Whenever I work with people in pain, managing chronic issues, or just in a health crisis I always advise " build your support system with really good healers, bodyworkers, and doctors." Support is the key to healing, but the quality and care of the team is super important.
I've spent years exploring my local network of health care providers to build my own "team" as well as to have referrals for people I work with. Here is what I've discovered along the way :
1. Start with a really good primary care physician. I love mine. She listens, she takes time, and most importantly she views me as a partner in my health care decisions. It may take a while to find the right person, but you want a doctor you can truly connect to. Sometimes I need her frequently, and sometimes I won't see her for a year, but I've stuck with her and she knows me. She remembers my history when she walks in the room, and she has seen me through my post partum bleak days through now as I enter my 40s.
2. Find a good bodyworker. Someone suggested to me once "have a skilled bodyworker put their hands on your regularly ." If anything the positive energy exchange is good for the body and soul. The key here again is connection. This could be a massage therapist, reiki worker, rolfer, or other body work professional.
3. Chiropractic - OK so I've had really bad chiro experiences and now seem to have found a really good one I can work with. Chiropractors definitely run the spectrum in terms of focus and skill set. In my opinion, the more tools they are using outside of just the "crack and adjust" , the better. Find one that offers soft tissue therapy such as ART, Graston Technique, Kinesiotaping, needling, and so on.
4. Physical Therapy - I have to admit after years of working with PTs some are really, really good and some ... well, not so much. You have to watch the PT clinics nowadays as they can become a little like a machine; moving you through the stations and having many different therapists, assistants, and techs working on you. Do your research, call the office, and ask to speak to the lead PT/manager. Ask the questions ! I have a really great PT locally I can recommend if you live on the Eastern Shore, AL email me.
5. Acupuncture - I had a fabulous acupuncturist who retired and moved, but I believe acupuncture has a great place when combined with western medicine. Some cities will have more resources in this department, while we here in the south are still lagging a bit.
6. Physiatrist - I have recently been working with a Physiatrist, or Physical Medicine and Rehab MD due to some chronic neck issues and a nagging hip/groin injury. *sigh* . I have not had much experience with physiatrists but see now how they approach the body from a different viewpoint.
"Physiatrists, or rehabilitation physicians, are nerve, muscle, and bone experts who treat injuries or illnesses that affect how you move." For those with spine fusions from scoliosis, these doctors may be better at longer term management of nagging issues than your orthopedist might be. I also noticed they tend to lean on the side of injections and procedures, while going "straight to the injury" rather than using system drugs. It's worth checking into !
Now for the cost $$$$$. Chiropractic care, PT, and of course your MD visits are covered under *most* health insurance policies. The other services are out of pocket.
Now that I have my team in place, I kind of rotate around depending on what is going on to keep the wheels on :) . I go through phases where the services are not needed, and phases where I need more care, BUT the biggest thing is knowing I have a team in place.
Cheers to the TEAM. Now go build one.