Why Don’t Medical Doctors Refer To Chiropractors?

In the past, the medical associations have shown resentment to other health professionals treating patients. So first and most importantly, it started out as a turf war. Second, Doctors of Medicine don’t really understand what Chiropractors do, as they were not trained in adjustment techniques.

With the opioid epidemic as a cause for the loss of many lives, an alternative pain management solution is needed.  The people need a solution that is free of the dangerous side effects. A solution that works side by side with opioid addiction.

In response to the opioid crisis the American College of Physicians recently issued new guidelines for pain management. This guideline for managing low back pain is highlighting spinal manipulation.

Authors reviewed studies related to treatments for adults with low back pain. These include the use of medications as well as other noninvasive treatments. Their recommendations include implementing chiropractic adjustments in order to postpone pharmacologic management.

According to this guideline, the initial treatment or most patients with acute and subacute pain should consist of heat therapy, massage, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation or chiropractic care. And the medications such as ibuprofen or muscle relaxers should be discussed only if these treatments do not work. For patients with chronic pain, the recommendations also include non-medication treatments such as corrective exercise, rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture, motor control exercises, low-level laser therapy, and spinal manipulation.

The researchers also suggest that opioids should be considered only if no other treatments work and only if there are more benefits than risks for an individual patient.

If you read our previous post you already know the risks of opioids. While those risks are frightening, the risk of care administered by chiropractors (spinal manipulation, corrective exercise, and active release technique) pose no serious threat and is associated only with transient “muscle soreness.

The chiropractors provide a conservative alternative to medications and more invasive procedures. Chiropractors can offer spinal adjustments as well as soft tissue therapies and exercises. This includes nutritional recommendations to help you obtain safe and effective pain relief without the risks that are associated with many medications and surgical procedures. 

Should doctors refer more patients to chiropractors? In the last few years, the health care community recognized the benefits of conservative care, such as chiropractic. This is especially true for patients with back pain. For that reason, patients should always discuss alternative treatments with their doctor. You may have heard that chiropractic doesn’t work for some people, and that’s true. Every patient is different and different treatments give different results. It all depends on the patient’s diagnosis, overall health, lifestyle and risk factors.

To find out if you are a candidate for treatment at our San Francisco chiropractic clinic in the North Beach Area, please call at 415–421–1115 or book an appointment online.