The landscape of healthcare is changing. Rather than simply focusing on a patient’s symptoms, physicians and other medical professionals are increasingly addressing the patient’s overall well-being, both physically and mentally. This is the basis of what is known as integrative care, and to be successful, it requires a multidisciplinary collaboration of healthcare practitioners.
Top orthopedic spine surgeons know that integrative care benefits patients.
When it comes to spine disorders, many of the top spine surgeons are incorporating integrative care into their practice. Spine-related pain and conditions can be challenging to diagnose and treat, but when a variety of healthcare professionals can apply their collective knowledge and expertise, patients reap the benefits.
Some of these benefits include:
- Patient-centered care – Integrative care recognizes that each patient’s situation is unique. In order to treat the whole person, practitioners must look at all of the things in the patient’s life that affect his or her health. From there, the appropriate interventions and treatments can be selected. Patients are encouraged to take an active role in this process.
- Access to several health-related services – In addition to orthopedic spine surgeons and neurological spine surgeons, patients can receive services from other health professionals, such as pain management physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and psychotherapists.
- Ease of navigation – When patients are receiving several different services for their spine condition, it’s easier to manage if they are all part of the same system. So, if a patient doesn’t respond well to a particular intervention, it’s a simple process to make a referral to another health provider. Integrative care clinics often house all of their specialists in one central location, which allows patients to receive diagnostic imaging, pain treatments, surgery, and rehabilitation services all under one roof.
- Less invasive interventions – Top spine surgeons strive to use noninvasive or minimally invasive interventions when possible, and this falls in line with the philosophy of integrative care. All treatment options are explored before surgery is considered.
- Evidence-based treatments – In order to make the best treatment decisions, evidence-based medicine incorporates the health care provider’s clinical experience, strong scientific research, and the patient’s personal values. Both traditional and alternative treatments will be considered if supported by the best and most current research.
- Health promotion and illness prevention – Integrative care takes a broad approach to wellness. The healthcare team works not only to make the patient feel better now, but to ensure the patient will continue to feel good in the future. Things that play a role in a patient’s spine health and overall health—such as diet, exercise, sleep, and stress—will be addressed.
Top orthopedic spine surgeons recognize that integrative care is the way of the future.
With rapid advances being made in spine care, it’s hard for any one surgeon to be proficient in all areas of diagnosis and treatment. But by bringing together a diverse group of spine surgeons as well as non-surgical specialists, top spine surgeons can build a practice that provides the best quality patient care. It’s likely that integrative spine care clinics will become more of the norm in the future, while individual practices will be seen less frequently.
If you are suffering from persistent back pain and are searching for a top orthopedic spine surgeon, consider looking for one who is part of an integrated practice. This way, you can rest assured you will receive an in-depth evaluation and have access to a team of specialists who can tailor a treatment plan to meet your needs. Start by scheduling a consultation to discuss how integrative care can work for you.
About the author
Grant D. Shifflett, MD Dr. Grant D. Shifflett is a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon. Handpicked by Dr. Robert S. Bray Jr. to join DISC Sports & Spine Center, Dr. Shifflett specializes in the application of minimally invasive and microsurgical techniques to the entire spectrum of cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal conditions, from the simple to the most complex. Whether treating a patient with chronic pain or an acute injury, his ultimate goal is to restore function and quality of life with minimal tissue disruption. Read more articles by Grant D. Shifflett, MD.