Well, coming from a chiropractor you may get only industry bias from me, but I will try to lay out the core principles for any of you out there who are skeptical of chiropractors.
When you see the MD, his “expertise” other than to be somewhat knowledgeable in all areas of medicine, are pharmaceutical drugs and surgery. That is simply what the doctors get paid most for. That is not to say they choose surgical cases for everyone, they know the inherent risks of surgery, but if that is how your bread is buttered…Now if you have an infectious disorder or extreme acute trauma like a car accident or brain hemorrhaging they are the go to guys, but for cases of chronic pain and disorders that are acquired through years they may be less effective. Think about this, if you save lives in the ER room, then some of those desperate chronic cases seem less of a concern.
Chiropractors, while no less or more knowledgeable in the general areas of medicine, the focus is preventative and neuromuscularskeletal or NMS. This makes us specialists when it comes to anything doing with the muscle, joints, nerves, and bones.
Now many people tell me, “Oh, you’re a chiropractor, i have back pain”. This is a double -edged sword for our professsion. Because we have become renowned as back pain specialists many people see us as only this when many of us are so much more. Muscular relation to many of the chronic diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathies, tendonitis, plantar fascitis, etc makes chiros excellent choices for consultations regarding these injuries.
If you include nutritional supplementation (which has been essential to chiropractic education) chiropractors can assist and co manage systemic disorders such has diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition, gastrointestinal issues. etc. There are even chiropractors who can treat such neurological disorders as inner ear imbalance, autism, and epileptic seizures.
I was driving home listening to the radio one night when I heard a very well known doctor on his nightly radio program. The doctor’s name was Dr. Drew of MTV celebrity. His guest Christopher Titus, comedian, was expounding the benefits of chiropractic and how it had helped him through the years of dirt biking and extreme sports. I am a big fan of Dr. Drew, but to my dismay he slandered my profession saying, and I’m paraphrasing “I just don’t like it when these chiropractors who don’t have any education in pathophysiology begin diagnosing people’s disorders.” I was shocked to say the least.
Pathophysiology is learning the course of disease and how it comes to be realized in a person’s body through “pathogenic” factors like bacteria or virus, but also how a person gets longstanding back pain or diabetes. My retort is that Dr. Drew need to do some research before he makes certain claims, though chiropractors don’t have the extensive residency programs, the hours learning pathophysiology are on par with the MD degree. Furthermore, the state of California, gives chiropractors the right in this state to diagnose and treat. I doubt that we would be allowed to diagnose if we had no education on the subject of pathophysiology. Most physical therapists are not allowed to diagnose a problem only treat, and this is how the MD and American Medical Association want. They don’t want a PT telling an MD that muscular strain of the forearm is responsible for this patient’s carpal Tunnel because the MD wants to make money off the surgery, and the PT needs the MD for the diagnosis and prescription. What if you found a doctor that covers both of these services?
There are many chiropractors out there of various sorts and dispositions, but this profession would not have lasted the last 100 or so years in an environment where you opponent is the largest medical association in the world, had we not been effective.