The goal of today’s post is to raise your understanding of the outcome-based treatment model, which should be helpful in your medical care.

Problem: Every time I go see my chiropractor, they keep telling me that I need more treatment; how will I be able to tell when I’m better?

Solution: Either find a doctor that uses outcomes as an objective measure, or consider coming up with your own self-assessment to understand your limitations and decide when you are better.

Bottom-line: The most effective and efficient way to approach healthcare is by utilizing outcome-based measures, which gives you objective information about your function and limitations. If your current provider is not utilizing this model, it might be time for a switch!

When was the last time you felt like you were being heard? Maybe you were hanging out with your friends or at a family function. Or, It could’ve been a work function. What about your chiropractor? If you’re current healthcare provider isn’t using outcome-based measures to track your health and progress, they could be using an out of date approach.

Currently, one of the best ways to track progress is with specific and measurable outcomes.

I’m not talking about how tracking pain levels.The outcome-based treatment model is based on your function of a specific and measurable task.

Some examples of specific limitations might be: sitting, walking, running, driving, getting up from a chair, playing with your children, etc.

When a physician who uses this model begins your initial assessment, he or she will ask you questions regarding your functional limitations. That line of question SHOULD BE USED IN COMBINATION with a pain scale.

ex: Physician: On a 0 -10 pain scale, how much pain are you currently experiencing in your lower back? Also, as a percentage of limitation (out of 100%), are you unable to perform any specific task less than 100% due to your lower back pain? If so, what is that task and how much is it limited?

Not only is this a great way to track your progress throughout the different phases of care, it is also a model that insurance companies are moving towards as a means to justify your care.

Think about it, your pain can only change so much and it can be a poor way to measure progress. Maybe you were never really in very much pain in the first place, but certain activities like getting on the floor to play with your kids were nearly impossible when you first started care but after 3-5 visits your score changed from 10% to 50%. That is significant. Especially considering that maybe your pain score only changed from a 3/10 to a 2/10 (these numbers are entirely made up).

At Hybrid Sports Chiropractic, I like to use specific and individual outcome-based measures with each and every patient. My general rule of thumb is to find out as much information as possible regarding functional limitations, which always helps when creating an individual treatment plan. When someone is approaching the 100% level (or simply returns to their pre-injury status), I am more than comfortable transitioning to as-needed treatment or releasing them from care.

So, the next time you have an injury or a physical ailment, consider either telling your doctor your limitations, or try tracking it on your own. You’ll be glad you did!