Teaching Patients Anatomical Terminology for Better Communication

The human body is extremely complex, to the point that most people do not know the scientific terms for their body parts. When it comes to the spine, in particular, the web of bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments can be difficult to understand. As a chiropractor, you can help your patients better understand their ailments and what you are doing to help them by explaining the basics of anatomical terminology.

At Ideal Spine, we understand effective communication is a major part of Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP). When it comes to handling patients with histories of chronic or severe pain, trust is not always easy to gain.

To make this easier, chiropractors can use both plain language and anatomical terminology to explain what is involved in a chiropractic adjustment and what it will ideally do for the body. Your patients do not need a full lesson on human anatomy, but rather a basic understanding of the spine and its elements. Explaining these parts in a way they can understand can help mitigate fear and create stronger relationships between chiropractor and patient.

Important elements of spinal anatomy

When working with patients, explain the basics of the spine in terms of building blocks –  the smaller elements that form larger sections of the spine and beyond. Here are some important things you may want to communicate.

  • Vertebrae: Explain to your patients that the spine comprises a series of vertebrae, or pieces of bone. From there, you can explain the different vertebral sections of the spine, including the cervical spine, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine and help them identify the area that is causing them the most pain.
  • Spinal segments: Communicate the three main components of each spinal segment: the vertebral body, or bone; the disc, made of cartilage; and the facet joints. Then, explain that “segments” of the spine are named for the upper and lower vertebrae within them.
  • Nerves and spinal cord: Most people know the spinal cord runs down the length of the back and is protected by the vertebrae. However, they don’t usually know that the nerves branch out from the lumbar spine and extend through the body. Also explain that these nerves can cause pain in the back and other areas of the body if they are compressed at the point at which they exit the spinal column.
  • Common causes of pain: Finally, explain to your patient some of the common causes of pain in the back and legs in scientific and layman’s terms. These may include disc degeneration, when the cartilage between vertebrae degenerates, and disc herniation, when part of the disc leaks out beyond the vertebrae and irritates a nearby nerve, as well as others located in their area of pain.

Ideally, by communicating anatomical terms to your patients, you will be able to build better trust and understanding so your patient feels more secure in your care. At Ideal Spine, we use communication in combination with Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) to make patients feel safe, secure and healthy before, during, and after a chiropractic adjustment.

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.