25 Things You Didn’t Know a Chiropractor Could Do: #1

Chiropractic Winged Angel of HealthIn my 15 years of practice, there is a comment that I have heard all-to-frequently from my patients. It is not meant unkindly, nor as a slight, but evidences surprise at my hitherto unbeknownst powers, as if I had just unbuttoned my shirt and unveiled a Superman logo on my chest.

This remark is often uttered as I say something that I think is relatively innocuous, like, “Yeah, we should probably do an EKG, just to be sure.”

The patient will look at me, with eyebrows raised, and say, “I didn’t know you could do that!”

The problem, it seems, is that the majority of the public have been trained to see chiropractors as one-trick ponies. Good for spinal adjustments, but little else.

This distorted image stems largely from the disinformation campaign mounted against the chiropractic profession by the AMA. 100 years of lies takes a while to untangle, especially when the bigotry is backed by a few billion pharmaceutical dollars.

And it is complicated somewhat by state laws, which vary widely. In some states, chiropractic physicians can inject substances and perform minor surgery. In others, they are not allowed to treat anything except the spine.

Throw into the mix the fact that most insurance companies will not reimburse a chiropractic physician for many of these procedures, and you get a large number of chiropractic doctors who will simply will not do them, simply to survive financially. It is difficult to justify spending several thousand dollars on an EKG machine if you’ll never get reimbursed for its use.

But the fact of the matter is, chiropractors are trained in how to perform and read EKGs, as well as a number of other things which might surprise you as much as it has my patients.

Which is all a very long-winded way of introducing a new feature here at DocAltMed.

Every other Friday for the next year, I will post yet another example of the many ways your chiropractic doctor can serve you that you may not have heard of. And this week, we’ll start with the basics, beginning with:

Your Annual Physical Exam

This, to me, is the real shocker. That people would not realize that they can use their chiropractic physician to do get their physical exam. My physical examination is every bit as complete as that you would receive in a medical doctor’s office. Actually, I would argue that it is more complete, because my exams are not only looking for signs of pathology or disease; I am also illuminating areas of nutritional or physiological imbalance. It is those latter factors which are the true harbingers of health problems.

Yes, I listen to the heart and lungs, look into your eyes and ears, and peer intently at your mouth. As you might have guessed by now, we do an EKG, and I order the same blood tests that any other doctor would order.

But when I or another chiropractic physician performs your physical exam, you get two distinct advantages. The first I’ve already mentioned — we are trained, as MDs are not, to spot dysfunctions before they become pathologies. The second is that when we do find a problem, you are far less likely to end up on a prescription drug.

In fact, studies have shown that patients who use their chiropractic doctor as their primary care physician end up in better health over the long term. They have fewer hospital days, they need fewer drugs to be healthy, and for older people they maintain physically active later in life.

So when it is time for your next annual physical, think hard about what you want — better health, more active life — and who is more likely to be able to give that to you.

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4 thoughts on “25 Things You Didn’t Know a Chiropractor Could Do: #1

  1. You made some intersting points many people are not aware of what chiropractors are allowed and trained to do. I think people will be amazed when reading your article and seeing that chiropractors can treat more than just back pain.

  2. I just started a chiropractor, I had my fourth appt today. I wasn’t even sure if they are a real doctor. I was told they can’t prescribe medication. I have a chronic pain issue in my pelvis. after 4 surgeries (by my regular physicians) including a hysterectomy, I’m being told they don’t know what is causing my pain. So after 17 doctors, I’ve been told they’ll keep me on vicodin for pain.

    I wanted another opinion, so I chose a chiropractor. I’m skeptical. I’m under the impression they can’t prescribe medicine & the pills they push are unregulated “health” pills, enzymes & vitamins.

    Since I have lots of pain, It’s hard for me accept the informalness of the chiropractor. The first chiropractor I tried has an open office, which I hated & quit. I have lots of pain, the area between the waiting area & his adjustment area is a partial wall. it made me feel like I didn’t have the privacy to tell him my honest concerns & when he did a correction that hurt, it’s embarassing to tear up or yell or grunt. So I quit him.

    It’s such an open floor plan that the patients, check in via a kios machine, you take a seat along the outer walls, he has 2 mini particians that block 2 tables that drop out for corrections & these tables, are visible through large bay windows, I guess so lying there I’d have a view outside, but that also means they can view me from outside.

    this new guy. he’s more medical like but he has 2 benches in a room, he understands me & offered me a private room, but when he’s in the middle of working on me, he’s not bothered when other people in the firm come in & look for items to use on their patients grab things and leave.

    So no, I would never believe that they are able to do those types of exams & in the 2 practices I’ve been to, It’s just to casual for me to allow them to do anything more serious to me.

    I don’t mean to offend, it’s just my observations. I really don’t know what to think the roll of a chiropractor really is.

  3. These are not typical chiropractic offices. Prescribing medicine is the domain of “medical” doctors, and often this does not help the patient’s condition. Perhaps the symptoms for a while, but while causing more serious problems in the long run. Appropriate nutrients can rebuild and fortify tissues, and there is a tremendous amount of education and science behind which to use when. The nervous system controls and coordinates all organs and systems in the body. Bone misalignment can adversely affect nerve tissue function. Expert chiropractic and functional nutrition can help immensely if you are a candidate for that care. Please make sure you find an excellent practitioner who will spend private time making your care personal and particular! Dr Jenkins is a true professional and is to be praised for helping spread the good word about how chiropractors are what real healthcare is all about. Dr Downes

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