Choosing A Chiropractor For Optimum Chiropractic Care

Key Facts About Chiropractors

History of chiropractic

The chiropractic profession was established long ago in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer who realized that though chiropractic techniques had been used for thousands of years, no one had looked at the rationale to explain their effects.

He performed his first adjustment as an established chiropractor in 1895, improving the hearing of a deaf janitor who had suffered from back pain for over 17 years.

The profession became licensed, and today there are more than 70,000 active chiropractic licenses in the United States!

Key Facts and Figures About the Chiropractic Profession

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. These disorders include, but are not limited to: back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) practice a conservative approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. DCs have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, lifestyle and dietary counseling.

  • There are more than 70,000 chiropractors in the United States who are required to pass a series of four national board exams  and be state licensed. Roughly another 3,000 chiropractors work in academic and management roles. 
  • There are approximately 10,000 chiropractic students  in 18 nationally accredited, chiropractic doctoral graduate education programs  across the United States with 2,500 chiropractors entering the workforce every year.
  • An estimated 40,000 chiropractic assistants (CAs)are in clinical  and business management roles for chiropractic practices across the United States.
  • It is estimated that chiropractors treat more than 35 million Americans (adults and children) annually.  
  • Chiropractors are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs  through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship,  with the average DC program equivalent in classroom hours to allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.
  • Chiropractors are designated as physician-level providers in the vast majority of states and federal Medicare program. The essential services provided by chiropractors are also available in federal health delivery systems, including those administered by Medicaid, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and all state workers’ compensation programs.

What Disorders Do Chiropractors Treat?

Chiropractors diagnose and treat many different spinal disorders that cause musculoskeletal or nerve pain. Similar to other types of doctors, a chiropractor performs a physical and neurological examination as part of his or her process of making an accurate diagnosis. X-rays or CT scan studies may be ordered to confirm your diagnosis. This article highlights several spine-related problems that may be evaluated and treated by chiropractic care.

Back sprains and strains are experienced by approximately three out of four adults. Sprains are caused when ligaments—the tough bands of tissue that hold bones together—become overstretched or torn. Strains involve a muscle and/or a tendon.  Either one can occur when you lift too much weight, play a strenuous sport, or even bend or twist improperly during regular activities during the day. The pain may be aching, burning, stabbing, tingling, sharp, or dul

Cervicogenic headaches are caused by referred neck pain. The pain from this type of headache is usually felt at the back of the head, in the temples, and/or behind the eyes. A cervicogenic headache may be mistaken for migraines or cluster headaches.

Coccydynia is pain that develops in the spine’s tailbone. Some people who fall down or who ride a bike for a long time may develop coccydynia, which can get worse when sitting.  Sometimes the pain begins without any known cause.

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is usually associated with aging.  As you become older, your intervertebral discs— the pillow-like cushions between your vertebrae—can degenerate or break down due to years of strain, overuse, or misuse. The discs may lose flexibility, elasticity, and shock absorption. They also become thinner as they dehydrate.

Herniated disc usually occurs in the neck or low back. A herniated disc can cause pain when the outer ring (annulus) or interior matter (nucleus pulposus) presses on a nearby nerve root.

Myofascial pain is a chronic pain disorder where pressure on sensitive points in your muscles—called trigger points—can cause deep, aching pain in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is known as referred pain. Sometimes myofascial pain feels like a “knot” in your muscle, and occurs after a muscle is used repeated

A CHIROPRACTOR OR A MASSAGE THERAPIST: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

What most chiropractors and massage therapists have in familiar is; they use their hands to treat you, both of the treatments have immediate effect and they provide drug-free alternatives to pain management.

What differs them from one another is that chiropractors are focusing on manipulating hard tissues (your bones), while massage therapists work on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

The main goal of a chiropractor is to release subluxations in the spine to make sure that your body and your nervous system are at their optimal level. Massage therapist is focusing on treating muscular conditions only and they aim to relieve muscle pain, tension, and stiffness.

Is chiropractic subluxation theory really so different? How many chiropractors even believe it?

I’ve heard many chiropractors scoff dismissively that “most chiropractors don’t believe subluxation theory anymore anyway.” Even if they are right, it admits that the profession is still burdened with a faction that does believe. But it’s not that small a faction. In fact, it’s probably a large one, between those who vocally defend the original, untainted theory and those who avoid the term because of its baggage but still believe it quietly, or who reject the most extreme versions but are still deeply influenced by the theory.

Openly defending the original chiropractic subluxation theory are many chiropractors who often call themselves “straight” chiropractors, meaning “pure.” Straights subscribe to the full, traditional “subluxation theory” more or less exactly as formulated more than a hundred years ago, they practice “subluxation-based chiropractic,” and they definitely think of a chiropractic subluxation as being fundamentally different than how a doctor would define subluxation. They believe that subluxations cause not only back and neck pain, but practically any health problem, simply by impinging or irritating spinal nerve roots.

Finding The Right Veterinarian For Your Labrador Retrievers

Steps To Take When Choosing A Good Vet

Whether you’re a new pet owner or have owned several pets for years, it’s a good idea to select a veterinarian before you actually need one. This way, you’ll be working with someone who you feel comfortable with and seems to have a good rapport with your pet rather than a vet who is simply nearby, open, or listed first in the Yellow Pages

Check Out The Website

Look at each veterinarian’s website for a glimpse of the vet’s personality, staff, and capacity. While someone can be an excellent vet and still have a less-than-impressive website, it’s still a quick way to narrow down a long list

Ask For Recommendations

There are plenty of resources you can use to get recommendations for a vet. Many animal-centered organizations, like pet shelters, boarding businesses, and grooming salons, as well as other pet owners, will generally be happy to provide you with the name of the vet they know and trust.

Understand How The Clinic Operates

Vet clinics can be run using a range of business methods, and you want to find the one that best suits your needs. Call the clinic and speak to the office manager or similar authority figure. Ask questions about hours, overnight care practices, billing details, and any other services associated with the clinic.

Meet With Each Vet

Once you have a short list of possible veterinarians for your dog, make appointments to meet with each vet. Schedule some time to talk with the vets without your pet. Ask a series of questions about important topics, such as their training, whether they participate in continuing education, their approach to treating pets, and the variety of services their vet clinic provides

How to Choose a Veterinarian

I’m going to take a guess that you’d rather not find yourself poking through Yelp reviews for a good vet the morning after your dog has kept you up all night having diarrhea. (Yes, my insight is amazing!) The best time to pick a vet is, of course, before you even have a dog. Or, if you happen to have found the world’s cutest Dogalini on the street, then start looking for a vet about 5 minutes after you get her home. Or, if you’re moving, then start new-vet-shopping right about the time you start to pack.

Ask for Referrals

Your friends probably aren’t vet-evaluating experts any more than you are, but they can tell you whether the vet or the techs in an office manhandle the animals or coax them into cooperating, whether the office returns calls promptly, and how good the vet is at explaining health issues.

Check Qualifications and Expertise

DVMs and VMDs are the general practitioners of the veterinary world. But you’ll find many who treat only “small animals” (a label that stretches to include your 130-pound Mastiff). Also, some vets work mainly with dogs, or cats, or “exotics.” A species-limited vet can be a big plus. Doctors for humans work with just one species, of course, and can usually use words to communicate with their patients. A general practice vet, on the other hand, has to cultivate knowledge about several species, and not one of his patients can say to him, “Doc, it’s a chronic burning pain and it started last Tuesday.” So it can be a big plus if your vet limits her practice to a few species, or just one.

Get a Tour

Call in advance, explain that you’re a prospective client, and set a convenient appointment – you don’t want to show up in the middle of an emergency, or at a just plain busy time. The whole clinic should be clean, of course. Do cut them some slack if a sick animal just vomited, urinated, or defecated, but overall the place shouldn’t reek. On your tour, keep a sharp eye out for the surgery room or suite. It should be squeaky clean, not used for storage or as a hangout for the office cat. If there’s a surgery taking place, you won’t be going in, but take the opportunity to make sure the office practices good sterile technique. Look for a full gown, mask, and gloves, not just a scrub top.

Ask About Pain Management

Weirdly specific, you think? Nope. Not only is pain a huge issue for sick animals, old animals, and animals recovering from surgery, but also how pain is managed tells you a lot about how up to speed a veterinary practice is. Once upon a time, in the Dark Ages, vets used to shy away from pain meds because they believed that animals in pain would remain quiet and thus heal more quickly. Notice I call that the Dark Ages: The truth is that good pain control speeds recovery and lowers the odds of certain complications, both in people and in other animals. As a behavior specialist, I often see pain contributing to aggression and other problems, as well.

Steps to Finding the Perfect Vet

When I adopted my first dog, Ralph, over 10 years ago, I had no idea how to choose a vet. How do you know what kind of practitioner is best for your particular dog, and once you choose one, how do you know if you’ve made the right choice? I complicated matters with several cross-country moves, which meant finding a new vet in a new place each time. We’ve also added to the family with another dog, Radar, and three rascally cats. Needless to say, after many years, many moves, and many veterinarians, I’ve become something of an expert on selecting the perfect vet for my pet family.

Know your pet’s needs in advance

Before you start visiting veterinary practices and asking questions, make a list of priorities for you and your pet. This will help you ask the right questions as you narrow down your options

Here’s my own checklist of veterinarian must-haves (but keep in mind yours may vary depending on your dog):

Knowledge and support for select holistic/alternative treatments, balanced with up-to-date facilities and cutting edge medical technologies and care.

Generous appointment times (I ask a lot of questions, and there’s nothing worse than feeling rushed at the vet).

Support for area pet rescue organizations (it’s important to me that my vet be invested in the local animal welfare community).

Smaller practice. I’m at the vet pretty frequently with my gaggle of pets, so I prefer a place where I know I can see the same doctor every visit and develop a friendly relationship with the staff. Many larger veterinary hospitals offer incredible care (and greater flexibility in scheduling), so it really comes down to personal preference.

How to start (and narrow down) the search

Once you’ve zeroed in on what you want from a veterinarian, it’s time to actually find a few candidates. Good old fashioned word-of-mouth is the best place to start.

Schedule a tour

Once you’ve found one or two potential vets, plan a facility visit without your dog to get a feel for the place itself. Any reputable veterinary practice will be more than happy to show you around and make you feel welcome

Tips for Choosing the Right Vet for Your Pet

When it comes to choosing a vet for your pet, it’s important to choose a veterinarian you can trust, and who you feel you would have a connection with. They’ll be responsible taking care of your best friend’s medical needs to ensure they live a long, happy and healthy life, especially when it comes to emergency care. It makes sense that you take the time to research the vets in your area to find the one that best works for you and your needs.

Establish the kind of care your pet needs

Not all vets treat every type of animal, so you’ll need a vet that deals with your pet’s species. You also need to think about the care that your pet will need. Do they need just routine care, or do they have a specialist condition that will require a different level of care?

Establish the vet’s accreditation and experience

Before you consider any veterinarian practice, check that they’re accredited by the Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians (APAV). You may also want to check out the qualifications held by the vet, and the veterinary assistants and nurses. The length of time the staff stay with the practice should give you an indication of the general working environment within the clinic itself.

How attentive are the staff to your pet?

The level of attention a vet gives to both you and your pet is a crucial factor for finding a great vet. If they are not attentive enough, it’s possible that they may miss vital clues of potentially more serious conditions. Take notice of how the vet and the practice staff interact with animals. Do they show a genuine love and concern for animals? How much time are they prepared to spend with your pet assessing any issues.  You’ll be able to judge this from their body language and the way they treat the animals that come into their surgery.

How attentive are the staff to you?

While it’s important to ensure that your pet is getting the right level of attention from the vet, you also need to feel that they’re able to communicate easily with you. A good relationship with your vet relies on communication, shared values, and the feeling that you can ask questions when you don’t quite understand what is going on. You need to feel that your vet will listen to your concerns, and give you confidence in the way they diagnose and treat your pet.

How to Choose a Vet

If you are thinking of getting a pet, or already have one, then it is essential to register with a vet. You should do this while the pet is healthy, because it can take time to find the right vet for you and your animal. Don’t wait until the animal is sick to start looking around. When it comes to choosing a vet you need to balance several factors, including convenience, cost, expert knowledge, and compatibility

Keep your type of pet in mind. Not all vets will treat all species. Make sure the vet has experience with your species of pet. For instance, even if a vet has a very good reputation as a canine vet, this is useless if you own a rabbit, because the two species are very different.

Consider practicality. There is little use in registering with a perfect practice if they are a two or three hour drive away. In an emergency situation you may not have two or three hours’ time to spare. Always consider how quickly you can get to the practice in the event of an emergency.

Decide what services you need your vet to provide. If you have a low income, then cost may be a deciding factor. If your pet has a very specific health issue then you will need a vet that has the equipment, and knowledge, to treat that issue.

Make a list of veterinarians in your area. Do an internet search or look at a telephone directory, or the local press for adverts. Most clinics have websites so go to the website to get an idea of how many staff the clinic has, the facilities, specialities, and for the overall feel of the practice.