The Benefit of Guidelines
Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: I continue to be surprised, and somewhat disappointed with doctors and therapists, when a person comes in saying that the last time that they had their problem, they went to physical therapy for 4-5 months for a problem that should have taken 2 months at most. Sometimes they say that they went to their family physician for a low back strain and were told to have 1 week of bed rest. Some have been told by their surgeon that since their MRI was negative for a disc herniation, that the problem was in their head and not their back.
One of the benefits of medicine now is that the most current research is available online. We can access treatment guidelines and read the supporting research to find out what works best for our patients. This is not to say that doctors should not use their own experience from treating prior patients, but instead to give a resource to find information if treatment is taking too long or if patients are not getting well.
When I was in school 30+ years ago, if a person strained their back, the advice was a week of bed rest. When the research came out against bed rest and for early movement such as walking, some doctors fought the change. When outcome assessments became common to measure a person’s response to treatment, some doctors didn’t want to use them. When studies show that certain types of therapies get better results, some therapists didn’t want to use the better therapies for a variety of reasons.
The guidelines and their supporting research give us the information to allow us to get our patients well faster and with better long term outcomes. As insurance companies reduce treatment coverage and out of pocket costs to patients rise, it is in everybody’s best interest to use the research and evidence out there to improve our care.
Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!