So I’m waiting for my daughter to finish her dance lessons, and I’m just having a conversation with an acquaintance of mine from church whose daughter is also dancing. He was telling me about the problems he has been having in his neck and in his back and he’s got all this tension and stiffness.
So I asked him if he had been seeing Dr. Rick who is a Chiropractor in Ottawa who we both know and lives close to him (and would be the obvious choice). He said that he had but then he had stopped and that he had moved on to a different Ottawa Chiropractor because what he was looking for, he realized, was more of what he called “a collaborative approach”.
So I know Dr. Rick and I know his approach. I know his heart. I know his clinical skills. So the comment about him, the dissatisfaction he felt and the comment about a more collaborative approach frankly surprised me. So when I pressed in, he went on to describe his circumstance.
Really, what he felt is that he didn’t feel as though Dr. Rick was listening to him before he adjusted him. So basically, he would arrive and he would try to tell him something and Rick would just sort of motion down to the table and adjusted him before Reed ever really had a chance to explain anything to him.
I thought, “You know what? Dr. Rick and I do things very similarly in terms of our approach and our overall desire for our patients.” I wondered, “What if my patients are having the impression that I don’t care to listen to where it is that they’re hurting on a particular day.”
Because I know his approach, I was able to explain it to Reed what was happening. Although he is not going to switch back to Rick, he is happy with the Chiropractor in Ottawa he is with now, he has a better understanding of what he was experiencing. So here is what it is.
When I’m assessing your spine, we’ve got two things to decide where to adjust you and whether not to adjust you on a particular day.
One method is that I can rely on where it is you feel the pain.
The alternative approach is to use a more measurable, more objective method to know where it is you need the chiropractic adjustment.
So the subjective experience, that is how it is that you feel, is so important to you as a consumer. It’s important to me when I’m in pain and I go see my chiropractor. But the objective, what it is measurable and not dependent on pain, is more useful to me as the clinician.
Your subjective experience of pain and where you feel it is exactly that, it’s subjective. It’s important but it’s not very reliable for me as a doctor is trying to really correct this problem for you.
So depending on whether or not you had a stressful day at work or you had a bad sleep the night before or just your overall mood and frame of mind, that can affect your subjective experience enormously.
What we also know is that where you hurt is not necessarily where the root of the problem is.
So therein lays the rub.
I know that when somebody comes into my chiropractic office in Ottawa for regular visit, there may be some “red flags”. There are some red flags that I need to know about. For example, any kind of pain that is radiating down an arm or leg whether you have had an injury or an unusual headache, or actually any headache at all, I want to know about it.
But outside of that, I actually try to block out– not because I don’t care– I want to block out where it is specifically that you’re having the pain. You may tell me, “Paul, it hurts right here.” Honestly, as a clinician, I don’t want that to influence where the actual problem is. Because you could be hurting here but really the root of the issue is lower down in your neck. Or you could be telling me it hurts right here and I may find the root of the issue is at the top.
Sometimes it may even match.
But in reality, I’m just a human being like you are. Because of that, I am susceptible to being swayed from my objectivity and get de-railed.
I don’t want to be derailed and make a wrong choice based on where it is you’re hurting on a day-to-day basis.
If you recall, we spent a lot of time together on day 1 and day 2 and on your progress exams to really reevaluate how it is that you’re doing, how you’re feeling, how things have changed.
So on a visit-to-visit basis, if it ever seems as I’m not paying attention but you’re actually witnessing is that I’m trying to remain objective and not be swayed by a subjective experience.
I hope that makes sense. Really, the desire there is to give you the best possible care, so that down the road we actually get some true correction in your spine and really make a difference in your life and not just chasing our tails by constantly touching you where you hurt.
I hope that makes sense and you found this valuable. Again, if you ever have any questions about anything you find in these videos, you have my personal e-mail address.
Never hesitate to send me an email. That is the email that I actually get on my phone, and I will respond. Have a great day and we’ll see you on your next video.
Contact Crestview Family Chiropractic at (613) 224-5400 to schedule your appointment.