Understanding the What and the Why…

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The hardest thing for patients is to understand the difference between What and Why. This means the problem and the cause. So let’s dig into this issue.

Bad Medicine Is All About the Problem

The “what” is the problem that the doctor is presented with. Let me give a few examples of “what”:

  • Tight neck muscles that limit range of motion
  • A tight hamstring muscle making it hard to function
  • Headache pain

When a patient presents with these things to the average physician, the focus is only on that presenting complaint. However, there is often little focus on “why” these problems are happening.

Hence, here are the solutions for these issues if there’s only a focus on “what”:

  • Botox to loosen tight muscles
  • Stretching the hamstring
  • Medications that help headache pain
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The Next Level – “Why”

Why is much harder than what. What can be done in minutes, which is the average length of a quickie office visit. Why takes time. In addition, why takes specialized knowledge. So let’s take a look at causes (the why) and treatments for the above problems:

  • Tight neck muscles: instability or too much movement of the vertebrae – specific image-guided injections to tighten loose ligaments
  • Tight hamstring: an irritated S1 nerve -a  platelet epidural injection
  • Headaches: a damaged C1-2 joint – a high dose platelet-rich plasma injection to help the joint heal

Why Don’t We Have More “Why” Happening?

When you set your practice up so that you’re seeing 20-30 patients a day, why just isn’t possible. When you have an hour of doctor time with each new patient, why not only becomes feasible, it’s the only way to go.

The upshot? You need to find a doctor who focuses on the why and not the what. So if you’re seeing a physician who “stacks ’em, racks ’em, and packs ’em”, you will never get to “why”.

Join us for a free Regenexx webinar.
Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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