Page 17

Wellness

Patient-Centred Healthcare When wellness practitioners of both conventional and alternative care communicate with and support one another, the outcome will always be a win for the patient. By Elliot Lysyk, DC

W

hen I opened Arise Chiropractic Wellness Centre seven years ago in Vernon, my goal was to create a clinic with strong lines of communication to other wellness practitioners in town—naturopathic doctors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, counsellors, acupuncturists and other chiropractors. Unfortunately, my attempts weren’t always met with enthusiasm. When referring a patient to another health provider, quite often I received no response at all—never mind any form of open dialogue about the patient’s care. And so, as our chiropractic clinic grew, I realized that the most effective way to establish even stronger interprofessional communications would be to create it under one roof. Thus was Arise Wellness Centre born. This approach truly did enhance the dialogue necessary to successfully co-manage patients, resulting in wonderful outcomes. Our patients were delighted that a team of practitioners were working together in their honour, communicating about their needs. They appreciate having various sets of eyes, various philosophies, weighing in on their problem. This is called a patient-centred healthcare—engaging with other health providers in our community, fostering relationships and open dialogue so that we can, as health teams, offer our patients the most effective solutions. I would love to see more of this approach when dealing with conventional medicine, too. Unfortunately, when I come upon findings that warrant medical attention and refer a patient to their medical doctor, the patient is often met with disapproval for seeking “alternative care,” and I am excluded from future conversations about these findings. Overall I feel disappointed by the poor levels of communication between medical doctors and alternative practitioners regarding mutually cared-for patients. The patients feel disheartened as well, knowing that their doctor does not support the adjunctive health choices that are contributing to their health. In my opinion, professional divides like these prevent patients from accessing the multiple avenues of care that may allow them to heal and express true wellness. Of course, there are many reasons for this situation in our healthcare system, like the simple

www.ohwmagazine.com

fact that doctors are extremely busy. And, perhaps, there is a lack of inter-professional education and understanding by doctors that makes it easy to dismiss alternative therapies despite their endless reported benefits. However, I remain hopeful for the future, as I do notice the tides turning. More and more, the health world is embracing the latest research substantiating improved patient outcomes through inter-professional, patient-centred

Headaches and Neck Pain? Some headache sufferers experience headaches so frequently and for so long that they begin to think it must be normal for them. CAT scans on the head in search of the cause frequently come up negative. Treatment usually ends up being some form of pain-killing drug, which can lead to unwanted side effects and may not address the cause of the problem. The cause of these headaches is often overlooked because much of the pain can actually be referred from the neck. When I perform an examination, I often find that the patient may also suffer from neck pain, neck restriction, tight cervical muscles, muscular trigger points, postural imbalances, tingling in the hands, and sometimes arm pain. X-rays often reveal that the natural spinal curve and alignment of the vertebrae have been lost. When nerves in your spine get pinched, they alert you with pain. The relationship between such misalignments of the neck and headaches is so common that it is even given its own category: cervicogenic headaches. I am also alarmed at the number of children who suffer headaches that are told it is a normal part of growing. There is nothing “normal” about headaches or neck pain. The cause should always be sought. If these problems sound familiar to you or a child you know, one consultation with our office may change the rest of your/their life.

Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

Dr. Deane Studer, DC

Dr. James Mayne, DC

250-275-7616

Alpine Centre #7-100 Kal Lake Rd. Vernon, BC www.arisechiropractic.com

Winter ‘16 - Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine

17

Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine Winter 2016  

Welcome to our Winter '16 issue of Okanagan Health & Wellness Magazine. Helping readers be the best they can be!