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Start your office day right!

If you haven’t already tried this tip, I suggest you adopt it for 2 weeks, and tell me if it does not make a huge difference. 10 minutes before starting a patient shift, gather all your team in a private area. Have a copy of your Schedule, New Patient Log, and Missed appointment log. Go over each briefly, with the entire team. Make sure full communication is present amongst your players. Make sure your Team Captain (even if its you) are acting as the moderator.

Just doing this alone can have a huge impact on your practice.

Here’s a challenge to all clients and guests. Try this your next full week. Then email us or post to our Blog the results. I look forward to sharing your experiences.

Arachnoiditis

What is Arachnoiditis and How Can You Help?

As a specialty practice emphasizing the relief of chronic pain, you will encounter patients who suffer from arachnoiditis.

Unfortunately the number of these cases is growing by leaps and bounds.

The cause is thought to be at least in a large part due to the rising use of intraspinal injections.

As we both know, now a days and too often intraspinal injections are used as a first-line rather than the last line therapy for back pain, radiculitis etc.

The net result can be patients who are injured, or suffer severe adverse reactions.

These reactions can range from chronic back pain to unrelenting extremity and spine pain and even paralysis.

There is some concern that preservatives as well as the variety of drugs used in intraspinal injections can cause autoimmune reactions, which can lead to the development of more serious conditions including chemical hypersensitivity.

But the worst effect of course is, the chronic and debilitating and unrelenting pain that these patients suffer from.

As one of our trained clinicians, though you have tools right at your fingertips, which may be able to help even the most difficult patients.

Arachnoiditis patients present cases that will test all of your skills.

You need to of course be sure to start with a very thorough evaluation. Depending upon your expertise, develop a rational but powerful treatment plan using all the tools we have given you. Alternatively refer to one of your colleagues better equipped and trained to help these patients.

There is even a place for lifestyle and behavioral therapies in the treatment of the arachnoiditis patient. This is of course due to the significant life destruction they have experience.

Commonly, your office can serve as an oasis for these patients providing all types of information, which they are not getting anywhere else.

If you’re not familiar with arachnoiditis, we will be providing our clients additional continuing education material on this.

If you thought Neuropathy patients were challenging, you haven’t seen anything until you tackle some of these cases.

The good news is you can offer help to many of these patients.

But the first thing to do is start reaching out in your own practice and in your own community!

Communicate the value of what you are doing a daily basis.

Emphasize the need for a rational conservative approach to spine pain and possible arachnoiditis prevention, doing all of this despite traditional pain clinics emphasis on invasive and potentially dangerous injection therapy.

Above all, expand your expertise and learn to truly help the arachnoiditis patient.

We wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join our team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

A Necessary Evil

A day does not go by when I am not contacted by a fellow private practice owner about the failure of some technology system.

Now eight years after I first wrote and published a land mark private practice technology article entitled “A Necessary Evil”, little has changed for so many in private practice.

Wether its being held hostage by their “Tech Guy” or a techie, savvy staff, crappy software service, server failure (if you are foolish enough to have one any longer) , or more, it so behooves you to stay on top of this KEY system to run, grow and yes PROSPER in your private practice!

Take a few minutes with this article linked below and see what an impact this may STILL be having in your practice.

And if you’d like to learn how I fixed this and so many other essential private practice system, and helped my clients do this once and for all, schedule a free strategy session HERE

The Private Practice Revolution(TM) is Coming. Get ready.

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*”A Necessary Evil” previously published by MPA media.

Dear Dr. John Hayes,

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your Dynamic Chiropractic article

A Necessary Evil

I doubt if many DCs realize how important your message is…..a lot of the technology actually interferes with the human touch, interferes with true communication and human interaction and can make the visit impersonal and the office less friendly. The clinic owner needs to be vigilant against that.

Years ago I remember that one of my very hard-working and pleasant young CAs was looking frustrated at the front desk. I asked her, “Joy, what is wrong?” She replied in all innocence, “Oh, Dr., the patients keep interrupting me and I cannot get my computer assignment finished!”

What an eye-opener for me! The CAs were so skilled on the computer and the computer programs so interesting that the patients had been relegated to playing second fiddle! Playing with the computer had become more fun than playing with the patients!

Quickly I called a staff meeting and did some role-playing to re-educate the CAs and inculcate the attitude that the patients are not an interruption of our work, the patients are our work! I also re-assigned some of the computer work to Wednesdays when the clinic was closed to patients but the CAs could come in and work on their computer assignments (and dress casually then
too!).

Thanks for a nicely written article.

Dr. Rand

Dr. Rand Baird, D.C., M.P.H.
Chair, Public Health Committee
Chair, Associate Member Committee
World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC)

High Performance Tools and Toys

 

High Performance Tools and Toys

 

Some time ago, I wrote “Core Strength and Balance”, after the first ski trip of the year. I also told you about my new high-performance tools and toys (my new skis).  These are the most powerful skis I’ve ever owned. I’ve probably skied stronger and faster than any time in my last 60+ years. So much so, I scared myself to the point of nausea.

 

Well, tons of stuff has happened in the last 6 weeks, jut an incredibly busy stretch. Practice is off to its best January in several, thanks to the marketing tweaks and performance tuning we did in the last quarter.

 

Despite my heavy schedule, I always block out me time. This week it was Fri 5PM to Sunday 6PM.  I have written extensively on the power of creative energy and where it comes from, (and its not the office-day). I have also preached the value of blocked scheduling, and how powerful a concept that one is.

 

So, when one of my attorney friends called Friday night and asked me to spend the day Saturday at the boat show, I didn’t even bat an eyelash.  We really had a great time. Literally, we spent hours at one exhibit with factory personnel from Grady-White.  I was like a kid in the candy store. I have owned and operated Grady-Whites for years.  They really are the Rolls Royce of 20-30’ boats. It was so awesome to talk with engineers and designers, as I so admire their commitments to continual improvement and ultra high performance.

 

We also spent lots of time reviewing the latest marine navigation equipment and software, and talking with the factory reps. Garmin, Furono, Navtec, you name it.

 

The advances of the last five years are nothing short of phenomenal. Touch Screen technology, TFT displays with higher resolution graphics, polarized lens compatible coatings on the screens, smart routing that works like your car navigation. Really cool stuff.

 

Boy, Sunday was one great day.

 

So what’s the point?  And why the name-dropping?  Believe me, its not to impress. 

 

The fact is that there comes a point in time and life to move beyond just basic skills and tools, and yes even possessions. When you really start to crank things up, the best tools really shine, and  allow you to push your limits further than you ever imagined.

 

 Practice is no different. Once you have mastered all the basic skills, applied  the principal of Constant And Never ending Improvement, (CANI)  you find yourself ready and capable of producing so much more. By using only the highest performance tools, skills, and staff, your output is so much greater and your level of satisfaction  rises substantially as well. This is so true, regardless of how long you have been in practice, the type of practice you have, and the systems and people you employ.

 

Many years ago, while writing, “Creating your Perfect Practice”, I spoke extensively about the concept of blue printing. Blue printing involves taking an engine, typically from a racecar or other fine machine, and rebuilding to very precise tolerances, just as the engineers intended. Essentially, you start with exactly the same size engine, but end up with one that produces so much more horsepower, torque, fuel economy, performance, as well as a phenomenal sense of satisfaction when you really put it through the paces.

 

 Again, practice is no different.  Blue printing like we do with clients really can produce enormous gains. Absolutely everything The Perfect Practice Web team has written and designed allows you to accomplish so much more, with much greater efficiency, high performance, satisfaction, producing infinite rewards in exactly the same amount time if not less than you may ever had thought possible.

 

In this day and age, higher performance tools are so necessary to accomplishing more in less time. Besides, as your skills improve, just like my toys, you will enjoy these so much more.

 

This is also the secret to having a life outside of practice, being able to pursue your other interests and aspirations, or being stressed out, burned out, and financially dissatisfied.

 

 In the reality is, when you use the appropriate high performance tools and toys, input effort correspondingly decreases. So not only do you accomplish more, but also you save time, have more fun; less hassles with repairs and maintenance, and produce better results, you actually end up expanding less energy.

 

 So, with virtually all your office systems, see what is outdated. See what needs to be replaced, and then, only invest in the highest performing tools and systems available today.

And you too can learn these exact systems to incredible success by learning The 12 Secrets of Private Practice Mastery

 

Lessons Learned?

With fuel prices dropping like a stone, and a huge difference in gasoline pricing just 10 miles apart in these northeast towns, I can’t help but wonder, have we learned anything about the current trends and events that have a huge impact upon our lives?

I certainly hope so, but only time will tell.

Here’s my take.

1. Fuel prices soared, and stayed up because they could, without significant repercussions from any government authority. If you or I did that, we’d lose our licenses.

2. It’s not the last time we see this. Seems to me this strategy was tested after Katrina, and stuck this time. And I am sure its not over.

I think back to the gas lines of the 70s and lessons never learned. Instead, we get more dependent on foreign oil, and continue 35 years of incredible consumption. Next, we even gave our jobs away, make it incredibly difficult to do business in our own country, continue to line the pockets of special interests and set the stage for more corrupt politics. Now, other growing countries exhibit the same behavior.

And again in the USA, the biggest auto Companies Banks and Mortgage companies will be looking for bailouts by the feds, while posting brutal losses and shareholders stock value plummets.

Gosh, it must be nice to screw up so bad, and still come out smelling like a rose. All in the face of warning signs and trends of not so long ago.

Like Yogi Berra said, “This is like deja vu all over again.”

So, what’s the point? Again, it’s Yogi’s words of wisdom…

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

This type of human behavior in the face of rapid change could also have everything to do with your practice right now. Here is how I think it applies.

Lesson number one. The profitable and successful business and professional practice is built upon current trends, and they often are not necessarily at all the way we are used to thinking. Way, way outside the box. This is also the harsh reality of “future shock”.

Lesson number two. Alvin Toffler was so prophetic! Future Shock is modern mans greatest psychological affliction. Simply put, given half a chance, humans will screw up big time (and screw others) by failing to acknowledge and respond to the amount and rapid pace of change, in all areas of our world.

Lesson number three. Ignorance of important trends, changes and warnings hurts. It hurts people. It changes societies very quickly.

(And, it might just destroy everything that built America, a country that no longer teaches, or touches history on any scale like it used to. Collectively, very short memories for a very young country).

In any event, most of today’s doctors are just like most people in any important endeavor. Failure to thrive and especially prosper is often rooted squarely in these three closely related crucial errors.

Here they are in a slightly different format.

Ignorance of current trends.

Continuing to use antiquated tools, and this is a real biggie for such a smart group.

Not changing key life and business components (systems) until it’s very late in the game or disaster strikes).

Please remind yourself daily that ignorance is not bliss. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster, in most everything.

Now the good news.

You can be a better doctor and businessperson! You can learn new skills; use new tools that operate better systems. You can still create a powerful life while rendering a unique set of services to your communities. You can earn a fantastic livelihood and save many lives and countless amounts of ill heath, humanities most basic needs. You can.

But only If…

Hopefully, your answers are obvious.

Want to talk about growing YOUR Private Practice? Call me 24/7 781-659-7989 or email drjohnhayesjr@gmail.com

Your FREE Downloadable Guide is at http://PerfectPracticeWeb.com

Holding Yourself Truly Accountable in Private Practice

As we talk about all the time, the private practice of healthcare is radically different than the public sector.

There is no one telling you when to arrive, or when to leave. If you need to work nights and weekends you do so. If you need to hire outside experts you do that too.

For too many people the stress is unimaginable.

But not you.

With this vast degree of difference comes an extraordinary degree of responsibility. And the most successful private practice owners actually thrive in this environment.

Make no mistake about it being prosperous and happy in private practice requires multiple skills.

To have any longevity at all, you need to truly master the most effective private practice marketing, staff training and discipline as well as essential CEO skill sets.

But here’s the kicker.

It’s all up to you.

It is essential that you realize this every single day. Yes even on your off days. Your patients and your employees are dependent upon you to do the very best you can.

But how to avoid becoming totally overwhelmed? It’s a big job any standards.

The most successful private practice owners remain organized, focused, and borrow from all the greats in business. No, it’s not always easy. And often times it’s one of the most difficult things we do in life.

If you’re finding yourself feeling unrewarded or perhaps even just knowing that doing a little better to give you extra income, time off and satisfaction it’s time to go on to developing CEO skills.

One more thing.

All the great CEOs use their peers to help keep them accountable.

How about you?

Just make sure your “peers” are at least if not more successful than you are!

For more on private practice building visit us at PerfectPracticeWeb.com

 

Don’t Make This Fatal Marketing Mistake in Your Private Practice!

For too many businesses and many private practice owners the difficulty comes in sorting out what to do!

The marketing opportunities now available to any business and of course your private practice literally have exploded within the last year!

In this day and age more than ever before there are so many ways to reach your potential patients.

And for too many businesses and many private owners the difficulty comes in sorting out what to DO!

Of course this is one of the most challenging aspects of owning a private practice. Let’s face it… Study marketing in great detail and you have some extremely challenging concepts to understand.

But please don’t do like most private practice owners do and take your marketing advice from the local television, radio, or newspaper outlet.

Of course these vendors are in the business of boosting their own sales. Often times private practice owners are and coaxed to sign large expenditures and contracts leaving them on the hook with expensive costs of ONE channel marketing propositions.

There’s nothing wrong with these media. In fact they all have extraordinary uses. But unless you combine these into a whole that is a well-designed and thought out marketing plan you could be in for a very rude awakening.

You see just is in your practice, patients consume information in the multitude of ways. And of course we are all different. Some people are very visual meaning they respond extremely well to television and large photographs. Some people are intense readers and will bring in your ads with many words circled, some underline and some even highlighted.

And yet other people are extraordinarily auditory meaning they will pick up the phone as soon as they hear your radio ad and are compelled to take action.

And then of course there’s the whole brand-new frontier of social media.

This perhaps is the arena where most of us are ill prepared to enter because it is not traditional marketing.

In fact some say social media is not marketing really at all but rather relationship building.

And in health care especially nothing could be more true!

Next time we’ll talk more about what you need to understand about private practice marketing and your relationship building.

Join the conversation all day on Facebook !

What’s Most Important To Seriously Ill Patients?

If your patients suffer from neuropathy, one of the most important things for them to realize is that “no cure” is never the same as “no help!”  It’s an unfortunate truth: so far, peripheral neuropathy (sometimes we’ve seen it referred to incorrectly as ‘neurophy’) has no actual cure, and most nerve damage is permanent.  That’s an awfully grim prospect for most patients to hear, but the chronic nature of neuropathy only means that our developing options for treatment is even more important, not less.

When you apply the NeuropathyDR® methods for neuropathy treatment with a patient, you will really be addressing two things: managing the patient’s symptoms, and improving their overall quality of life.  The two are interconnected in almost every way: never forget that improving the quality of life for someone with a chronic condition like neuropathy is often the very best treatment we can provide!

In addition to the often-discussed pain, neuropathy has the potential to greatly impact a patient’s mobility.  Between motor neuropathy (which affects the strength in the limbs directly), difficulty walking due to foot pain and joint stiffness, and difficulty with manual dexterity and fine motor skills, it’s no wonder that many neuropathy patients have trouble doing simple tasks they once found easy; things the people around them still have no trouble at all doing!  The frustration that goes along with mobility loss can be almost as bad as the pain itself.  A clinical study from Queens University published in Anesthesia & Analgesia even suggests that the impact of neuropathy on a patient’s mood aloneis enough to be considered a serious symptom!

Your Patients Need Your One on One Expertise To Get Well!

NeuropathyDR® clinicians use a neuropathy treatment method which includes several known techniques and we are continuously testing newer technologies too! NeuropathyDR® Clinicians actually take new courses every single month, so they are never “stale”!

Every patient’s case is unique—no two cases of neuropathy are exactly alike—so it’s important that develop your treatment plan together with each patient.  Be sure to pay attention to any information your patient may provide, and Don’t forget to ask for feedback!  Be sure to ask what seems to be working, what eases the patient’s pain, what helps their overall mobility, and what might not be having any effect at all.  All these things are important, and will inform the best way to approach a case.

Our patient, Beverly, came to us about six months after major surgery.  Beverly had been undergoing radiation for breast cancer, and was experiencing severe pain in her hands and feet, as well as tightness and inflexibility in her spine and limb joints.  Over the course of 5 weeks, we treated Beverly with electro- stimulation, among other therapies to address her pain and range of movement.

Beverly’s pain lessened only incrementally over the time we treated her, but she let us know that the real improvement she experienced was in her range of movement!  Sure enough, our examination found that her range of movement had increased measurably (in some areas as much as fifty percent), and overall tightness in her back was reduced.  Needless to say, being able to move more freely will greatly impact Beverly’s quality of life—many patients stress that their mobility is what they miss most of all while living with peripheral neuropathy.

One of the factors that allowed us to help Beverly as much as she did was that she was very forthcoming about her symptoms, her improvement, and—also importantly—when a treatment wasn’t helping.  Neuropathy is complex, and different patients will benefit in various ways from different neuropathy treatments.  In Beverly’s case, we were able to provide her with a home care kit which she was able to use to treat her flexibility and pain at home.  Even though she still lives with neuropathy, Beverly now knows how to make sure her condition won’t keep her from getting on with life!

Helping patients control symptoms and improve their overall quality of life is what we’re all about at NeuropathyDR®.  If you treat patients like Beverly, we’re here to help you give them the best care.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about how to help the people in your care live to their fullest!

http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/content/102/5/1473.full

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1262363609000408

http://www.neurology.org/content/68/15/1178.abstract

 

Motor Neuropathy- A Different Game Plan

If you read the NeuropathyDR® blog frequently, you know that we tend to focus on bringing you the latest research and methods as they apply to treating neuropathy pain.  As you are aware, though, with peripheral neuropathy, pain is only one component.  This week, we’re going to talk about how neuropathy can affect a patient’s muscles, also called motor neuropathy.

There are essentially three kinds of motor neuropathy.  The first is the overall weakening effect of the muscles, especially in a patient’s extremities, which often accompanies peripheral neuropathy.  This can occur because the nerves which control motor function in the muscles have become damaged, or—in the case of a compression neuropathy—constricted.  The second kind is called multifocal motor neuropathy, and takes place when a patient’s immune system itself begins to attack their own nerves, as can happen after a series of infections or after an illness.  The third kind is Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, which, as the name suggests, is genetic in nature.  Hereditary Motor Sensory Neuropathy, or HMSN, occurs when there is a naturally-occurring deterioration in the nerves that control a patient’s muscles, causing those muscles to not be used, become weak, or even atrophy.

Motor neuropathy usually starts in the hands and feet, and can affect the full extension of a patient’s fingers and toes.  In addition to the dexterity problems this obviously causes, it often also has a visual appearance of “clawlike” fingers.  The condition is degenerative, getting worse over a period of months and years.  Twitching and spasms can also happen in affected limbs.  While motor issues associated with peripheral neuropathy usually accompany pain, tingling, and numbness, multifocal motor neuropathy involves no pain (only the motor nerves are affected).  Generally, none of the varieties of motor neuropathy are life-threatening.  Nevertheless, they can all severely impact your patients’ comfort and quality of life, especially if they are left untreated.

There is no substitute for appropriate PT and Rehab in Motor Neuropathy

When we met our patient Robert, he complained of a steady and declining loss of strength in his feet, which he had experienced over the past 4 years.  Robert had had cancer during that time, culminating in having his prostate removed.  His motor neuropathy caused Robert to have trouble walking or standing for long periods, and he even had trouble feeling his feet on some occasions.  He also complained of shooting pain, tingling, and soreness in his feet, all typical calling cards of peripheral neuropathy.  Since in cases of multifocal motor neuropathy, the sensory nerves are usually unaffected, Robert’s pain and numbness ruled that out.  Sure enough, when we performed a battery of tests, we found that Robert’s sensation to vibration was all but absent in several places on his feet.

Robert did not respond with the typical level of relief we usually see after treating a patient with electro-stimulation.  Over the course of three treatment sessions, Robert’s level of strength and comfort in his feet did not change in any meaningful way.  While this is unusual, it highlights an important theme: neuropathy is a complex problem with many symptoms and manifestations, and no single therapy technique or tool—even those with a very high rate of success—can stand on their own as a complete treatment.  For us to help our patients effectively, we have to encourage broader, overall adjustments to their lifestyle.

We designed just such a treatment for Robert, intended to produce more long-term benefit, as his short-term progress was not substantial.  Motor neuropathies require an extensive level of treatment, sometimes pharmaceutical and sometimes homeopathic, and usually involving some level of regular exercise and controlled diet.  Robert is currently improving steadily, and is seeing his NeuropathyDR® clinician as prescribed to monitor his condition and progress.

If your patients are complaining of weakness or pain in their limbs, they might have peripheral neuropathy.  If so, we can help you provide the best care possible.  Contact NeuropathyDR® right away and we will help you answer their questions and train you to provide therapy and treatment for specific neuropathy symptoms.  We can even put patients in touch with you who will benefit from your help managing their neuropathy.

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multifocal_neuropathy/multifocal_neuropathy.htm

 

“Susan’s pain was so bad that she had trouble telling hot from cold, and even experienced trouble walking.”

A lot of your patients have heard that there is no cure for neuropathy, and they get discouraged.  As someone in the medical profession, you want to be able to dispel this misconception that your patients will just have to live with their symptoms!  NeuropathyDR® can teach you the non-pharmaceutical means to lessen their pain and improve their life.   “No cure” isn’t the same thing as “no help!”

A great example of a patient we have been able to help with the NeuropathyDR® methodology is Susan.  Susan is a diabetic in middle age who has suffered for more than twenty years with neuropathy symptoms.  Most prominently, Susan has tingling and severe pain in her feet, with the same problem less severely in her hands and arms.  Susan’s pain was so bad that she had trouble telling hot from cold, and even experienced trouble walking.

When she came to us, Susan was taking prescription-strength Advil several times a week for the pain in her hands and feet.  Medication has its place, and can be effective in some cases, but it is too often the first—and last—course of action medical professionals resort to when it comes to neuropathic pain.   NeuropathyDR® promotes newer, non-pharmaceutical methods that have been proven to reduce pain and numbness in cases like Susan’s.  After we applied the NeuropathyDR® protocols, Susan’s symptoms subsided drastically and her quality of life began to improve.

Especially in the short term, we want to help reduce the overall level of chronic pain and restore any mobility that might be lost.  In a case like Susan’s, the NeuropathyDR® protocols target three specific areas of treatment:

  • Specifically-directed manual therapies to correct aberrant motion or misalignment in areas of the spine and pelvis, as well as addressing the soft tissue contractures in the neck, legs, feet, arms, and hands.
  • Our NeuropathyDR® nutrition protocol, consisting of a daily regimen of combined nutrients that have been proven to be supportive of the nervous system in slowing the progression of neuropathy and healing damage.
  • Finally, the application of neuro-stimulation in the affected areas.  We use a waveform treatment in the office and at home that opens up nerve pathways to let them heal.

Susan’s treatments recurred three times a week for five weeks, for a total of fifteen treatments.  Following each treatment, Susan reported that the level of pain and tingling had subsided by two-thirds or more.

Powerful Manual Therapies are Key…

After applying the NeuropathyDR® protocol, Susan noticed a terrific improvement in her lifestyle.  In her own words, her energy level tripled, and the inflammation and pain in her feet had reduced by ninety percent.  Our objective tests, going by a round before and after the treatments, showed that Susan’s spasms in the lumbar and thoracic paravertebral muscles had improved by seventy percent.  Her range of motion without pain had also increased by seventy percent, and her ability to sense heat, cold, and vibration had drastically improved.  Perhaps the biggest lifestyle-boost of all, Susan experienced much less pain when walking after applying the NeuropathyDR® methods for five weeks.

We followed up with Susan three months after her treatments with us, and she was continuing to do extremely well.  She has been diligent about keeping up her assigned home-care treatments, and she visits her clinician as-needed for checkups.  Especially in-light of her twenty-year struggle with neuropathy, the degree of Susan’s success is remarkable.

If you treat patients like Susan who suffer from neuropathy symptoms, we are a valuable resource to help you treat them.  Contact us with specific questions and to learn the NeuropathyDR® methodologies we have developed.  Our protocols are proven to work—don’t let your patients go without proper care!

Helping Patients with Alcohol Induced Neuropathy

One of the most serious—but rarely discussed—conditions resulting from extended alcoholism is alcoholic neuropathy.  One of the reasons for its relative obscurity in the public discourse, aside from difficulties inherent in any discussion of substance abuse, is that much of the empirical evidence linking neuropathy and alcoholism is somewhat vague.  Still, there is ample correlation to assume a causal link.

Alcoholic neuropathy presents in patients similarly to other forms of neuropathy, with tingling and numbness in the extremities, loss of heat and cold sensation, loss of fine motor control, impotence in men, and so on.  All this is accompanied by the chronic pain typical in cases of peripheral neuropathy.  Because of the areas of the mind and body targeted by the alcohol, it is common for alcoholic neuropathy patients to exhibit outward signs of intoxication even when sober, such as slurred speech, stumbling gait, and clumsiness.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that, in severely affected patients, the legs and hands may be nearly useless to the point of paralysis and sensation may be entirely absent in extremities.  In these cases, the skin can also be dry and atrophic.

The specific causes of alcoholic neuropathy are difficult to pin down, and thus, the case can be tricky to diagnose.  If a patient has a known history of alcohol abuse, that is, of course, a good place to start.  Generally, a pattern of heavy alcohol use for a period of ten years or more will be accompanied by neuropathy symptoms.  A leading theory contends that the cause of alcohol-related neuropathy may be the combined effect of direct nerve-poisoning by the alcohol itself, coupled with the long-term poor nutrition that often accompanies alcohol abuse.  Alcoholics typically exhibit erratic eating habits, resulting in poor overall nutrient intake, and the damage to organs reduces the absorption of nutrients from food.  Of course, difficulty in motor control resultant from neuropathy often exacerbates the malnutrition, as the patient becomes socially uneasy about mealtimes and self-conscious about feeding themselves.

Nerve damage from alcoholism is usually permanent.  The first order of business in treating patients with alcoholic neuropathy is to bring the drinking and nutrition problems under control.  If alcohol consumption is not severely limited and adequate nourishment is not supplied, additional treatments will be futile and symptoms will almost invariably compound. Beyond this, treatment seeks three main goals:

  • To control symptoms
  • To maximize and restore function (quality of life)

    Alcoholic Neuropathy requires extraordinary measures to slow or treat…

  • To prevent further injury to the patient due to neuropathic vulnerabilities

Most treatments address these three tenets simultaneously.  Pharmaceutical treatments include the use of painkillers, either prescription strength or over-the-counter (such as analgesics).  When treating patients with alcoholic neuropathy, it is advisable to recommend the lightest use of pain medication possible, as the patient in question is by definition susceptible to habitual substance abuse.  Be sure to monitor use of any medications very carefully.

Because of the underlying nutritional deficit usually at the root of alcoholic neuropathy, some patients may benefit from a system of nutritional supplements.  A dietician or other qualified staff person in your office should be consulted to ensure the proper replenishment of nutrients necessary to prevent the spread of neuropathic symptoms.  Parenteral multivitamins are also useful in many cases to assist nutrition.

Several new lifestyle habits can help patients adjust to living with alcoholic neuropathy, such as carefully monitoring the temperature of bathwater to prevent burning, inspecting themselves and their clothing and footwear for points of rubbing or wear on the skin, and so forth.  In alcoholics, the establishment of these habits (which are themselves advisable for all neuropathy patients) can be instrumental in the replacement of the undesirable dependency that caused the problem.

Although nerve damage is usually permanent, the prognosis for sufferers of alcohol-related neuropathy can be very good if the alcoholic successfully refrains from indulging the dependency and works to replenish nutrition.  It is important to emphasize to patients that substantial recovery from degenerating neuropathic symptoms will not be seen for a period of several months.  Of course, subjective improvements in lifestyle and health will begin almost immediately when abstaining from an alcohol dependency as a result of general detoxification.

If you have patients you believe could be suffering from alcoholic neuropathy, we are here to help you determine for certain how best to proceed!

Contact NeuropathyDR® and we can give you even more information about how to help your patients suffering from alcohol abuse-related neuropathic symptoms.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000714.htm

http://www.neillneill.com/alcoholic-neuropathy

http://www.bettermedicine.com/article/alcoholic-neuropathy

http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/alcoholic-neuropathy.html

http://www.ajcn.org/content/9/4/398.full.pdf

 

 

 

The FULL Imact of Sleep, Sleep Apnea and Neuropathy

 

If you treat patients with neuropathy and pain, you’re probably very familiar with complaints about lack of sleep, trouble staying asleep, and general restlessness at night.  It’s hardly surprising, given the intensity of many neuropathic conditions, that they make it tough to rest.  Insomnia (lack of sleep) affects almost half of the overall population, but among neuropathy sufferers, that ratio jumps to over seventy percent (according to the Journal of Pain Medicine). Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep for most adults, regardless of their age or gender, an intimidating goal for people whose chronic pain keeps them up at night.

Research suggests that sleep apnea, a common cause of insomnia, can actually cause peripheral neuropathy, as well. Beyond a mere relationship, studies have shown that apnea is a high-risk condition among the insulin-resistant, which could likely be affecting incidents of neuropathy among diabetics in very direct ways. Some doctors have reported that treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea has actually helped their cold or numb extremities recover, indicating another condition (possibly Raynaud’s phenomenon) masquerading as neuropathy.  If patients suffer from sleep apnea, CPAP treatment may be a viable avenue to explore to address their tingling or loss of sensation.

Regardless of the root cause, your patients’ pain can intensify in the evening hours, both in reality and in their own perception (fewer distractions of the day can cause a patient to focus more on their pain the closer they get to bedtime).

Insomnia from neuropathy can perpetuate its own problem, too.  Not only is your patients’ neuropathy prodigious when it comes to nighttime restlessness, but the resulting lack of sleep can make the pain even worse!  Rest is essential to recovery and treatment, and a patient’s lack of sleep can lower their pain threshold drastically.  Take into consideration that insomnia, diabetes, and other imbalances related to neuropathy can also contribute to high stress, depression, and mood disorders, and your treatment plan become that much more complicated.

If you’re treating patients whose insomnia could be caused by neuropathy (or vice-versa), NeuropathyDR® can provide the tools and information you need to help them get a good night’s sleep.  Specifics vary from patient to patient, of course, but here are some general guidelines that might be useful:

  • Instruct them to keep a regular sleeping schedule.  Getting to bed and getting up at the same times each day is one of the best ways for them to teach their body to sleep correctly.
  • Patients should limit their intake of caffeine and any medication that incorporates a stimulant, especially in the evening hours.
  • Avoiding heavy foods in the evening is important.  Metabolism continues hours after we eat, and the resultant energy boost can be bad for sleep.  Many cultures eat their biggest meal of the day in the morning and only a small snack at dinnertime for this reason.
  • Turning off the TV and computer a few hours before bed is a good idea.  Mileage varies from person to person, but electronics tend to stimulate the senses.  Suggest a book or quiet conversation, instead.
  • Counsel patients to adjust their environment to be ideal for sleeping.  They should layer covers to ensure they stay warm but not hot, and should minimize light and noise.

In addition to great care from you as a first line, there are a number of herbal and natural sleep aids as well, which may help insomniacs fall asleep quickly.  Sleep expert Elizabeth Shannon recommends entertaining a number of stress-relief methods, psychological conditioning, and homeopathic solutions for insomnia before resorting to pharmaceutical sleep aids, which can often form dependencies and, over time, exacerbate the problems associated with restlessness.

Of course, for severe chronic pain, prescription medications may be necessary.  Ultram, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and acetaminophen, codeine, and morphine might be used in more extreme cases. Some antidepressants or anticonvulsants could be valuable as well, depending on the specific symptoms your patient is presenting.  Benzodiazepine and nonbenzodiazepine anti-anxiety medication is also occasionally helpful, again, depending on specific symptoms.  If you have questions about pharmaceutical sleep aids, NeuropathyDR® can help provide guidance for you.

Be sure to remind patients that altering their sleep pattern won’t happen overnight (so to speak)!  It could be three to four weeks before any changes made to their routine begin to have meaningful impact on their success.  Often, since changes in routine can be unsettling in themselves, restlessness can become worse before it gets better.  Contact NeuropathyDR® and we can give you even more information about how to help your patients suffering from neuropathy to get the rest they need.

http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/content/159/1/213.full

http://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-peripheral-neuropathy-basics

http://www.sleeplessnomore.com/

http://www.neuropathy.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8145&news_iv_ctrl=1221

How To Reassure Patients with Severe Symptoms

If your patients are presenting with tingling, numbness, burning sensations, or motor function issues, they may be suffering from peripheral neuropathy.  Neuropathy can be tricky to diagnose, but becoming as informed as possible about its symptoms, treatments, and which of your patients are the most susceptible will equip you to effectively recognize this painful and often dangerous condition.

The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy with which you and your patients should be familiar are:

  • Shooting pain or burning sensations
  • Weakness or loss of dexterity in the arms and legs

    Falls Due To Sensory Impairments are Frightening...

  • Tingling and numbness, especially in the extremities
  • Loss of fine motor control (dropping things frequently becomes an issue)
  • False sensory signals (reduced ability to sense temperature, sensations of being touched or wearing gloves, hats, or stockings when they are not

Other symptoms can also occur, of course, resultant from the above: sleep deprivation, restlessness, inability to sit still, irritability and nervousness, and so on.

So many groups are at-risk for neuropathy, it is practically guaranteed that learning to identify, diagnose, and even treat the condition will be a valuable asset to your practice and to the lives of your patients.  Spotting neuropathy early in a patient can mean the difference between debilitation and a comparatively normal life!

Some of the most common causes of neuropathy include (this is a partial list!):

  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy (increasingly over the past few decades, as cancer treatments become more and more effective)
  • Kidney disorders
  • HIV
  • Nerve damage from injury or surgery
  • Shingles
  • Genetic diseases such as Ataxia, or even hereditary neuropathy

Discussing Neuropathy with your patients can be challenging.  Start by making certain your patient understands whatever underlying cause is behind the neuropathy (diabetes, for example, is the most common).  Explain the symptoms of neuropathy, and encourage the patient to identify any they may be suffering, even intermittently.  Don’t forget to reassure them that, while there is no miracle cure for neuropathy, it is both common and very treatable in terms of pain.  Also, be certain to emphasize the importance of monitoring their condition for signs of further degeneration or additional symptoms (as these could be signs of dangerous progression).

Medical Treatment options for neuropathy vary widely, and are rapidly changing with technology and as we learn more about the condition. Some studies recommend non-steroid painkillers such as Motrin or Aleve for mild cases of pain, whereas cases involving more pain usually require prescription  pain reducers containing morphine or similar.  Surgical treatments also utilize implants.  Of Course external therapeutic devices should always be applied by the most qualified neuropathy treatment specialists.

Where your patient’s neuropathy is resultant from chronic or persistent illness, management of that underlying illness is, of course the priority.  Proper control of diabetes, appropriate physical therapy after an injury or surgery, or treatment of other relevant conditions will, in almost all cases, help to minimize neuropathic injuries.

Patients suffering from neuropathy are already familiar with its discomfort, and inconvenience to their lives.  It is important for you both to realize that many types of neuropathy can also be very dangerous, even life-threatening.  It is not uncommon for neuropathy to be degenerative and, if left unmonitored or untreated, it can cause intestinal blockages or complications in the function of bodily organs.  Needless to say, take no chances!

While there’s no cure for neuropathy, there is plenty you can do to help your patients enjoy healthier, full lives while living with the condition.  Early intervention with a NeuropathyDR® clinician is the best route; we put at your disposal all the resources you will need to effectively treat and advise your neuropathy patients.

For more tips on your patients or growing your specific practice, contact us at http://neuropathydrprofessionals.com

 

http://www.medicinenet.com/neuropathic_pain/article.htm#tocd

http://pain.about.com/od/typesofchronicpain/a/neuropathic_causes.htm

http://www.neuropathy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=About_Symptoms

http://www.joslin.org/info/diabetic_neuorpathy_nerve_damage_an_update.html

 

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Do You Engage in Dabbling or Mastery?

Very often when I look at a practice and its owners that are really making things happen a very simple fact emerges. Out of every conversation and analysis one simple fact emerges. When I look at productivity and results in all areas of life and practice, it is clear that those who are the happiest, most productive and profitable have engaged completely in one area and department at a time.

Quite simply, from my very first telephone contact with these offices, it becomes readily apparent analysis of every step has taken place behind the scenes.
And quite obviously, they have trained their staff to answer the phone impeccably. Happy, polite, willing to help anyway they can.

Now of course, this is something I regularly do with enjoyment. I can tell so much about a doc and his practice, based upon how the staff answers the phone. Timing, attitude, how questions are handled, are they organized? And are all their tools obviously at their fingertips?

In fact, if your not doing great at the moment, ask three friends to anonymously call your office. Two as new patients with no health insurance. You should listen in. You may however be shocked
When it comes to collections at the counter its “Here’s your options Mrs. Jones, would you like me to put the entire week (month) on the same card?”

Here’s my point. Those who build powerful practices, and indeed personal lives continuously aim to master each area! No, its never perfect, and always requires measurement and attention, but none the less the process is in place via policies, procedures and trainings.

Clinically, it’s also very important to your patients!

It is vital that your patients experience you as a "Master" clinician.

Now in my office, new patients still tell me over 30 years later, “That was the best exam I have ever had in my entire life!”

Why?

Because on each new patient I still insist on a thorough pre-exam presentation by my aides, yes even interns, and from my clinicians complete vitals, thermogram, ROMs with instrumentation, chest and carotids auscultation, VBA screenings in C-Spine cases, abdomen when indicated, on and on.

But why?

It’s because my mentors taught me, and I was smart enough to pay attention, that the most powerful practices are built upon mastery, not dabbling!

As I said in the beginning, one very simple fact emerges – Masters get everything done while dabblers struggle seemingly forever.

I see this principle frequently when something goes wrong in an office.

For example, a doc gets all pumped up over introducing a new service, or technique to the practice. The guy that sold her on it has had really great results, referrals and profitability. Case studies and referrals.

So, she brings IT back to the office, gets the staff all revved up, but in so doing actually takes them off other areas central to the practice, does not allow time for effective marketing or training, and in reality introduces this new procedure in a half hearted way.

So of course, when things don’t turn out right, there must be something wrong with IT.

I’ll give you the antidote to this practice management pandemic, but I’ll warn you in advance, side effects may include nausea and heartburn. Might even cause stronger visceral and emotional reactions.

The antidote is to vow RIGHT NOW to take each area of your practice, each of the 12 Key areas I identify, and set up the time and systems to go back and master each one!

And yes, it is a constant process (which is why frequent staff huddles and meetings are necessary). And recognition that the needs for approaching practice in this way actually expands as you grow.

This is why our 12 secret platinum coaching programs are so powerful, and our practice makeovers are so very effective.

It’s because they force you into detailed analysis and corrective action.

And as you introduce something new, you must devote time to study, implementation, marketing, pricing, and potential rough spots with implementation.

Here are just 5 things on my list that too often get overlooked:

1. Dedicated business owner study, admin and planning time. 2. Dedicated staff time for marketing and admin. 3. No clear instruction or policies for patients. 4. Lack of effective pricing and collecting at the time of service. 5. Ineffectively conveying to the patient everything about your office (from your website to your treatments) that constantly reinforces in their minds they made the right choice!

The docs that pull this off behave emotionally and physically as effective CEOs.

Mastery vs. dabbling. In this world, your choices will be readily apparent.

But so will be the results! A powerful, profitable practice and enviable lifestyle that you so deserve!

For More, Go To:  http://perfectpracticeweb.com/home

Marketing the Specialty Practice in 2013

You know the issues…

Your chiropractic, physical therapy or medical practice offers a myriad of special services…

•       For women to combat the effects of osteoporosis and/or hormonal issues

•       Sports rehabilitation services for the athlete

•       Recuperative and NeuropathyDR® Treatments for seriously ill patients

 

Any of these specialties should be bringing in the kind of varied patient population that would not only keep your practice exciting but do great things for your bank balance as well.

 

Still, day after day, you treat the strained back from the construction worker or the sore knees of the weekend warrior.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  You just know you could be doing more.

You know the demand for your real expertise and special services is out there but for some reason you’re not reaching them.

It’s not a lost cause…

Try these tips for reaching the kind of varied patients you know you can help:

Get In Front Of Your Prospects

You know you can help all these patients but if they don’t know you exist, you can’t help them.

You have to take your message to them.  Go where you know they are.

If you want to treat sport injuries or athletes, advertise with the local marathon organizers.

If you want to specialize in senior care, get your message out to the local senior centers and retirement communities.

For chiropractors and physical therapists:  If women are your target market, start networking with ob/gyn’s referrals or speak at local professional women’s clubs on the benefits of specialty care for common female complaints.

 

What’s In It For The Patient?

When you get in front of your prospective market, don’t dwell on how great you are or how you’re an expert in whatever field.

Emphasize what’s in it for them.

Greater mobility, playing golf, or enjoying the grandchildren…

Less pain…

Success and healing are both so formulaic…

Literally, getting their freedom or their life back…

You have to sell the benefits of your treatment, not your expertise.  Always make sure that your top priority in marketing, initially, is answering the patients all important “What’s in it for me?”

Don’t Forget The Power Of Referrals

Referrals can be an invaluable resource for building your practice.

The art of getting referrals from other professionals takes time to develop but if you learn to foster and develop relationships between your practice and referring practices, you will reap the benefits for years to come.

If you get referrals from another practice or specialty, always make those patients a top priority.  See them when it’s convenient for them and do it as quickly as possible.  If you develop a reputation for giving top notch care to the referrals you receive, your fellow practitioners won’t hesitate to send you more patients.

And always, always thank the referring doctor for every patient they send you.  And don’t forget your referring doctors’ staff members.  They are often overlooked but many of the referrals you receive will really come from a referring practitioner’s front desk staff.  They’re the ones who hand out your card, give people your web address, or even call to setup appointments.

It has taken years for you to become a specialist.  And you expended the time and effort in your particular specialty because you knew there were people out there who needed your help.

They are your target market.

You have a priceless opportunity to help your prospective patients and grow your practice into a thriving concern all at the same time.

Go where your patients are, show up in their web space and social media, at your live events be sure to tell them what’s in it for them, build your enormous referral network and you’ll be well on your way to living and practicing by design.

And when you are ready to expand your horizons even further, go to http://perfectpracticeweb.com/home or call me 24/7 at 781-754-0599 John

Alternative Therapies for Your Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy Patients

Alternative Therapies for Your Chemotherapy Induced Neuropathy Patients

One of the more challenging patient populations you can treat is the chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patient.  They’ve already been through the cancer diagnosis and are either in the midst of chemotherapy or they’ve finished their treatment.

Just when they think they’re done with all the side effects of chemotherapy, they’re visited with[1]

–       Shooting pain

–       Burning and numbness

–       Tingling in the hands and feet

–       Inability to sleep because of the pain

These Patients Require All Your Skills!

Can you imagine the frustration?

Chances are really good that no one told them that chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) was a potential side effect of their treatment because, let’s face it, no one can really predict which patients will develop chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.  Why bring it up if you don’t know for certain that it’s going to happen?

For many, their symptoms last well beyond their chemotherapy.

For your CIPN patients, the first option is, of course, drugs to deal with the pain.  But many chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients are choosing to be more proactive and do everything they can to alleviate their current symptoms and lessen the possibility of permanent nerve damage.  They don’t just want to take a pill to make them feel better. They want to give their bodies the best treatments available.

What Else Can They Do?

More and more CIPN patients are opting for what used to be called “alternative medicine” treatments.  While many think of anything outside of conventional medicine as “alternative”, that’s really not accurate.  Alternative treatments are defined as anything not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The treatments we’re talking about here are more complementary or integrative therapies.  In other words, they’re therapies used in addition to and to complement traditional medicine, not taking the place of it.

Because of the growing popularity (and effectiveness) of these complementary and integrative therapies, the medical community has actually named them – Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Some complementary and alternative therapies providing good results for chemotherapy induced chemotherapy patients are:

–       Cancer treatment specific diets

–       Herbal supplements

–       Non-herbal supplements (like Vitamins B6 and B12, alpha lipoic acid)

–       Acupuncture

–       Massage therapy and Reflexology

–       Exercise

–       Homeopathic and ayurvedic medicine

Any of these therapies, in the hands of skilled practitioner, is a great complement to your chemotherapy and other cancer treatment and can provide substantial relief from chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy pain.  Offering these services to your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients is an excellent way to treat the whole patient and not just the symptoms.

Involve Their Oncologist

Before you start any Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatments with your chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients, talk to their oncologists.[2] Make sure that what you’re planning to do will not have an adverse effect on their chemotherapy regimen (some antioxidants do).  Always keep the oncologist in the loop on what you’re doing to complement or following a chemotherapy regimen.

Why These Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments Work

Many of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine regimens we mentioned above will help deal with and even alleviate some chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

The body is a finely tuned instrument and all the systems work together.  Massage therapy, acupuncture and Reflexology can help with muscle pain and stimulate the systems within the body to fight the cancer.

Certain supplements can help give the body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to repair itself and eliminate the possibility of permanent nerve damage caused by chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.


Treating the Whole Patient By Working With The Whole Team

None of the medical specialties treating chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy patients operates in a vacuum.  You all need to know what the others are doing.

Luckily, most oncologists these days are familiar with the Complementary and Alternative Therapies chemotherapy patients are turning to for relief from the chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms.  Make sure that you involve your patients’ other treaters in your care by communicating with them.  By integrating your Complementary and Alternative Medicine treatments into the overall treatment program, you have a much better chance of giving your patients the optimum results they deserve.

When you are ready, let them know you’re there to help them.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

 

 

Designing Treatments for Lupus Patients

 

As physicians, we’re accustomed to a certain amount of variety in treating different patients with the same illness.

After all, we’re treating individuals.

But when you take on lupus patients, you’re taking the concept of variety in symptoms and outcomes to a whole new level.

Granted, there are specific symptoms to the various types of lupus, but no two lupus patients are the same.

Lupus is an ever changing illness with periods of activity and rest that are as different as the patients they affect.

Those differences can make developing a treatment plan difficult to say the least.

And when you add peripheral neuropathy caused by lupus to the mix of symptoms[1], you have an even more complex set of issues to treat and, hopefully, stay ahead of.

If you have any hope of preventing serious neuropathy complications in your lupus patients, you have to be diligent in monitoring your patients’ symptoms and, even more importantly, your patients have to be very conscious of their symptoms and keep you advised of any changes as soon as they happen.

That means you need to educate your lupus patients on their illness and peripheral neuropathy.

Helping Patients Lupus and Peripheral Neuropathy

Because the peripheral nervous system can be affected by lupus, every system of the body that is regulated by the peripheral nervous system can be damaged[2].

That means the nerves that control involuntary body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and perspiration.  Your patients need to understand that their body many not be able to regulate their heart rate or blood pressure, they might not be able to properly digest food,  their  kidneys can be damaged and they could develop urinary problems.

And even worse, lupus can cause serious problems with inflammation.  That can lead to:

–          Inflammation of the sac around the heart

–          Diseases of the heart valves

–          Inflammation of the actual heart muscle

–          Inflammation of the tissue around the lungs or pleurisy

Now, imagine having any of these issues and having peripheral neuropathy, too…

The peripheral nervous system isn’t functioning properly and can’t send the proper signals to the brain to let them know they have a problem.

It’s easy to see why this could be serious.  By educating your patients on these possible problems and the symptoms they present early on, they can keep a watchful eye out for any symptoms and get in to you see you before they have a potentially deadly problem.

Treating Lupus Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy

Once you take a very thorough history and physical (preferably one following the NeuropathyDR® protocol for lupus patients), you’ll have a better handle on your patient’s condition.  Pay particular attention to their symptoms, when they began, the severity of the discomfort, and any and all medications they currently take (including over the counter medications, herbal supplements or vitamins).

Once you’ve complete the history and physical, the next step in the NeuropathyDR® protocol will be to order some tests. Depending upon your patient’s actual symptoms and which systems seem to be affected, these tests might include:

∙           Neurological exam

∙           Electromyography

∙           Nerve conduction velocity test

∙           Antinuclear antibody test

∙           Blood tests

∙           Urine test

∙           Skin biopsy

Once the tests are completed and you determine your patient has peripheral neuropathy associated with lupus, you can design a specific treatment program based on your patients’ specific symptoms and adjust it as they enter periods of remission or as their symptoms change.

Lupus is not curable and your patient should understand this from the outset.  Your NeuropathyDR® treatment protocol should focus on relieving pain by reducing inflammation, repairing any nerve damage with nerve stimulation, slowing joint and bone damage and improving your patients’ ability to function with their disease.

Focus on:

∙           Rest and stress management.

∙           Exercise programs designed specifically for your individual patient based on their physical limitations.

∙           Pain medication as needed.

∙           Drug therapy as needed.

∙           Safety precautions to deal with the possible loss of sensation, especially in the hands and feet, due to peripheral neuropathy.

The NeuropathyDR® protocol is ideally suited to treating lupus and the peripheral neuropathy it can cause.

Early intervention with a physician well versed in treating lupus and peripheral neuropathy, like a NeuropathyDR® clinician, is their best course of action.  While you can’t cure them, you can help them achieve a better quality of life and lessen the chance of severe and possibly fatal complications.

When you’re trained and ready to work with them, let them know you’re there.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

 

 

 


New Year’s Resolutions for Your Private Practice – Part 3

Today, we’re adding to our list of New Year’s resolutions that will help you make this the best year your practice has ever seen.  Here are two more things you can do to build your success:

1. Promote your practice often and well

When you’re busy just being a private practice healthcare professional, it’s easy to forget that you have to promote your practice, too.  If you want to grow, you have to bring in new patients.  Sit down now and create a marketing plan for the New Year and then schedule it into your calendar so you follow through on it.

2. Learn to Delegate

Resolve to let go of a little control.  Trust your staff or outside experts to do what you’re paying them to do.  You don’t have to do it all.  Delegation is the key to keeping your work life and your personal life in at least some sort of balance.

Marketing the Specialty Medical Practice – Part 3

When it comes to marketing your specialty medical practice, it’s easy to overlook a treasure trove of new business that is right before your eyes:

Don’t Forget The Power Of Referrals

Referrals can be an invaluable resource for building your practice.

The art of getting referrals from other professionals takes time to develop but if you learn to foster and develop relationships between your practice and referring practices, you will reap the benefits for years to come.

If you get referrals from another practice or specialty, always make those patients a top priority.  See them when it’s convenient for them and do it as quickly as possible.  If you develop a reputation for giving top notch care to the referrals you receive, your fellow practitioners won’t hesitate to send you more patients.

And always, always thank the referring doctor for every patient they send you.  And don’t forget your referring doctors’ staff members.  They are often overlooked but many of the referrals you receive will really come from a referring practitioner’s front desk staff.  They’re the ones who hand out your card, give people your web address, or even call to setup appointments.

It has taken years for you to become a specialist.  And you expended the time and effort in your particular specialty because you knew there were people out there who needed your help.

They are your target market.

You have a priceless opportunity to help your prospective patients and grow your practice into a thriving concern all at the same time.

Go where your patients are, show up in their web space and social media, at your live events be sure to tell them what’s in it for them, build your enormous referral network and you’ll be well on your way to living and practicing by design.

Marketing the Specialty Medical Practice – Part 1

You know the issues…

Your chiropractic physical therapy or medical practice offers a myriad of special services…

•      For women to combat the effects of osteoporosis and/or hormonal issues

•      Sports rehabilitation services for the athlete

•      Recuperative and NeuropathyDR™ Treatments for seriously ill patients

Any of these specialties should be bringing in the kind of varied patient population that would not only keep your practice exciting but do great things for your bank balance as well.

Still, day after day, you treat the strained back from the construction worker or the sore knees of the weekend warrior.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  You just know you could be doing more.

You know the demand for your real expertise and special services is out there but for some reason you’re not reaching them.

It’s not a lost cause…

Try these tips for reaching the kind of varied patients you know you can help:

Get In Front Of Your Prospects

You know you can help all these patients but if they don’t know you exist, you can’t help them.

You have to take your message to them.  Go where you know they are.

If you want to treat sport injuries or athletes, advertise with the local marathon organizers.

If you want to specialize in senior care, get your message out to the local senior centers and retirement communities.

For chiropractors and physical therapists:  If women are your target market, start networking with ob/gyn’s referrals or speak at local professional women’s clubs on the benefits of specialty care for common female complaints.

Stay tuned for more tips on growing your specialty practice and living and practicing by design.