Five effective questions to screen your health care professional

I come across a lot of people that are injured (shoulder, knee, back etc). Most of them seek out for a health care practitioner, yet they are still not feeling good after several visits. They are in constant pain with no signs of relief, they cannot work out or play their favorite sport. Switching to a different health practitioner is not an option for them.

Are there 'bad' practices around such as orthopedics, physiotherapists, personal trainers, chiropractors or 'bad' individual choices? I'm not an expert on the topic, but I will give you some useful hints that can help you determine if the person that is going to treat you is a true professional or a phony?

These are the five screening questions that you should consider before trusting any health care provider:

  1. Is the person qualified enough? I'm refereeing about education and experience and not if he/ she is famous and everyone visits them.
  2. Did the person perform an assessment to diagnose your condition? Assessing and re- assessing are key elements of any rehabilitation success. Assessment consists of a subjective element by asking questions and an objective element by performing provocation tests, X-rays, MRI's etc.
  3. Is the rehabilitation process going anywhere? Does your pain decrease after 2-3 weeks, what about your range of movement? Pain and movement are two aspects that can determine if your condition is improving or worsening.
  4. What does the rehabilitation process includes? Medication, stay at home/ do nothing and usage of only machinery to get you back in action. These are some warning signs of 'bad/ passive' rehabilitation regimes. It all depends on the form of injury, but becoming passive is not a way you go.
  5. Does the health care practitioner that is treating you answer all of your questions? Explaining you as a patient the Why behind of all of his/ her actions are important for building trust and confidence.

These are some valid questions that you should consider when choosing someone to treat you. If you know the answers to the above questions it will make your life easier when you are dealing of any kind of injury. IGNORANCE is not the answer, but RIGHT CHOICES.