One of the “practice philosophies” we have in our office is:
“Get patients better, but at the same time, educate them on what they can be doing outside of the clinic to help with the process.”
Sometimes that second part gets lost in diagnosis codes, billing codes, authorization, number of visits… and time, but ultimately many times it proves to be the most important part. Our success is in large part determined by what a patient does when they walk out our door.
We sometimes have 30min to an hour with someone for treatment…and then they have 23 more hours in the day to either help improve their condition, or undo everything you just did to undo their imbalances. Whether that’s sitting at their desk for the next 8 hours without stretching, sleeping on their stomach every night with their low back hyperextended and their neck cranked to the side, or eating an inflammatory diet, the decisions they make effect both of us.
One of the keys we’ve found with educating and informing patients is that, WITH PROPER INSTRUCTION, a patient can be trained to not only help with the active phase of care, but also with the “maintenance” care as well.
But you must educate them on what they should and shouldn’t be doing, and it’s important to give specific instructions and document these instructions. There is a lot of room for error and you want these patients coming back to you saying “thank you” not, “why am I worse?” or “what am I supposed to be doing again?”.
There are a few ways to help accomplish this:
1. Self-Myofascial Release Offers Something For Everyone…
We are big on foam rolling. We even have monthly foam rolling classes so patients can bring others to share in the fun.
At a later time I can fill you in on how to make those successful. If you want to get more progressive, you can utilize items like:
The Vyper by HyperIce which is great for your more active population.
For the less active, less mobile patients, we like to use a self-myofascial release device called the “Doc N Roll”. It allows patients that do not have the ability to get on and off the floor easily, to foam roll standing. There are great protocols for even your best athlete with this device.
2. Give patients instructions they can understand
When it comes to SMR or other exercises or stretches, no matter whether you recommend a lacrosse ball or tennis ball, personalized instruction is the key.
If you hand out old, dated photocopies of your recommendations, there may be info that gets lost in translation.
Try using WebExercises online database to email your patients any exercise you could ever hope to recommend. They can also pull your specific routine for them up on their tablet or phone and do the program at home, with easy to understand video demos and high-def pics.
3. Keep it simple
Last but not least…and most importantly, make it easy and progress slowly. Every patient is different, but you’ll have more success if you progress at a rate they can keep up with, rather than throwing everything at them all at once.
Have them work on one exercise or stretch and see how they do. Then follow up with more, if they can easily demonstrate during their next visit that they’ve got it and they understand.
For more info on any products or specials mentioned in this article, please contact your MeyerDC Account Manager. If you don’t know who your Account Manager is, please call us and find out: