Medical doctors as chiropractic patients

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.




Veterans Will Hopefully Get More Chiro Benefits

By Guest Writer Holly McCarthy


Looks like vets will get expanded veteran’s benefits that will include coverage of chiropractic care. The American Chiropractic Association is thrilled about the bill, which was introduced into the House in 2007 but may actually move along under this Congress.

What’s really cool about the bill is it will require that a chiropractor be on staff at every VA medical facility by 2012. This would amend the existing Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001 and ensure vets get the chiropractic care they seek.

This is all just swell until we think about the fact that, currently, there are only 32 out of more than 150 VA medical facilities who actually have a chiropractor on staff. So, getting our military “aligned” (well, at least from a chiropractic perspective) is still next to impossible. It’s frustrating as we think about the numbers of invasive surgeries, procedures and treatments administered to vets every day when chiropractic is noninvasive and considerably more cost effective than many other procedures.

Seems a little short sighted as Wall Street drives the economy deeper into the red as the government looks for ways to scrimp and save. But, we digress.

Oh, and those 32 VA facilities with chiropractors? Well, this lightning-paced change has been in the works for almost eight years now. We all know things do not move quickly in our government but our vets deserve a little more here.

In the end, unless the current bill makes its way through both houses of Congress, making chiropractic care accessible to all veterans will remain a case-by-case benefit, which we can assume will be painfully slow – if expansion to other facilities happens at all.

And, here’s one last thought to chew on as we close. Almost 50% of vets returning from overseas seek treatment for musculoskeletal problems. You know, those ailments chiropractors treat! And, we treat them more effectively and less expensively, to boot. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months/years as the number of returning veterans with musculoskeletal problems continues to increase and funding for them continues to decrease.

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy.  Holly writes on the subject of schools with sports management programs.  She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 [at] gmail [dot] com

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