We find that nearly 70 percent of our new patients arrive at the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine with an incomplete or incorrect diagnosis. Before formulating your treatment plan, we establish a correct diagnosis. To do so we utilize a unique information-gathering protocol.
At your first visit your Kaplan physician will personally take the time to explore the onset of your condition, the specific nature of your pain sensations, and the overall status of your health, including your mental health history, your social/family history, your travel history and your possible exposure to environmental toxins.
Your Kaplan doctor will ask you about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you. To gather additional information about your condition, your Kaplan physician may also order specialized diagnostic laboratory testing.
After reviewing all of the factors contributing to your health situation, your physician will spend time talking with you about your diagnosis in terms that you understand. We place great emphasis on getting to know and understand your unique situation to ensure that we arrive at the most accurate and complete diagnosis and that you understand your own diagnosis and treatment plan. Initial visits are one hour in length, and follow-up visits are 30- to 60-minutes in length.
In addition to conventional diagnostic tools, the Kaplan Center utilizes an array of specialized tools to identify other factors that may be contributing to your medical problems.
Our physicians understand that chronic pain and emotional difficulties are often closely intertwined. In diagnosing your pain problem, your Kaplan physician will take time to assess not just your physical symptoms and your overall physical health, but also your emotional state, your cognitive functioning and your situational-stress level. Read more..
A malfunctioning hormonal system also can contribute to your pain problem. Hormone level imbalances, such as thyroid disease, low estrogen, or low testosterone can cause musculoskeletal pain, increased pain sensitivity, fatigue, headaches, and a host of other problems, including depression, loss of mental acuity, and loss of libido. Kaplan Medical Center physicians are skilled in identifying hormonal problems, and they are expert in addressing such problems using both alternative and conventional treatments, including prescription medications, bioidentical hormones, herbal remedies, acupuncture and lifestyle changes such as dietary improvements, regular exercise and relaxation. Read more..
Our comprehensive physical exam incorporates an evaluation of your entire musculoskeletal system, including the effect that your posture, gait, and any physical abnormalities that might be affecting your weight distribution and balance. This type of comprehensive process will help identify or rule out other possible causes of your pain, such as arthritis in your lower back, a herniated disk, metastatic cancer, a muscle tear due to overuse, muscle tension due to poor posture, a bone fracture due to osteoporosis, low magnesium, or even psychological stress. Read more..
Often patients assume that if they eat a basically healthy diet, they must look elsewhere to determine what is causing their chronic pain. Sometimes, however, nutrition can be the whole problem. Furthermore, what is healthy for one person may cause problems for another. For example, a person can have a basically healthy diet, but still suffer from a magnesium deficiency that causes muscle pain, migraines, fatigue or a sleep disorder. Similarly, undiagnosed Celiac disease, otherwise known as gluten intolerance, can lead to arthritis, anemia, digestive problems and depression. Some patients have other illnesses or genetic weaknesses that prevent them from properly absorbing certain nutrients. Food allergies also can create or contribute to pain problems, including generalized inflammation in the body, headaches, arthritis flare-ups, and muscular pain. Read more..
Sleep deprivation, caused by insufficient sleep or poor quality of sleep, impairs the body’s immune system, physical reflexes, emotional stability and cognitive functions. It can also lead to increased muscle, joint and nerve pain. Sleep disorders can be caused by pain, or they can be a symptom of other serious illnesses such as clinical depression, heart disease or sleep apnea. Read more..
At The Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine your initial examination will be extremely thorough and unique to you and your particular set of symptoms. Based on the findings of your initial exam, your Kaplan physician may recommend targeted laboratory testing to better isolate the causes of your medical problems. Our physicians utilize a wide range of specialized tests; what is recommended for a particular patient depends not only upon his or her symptoms, but also upon a range of other factors including the patient’s age, gender, and medical and family histories. If testing is recommended, we take the time to thoroughly explain to you the medical necessity and goal of each test. Read more..
Gary Kaplan, D.O. is the founder and medical director of the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine and author of Total Recovery. A pioneer and leader in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Kaplan is one of only 19 physicians in the country to be board-certified in both Family Medicine and Pain Medicine. Dr. Kaplan is a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and serves on the Advisory Committee to Health and Human Services for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
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Before Choosing a Doctor to Treat Your Chronic Pain
Finding a top physician to treat your pain and illness can be a tricky business, and it’s important not to make a mistake that could waste time and risk your health. I created this Consumer Guide to help you with the process. Please accept it with my compliments.