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December 28th, 2016

Why are Re-Examinations so Important?

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

It’s that time again. Either after four weeks of treatment or ten visits our patients are scheduled for a re-examination with the doctor. Why you ask? To make you fill out more paperwork? To add more time to your appointment? Well, not exactly.

Every new patient completes a consultation and initial examination on their first visit.  Both aspects are extremely important.

Consultation/Subjective Findings: This is where you tell the doctors about your condition.  Types of questions the doctors may ask include: when did it start, symptoms you notice, pain/discomfort intensity, type of discomfort and most importantly how these symptoms are affecting your daily life.  Not all conditions we see can answer the same questions such as anxiety or insomnia vs. pain.  The consultation is all in your words.

Examination: The examination includes objective findings that can be measured and should be able to be replicated.  In our office this includes, but is not limited to orthopedic tests, range of motion, reflexes, spinal alignment and muscle tests.  We may include x-rays and even MRI’s from another provider to assess all the pieces of your case.

All of these aspects are then analyzed to determine a personalized treatment plan to get you back to 100%.  Once you are under care, the doctors will complete subsequent re-examinations to determine progress from the start of your initial care.

Typically after three to four weeks there is some change.  The main thing to consider is how consistent you are with care. If you are compliant with your visits and follow your recommendations from the doctor you will notice a quicker healing rate. If you skip many of your appointments and do not follow thru your home exercise program then your goals may not be met.

The day or two before your re-exam you are asked to fill out only a few pieces of information. We will compare that to your first visit and perform the same tests. This will help determine how the treatment plan is coming along. If improvements are being noted, then the doctor might recommend decreasing your visits. For some reason if the goals are not met then you and the doctor will discuss some options. As in trying more visits, switching up the home exercise program routine or even referring out if all other options are expired.

Our goal is not to keep our patients forever and we love to see them graduate and return as wellness patients. It is important to perform re-exams after so many visits as well as when the patients is ready to graduate and we can close their case so insurance companies also know they are done with care.

If you follow our recommendations and do your homework you will pass your re-exam with flying colors!! If you have any questions please call our office at 847-362-4476!

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