Alternative Medicine Becoming Mainstream
A few years back, Consumer Reports ran a survey asking it’s 34,000 readers to rank treatments which worked best for them.
Respondents to the survey reported that hands-on therapies, like chiropractic work best for their back pain and arthritis. Chiropractic ranked highest of all the conventional treatments, including prescription pain medication.
Other therapies which ranked well included acupuncture, and massage. Each of these ranked lower than chiropractic for treating back and neck pain.
Chiropractic care continues to rank highest even in repeat surveys
The original survey was back in 2005. It has been repeated by other organizations since that time and similar results have been found each time. Chiropractic out-ranks other treatments in patient satisfaction.
In the field, we are seeing more and more ‘new-comers’ to chiropractic. Each week, I see at least one new patient who is experiencing chiropractic for the first time. When I ask why they had waited so long, the usual response is “I never much back pain before.” What a great answer! The worst-case answer would be: “I tried all the other therapies, and nothing helped. You are my last resort.” Thankfully, I don’t hear that one often. I am finding that many people are educated about the dangers of using prescription pain meds. Rightfully, they steer clear of them and choose safe, effective chiropractic care as an alternative.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Many chiropractors, resist being labeled as alternative, maintaining that chiropractic is a mainstream service. According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, “The Doctor of Chiropractic can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider, as are MDs and DOs. The Doctor of Chiropractic is a gatekeeper to the health care system and an independent practitioner who provides primary care services. The DC’s office is a direct access portal of entry to the full scope of service.” The state of Utah recognizes chiropractic physicians are primary care, portal of entry physicians. We are able to treat human ailments (except communicable diseases and pregnancy).
Personally, prefer the term Complimentary instead of Alternative. The word ‘alternative’ suggests that a mutually exclusive choice is being made. I have found that chiropractic is much more complimentary. We add to the existing health model, instead of replacing it. Working closely with medical doctors has been a main-stay in my 18 years of clinical practice. I frequently get referrals from medical doctors to help co-manage chronic and acute pain.
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