Jeffrey Spencer (Sports Chiropractor) gives expert video advice on: When was chiropractic first invented?; Is chiropractic medicine safe?; What are the primary causes of the types of injuries chiropractors treat? and more...
What is "chiropractic medicine"?
Chiropractic is a primary health care profession that allows the chiroprator to not only diagnose a condition but to come up with a treatment plan for the individual. Whether it's for wellness care, and they don't have any pains or any symptoms, or it's to address a particular complaint. Chiropractic begins with a very thorough history of the patient. Then a thorough physical examination is done. If there are special tests that need to be done, those are done. Diagnoses are formulated, and the treatment plans are based on the diagnosis. The goal of care is to get the patient back to a point where they can do all the physical activities of daily living and live a highly abundant and productive life.
When was chiropractic first invented?
Well, historically, the origins of the profession can go back as far as 2000-2500 BC because there are written documents that show that manipulation of the joints and the spine were used with the Chinese and the Greeks that certainly predate the onset of its modern discovery which is attributed to D.D. Palmer in the late 1800s. He discovered that there's a correlation between adjusting the spine and improved health. And the profession was brought forward to become a legal primary healthcare profession by his son, B.J. Palmer.
What is the professional scope of chiropractic care?
Really, the scope of chiropractic care is determined by the state board of chiropractic examiners in the state that the doctor practices in; where they set the legal guidelines for what a chiropractor's scope of practice is. Generally speaking, the profession does not use drugs and surgery, but uses natural methods to be able to get their patients well and keep them well.
Is chiropractic medicine safe?
Chiropractic medicine is safe. There's actually more risk in driving a car than there is going to see a doctor. There are no studies that show the risk of chiropractic care. However, there is a plethora of studies that show the incredible benefits that the profession has to offer.
Why is chiropractic sometimes called an "alternative medicine"?
Some people call chiropractic an alternative medicine. It's not actually medicine in a conventional sense, because it doesn't use drugs or surgery. It heals people by natural methods that get them and keep them well. And as much attention is devoted to a comprehensive wholeness of care, as there is time and effort directed towards keeping a person well through proactive wellness measures.
What is the goal of chiropractic treatment?
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to get people to a point where they have maximum physical capacity to embrace life and to become the person that they're meant to be.
What does a chiropractor do?
A chiropractor's main objective is to work with the patient to identify what the patient's goals are, and then to go through a process of history and examination to determine what the issues are that the chiropractor could help the patient with to get them to where they want to go. Ideally, that would be to get a patient out of pain if they were in pain, but as importantly, make sure that they have the ability to reacquire the physical skills to be able to embrace life and become the person that they're meant to be.
Do chiropractors have specialties?
Well, people see a chiropractor for a variety of reasons. Some may come for pain, some may come to get healed from an injury, some people may come for wellness. So there are many specialties in the chiropractic profession. You have orthopedic specialists, you have sports specialists, pediatric and geriatric specialists, you have neurology specialists. So really it's a menu that you can choose from according to what your basic objective is in your own health care. So once the chiropractor has a thorough understanding of what the patient's desires are, then they come up with a formula and a recommendation for care that can include chiropractic adjusting, diet, supplementation. The use of modali, the use of exercise and therapeutic nutrition, are all strategies that the chiropractor has in his toolbox to be able to get the patient to where they want to go in the least amount of time, effort, and inexpense as possible.
How popular is chiropractic in America?
The popularity of chiropractic continues to grow geometrically from year to year because of its natural methods for getting people well and keeping them well. There's 60,000 chiropractors in America and last year alone there were 22 million people that availed themselves of chiropractic services in the U.S.
Which kinds of health problems do chiropractors treat?
Well, chiropractic care, being a primary health care profession, has a very wide scope of application to a variety of different health care challenges. Most of the issues that people normally associate with a chiropractor are dealing with musculoskeletal problems such as a sprained ankle from a sports injury, whiplash from a motor vehicle accident, a disc problem from bending over and picking up something heavy, phasett syndrome. The chiropractor also deals with organic problems such as fibromyalgia. They may also deal with allergies. So, it's an extremely broad based primary health care profession that deals with these problems in a natural way using natural methods.
What are the primary causes of the types of injuries chiropractors treat?
Well, the primary causes of injuries fall into a couple of different broad categories. You have an acute traumatic injury that you would find that's muscular-skeletal in nature that you would find in a motor vehicle accident. There would be a slip and a fall. There would be a sports injury. Then you have the other category which are the ones that have a slow, insidious onset, that are usually repetitive action phenomena, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome. Discs often fall into that category because as stress starts to accumulate in the body the patient still has no disability or pain, but it just takes one event for that particular time bomb to go off. So those are the two general, broad categories that serve as an ideology of most of the problems that chiropractors see in a muscular-skeletal context. However, chiropractors also see people for other additional problems such as fibromyalgia. There may be some chronic fatigue issues, etc., that fall into other domains. That may be from poor nutrition. It may be chemical exposure, and some of the other things that challenge the body in another way that's not dealing with the neuro-muscular-skeletal system.
Can chiropractors prescribe pain relievers?
The chiropractic profession, by license, does not use pharmaceuticals to relieve pain, because they are not allowed by law to prescribe pain relievers. However, there are a variety of methods that chiropractors use that are drugless and non-surgical to be able to help reduce pain through the use of physical modalities, the use of prescriptive exercise,he powerful benefits of chiropractic adjusting, and the use of supplements and herbs. Every chiropractor has his own style and selects from those options according to his practice style and the needs of his patient.
Cost-wise, how does chiropractic medicine compare to traditional medicine?
Chiropractic health care is generally much less expensive than conventional medicine is for a variety of different reasons. That's why it's grown so much in popularity because it's not only drugless and doesn't use surgery--it uses natural methods--but it's much more affordable to the consumer; particularly if it's on a wellness basis. And many people are seeking chiropractic care now for wellness care and not just when they are symptomatic or have a particular injury.
Should I buy "chiropractic recommended" pillows, mattresses or chairs?
The use of chiropractic recommended supportive technologies such as chairs, pillows, mattresses, etc. are extremely important for the patient to do what they can do for themselves, to get and stay well. The appropriateness of that is determined by the individual needs of the patient, based upon the judgment of the chiropractor in relation the patient's history and the findings from the physical examination.
Are there any medical conditions that rule out chiropractic care as an option?
Well everybody is really a candidate for chiropractic care regardless of their condition. That doesn't mean the chiropractor would be the primary provider, for example, if a person has a broken bone, the medical doctor sets the broken bone but the chiropractor would be there to maintain the function of the rest of the physical body while the bone is healing and then once the cast comes off, then the chiropractor deals with the rehabilitation side of it. Another example would be if a patient were under the treatment of a medical doctor for cancer, the chiropractor would not be treating the cancer, but they could be providing supportive care to be able to make the patient more comfortable by eliminating pain and making sure that they have as much of their physical capacity as possible to be an active participant in life.