First off, the idea of ‘treating patients not pictures’ is because an x-ray and MRI is only part of the story. In my opinion, arthritis is a lazy diagnosis and often does not explain patient’s pain. For this reason, it is important to treat patients and not pictures.
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Pathoanatomy is a combination of pathology and anatomy. Pathology is the study of disease, and anatomy is the study of the human body. This form of diagnosis involves identifying a specific tissue pathology to be the cause of a patient’s pain. For example, a disc bulge at L5 is a patho-anatomical diagnosis for someone with lower back pain. Oftentimes, patho-anatomical diagnosis are made from X-rays and MRIs.
A functional diagnosis is a movement based diagnosis. It involves identifying different movement patterns to better understand pain. For example, a patient presents with limited hip rotation resulting in overload of the lumbar spine resulting in lower back pain. In other words, A functional diagnosis is concerned with how patients move.
Take Home Message
In summary, a patho-anatomical and functional diagnosis are not mutually exclusive. In fact, It is simply different ways of looking at a problem. Most importantly, my job is to figure out the dominating mechanism to find the best solution. The magic happens when patient’s anatomy is correlated with their movement based diagnosis to get an individualized treatment plan. Regardless of the cause, the goal is to get patient’s MOVING and FEELING better. At OMNE Chiropractic, we value treating patients not pictures.
Read our previous blog for more about arthritis by clicking below or here: