My primary goal with new patients is to get a diagnosis. Many of my patients with chronic musculoskeletal problems have seen multiple heath care practitioners, but they are still not quite sure what is wrong with them. I spend a lot of time reviewing anatomy and pathology with my patients so that they are clear about why they are having the pain. This understanding helps people with the home exercises because they can visualize which muscles they are working on.
Besides spending time on the home exercise program, I will often discuss nutritional aspects of pain and inflammation and whether supplementing or going on an anti-inflammatory diet is the right approach. Many of my patients with chronic pain also have irritable bowel problems and it is important to address food sensitivities and the diet as a part of the healing process since 70-80% of the immune system (which causes inflammation) is around the gut.
I have an IgG blood test kit that patients can take to any lab to have their blood drawn and checked for between 115 and 154 food allergies, depending on which test the patient orders. This test must be paid cash, since insurance won’t cover it, unfortunately, and I have no affiliation or kick back with the lab, nor do I sell or promote any supplements from my office.
At times, I will refer people to physical therapy, orthopedic or spine surgeons if the diagnosis is appropriate. Often, patients having severe muscle spasms and/or pain will require muscle relaxants or pain medications, which can also be part of the treatment. I also order X-rays and MRI’s when needed.
Since new patient visits are one hour and follow up visits are 25-30 minutes, there is time to teach exercises and explore alternatives if it will help facilitate improving the condition.