With so many people suffering from spine related conditions, Chiropractors are poised to provide front-line evaluation and management of back pain and other common spine care conditions. Spine care presents unique challenges : (1) the lack of a clearly defined lesion in most cases, (2) the role of psychosocial factors in symptom development and continuation, (3) the lack of training by general practitioners regarding spinal conditions. Numerous guidelines exist for the management of back pain but the dispersion and use of “best practices” falls short.
Chiropractors spend four years of graduate studies dedicated to anatomy and differential diagnosis of spinal related disorders. With a large problem list and patients concerned about the cost and complications that come with surgery and injections, a conservative holistic approach is best suited to address back pain and other spine care related issues. Chiropractic care is safe in the hands of a well trained professional. The worse that can happen is that nothing happens. Cases that do not respond to conservative treatment are the referred to the right specialist and co-managed in an integrated fashion. The right specialist depends on the the history, physical exam findings and progress made with conservative treatment.
Some physicians do not refer to chiropractors. But that is slowly changing. Well trained chiropractors acting as primary spine care practitioners have the training and skill to:
- Provide a differential diagnosis for spine related conditions and common joint injuries
- Know when to order imaging, lab work, and/or diagnostic tests.
- Know when/how to apply a variety of manual techniques for spine related conditions and common joint injuries.
- Emphasize active care over passive care.
- Understand contributing psychosocial aspects relative to back pain.
- Engage in shared decision making with the patient.
- Communicate with medical professionals in a collegial and collaborative manner.
- Empower the patient and foster independence from practitioners.
- Keep you informed every step of the way.