Here’s Why Patient History is a Cornerstone of Chiropractic

Many patients visit a chiropractor with a certain expectation of how the visit will go. They’ll lay down on the table while the chiropractor palpates their spine, pushing and pulling specific areas. They’ll hear pops and cracks, and feel their tension go away. And when they stand up, they’ll magically feel better!

Based on this generalization of chiropractic, it’s easy to see why patients can become uncomfortable when things don’t go this way. When the first thing a chiropractor does is ask them about their medical history, many patients can even become evasive.

At Ideal Spine, we believe patient education starts the moment someone walks into a clinic. In many cases, this means dispelling preconceived notions. To do that, patients need to understand why things aren’t going the way they expect.

Explain the nature of holistic medicine

Have you had any recent surgeries? Do you have any history of chronic pain? What medications are you taking? On the surface, to a patient, none of these questions have anything to do with chiropractic. Explain why you’re asking them and what they mean for the eventual delivery of care.

Patients need to understand that their medical histories are important for how treatment will progress. A chiropractor can’t perform the same adjustments on a senior with osteoporosis that they do on a middle-aged athlete. Likewise, someone recovering from a recent surgery may not have the range of motion they otherwise would.

Patient history prevents false starts in the treatment plan. More importantly, it protects patients from uniformed diagnoses and adjustments.

The best way to explain this is by explaining the nature of holistic medicine. An adjustment here could result in X, Y, or Z, depending on the factors at play. Having vital medical history information eliminates the unknowns, so a chiropractor can solve for X, Y, or Z – whatever will provide the best outcome for the patient.

The more you know, the more you help

If a patient complains of neck pain, a doctor’s first instinct isn’t going to be to prescribe surgery. Instead, they’re going to do a full exam, ask questions, and try to qualify the source and intensity of the pain. Visiting a chiropractor is no different, and medical history plays a vital role.

Neck pain, for example, is a broad concern. Getting as much information as possible speeds up a chiropractor’s diagnosis and ensures the right course of action is taken. Patients may not realize it, but that whiplash accident they had last year may only now be manifesting symptoms. Or, the shoulder surgery they had five years ago may have limited their range of motion, affecting the musculature around the cervical spine. The chronic plantar fasciitis they’ve been self-medicating for years may have caused instability in the lumbar spine, finally affecting the cervical spine. The list goes on and on.

Every piece of information is vital in putting together the puzzle of patient pain. The biggest contributor of information is patient history – both formally documented and informally told.

Set the precedent of informed care

In getting new patients to be forthcoming with important information, chiropractors need to break stereotypes and encourage patient education. A visit to the chiropractor is not random adjustments and audible pops – it’s a collaboration between patient and chiropractor that leads to informed care.

When patients understand how their medical history informs their care, they’ll recognize the importance of sharing it.

Ideal Spine advocates informed patient care through a structured Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach. For more information about CBP or for more tips on how to deliver world-class chiropractic care, contact us today.

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.