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Chiropractic Blog

 

First let me open by saying this post is going to be a little short on offering much in the way of tips or useful advice.¬†¬† (I can already hear the sarcastic, “So what else is new” comments rolling in . . . so spare me.) ūüėČ

In all seriousness I want to throw some random thoughts out there about something I’m sure we all experience in our chiropractic¬†practices.¬† We’ve all had those times when for whatever reason we keep seeing the same symptom or complaint.¬† I find it absolutely astonishing how¬†symptoms¬†and musculoskeltal complaints can sometimes¬†roll¬†into a chiropractic office¬†with amazing¬†patterns¬†and predictability.¬†

Now before someone¬†jumps on me for not being a¬†“principled chiropractor”, let me just state:

I KNOW¬†Chiropractic¬†isn’t¬†about¬†chasing symptoms.¬†

That being said, how many times a year do you have one of¬†those weeks?You know the weeks I’m referring to.¬†¬†¬†Those weeks where you already¬†KNOW what the next patient’s chief complaint is.¬† Let me¬†give you an example.¬†¬†

A few months back I had the great¬†left sacro-iliac pain pandemic of 2009.¬† For¬†some unknown¬†reason everyone had sacro-iliac joint pain….but not JUST¬†left SIJ pain. Oh no. That wouldn’t have been strange enough.¬† To¬†make the universe¬†even more¬†mysterious, this was the great¬†localized LEFT-UPPER sacro-iliac joint pain pandemic of 2009.¬†

Now I said everyone and I was of course exaggerating.¬† However, I’m not kidding when I say¬†60-75% of patients came in complaining of left¬†SI joint pain.¬† Now¬†I could blow this off if¬†these patients had something in common.¬† They didn’t.¬† Maybe they¬†were friends, co-workers, or had other similarities. Nope.¬† I could even disregard this occurence if it was the first¬†time I’ve experienced something similar.¬†¬†It wasn’t.

Two ¬†to three¬†times a year I have one of these strange¬†stretches where I SWEAR¬†I’ve somehow stepped into¬†a chiropractic Bermuda triangle.¬† “Can you point with one finger to where¬†it hurts?” [Insert the themesong from The Twighlight Zone¬† here]

The past two weeks have been no exception.  I have now reached what I can only hope is the conclusion of the great right lower cervical/upper trapezius pain and stiffness epidemic of 2009-2010. 

For the past 2 weeks I had about an 80% chance of being correct if I bet the next patient to walk through the door would have a chief complaint of pain and stiffness in the right lower cervical spine and  right upper trapezius area.  WEIRD!    I am continually amazed when I try to figure out just why things run in these coincidental outbreaks. 

I thought I had it outsmarted.  I was confident I could narrow this down to all of my right sided sleepers, or my Nintendo Wii bowlers, or my right handed coffee drinking knitters, or my snow shovelling patients, or my manual transmission drivers.  To my dismay all of these theories were proven incorrect.

There has to be more going on here but I can’t figure it out!¬† Nor can¬†I afford to hire the staff of HOUSE M.D. to figure¬†it out¬†for me.¬†¬†¬†For the sake of my sanity, and to avoid stumbling into conspiracy theory land, I give up!

Instead I’m¬†seizing this opportunity to coin what I believe is a new phrase and a new concept in chiropractic:

“Symptom Trending.”¬†

If you use Twitter or other social media websites, you are probably already familiar with the concept of trending.¬† If you aren’t, let me explain.¬† The easiest definition is to say “trending” is the concept of describing what the most popular topic of the day or moment is.¬† If everyone is talking about the movie Avatar, or the cost of a gallon of gas..these are “trending”. ¬†Holy cow…I managed to teach some of you something in this post after all!

I proudly proclaim myself the inventor, founder,¬†and developer of the concept of¬†chiropractic symptom trending.¬† FIRST! So feel free to comment¬†or email to let me know¬†let me know what symptoms are trending at your practice. (And don’t say accounts recievable because¬†that’s not my area!)

Now that I’ve invented this hot new concept all I have to do is convince¬†every¬†Chiropractor on Twitter to start tweeting¬† symptom hashtags.¬† You know, things¬†like:

 #Localizedleftsidedupperlumbalgiawithattendantparaspinalmyospasm

or

#rightuppercervicalgia

Something tells me the odds aren’t stacked in my favor!

-Dr. James

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