As an alternative health care provider, sometimes I can’t help but feel like people continue to overlook us until they really want us.
Not an uncommon experience.
Back pain has been the proverbial “thorn in the side” of the modern healthcare system. The majority of the population experiences it, finding an effective treatment can provide a monstrous challenge for allopathic medicine, and lastly it is a COSTLY problem (estimates start at 10 BILLION.) How this problem is managed has always presented a challenge for the American health care system.
Before I go off on too many tangents, the reason I bring this up is because the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published an article providing an overview of mechanical low back pain. The article discussed the problem of back pain including what causes it, but it also promoted the use of conservative treatment for back pain. Conservative management including chiropractic care!
Now for most people that article may not sound surprising, but many of you may not realize that chiropractors and the American Medical Association haven’t always gotten along. Their relationship started off with a lot of bickering and name calling, and decades later could still only be described as tenuous.
No one captures “tenuous” like Bill Watterson.
Over the last few years there has been a lot of improvement, but that underlying tension has stuck around and we generally were not the people your doctor would refer to. So you could imagine our excitement at the notion of being RECOMMENDED as a first step with the treatment of back pain!
Chiropractors (as well as their patients) have known for a long time that we are the go-to doctors for mechanical back pain. The problem has always been that without endorsement from primary care physicians and medical doctors, chiropractors have been considered a last resort when all else fails. Admittedly, many of us have always experienced a sense of pride with providing someone the secret to fixing their pain after everything else had failed; but just as many of us have wished we could have seen them sooner. Well, this new acceptance and recommendation could perhaps create that change we’ve been looking for!
The message is simple, back pain is a common problem that usually takes cooperation between many different doctors to correct. We are glad to finally be part of that schematic in the eyes of fellow health care providers. Chiropractors are the non-surgical specialists of the musculoskeletal system, and finally we are being seen as such by our colleagues in healthcare. If you are dealing with back pain there are many places to start, but we are always happy to help you. –Dr. D