Whether you’re curious about chiropractic and have never been treated by a chiropractor before, or you’ve already experienced the benefits of chiropractic care and just want to learn more, below are some questions that have probably crossed most people’s minds about chiropractic. Augusta GA Chiropractors Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic welcome questions, and we always encourage our patients to ask questions, whether they occur before, during or after their treatment. That’s why complimentary consultations are an important part of the patient experience at our clinic. We want you to remain in control of your own healthcare, and we believe the best way to do so is for you to know exactly what is going on and understand the why’s and how’s behind it.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
Pain is often what first brings a person into a chiropractic office, however, if a condition is caught before this stage the amount of treatment required is often greatly reduced, and pain can probably be avoided. Conditions such as twinges, stiffness, pins and needles, headaches, poor posture, and an uneven gait (method of walking) can indicate a possible problem within the spine. It would be wonderful if everyone had their spine checked at stages throughout the year, like a MOT for your spine, to catch small problems before they have a chance to become bigger and more serious.
DOES A CHIROPRACTOR HAVE TO HAVE A LICENSE TO PRACTICE?
Yes, and Doctors of Chiropractic are licensed in all 50 states. DCs have been licensed and recognized for many decades in all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
IS CHIROPRACTIC RECOGNIZED BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES?
Chiropractic is recognized by governmental health care programs. Chiropractic is included in Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Employees Health Care Benefits Programs, Federal Workers’ Compensation and all state workers’ compensation programs. Chiropractic students are qualified to receive federal student loan assistance and DCs are authorized to be commissioned as health care officers in the U.S. Armed Forces.
DO I HAVE TO SEE MY MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE I SEE A CHIROPRACTOR?
No. Doctors of Chiropractic are primary health care providers. According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, “The DC 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.”
HOW DO M.D.’s AND CHIROPRACTORS COMPARE?
It surprises most patients when they find out that the courses medical doctors and Chiropractors take in school are almost identical. Since medical doctors primarily prescribe drugs their course work and internships have a stronger focus on pathology and pharmaceuticals. Chiropractors treat primarily muscular and skeletal problems and focus more on anatomy and joint manipulation. Thus, the educational background of M.D.’s and Chiropractors are very similar.
There are, however, important differences. In general, M.D.’s are much better in the diagnosis and treatment of internal disorders or systemic disease. Chiropractors excel in the diagnosis and treatment of muscular skeletal disorders. Back pain would be one example. There is no need to see a medical doctor before seeing a Chiropractor. Doctors of Chiropractic are fully trained in diagnosis and will readily suggest your seeing a medical doctor if there is a need. The main difference between the two professions is that medical doctors treat primarily with drugs while Chiropractors work to return normal function to the body through hands on techniques. The important thing to keep in mind is that, many times, you will be best served by both doctors working together towards the goal of improved health.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHIROPRACTIC AND PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Chiropractors are doctors who are trained in the diagnosis of disease in the human body. Physical Therapists are not doctors and they have not received the training for diagnosis of human disorders. Chiropractors and Physical Therapists are similar in that they work towards normalizing the function of the physical body. Physical Therapists focus on the muscular system trying to reestablish normal strength and function. They have not received proper training in the manipulation of joints. Chiropractors, on the other hand, receive extensive training in both joint manipulation and in treating muscular dysfunction. As with medical doctors many patients can benefit from the utilization of a Chiropractor and Physical Therapist when working towards improved health.
IS CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT SAFE FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN?
Yes. Children usually respond quickly to chiropractic treatment. We’ve received special training in how to treat infants and children. Even “normal” births can cause unseen trauma to the spine. Toddlers and children learning to walk, ride bicycles and playing sports experience a variety of falls and jolts. Chiropractic treatment helps keep their spine and joints functioning correctly. Early chiropractic treatment can prevent problems in adulthood.
DO CHILDREN HAVE A NEED FOR CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT?
Even “normal” births can cause unseen trauma to the spine. Toddlers and children learning to walk, ride bicycles and playing sports experience a variety of falls and jolts. Chiropractic treatment helps keep their spine and joints functioning correctly. Early chiropractic treatment can prevent problems in adulthood.
CAN I HAVE CHIROPRACTIC CARE AFTER BACK OR NECK SURGERY?
Yes. We will alter the treatment to ensure that no stresses will be placed on a vulnerable part of your spine (after surgery people often find problems above or below the affected area). With the rest of the spine functioning optimally due to treatment, less stress will be put on the vulnerable segments.
If you feel you still have questions about chiropractic care you would like answered, feel free to give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic. Our patients here often comment on how they appreciate how we go above and beyond in making sure your questions are always answered and you completely understand what your treatment is, how your treatment works, and why it works. There’s nothing worse than leaving a doctor’s office feeling rushed or with more questions than you went in with.
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
Augusta GA Chiropractors Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care to the Augusta GA, Martinez GA, and Evans GA communities. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for a chiropractor in Augusta GA.