Our goal at Tulsa Spine and Rehab is to make every patient as comfortable as possible. It can be rather unnerving for patients who are uncertain of what to expect, especially after having bad experiences in the past with other physicians, physical therapists, or chiropractors. On top of that, the reason that patients are making a visit is usually because something is already wrong. That is why all of us at Tulsa Spine and Rehab are so focused on making a good first impression during every patient’s visit.
Technology goes a long way towards helping patients to make their visit worthwhile. It is evident that anybody who is reading this blog (or perhaps looking into our bios and available services) is doing their research. On our end, we will leverage technology to make document processing easier. Paperwork can be done through email or fax prior to the visit, and we also obtain clinical history and information about our patients electronically.
We recognize that the patient’s time is important. This begins with making sure that we are prompt with scheduled appointment times so patients do not have to wait unnecessarily. Once the visit starts, we will discuss the patient’s history and any contributing factors that may be aggravating their issue. If there was a significant history of illness/injury, we would be able to take that information into account. We spend a good amount of time learning about the patient’s condition and lifestyle factors such as activity level.
After going through a comprehensive history, we will begin the physical. This involves looking at range of motion, tenderness/soreness, neurological exams, reflexes, orthopedic exams, and sensory exams if warranted. We will do selective functional movement assessments to determine if there are any biomechanics limitations pertaining to flexion, extending, or rotating. This is another layer of information revealed by our visit that will let us gain a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s condition.
While I believe that X-rays are an important diagnostic tool, I think they are often overused. It just isn’t necessary to take X-rays of most patients. Most likely, a thorough examination will provide all the information we need in order to provide appropriate treatment. That being said, there are some occasions where an exam will warrant further imaging such as X-ray, MRI, or CT.
Finally, we want patients to leave their visit with a clear understanding of what the underlying problem is and what can be done to treat it. Some patients only want a concise summary, while others want highly detailed illustrations. Either way, we want them to be equipped with the tools they need—whether it involves self-management, stability exercises, or other treatments, patients will feel empowered to take tangible steps towards recovery. An advantage we have at Tulsa Spine and Rehab is the ability to refer patients to a physical therapist, massage therapist, or fitness instructor if it would be a good solution.
Many offices spend time examining, taking X-rays, and trying to determine the problem while telling the patient to come back later for another visit. This doesn’t make much sense, in my opinion. We will do everything possible to give patients relief—it may be an adjustment, massage, stretching, or even exercises the patient can do themselves. Whenever a patient leaves our office, they should hopefully feel at least somewhat better. While we may not be able to take care of the whole problem in one visit, patients will at least have a plan of action.
To contact Dr. Riley and the team at Tulsa Spine and Rehab, give us a call at (918) 743-3737