Chiropractic has had a history of riding on the outskirts of mainstream healthcare, but all this is changing with evidence based chiropractic. More and more people are coming to Chiropractors now than ever before and are realizing the benefits of the physical treatments that Chiropractors can provide for relief of their aches and pains. With more and more chiropractic effectiveness studies appearing, Chiropractors have now moved into mainstream healthcare with an evidence-based approach. Consider the following:
- Nearly every healthcare insurance in the U.S. offers Chiropractic benefits.
- Chiropractic has been endorsed by The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- 90% of professional athletes utilize Chiropractic to stay at the top of their game with almost all professional teams having a Chiropractor on staff.
- Chiropractic has been recommended by The American Pain Society and The American College of Physicians.
- Chiropractors have earned physician status in most states.
- Chiropractors attend 8 years of college education to earn their doctorates with total credit hours equivalent to that of MDs and DOs.
- Medicare reform is occurring in an effort to include all services provided by Chiropractors.
- Hospitals have been implementing Chiropractic care as part of their treatment options and some Chiropractors have hospital privileges.
- The effectiveness of manipulation has been established with chiropractic and headaches research.
- Other health care professionals are utilizing joint manipulation like Chiropractors in their treatment of musculoskeletal conditions including Physical Therapists and Medical Doctors. In truth, osteopaths have been manipulating joints and muscles since the profession’s conception and before the advent of Chiropractic.
- Many Chiropractors have integrated practices that include medical staff such as MDs, DOs, PTs, and Nurse Practitioners.
- In some states, Chiropractors have prescription rights.
So, what is it exactly that has changed? In a word…research. Funding for Chiropractic research has grown tremendously along with its increased demand, and this has allowed the profession to show its effectiveness in treating a multitude of conditions. And, as the profession grows, more Chiropractors are using the evidence-based approach to care. That is to say that more of the profession is adopting a style of practice that utilizes treatments that have been proven by scientific research to be effective. This change probably explains why more medical professionals are not only referring to Chiropractors but are also Chiropractic patients themselves. Chiropractors use the same physical examination procedures used by mainstream medical professionals using the same terminology to make communication easy. Many Chiropractors no longer ascribe to the philosophy that a subluxation or misalignment is to blame for organic disease. Rather, as the evidence shows, they believe improper alignment and movement is at the root of the majority of joint and muscle pain.
Essentially, the evidence-based view of musculoskeletal conditions is this: Due to acute trauma, repetitive trauma, or bad habits, our position and movement becomes altered. Big or small, further changes in our body’s mechanics occur over time. Joints misalign. Muscle tone imbalance occurs. The shape and character of our soft tissue and bones is altered. Eventually the changes lead to increased stress, wear and tear on our tissues. Our muscles become tight and contracted and dysfunctional. We develop arthritis, tendinitis, ligament damage, nerves become entrapped or irritated, and we are in pain. Therefore, treatment by an evidence-based Chiropractor focuses on normalizing those mechanical dysfunctions with goals like improving range of motion, tenderness, tightness, inflammation, nerve function, and of course pain.
Patients suffering from joint, muscle, and even nerve pain can consider Chiropractic as an alternative to medication or surgery. Typical treatment from Chiropractors includes: manipulation of joints and soft tissue; physiotherapies such as electro-muscle stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, traction, and decompression; and rehab like targeted stretches and exercises. In Oklahoma, Chiropractors also have the option to advance their scope of practice to perform injectable therapies with vitamins, minerals, and neutraceutical medicines effective to decrease inflammation, help repair joints and soft tissue, and decrease pain. If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, chances are, there is a Chiropractor close by that can help.