I saw a new patient this week in our chiropractic office in Rochester who is a medical professional. This is nothing novel as we have a lot of medical workers as patients. What was interesting however was this patient said she had asked her colleagues and none of them saw a chiropractor. Really? None of them? Surprising.
There was a time when the medical profession eschewed chiropractors but as the literature changed and (the better) chiropractors focused on science over superstition, those tables have turned. Still, when the occasional medical doctor or registered nurse questions the clinical veracity of what we do, I like to remind them of several important points:
First, these is no evidence of excess risk of vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke from chiropractic care compared to medical treatment. None. This is not an opinion. We can point to the studies, back it up with research and factual evidence.
Second, recent studies show that patients with low back pain and neck pain do not add to overall medical spending seeing a chiropractor versus other types of medical care. This is based on a survey of 12,000 respondents. In fact, seeing a chiropractor results in a 20-40% decrease of costs in lower back pain compared to MD treatment.
Third, there are many clinical reviews of spinal manipulation for low back pain and it has been shown to be more effective in the short term for many cases and probably the most effective treatment for chronic low back pain patients.
Fourth, patients like seeing a chiropractor over most other health care treatments and isn’t having a compliant patient who is happy half the journey toward recovery?
I also remind my physician and medical worker patients that in our practice, we limit our focus to neuromusculoskeletal issues and treat with a biomechanical focus. That means no magic, no chanting, no candles. Just well evidenced, science based treatments that are worthy of their referrals.
The real question is why don’t more medical doctors, PAs and nurses refer appropriate patients to responsible chiropractors and see them for their own back and neck pain?
Dr. Brett Kinsler is a practicing chiropractor in Rochester, NY. Our practice is evidence based and spine focused.