Right person – Choosing a healthcare provider to address chronic musculoskeletal pain syndromes

When dealing with musculoskeletal pain syndrome the ageless advice is the best solution is to see the right person, for the right care.

For chronic and/or recurring musculoskeletal pain syndromes the choice of the healthcare provider assumes more importance. As it is likely to be a long-lasting relationship.

You can choose from several different types of musculoskeletal healthcare providers including Physical Therapists, Surgeons, chiropractors, rheumatologists, Physiatrist; Neurologist; Podiatrist; Primary Care Providers, and others. Often there are sub-specialists within a healthcare provider discipline.

For chronic recurring musculoskeletal pain syndromes, it is important to develop consistent personal relationships with a healthcare provider.  Having a musculoskeletal healthcare provider can give you a trusting, ongoing relationship over time.

There are reasons to see a primary care provider first. Regardless of the context, it is always advisable to a primary care provider if you have any new medical concerns.

If your primary care provider thinks Physical Therapy is appropriate recognize the difference between a referral to Physical Therapy versus a referral to a Physical Therapist.

There are times when it makes sense to see a specialist in the management of musculoskeletal pain syndromes first by passing the primary care provider.

There are reasons to see a Physical Therapist first. No longer is there a statutory barrier requiring a physician’s referral to see a Physical Therapist. A recent consensus statement lists the criteria for a high-value Physical Therapist. The consensus statement criteria of high-value care provided by a Physical Therapist is effective; safe, patient-centered, consistent, accountable, timely, equitable, and easy interaction with other team members

There are many considerations to address the ambiguity of choosing the right person. Some of the reasons are of a higher or lower priority. Broadly speaking choose a healthcare provider who:

Not all clients choose the right provider at the right time. Every good healthcare provider should actively engage with their patients and have the skill to identify those who need to see someone else. There are many times when I have referred patients back to their primary care provider or other specialist better able to handle the problem.

Managing chronic/recurring musculoskeletal pain syndromes requires working with the “right” healthcare provider who provides the right care, at the right time.

The information on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You are encouraged to perform additional research regarding any information contained available through this website with other sources and consult with your physician.

Damien Howell Physical Therapy – 804-647-9499 – Fax: 866-879-8591 At-Home, At Office, At Fitness Facility – I come to you, I do home visits Damien@damienhowellpt.com

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