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Why is an Accurate Diagnosis Important?

Accurate Diagnosis is the Key to Recovery

In order to resolve your pain we first have to know what is causing it.  The act of finding the cause is called making a diagnosis.  A diagnosis is “the art of distinguishing one disease from another.”  Well, that sounds important.  There are several factors in arriving at an accurate diagnosis.  The first is to do a quality initial work up.  Information is collected about the history of the condition and then performing an exam to find the exact tissues involved.  The second step is to possess the knowledge, experience and skill to identify the condition from the data collected.  When I am the second or third doctor someone has visited for a particular condition, I always ask what was the working diagnosis from the previous doctor.  Over half the time there was no diagnosis.

How can you help someone get well if you don’t know what was wrong?  Sometimes it’s very general, a strain.  But a strain of what tissue, how bad, caused by what action?  You have to start with an accurate diagnosis.  When patients are coming from their medical doctor, the lack of diagnosis may be because it was a functional problem and won’t be found on an x-ray or MRI and the doctor has lost the art of physical examination.  Many times patients tell me the doctor never even touch the place that hurt.

This was brought into sharp focus for me when I received a call from my brother who lives on the east coast.  He had a pain in his sacroiliac joint and went to his chiropractor.  They talked, he was put on the table and was adjusted.  Over the next few days he improved.  Then he was doing some lifting and hurt his upper back.  He returned to the chiropractor who put him on the table and adjusted him.  It took a few visits and he felt better.

Like most of us when he felt better he went back to yard work and physical work.  He hurt his lower back, but not in the same place as before.  When he went to the chiropractor he noticed that he was treated exactly the same as he had in the past.  He wasn’t being treated for his problem he was being “popped.”  This works because some people get better and the more treatment the better chance that you will eventually get better.  It you want to get better quickly you should have a diagnosis and be treated specifically for your problem.  My brother is looking for a new chiropractor who gives quality chiropractic care.