Chiropractic care has been used as a proven and effective alternative method of medical treatment for centuries. Primary care physicians are beginning to fully understand that chiropractic treatment can be a valuable tool in their patients' rehabilitation and in maintaining a healthy and pain-free (or as pain-free as possible). Physicians are suggesting to their patients that they try chiropractic treatment before resorting to more drastic or risky methods of treatment such as medication trial and error and surgery. Although chiropractic care is proven to be less evasive and poses less risks, it does have its own advantages and disadvantages which should be weighed carefully before choosing to proceed with this method of care.A chiropractor, or Doctor of Chiropractic, is different from a Doctor of Medicine. The chiropractor's goals are to "diagnose, treat, correct, and prevent neurological, skeletal, or soft tissue dysfunction by primarily employing manual and conservative therapies; the most frequent being spinal and other articular adjustments and manipulations". It is a science-based and holistic method of treatment that is far less evasive than traditional forms of medical care and rehabilitation. The focus is on getting the body working smoothly as a whole unit instead of just treating one symptom at a time.Due to chiropractic care being a holistic method of treatment, it is less risky than traditional treatments. Patients do not have to endure surgery, use medication to induce a comatose state to help the body relax to heal itself, or use medication on a long-term basis to control pain/symptoms. Chiropractic treatments realign the spine and joints which allows the body to naturally "reset" itself to obtain and maintain optimal health. To avoid further injury to current physical conditions and avoid any new injuries, it is paramount that you choose your chiropractor very carefully. He/she needs to be a licensed and highly qualified, highly skilled and experienced chiropractor. The first step is to research their professional Dr. of Chiropractic license and his/her professional background/profile. Inquire about how long they have been a chiropractor, research if there has been any complaints made against him/her, if they have any specialist licenses or awards, what services he/she is qualified to provide, and if their fees are reasonable (not inflated). If the chiropractor does not meet highly qualified standards then keep searching. An unlicensed chiropractor that has little or no experience or they are not highly qualified/skilled can do serious damage to your body. Often times this damage is irreversible and could possibly cause a patient to become paralyzed, permanently disabled or cause death (which is highly rare).There are numerous benefits to chiropractic treatment, but there are nine that are more prominent: improved circulation, reduction or elimination of lactic acid, oxygen and nutrients are easily delivered to the whole body, increased flexibility, elimination of (or drastically reduced) pain and soreness, faster recovery time, decreased frequency of muscle spasms, prevention of future injuries or further aggravation of a current condition, and feeling healthier and more relaxed/at ease (The Minneapolis Chiropractors).The downside to chiropractic care is that there are side-effects and problem areas that patients need to be aware of. Certain patients may not experience any side-effects until hours or days after their treatment. Some of the side-effects associated with chiropractic treatment are fatigue, pain in the area(s) of the chief complaint and headaches. Although rare, there are more serious side-effects such as: herniated disk(s), compression of the nerves in the lower portion (lumbar region) of the spine which can result in pain that is more intense than the original pain along with weakness, bowel problems and the possibility of a stoke. On the plus side, chiropractors will do a thorough exam to make sure you don't have any medical conditions that might worsen the current physical condition(s). There are also people that need specialized care such as the elderly, pregnant women, children and infants. This group is more physically vulnerable to injuries and need to have a chiropractor that specializes in patients that fit into this group.Overall, chiropractic treatment is less expensive than surgery or numerous medications. There is, however, a downside to the financial side of chiropractic care. Each chiropractic session runs anywhere from $25.00 to $100.00. The length of the session can last between five or ten minutes up to one hour. The frequency of visits needed to obtain optimal health ranges from two to four times per week. If you do the math, you can see that these sessions can quickly add up. Aside from the financial aspect, this method of treatment is "hit or miss". Some patients experience immediate relief. Then there are patients that, after numerous sessions and hundreds (even thousands) of dollars, experience no relief or improvement at all.The way to avoid further injury to current physical issues and/or avoid new injuries, is to choose your chiropractor very carefully. He/she needs to be a licensed highly qualified, skilled, and experienced chiropractor. You need to first research the chiropractor's professional Dr. of Chiropractic license to make sure they are legally able to provide treatment(s) in your state. Look at how long they have been a chiropractor, if there has been any complaints made against him/her, if they have any specialist licenses or awards, what services he/she is qualified to provide, and if their fees are reasonable (not inflated). If the chiropractor does not meet highly qualified standards, keep searching. An unlicensed chiropractor that is not experienced or highly qualified/skilled can do serious damage to your body. Often times this damage is irreversible and could possibly cause a patient to become paralyzed or (although rare) cause death. The above pros and cons of chiropractic care will help you make an educated decision on whether or not this method will be beneficial for you and your condition/injury. Choosing a chiropractor that meets your physical and mental needs takes time. Never allow yourself to be bullied or pressured into selecting a chiropractor. You need to another doctor that you feel comfortable with. You need to be able to effectively communicate with your chiropractor for optimal results. You are in charge of your body, so keep searching until you find a chiropractor that you have "professional doctor/patient chemistry" with. Talk with your primary physician about utilizing chiropractic services so you can start enjoying a pain-free life today. Dr. Patrick Gentempo
Chiropractors - Healing Methodologies
Dr. Patrick Gentempo We've all heard stories about someone who was crippled or even killed by a Chiropractor. Sometimes we're even warned by our family doctor not to let our Chiropractor adjust us as it may cause a stroke. Even the L.A. Times recently called the safety of manipulation into question. Just how safe is chiropractic treatment? What are the facts?1. Due to the extreme rarity of injuries caused by Chiropractic treatment and its unequaled safety record, chiropractic doctors pay only a fraction (i.e. 1/10 to 1/50) the malpractice rates compared to medical physicians. (1)2. Only 19 deaths have been attributed to Chiropractic treatment worldwide over the latest 65 years studied (1934-1999). In fact, the risk of "serious injury" from anti-inflammatory medication including Aspirin and Advil is 400 times greater than from manipulation. (2)In other words, it's much safer to have a chiropractic treatment for your neck pain or headache then taking medicine (over the counter or prescribed).3. Nearly 10,000 studies have been performed on manipulation (making it the most thoroughly studied form of treatment for back pain) and the great majority have found the following when compared to medical treatment:a. Increased patient satisfaction.b. Shortened time to return to activities or work. c. Less permanent disability.d. Less costly.The governments of several countries, including the United States (A.H.C.P.R.) and Canada (Manga), have found manipulation to be the most effective form of treatment for back pain. In fact, the Canadian report suggested that Chiropractors be the "gate keepers" for back pain saying that it would save Canada hundreds of millions of dollars if their citizens saw Chiropractor's first. After reviewing all published studies, it was determined that there were "no medical procedures that were as safe as Chiropractic treatment."The British Medical Journal and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found similar results. In fact, the U.S. government reported that physical therapy and acupuncture were not "cost effective" and that surgery was useful in only 1% of cases.Further, the report was emphatic that they should be employed only after conservative approaches (like manipulation) were first exhausted.So why are there still news reports of the dangers of Chiropractic? Lets take a look at the last article that was reported by the journal, "Neurology", and reported in the L.A. Times.The study found that seven out of the 51 people questioned who had a stroke were adjusted by a Chiropractor in the previous month. This compared to two of those in the control group. So an association was drawn between manipulation and strokes. The problem with making such an opinion is that headaches and neck pain are the early symptoms of this type of stroke. So of course more people with neck pain and headaches sought chiropractic care versus those who were in the control group who were pain free.This illustrates the problem with association-type studies. They don't show the cause only association. For example, the following is a common example taught in research courses that warn against making conclusions from such studies.Since there are more churches in violent neighborhoods, churches lead to violence. Actually, establishing churches are a reaction to people living in a violent neighborhood, not a cause.In fact, another study published by the same journal, "Neurology," found fewer people having strokes if they were adjusted than the control group that wasn't. Unfortunately, that never made the newspapers nor did most of the other studies which showed chiropractic treatment far safer than all other medical treatments.Why the media prints inflammatory stories while ignoring others that would put your mind at ease is beyond the scope of this paper. But it is unfortunate that people are being scared away from a treatment that is absolutely safer and more effective and by default being directed to one that has significantly greater risks. Personally, between Dr. Murray and myself, we have practiced about 40 years and have never injured anyone (more than some temporary soreness as part of the treatment). The real danger comes from having musculoskeletal problems that are covered-up with drugs and surgery. Since the cause is not addressed this way, the patients often get worse, more discouraged and depressed and there are often side effects.We use only the safest of all procedures and specifically screen for all risk factors that make manipulation unsafe. I'm sure you have already noted how thorough we are. This is the only way that you should be treated by any of your doctors. If you ever have questions about the risks or benefits of any procedure, always feel free to speak to us directly.(1) Malpractice Statistics from the National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company, West Des Moines, Iowa.(2) Terrett, A, Current Concepts in Vertebrobasilar Complications, NCMIC Group, Inc., 2001, p 199.Primarily, Chiropractors treat something called a "Subluxation". This word was created by Chiropractic founder D. D. Palmer. He essentially stated that whereas a "luxation" is a complete dislocation of a joint, a simple malposition of the bones of a joint, without being dislocated, would be a "Subluxation", "Sub" meaning less than or below a "luxation" or dislocation. This would give one the idea of a boney misalignment in a joint.Simply put, in the beginning, that's pretty much what was meant by this word, except for one additional factor. A subluxation ALWAYS contains, as a criterion for Chiropractic consideration, a blockage of nerve impulses somewhere between the brain and the rest of the body. If allowed to continue, this resulting blockage of nerve impulses could conceivably result in disease. Later, Dr. Palmer stated there were other types of subluxations which also needed to be addressed. A Chemical Subluxation would be where the body's chemistry was not optimal for proper function. An Emotional Subluxation would include aberrations of the mind, interfering with normal function of the body.Over the decades the definition of "Subluxation" has changed and evolved to a point where there is no set, universally accepted definition of the word. Many of us have gone back the original tried-and-true definition as stated above. It serves well, because under this umbrella, the definition addresses problems with the whole body and mind, plus pain syndromes, chronic disorders and even injuries to the spine and extremities. That just about describes most of what we treat at this office.I've come up with a triangle of health. On one side we have "Structural Health", on another side we have "Chemical Health" and on the last side is "Emotional Health".The Structural side includes the body itself, bones, muscles, nerves, organs, etc. This is probably the most common type of Chiropractic case and includes injuries from all types of trauma and even birth.Chemical Health would encompass hormones, nutrients, blood chemistry, etc. In this office we practice "Functional Medicine". This involves, among other things, optimizing the body's chemistry to prevent disease and even correct some chronic problems like autoimmune conditions. Last (but not least) is Emotional Health, which would include mental and spiritual factors. Most say that the mind is senior to the body. For example, stress could affect the body's chemistry, immune system, endocrine system and structure. Grief, anger and fear would have similar physical consequences. These could even predispose a person to accidents and trauma. Therefore, we make it our business to look at emotional factors as well.So you can see that Chiropractic can be a very multifaceted approach to delivering health care. In this office all these factors are considered when developing a treatment plan.Next installment will cover the Magic and Miracle of Homeopathy.
Find the Right Chiropractor
Dr. Patrick Gentempo Not all Chiropractors are the same. In order to pick the one that is best equipped to handle your specific issues, you first need to understand the different kind of healing methodologies practiced by chiropractors. Below we will explore the two main methodologies you need to understand to choose the best chiropractor:1. Relief/Maintenance Care: Both mixed and straight chiropractors practice relief. However, the straight doctor offers immediate relief, whereas the mixed doctor offers long term treatment plans. You've heard of people who have suffered for decades with back pain, then go to a chiropractor, and then come home happy as a clam, free from pain, right? Well, those people went to see a straight chiropractor. The doctor was able to relieve the pressure in the back, and provide instant relief. The downfall here is that in relief care, the results are often temporary. As chiropractors, aside from reform specialists, are not traditional doctors, they cannot prescribe medicines, nor can they do invasive surgeries. Thus, they cannot physically correct all types of disorders of the spinal cord. This is where the concept of 'maintenance' comes in. When a straight chiropractor provides care for a patient, they often refer them to a mixed specialist, who can provide a long term treatment plan. These professionals provide regular office visits to help maintain the proper alignment, and keep the pain from reoccurring.2. Corrective Care: In the corrective care methodology, the goal is to completely repair the body. The therapies are meant to be long term, and the medicine used is both in the traditional and chiropractic fields. Both mixed, and reform, doctors offer this type of care. If you have a type of spinal injury that can be corrected, or suffer from skeletal issues that can be adjusted, then corrective care is probably where your doctor will send you.From diagnostic medicine, to minimally-invasive procedures (by certified Reform doctors), corrective care is perhaps the most productive, and long term results driven type of chiropractic care. This does, however come at a cost. As most corrective care specialists offer traditional medicine, as well as pharmacological care, the costs can be much higher than just relief/maintenance care. This is natural, as to FIX a problem will always cost you more, than when you use a simple 'band aid' approach. Understanding what type of healing methodology a potential Chiropractor practices will help you pick the right one for your unique needs. Knowing if you want a quick fix or a longer term result is also vitally important. All of those decisions will allow you to choose the best possible care, for the best possible price.Chiropractors are licensed Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) also known as chiropractic physicians. They are trained extensively in the biomechanics of the body as a whole and on improving the relationship between the structure and function of the body. There are many reasons to consider a career as a chiropractor and ten of them are highlighted below.1 - Rewarding work A chiropractor's work is very rewarding. Chiropractors help individuals to improve their overall health and wellness, avoid injuries, recover from injuries, and manage or eliminate pain and dysfunction.2 - Respected work Chiropractic is recognized by the National Institutes of Health as an effective healthcare practice. Researchers worldwide have published studies and continue to study and report on the many positive effects of chiropractic care. Chiropractors have helped millions of people rehabilitate from chronic and debilitating pain and dysfunction. Celebrities, professional athletes, and military veterans are among the many who have been helped by chiropractic and who act as spokespersons for The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. 3 - Accredited academic work Doctors of Chiropractic must earn an advanced degree from a nationally accredited college or university. There are 16 accredited programs in the U.S. The Doctor of Chiropractor Degree combines classroom learning, laboratory, and clinical experience.4 - Professional state license A chiropractor can only practice in the state or states where he or she is licensed. All states require a passing score on the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners test in addition to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree to be eligible for a state license. This helps to ensure the quality and integrity of the profession.5 - More than just back treatment Clinical studies have shown the effectiveness of chiropractic not only for back pain but also other pain and dysfunction throughout the body. Chiropractors are trained to address the biomechanics of the body as a whole. They regularly treat patients for leg, back, hip, neck, and shoulder pain; headaches; fibromyalgia; arthritis; digestive disorders; and many other ailments.6 - Proactive care Chiropractors are advocates for healthy lifestyles and injury prevention. They regularly treat patients for general health and fitness to prevent injury before it occurs. Many athletes see a chiropractor as part of their training regime. The health benefits received from chiropractic care can lead to a greatly improved quality of life.7 - Holistic care Chiropractic is an all-natural healing and wellness healthcare practice. It has helped millions of patients worldwide to avoid the high costs, risks, and potential side effects commonly associated with pharmaceuticals or surgery.8 - Covered by most health insurance Medicare and most health insurance companies cover chiropractic visits. Research has shown chiropractic to be an effective preventative and rehabilitative therapy. It has helped many people avoid costly and invasive surgeries. 9 - Be your own boss Most chiropractors have a solo practice, which allows them to be their own boss. A starting chiropractor will typically work for an established chiropractor in the beginning before venturing into solo practice.10 - Job outlook good According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor of Bureau Statistics, "employment of chiropractors is expected to increase 20 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations." 1References:U.S. Department of Labor, Labor of Bureau Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Chiropractors. Retrieved February 29, 2012 http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos071.htm.