Always get a neck pain second opinion before seeking any type of treatment for chronic symptoms. Neck pain is frequently misdiagnosed, leading to poor therapeutic outcomes across a wide range of treatment options. Seeking more than one diagnostic opinion prior to beginning treatment is the very best way to ensure optimal results from whatever type of therapy is deemed to be best suited for the particular objectives and needs of each patient.
It is amazing that so many patients consult with a relatively unknown doctor and get onboard with whatever diagnostic opinion is rendered without any question or doubt, despite most patients knowing full well that therapy results for all back and neck pain diagnoses are poor. It would seem logical to pursue more accurate diagnostic evaluation by allowing more than one care provider to analyze the true nature of the pain, yet this is rarely undertaken by the vast majority of patients. It is for this reason that we have been recommending second and third opinions as ideal safety nets prior to treatment for over 15 years now as part of our patient education and advocacy efforts.
This dialog provides compelling evidence why every person with chronic neck pain should seek more than one diagnostic opinion to be better prepared to face the strong possibility of being misdiagnosed by any single care provider.
Neck Pain Second Opinion Necessity
For many years, we have provided patients with the facts of neck pain, including the reasons why so few of you find lasting relief from your suffering. The primary reason for treatment failure has nothing at all to do with the therapy itself, but instead comes down to the high rate of misdiagnosis in the musculoskeletal pain sector and the spinal treatment industry in particular. In essence, so many patients are told that they are suffering from one disorder when it fact, their pain is caused by another completely unrelated source. This is an epidemic problem.
There are several tools that are easily utilized against the disastrous occurrence of misdiagnosis. All of these strategies are easily employed by any patient, but the person must be actively engaged in their own healthcare and be willing to invest themselves towards ensuring their wellness. It is a sad fact that so many people just could not be bothered. Instead, they take passive roles and then complain in vain when things do not work out as they had hoped.
Second and third diagnostic opinions are useful in several ways. First, they may provide a more accurate picture of the painful complaint and help to pinpoint the true source. Even if the opinions differ greatly in their evaluation, this alone should provide the patient lots to think about before beginning treatment. After all, if the diagnoses differ so greatly, what makes the patient believe either opinion as being correct? Caution is always the best path when it comes to most modern medical care, since the vast majority of neck pain treatments have truly pathological potential. Drugs, injections and surgery are all commonly recommended, but are almost never needed and all demonstrate serious risks to life and limb.
If you are interested in learning more about why diagnostic eclecticism is such a telling sign of misdiagnosis, please continue to read our coverage on Cure-Back-Pain.Org.
Downsides of Getting a Second Opinion
When asked why they do not seek multiple diagnostic opinions, most patients provide answers such as:
“My insurance only pays for one consultation”.
“It takes too much time and effort”.
“I trust my doctor”.
These excuses are the direct reasons why so many of you get into trouble during and after treatment, then write to us for our advice. Instead, we are offering you a preventative measure in advance of your drug addictions, infections, failed surgeries and other common collateral negative consequences of unsuccessful neck pain treatment: Get a second opinion and use it to logically and objectively decide if the treatment proposed makes sense and stands a good hope of being effective. Insist that your doctor provide a prognosis for treatment and put it in writing. If they will not, then use this proof to reinforce what we have been warning you about all along… The majority of chronic pain is misdiagnosed. If the doctor providing the care does not believe that the treatment will cure you, then you should doubt it at least as much, if not more.
Take the time, invest the effort and spend the money to ensure that the diagnosis is 100% correct before undergoing treatment. This is sensible and should be every patient’s primary objective when seeking neck pain relief.
Neck Pain Second Opinion Suggestions
When seeking a neck pain second opinion, we recommend the following tips to help ensure the accuracy and value of the new diagnostic evaluation:
Try not to share the results first diagnostic evaluation with the new care provider. Doing so can influence the results of their efforts and might compromise the accuracy of the evaluation to a substantial degree.
Try to seek out a second opinion from a different type of doctor or complementary care provider. A diversity of healthcare educational backgrounds will typically provide a diversity of diagnostic opinions, helping to cast doubt on the accuracy of any one verdict.
If you doubt the accuracy of any diagnosis, be extremely careful about entering treatment, particularly if the therapy recommended is dangerous (drugs, injections) or invasive (surgery). Damage done might not be able to be undone.
Seeking a neck pain second opinion is a great idea, but still does not excuse you from your primary duty as a patient and that is to be actively involved in your care and educated about the possible sources of your pain. We make this education process simple by providing all the information about neck pain you could ever need all on this free and expertly-written web resource. Please use our site map or search features to find any topic of relevance for your pain and learn how to help yourself as a truly well-informed patient.