The DOCTOR of Chiropractic
Written by Editor   
Thursday, September 18, 2014 06:06 PM

The public consensus is that that chiropractors deal with back pain. This surely is true, and if you’ve got back pain, then the chiropractor is a logical option. But, chiropractors often address all musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Muscles, tendons, ligaments and the fascia connective tissues are all part of the MSK system. 

As licensed doctors, chiropractors or doctors of chiropractic (DC) have the duty to examine and diagnose your condition. DCs are also skilled hands-on providers trained to treat MSK conditions. They clearly are the most trained in providing joint manipulation. Modern chiropractic care combines manipulation with hands-on soft tissue procedures, exercise training, nutrition and ergonomic advice, as well as other modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound, low-level laser therapy, foot orthotics and sport taping, for example. This creates a package of care for all MSK conditions, from headaches to foot pain. Some obtain post-graduate certifications as well as specialist "diplomate" degrees in areas such as nutrition, neurology and sports medicine.

Most importantly, a DC with good clinical skills has the capacity to provide a thorough physical examination and astute diagnosis. Also, they can help direct your care with other providers. This can reduce the odds of getting duplicate care or unnecessary care. Done well, chiropractic medicine is a perfect complement to primary care medicine. In other words, the MD can focus on his or her specialty, internal medicine and not be burdened with the variety of MSK conditions that are orthopedic in nature but don’t require surgery, but instead would benefit from a hands-on approach to both diagnosis and treatment.

This is also a viable protocol for cases that need coordinated care by pain management specialists, PT-rehab providers or others. This type of system is in place in many locations across the U.S., including right here at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital’s Medical Back Pain Program in Plymouth. Their medical director is a chiropractor and they employ other DCs in the clinic and emergency department.