Primary spine care and chiropractic; why this chiropractic model of musculoskeletal care should be your first choice.
Our office has always taken a primary care approach to the musculoskeletal system. The model of primary spine care (1) is that model and more chiropractors are recognizing that organized medicine in many ways fails to safely help many of those who suffer from pain by using a model of care that is inappropriate and over time has proven ineffective.
Primary spine care will reduce cost and risk if you choose it first.
Scientists have for years understood that who you choose to visit first for a health problem will determine your results, risk, and cost.
Today, a patient who I have known for years told me a couple of months ago that they began to ache all over and she visited a rheumatologist. She got what she expected; a medication prescription and the same physical therapy recommendation everyone gets which she understood would be a waste of time, as she wanted to feel better, and not just get therapies to the areas of her hands and hips that ached. The problem with one size fits all healthcare is it doesn’t.
It was a coincidence that the month she felt this way, the barometric pressure swings were affecting many of us, something the rheumatologist never discussed and after experiencing years of holistic chiropractic care, returned to our office for a safe and sensible approach to why she was stiff and sore.
All the research shows that anti-inflammatories and pain meds used for a long time will cause kidney, GI, and stomach issues (2.7%) (2) while doing nothing to solve why you hurt, Many patients are also told they have arthritis as their problem, yet their chiropractors seem to help them by understanding mechanically why they hurt, while their medical colleagues first line of treatment for a mechanical problem is a medicine. Mechanical problems require a mechanical approach to diagnosis and treatment.
When doctors don’t know, they test resulting in MRIs being among the most overused test by most physicians when their skills of evaluation fail to understand why their patients hurt. Recently, a patient who I saw had already had an MRI scheduled by his doctors after months of management that was geared toward where he hurt instead of why he hurt. The management included physical therapy for the painful hip which helped but did not resolve the problem which came back worse as the care made him more chronic, instead of solving his problem.
One of the first conversations we have with patients is the idea of what is normal. For most patients, normal is what you are used to. Abnormal is a symptom that has not self-resolved. While there is no actual normal, from most people’s point of view, they know what they know. My perspective is functional and mechanical and the approach to care should always be listening to the patient, getting their complete history, and seeing how it matches what is seen during a thorough holistic evaluation.
Chiropractors are trained to think holistically. Your visit will consist of a functional evaluation a deep history of your problems and the first treatment will often bring relief. This is why my book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to Know to beat chronic pain was written 12 years ago and it is still relevant.
Most back, neck, and shoulder problems as well as plantar fasciitis begin at the feet and as a result, I always look at the feet first and understand what type of compensations have developed over the years. Then I look for clues as to how this is causing the pain or the core issues the patient has.
Patients are explained that normal for most people is not normal, it is what they are used to as explained in my book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain. For our patients, abnormal is a symptom or symptom that will not resolve on their own.
It is important for your doctor to ask the right questions, which will lead to a more effective thorough evaluation and treatment.
Treatment must be individualized to the person, as we are all build differently. Treatment must take this into consideration or it will merely mask the symptoms.
What to expect on your first visit.
- A thorough history
- A functional examination
- Treatment that may include, foot orthotics, myofascial release, manipulation of the spine or extremities,
- Future treatment will also include exercises to strengthen and rehabilitate dysfunctional areas of the body.
- X-rays may be taken if needed. Usually, older patients who have chronic problems will require an x-ray, and children usually in the event of trauma.
Need help today? Book online here
2. Lucas JW, Connor EM, Bose J. “Back, Lower Limb and Upper Limb Pain Among US Adults in 2019.” NCHS Data Brief No. 415, July 2021.