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Well Adjusted: Exactly What Is Chiropractic Care?

chiropractic doctor working on neck

Well Adjusted: Exactly What Is Chiropractic Care?

Written for the Mountain Times Oregon by Dr. Melanie Brown | Published 04/01/2022

I became interested in chiropractic care due to my stepmom’s experience. She had been seeing a neurologist for numbness in her right leg. After three MRIs and several tests, she had no answers. Her neurologist gave her two options — exploratory surgery or chiropractic care.

She visited a chiropractor who x-rayed her standing up and found the problem, which did not appear when she was lying down. She regained feeling back in her leg after three adjustments, and after a course of treatments, her symptoms completely resolved.

After this miraculous recovery, the whole family started seeing Dr. Sandstrom. We all benefited in different ways from our treatments. In my hometown in the 1990s, there was a stigma attached to visiting a chiropractor. At the time, most MDs would not recommend chiropractic care. However, I’m so glad her neurologist did!

What is a chiropractor?

Some people think that chiropractors just “crack backs,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A Doctor of Chiropractic (DCs) specializes in diagnosing and managing disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system (NMS) (e.g., nerves, muscles, and bones). DCs are considered portals of entry into the healthcare system, trained to diagnose whatever ails a patient and treat them if indicated or refer them to an appropriate specialist.

Besides providing chiropractic care, DCs screen for fractures, cancer, digestive problems, and more. When needed, chiropractors will order MRI studies, X-rays, special imaging tests, and blood and urine labs. In addition, DCs can perform minor surgery and deliver babies.

The time that medical doctors spend studying pharmacology, chiropractors spend on going more in-depth into the NMS system and learning how to adjust the body’s joints. Other aspects of our education are remarkably similar. For example, some chiropractors work in hospital and clinic systems. However, most chiropractors work in private practice.

How your MD and chiropractor can work together

Medical and chiropractic professionals work together to the benefit of their patients. Oregon Health & Science University has hosted CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) panels to educate its doctors about the benefits of alternative medicine, including chiropractic care. In addition, chiropractors are becoming more respected for the evidence-based care they provide for complex NMS disorders.

Thankfully, the days of medical doctors and chiropractors competing with and undermining each other are quickly fading. Patients benefit when we work together. And isn’t that the whole point of medicine!

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