By: Shelly Barkat, DC
Manual medicine delivered by chiropractors specializes in drug-free pain treatment that is both effective and efficient. This untapped, hands-on healthcare service for musculoskeletal pain answers desperate social outcries for lower healthcare costs, shorter wait times and less use of prescriptions.
Chiropractors are the first line of care for musculoskeletal pain with same-day and Saturday visits as well as workplace care. Patients can expect an order and review of imaging (i.e. X-rays and MRIs), an orthopedic exam, thorough discussion of the cause of their symptoms and a patient-focused treatment plan. Beyond the manual manipulation, chiropractors perform muscle strengthening and stretching, muscle stimulation, kinesiotaping and ergonomic review of workstations and activities of daily living.
Manual medicine offers many options to reduce pain and return quality of life to individuals. Chiropractors know when and when not to perform manual manipulations/adjustments, and they often use instruments to ensure patient comfort. They treat all age groups and treat pain areas well beyond the back such as knees and shoulders. The highly synergistic relationship between chiropractors, physical therapists and interventional pain care physicians creates a conservative and specialized treatment plan for pain and preventative measures.
Physician offices and hospitals have begun to recognize the powerful impact chiropractors can have in patient care, and many are incorporating manual medicine into their services. Organizations who take advantage of this resource for their workforces can realize healthier outcomes, lower healthcare costs and improved employee satisfaction. Musculoskeletal pain is often a result of activities of daily living and structural weakness combined. Tapping into this physician force offers a unique opportunity to serve our workforce and revive our ailing healthcare system.