We’re a team of people who share similar beliefs when it comes to what’s best for the patient. Our core beliefs and values are what separates us from other facilities in the area and even around the country. One of our most fundamental core beliefs is the importance of self-management strategies and the avoidance of open-ended treatment plans.
If you look at past blog posts, you’ll see that everyone at Tulsa Spine and Rehab shares a unified view when it comes to giving our patients the tools to manage their issue. When it comes to physical medicine, rehab, and chiropractic care, treatment can quickly turn into a black hole for patients. They may begin by visiting a facility twice a week. Six months later, their issue hasn’t changed and they’re still going to therapy. We think patients should have a plan that allows them to avoid those black holes.
The way we do that is by initially making a good determination of what the problem is. From there, evidence should clearly show how the patient is responding. It’s obvious that the patient wants to feel better, but we should have an objective measurement as well. Has the range of motion changed, for example? Are they functionally able to perform tasks that they couldn’t previously, or without the accompanying pain? We have to make the appropriate recommendation for the patient (even if that means referring them to someone else).
Effective treatment ultimately centers around self-management. When I treat patients, I have a philosophy of looking at not just what it is that I’m doing, but why I’m doing it. How would I want to be treated if I was in the patient’s place? (Unfortunately, I had some orthopedic injuries when I was a young athlete.) When I went to the doctor, it bothered me if I had to stay in the waiting room for 20 minutes, if the front office staff was unfriendly, or if the doctor didn’t communicate clearly. I’m going to make sure that my patients don’t have to deal with the same problems when they come to visit me.
As a patient, I want to feel accountable—that means that I want the doctor to tell me what I need to do to feel better. I think that most of the patients that visit our clinic feel the same way. It’s great when the doctor tells you exactly what your problem is and how they’re going to help you. They’ll probably also schedule you back for future visits. I do believe in those steps as long as the treatment doesn’t just end there. The final and most crucial step in the process is to tell the patient how they can help themselves.
The recent trend for medicine is to go for a quick fix like medication or surgery when there are other conservative options available. It could be something as simple as 8 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening reserved for a few easy stretches. You’d really be surprised how much things change once patients get onboard and actively involved with their treatment plan.
I think that if patients are onboard, accountable, and actively involved with their treatment, it’s going to result in a better response. Patients will feel better about what they’re doing and they’ll be able to leave my clinic faster. I want to make sure their issue is solved effectively and efficiently. During our first visit, I’ll make them feel accountable and an active part of the treatment plan. By doing that, they’ll get better faster. It creates a happier environment here in the clinic as well.
We know that you want to feel better. The way we’re going to make that happen is by giving you the tools to effectively manage your issue. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at (918) 743-3737.