Doctors and medical staff work tirelessly to help every single patient that walks through their door, but sometimes treatment doesn’t go as planned. A misdiagnosis can happen for a number of different reasons, and while we work hard to prevent a misdiagnosis, when you’re working with the complexities of your spine, sometimes it’s hard to locate the root cause of your problem.
However, if you know how to move forward from a misdiagnosis, we’re confident you’ll find the right solution for your spine pain. Below, we explain how you can best handle dealing with a misdiagnosis of your spine pain.
Like any condition in healthcare, prevention is preferred to treatment, so we’re going to start with some ways you can avoid a misdiagnosis of your spinal problems.
For starters, the best way to get a correct diagnosis is to trust the diagnostic part of your care to a specialist like Dr. Chang. The spine is full of vertebrae, discs, muscles and ligaments, and many conditions share similar symptoms. If you’re trying to self-diagnose by researching symptoms online, there’s a decent chance that you’ll end up assuming you have one condition even though you’re actually dealing with something else. Trust your diagnosis to someone with years of training and experience, as well as someone who has the ability to look inside your body with the aid of tools like an x-ray or MRI.
When choosing a physician to visit for your spine pain, it’s also a good idea to consider visiting a specialist instead of your general practitioner. Your GP has a wealth of surface level knowledge about a myriad of conditions, but they likely lack a deep understanding of the idiosyncrasies of the spine. They may be able to address an obvious spinal fracture, but they may be less likely to notice a small vertebrae column shift that is predisposing you to postural changes and contributing to early onset spinal stenosis. Specialists have a deep understanding of a specific component of your health, and that can make all the difference between an accurate or an inaccurate diagnosis.
If you incorrectly assess your spine pain or it turns out your first doctor didn’t treat the true underlying problem, don’t despair. Giving in to the problem and assuming that nobody can fix you is a recipe for continued pain. If you think or know your diagnosis is wrong, head in for a second opinion with a specialist. They can confirm your initial diagnosis or help pinpoint the true nature of your issue. Don’t just give into pain, seek out a second opinion.
Another thing that you’ll need to do after a misdiagnosis is to trust that your new care plan has your best interests at heart. If you’re dejected or annoyed that you have to try another treatment for pain, you may not fully commit to your care plan. There’s a good chance you treatment will work, but only if you’re willing to put in the work and set to a schedule. If you miss physical therapy sessions or don’t follow your doctor’s activity instructions, you may not fully heal even though you’re treating the root cause of back pain. We understand that it can be frustrating at times, especially if you had to deal with a misdiagnosis, but don’t cheat yourself out of a recovery because of how you feel about the process.
It’s a physical and mental battle to push past a misdiagnosis, but we’re confident you can do it. And if you need assistance with any part of it, be it getting a second diagnosis or working through the frustrations that come with a misdiagnosis, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’re here to help you however we can. For more information, contact Dr. Chang’s office today.