Introduction to Symptomatology
We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.
This is Chapter 1 from RC’s best-selling book:
“Symptomatology and Differential Diagnosis”
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Chapter 1: Introduction to Symptomatology
Diagnosis is the determination of the nature of a patient’s state of health. It is the sole means by which a doctor can rationally suggest the direction of treatment or referral.
The position of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) is that a doctor of chiropractic, as a member of the healing arts, is a physician concerned with the health needs of the public. He or she gives particular attention to the relationship of the structural and neurologic aspects of the body in health and disease. Serving as a portal of entry to the health-delivery system, the chiropractic physician must be well trained to diagnose, including, but not limited to, spinal analysis; to care for the human body in health and disease; and to consult with, or refer to, other health-care providers.
With respect to diagnosis, the position of the CCE is that appropriate evaluative procedures must be undertaken by the chiropractic physician prior to the initiation of patient care. There must be proper and necessary examination procedures, including recording of patient and family history, presenting complaint, subjective symptoms, objective findings, and skeletal-biomechanical and subluxation evaluation. And, when clinically necessary, such procedures as clinical laboratory tests, instrumentation reports, psychologic evaluation, roentgenographic examinations, and such other procedures should be performed as may be indicated. These findings must be correlated, and a conclusion, a diagnosis, or clinical impressions should be established.
This chapter describes the basic clinical approach used in this manual. The roles of diagnosis and symptomatology in clinical practice are defined. The goals and criteria of case histories and clinical profiles are reviewed. The gross framework for interpreting symptoms and signs is described. An overview of basic chiropractic philosophy is presented. And a simplified approach to differential diagnosis is recommended. (more…)