Yeah, I get those too! How about we channel our frustration into a useful dialogue about how to handle these cases?
Here's how *I* might continue from where your example conversation left off:
Me: Okay, is it rheumatoid, psoriatic, osteo, or some other form of arthritis?Client: Oh, just arthritis.
Me: Okay, then - if your doctor didn't tell you what type or where it is, we can reasonably assume it isn't a severe form. Where is it most affecting you?Client: Oh, it's all over.
Me: What are your symptoms?Client: Well, it hurts.
Me: Show me where it hurts.Client: (Points at a bunch of different areas, shows me their hands and feet.) Pretty much all over.
Me: Are you disabled by it?Client: No! It just hurts.
Me: Okay, can you... (turn head, raise arms, make fist, etc. - a variety of very simple functional tests common to ADLs)?Client: (performs tests, occasionally making a face or otherwise indicating more discomfort in certain movements) Yes, but I feel sore.
Me: Okay, I can see that you have more discomfort in certain positions and movements than in others. Your range of motion in many areas isn't bad, but we clearly have some areas that are more limited. One of the few things guaranteed to make arthritis and its associated symptoms worse is lack of movement. We need to get more movement into the areas that are most affected so your body can recover and feel less discomfort. It may be possible to eliminate most of your discomfort, and we can talk about some things you can do at home after today's session. Other than your arthritis, what else can I help you with today?Client: I just want to relax, I've been very stressed recently...
And the dance goes on...
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
Massage Therapist, Personal Trainerhttp://www.CSTMinnesota.com
Internet forums are like going to the zoo; if you get enough monkeys together, sooner or later someone will start throwing their poo.