to patients that investigation takes time and needs to be a collaborative process. A chiropractor can adjust treatments and explore options for relief; the patient must provide earnest feedback about how they feel and what works. It takes a comprehensive effort to identify the true cause of neuropathy.
Manage to the best of your abilities
In the mind of many patients, the story of pain has a definite conclusion once the catalyst is identified. That’s not always the case. Be honest and upfront about this with patients, while letting them know their CBP plan is tailored to deliver maximum relief and manage the intensity of the condition.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about neuropathic pain and because of it, expectations don’t always line up. Ideal Spine encourages chiropractors to explore each patient’s situation with them thoroughly and set expectations upfront, so there’s clear direction and focus as you move forward with a CBP treatment schedule.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.