More Questions Lead To Better Results

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In my attempts at educating patients, I look at their postural habits which they present. I address their questions and concerns, as I try to resolve their problem as it relates to their pain and discomfort. Beyond the medical intake form, my questions include but are not limited to:

What position do you sleep in?
-stomach sleeping puts pressure on your low back thereby aggravating your back and neck
-sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees alleviates discomfort
-the best position is side-lying which takes the pressure off your low back and knees
Can you raise your arms over your head?
-difficulty with this movement could signify frozen shoulder
-limited ROM could be from an injury, when therapy may be appropriate
Do you have tingling fingers?
-this could signify Carpal Tunnel syndrome with compression of the median nerve
-if your neck muscles are involved, it could be Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
-if you sleep with your arm over your head, you may be compressing your brachial artery
Are you stressed out?
-you may be breathing in short, shallow breaths thereby adding to your stress levels
-inhale to a count of 10, and exhale to a count of 6, try this 3 times
Did you suffer an injury?
-notice your decreased pain level or decreased ROM, this could be attributed to a recent fall
-did you treat it using the RICE method
Do you exercise?
-do you sufficiently warm up and cool down to prevent muscle strain
-are you experiencing decreased energy or fatigue, as this could be a sign of dehydration
Do you clench or grind your teeth?
-see your Dentist for possible intervention (plate for grinding/bruxism)
-perhaps you need help in releasing the muscles of the jaw to prevent TMJ
What is your reflection in the mirror?
-if your shoulders are at ear level and your head in a forward position, focus on dropping your shoulders down to relax the tension
Are you happy with your posture?
-do you spend a lot of time in front of the computer
-do you slouch in your chair or on the couch
-learn to sit and stand tall keeping your back and neck in proper alignment

A therapist should be asking questions similar to the above to pinpoint your area of pain or discomfort and with proper testing, will be able to treat accordingly.

NOTE:      See your doctor if the pain persists or doesn’t go away within a day or two
See your therapist if treatment is recommended.

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