As Chiropractors and healthcare professionals, one of the most important responsibilities we have, when working with patients on a regular basis, is to consistently get as much information and acquire as many puzzle pieces as possible – EVEN if we already think we know the answer to the complaint that brought them into the office or we’ve already mapped out their treatment plan.
One major puzzle piece that helps both the doctor and the patient reach the desired goals – whether it be getting out of pain or getting ready for the next race or trip – is understanding the importance of the daily decisions they make and explaining how those decisions influence everything from wellbeing to performance.
Getting consistent information and staying focused on understanding all the little aspects of their overall health story and their life:
- History of injuries and accidents – something they may have forgotten to mention during the initial history
- Daily activities and repetitive motions – work, hobbies, chores, time with kids
- What they put in and on their body – food, drink, meds, supplements
- How they sleep
…could be one of the most important things you do as their trusted healthcare provider.
And while getting to know a patient personally is certainly important to the relationship, don’t let chit-chat about last night’s game or the weather eat into the limited amount of time you have for having meaningful conversations about their well-being and what daily factors could also be influencing their condition.
Remember, the decisions your patients make outside of your clinic not only influence their health, they also influence how the patient will respond to your care.
So keep asking questions…and then help them make better decisions.
ASK IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
As a Chiro, you spend valuable time and energy (both physically and emotionally) trying to educate and heal your patients – many times only to have them walk out the door and immediately start undoing those benefits by making decisions that work directly against the improvement you’re providing. And as this repetitive cycle persists, you both end up frustrated.
Spend the limited amount of time you have with them, discussing topics that have a direct impact on their health…and tips or insights on how they can easily tweak those activities to make themselves healthier.
ONE IMPORTANT TOPIC TO DISCUSS IS SLEEP.
Do they get enough sleep?
If not, they’re not only creating a multitude of health-related issues, but they’re inhibiting their body’s ability to heal, regenerate and repair.
Do they get quality sleep?
Do they have the TV playing all night? This can limit their ability to get the deep, uninterrupted sleep vital for physical and mental well-being.
Do they sleep on their stomach…with their head and neck twisted and their low back in extension all night? Is this why they wake up every morning with a stiff cervical or lumbar spine?
Are they sleeping on the wrong pillow for their body type?
Are they sleeping on an old, worn out, broken down mattress?
TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP WITH YOUR PATIENTS.
Spend the limited, valuable time you have asking about daily habits and learn more. Sometimes, the most important info you can provide is the smallest change they can make:
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Sleep on your side or back instead of on your stomach
- When you sleep on your side, keep a pillow between your knees to help keep your hips apart
- Get a new mattress or pillow
And remember, helping someone get healthy is a process, a puzzle and a never-ending conversation…so be patient but persistent.
Last thing, if YOU need a new mattress, call your personal MeyerDC account manager to find out how you can get up to 40% off your new Tempur-Pedic mattress.
For more info on products mentioned in this article or for info on current product specials, please contact your personal MeyerDC Account Manager.
If you don’t know who your Account Manager is, please call 800.472.4221 to find out.