15 November 2006

Clinic Week 7 Update

Clinic has been awesome and challenging at the same time. There are some fantastic faculty clinicians, and there are some that are just a bit too paranoid about us working on the patients. If we do any sort of adjustment that causes pain, then some doctors want us to completely avoid those adjustments. I know it's not fun to feel pain, but it's better to have a painful atlas adjustment with an instrument that lasts for 5-10 seconds (trust me on this, this is the MOST painful chiropractic adjustment on the human body), than to walk around for a week or two suffering from muscle spasm, headache, ear ache, and other issues related directly to that subluxation and its compensatory affects on the rest of the body's posture.

I've had a number of patients declare that it's a painful adjustment. . . this is AFTER I tell them it's going to be a very tender adjustment. After I adjust them, I tell them to apply ice if it continues to be sore, and that it may be sore up to two days afterward. But, it goes away . . . and so do the corresponding issues related to the subluxation. I don't do anything to my patients that I haven't had done to me. And I KNOW it will benefit their overall health. But, when a clinician sees a patient wincing in pain, they want us to stop cold turkey. I'm thinking these are the same clinicians who believe in band-aid chiropractic care. I believe in corrective chiropractic care. I believe that I can help the patients restore structural correction, and that they can learn to take care of their own spinal health so they're not dependent on me or anyone else for feeling good for the rest of their lives.


There are definitely interns and doctors who disagree with this point of view. Docs AND patients think that chiropractic should be a once a week for a lifetime type of care. I don't consider that wellness care (how can they be well if they have to come in once a week forever?). I think wellness is actually getting a patient's spine as close to optimal as possible. Then, they come in as needed. That may be once a month, twice a year, or until the next time they have a trauma (car accident, athletic injury, etc.) If patients are maintaining their own health through home rehab, then they don't need a doctor. I'd much rather empower the patient, then make a patient dependent on me. That's the POINT of wellness care chiropractic. Some docs and interns scoff and tell me they hope I have enough money to practice with that philosophy. At that point, I realize where their interest and insecurity truly lies. It's not about money or being scared that certain patients will never come back if we tell them they're ALL BETTER. It's about changing lives by showing people they're their own doctors. The more people that I can help by fixing their spines, the more time I have to see NEW patients.

My patients who are getting results, the ones who have relief from sciatica for the first time in years, the ones who can have a full night's sleep for the first time in memory, the ones who no longer suffer from anxiety or headaches . . . they're the ones who are doing their home rehab and spinal exercises. I can't fix a spine by seeing a patient once a week for months on end. Patients fix their spines by retraining their muscles and ligaments and doing the work at home. It's making a difference and I'm so proud of them for taking charge of their health!

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