I was cruising through Twitter a couple of days ago and found a thread of orthopedic surgeon trashing the chiropractic profession. The purpose of the thread was to essentially persuade all patients to avoid chiropractors because they are dangerous and can hurt you.
Being a chiropractor, this may surprise you, but this thought process is completely crazy. I send people to other doctors and orthopedists all the time, sure sometimes they come back and recommend that I don’t adjust certain parts. While this is taken to heart, the whole treatment is based on what the person needs. In our office, we will not risk any unnecessary problems in order to fix the bigger problem.
Example, I have a hard rule in the office, I don’t adjust pregnant women in the first trimester. Is there any evidence to show that I shouldn’t do this, NO. But I don’t feel that comfortable doing it and I want to make sure that that the pregnancy is far enough along that I cannot possibly be the reason if the pregnancy is lost. First rule of medicine: Do No Harm.
Does it bother me and make me think when I read things that are detrimental to the profession and ultimately my business, sure it does but I know that every day I show up to the offices and do the best I can. Telling the truth, treating people with respect and having a little fun with people are wonderful things. I’m comfortable, I have friends and family in the medical profession, some are patients, some look at me like I’m a quack. At the end of the day, I’m comfortable with what I do and love what I do.
I’d be naïve to tell you that dissecting aneurisms don’t exist, that abdominal aneurisms don’t cause lower back pain, headaches can have a deeper meaning than a cervicogenic origin or that kidney’s can’t cause middle back pain. All of these things are true and definitely need a higher level of care than a chiropractor. There is a certain subset of patients that have never been to a medical doctor and would put their life in the hands of a chiropractor. On a micro level, I can understand the line of thinking but on a macro level, this is nuts.
I have to think to myself sometimes when these patients come in, have they been conned by a chiropractor out to make a buck and what underlying health conditions are lingering that could have been addressed sooner. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing that I’m a huge advocate for, but my purpose is to be a little piece of the puzzle. If I can help take the pain away for those with back or neck pain or simple musculoskeletal complaints, then I hope I can be the best at doing just that.
The profession is known for taking the crazy position or going against the grain when it comes to care of the body as a whole. I’m not anti supplements, I just don’t sell them. I’m not anti stem cell injection, I just don’t do them. I don’t know much about deionizing foot bath, hell I’m terrible at treatment plans but I feel like my patients are comfortable in the office, as they get the truth and most of them get better.
Moral of this story: The vast majority of the medical community will think you are a little crazy, but at the end of the day you need to take pride in your work and get people well. I know wealthy crooked chiropractors and crazy smart, poor chiropractors. The profession runs the gambit. I sleep well at night (at least when my little boys do) and I’m very comfortable in my skin within the profession.