By Lori Okami
At some point, we will all need to seek advice and care from our health care providers...whether a physician, a physical/occupational therapist, a massage therapist, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, etc.
Whether you've got a killer headache, are in serious pain, or suddenly have limited movement, when seeking solutions from your care provider it helps to have an awareness of your body, recall relevant activities and effectively describe what ails you.
The best thing that you can do as a patient is to be self-aware. It helps your care provider properly diagnose the problem and offer an effective solution if you provide the right information to enable them.
- Thoroughly and accurately describe the problem
- Describe the situation surrounding the problem
- Provide the background/history
1) Describe the Problem.
- Type: pain, discomfort, movement challenges, etc. (What?)
- Location: where is it located--permeating, localized, etc. (Where?)
- Frequency: single occurrence, repetitive, intermittent, etc. (When?)
- Function: limitations, immobility, weakness, etc. (How?)
2) Describe the Situation.
- Explain how it happened
- You may even describe what you were doing prior to the problem occurring
- Provide other relevant information which could include changes in rest, diet, stress levels, hydration, even climate/temperature could be a factor
3) Describe the Background.
- Describe any prior injury or occurrence
- Provide your relevant health history and anything even remotely connected. For example, you may have had knee surgery but you're now experiencing hip problems. It could related if you are somehow compensating for the injury.
The better you arm your care provider with pertinent information, the better your chances of receiving the right solution. Help them, help you.
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