Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Little questions

One day I must compile a list of questions which have proved surprisingly fruitful in my GP career. Just this week three little questions have helped.

1. For neck ache. Ask if the patent if they are wearing varifocals. Discussing this with a patient this week who spends many hours each day on a computer, we discovered the problem. To use the reading part of the lens at the base of the glasses, one needs to extend the neck and look down. This results in a uncomfortable posture which puts strain on the extensor muscles causing their fatigue and acheyness. The answer? Buy some reading glasses.

2. For sciatic leg pain. Ask the patient (if male) where he keeps his wallet. If kept in the back pocket and many hours per day are spent in the car, there's likely to be considerable pressure to the sciatic nerve resulting in the pain. The solution? Keep your wallet in a front trouser pocket.

3. For the patient with chronic pain. Ask the patient how he/she manages to cope with the relentlessness nature of it. I saw a patient today who has had chronic pain for two years. He has seen multiple doctors,  none of whom has expressed an interest in the effect of the pain on the person's overall well being. All the questioning  has been of a descriptive nature concerning the character of the pain, not the consequence of it. A simple comment by me to the effect that it must be very difficult to cope with the pain,  was met by an almost embarrassing degree of gratitude by the patient as if I had just invented modern medicine. A bit of humanity can go a long way in the practice of medicine.

Post a Comment

The Long Walk

It's always a bit chancy to give someone a book. A little like recommending a restaurant. Will others like it? Will the service be as go...