Chiropractors play an important role as health care providers in our community. I know many patients who have responded well to chiropractic care. In fact, I am fortunate to be located next door to an excellent kinesiologist who has been in the area for fifty years. It’s my opinion that chiropractors who focus on kinesiology get the best results. In a recent conversation with a colleague, I learned that Duke has also begun to embrace the kinesiology model in the orthopedic surgery spine division under Doctor Bill Richardson, arguably the best orthopedic neurosurgeon in North Carolina.
Chiropractors, just like orthopedic surgeons, come in all different flavors. It’s been my experience that chiropractic intervention is underutilized until all else has failed. Many patients have lost hope and don’t know where to turn or what to do. These feelings put patients at great risk not only for exploitation, but expectation/result mismatch and all its unpleasantries. Too often patients are promised pain relief in exchange for expensive time on the “stretch table,” or treatment with the laser. These treatments undoubtedly feel good until they run out, but also have significant risks. It’s not the equipment, but the skill of the provider that matters.
Say No to Traction Tables
As orthopedic surgeons, we don’t like traction tables for the spine or any joint. We’ve all seen patients with horrible injuries like avulsion of cervical cord roots, but that’s extremely rare. What’s more common is that pieces of the joint surface that have developed in response to gravity can potentially break off into the knee joint or into the nerve root facets, prompting immediate if not emergent surgery.
Chiropractic Care a Useful Supplement
Chiropractic care is not the end-all for most of the patients who come into our office. Chiropractic care is, however, a useful supplement to consider, particularly in the younger, driven population (the US military comes to mind immediately). No chiropractor should try to sell you anything, and good providers won’t.
Referral for kinesiology can yield excellent results. One option patients have is working closely with a chiropractor to gain range of motion before strengthening, particularly if you intend to undergo a joint remodeling procedure to reverse arthritis. Full range of joint motion is mandatory for an everlasting result. We use joint mobilization techniques where a nerve block is instituted in our clinic to produce pain relief during the mobilization.