Copyright (c) 2014 LifeWorks Integrative health
Do medical doctors and chiropractors see eye to eye? In the past, MDs and DCs didn’t quite agree. Today, many chiropractors and medical doctors are working together to provide patients with the best care possible.
During the mid 1980’s, a political event caused a change regarding the medical community’s obvious disrespect for the field of chiropractic care. During this time frame, the American Medical Association or the AMA was sued for antitrust violations and the chiropractors won the case.
What did this mean for chiropractors? Medical doctors were no longer able to slander chiropractors! No billboard, magazine article, television advertisement or radio advertisement would mock the chiropractic industry. If anti-chiropractic slander seems shocking to you, how about AMA laws prohibiting medical doctors from publicly socializing with chiropractors? In the mid-1980s, this was the case. In today’s world, this is likely to seem very shocking. You are very likely to come across chiropractic-MD pairs that are friends, family members and even husband and wife.
Back to the question: what does your MD think about your chiropractor? In 1994, when the United States and the United Kingdom almost simultaneously published official guidelines for the treatment of acute lower back pain, both documents recommended spinal manipulation as the first choice of treatment for patients suffering from acute lower back pain. If you’ve ever been to a chiropractor before, you are likely very aware that spinal manipulation is the primary form of chiropractic treatment.
This was the first time ever that a non-chiropractic group of individuals had recommended chiropractic treatment based on research. The research is overwhelming. Spinal manipulation is seen as a safe, effective and cost-efficient form of care when compared to all over options patients can choose from when it comes to treating acute lower back pain. This report was not the end of recommending spinal manipulation in the treatment of chronic lower back pain. The research continued to pour in and the evidence is overwhelming when it comes to choosing spinal manipulation as the preferred treatment method for acute lower back pain.
According to these published guidelines, all patients who suffer from acute and chronic lower back pain should be paying a visit to their chiropractor first. However if everyone followed this guidelines, there would be a major shortage of chiropractors. Additionally, chiropractic care would be one of the most sought after professions.
While chiropractic care is becoming increasingly more popular and accepted by the medical field, many MDs do not have the knowledge about chiropractic care to recommend to inquiring patients. What is being done about the lack of education in the medical world about chiropractic care?
Many chiropractic offices go out of their way to educate medical doctors in their surrounding communities about the benefits of chiropractic care.Some medical schools are now offering “Alternative Medicine” courses in the curriculum of undergraduate MD programs as well as rotations in alternative medicine during post-graduate work.
Education is one of the best tools as more and more medical doctors are seeking chiropractors to work with when it comes to treating patients with chronic back and neck pain as well as headaches.
Again, looking at the question: what does your MD think about your chiropractor? The answer today is going to be far different from the answer most MDs would have given you in the mid-1980s. In today’s world, the MD/DC relationship continues to grow and improve. This is evident by the inclusion of chiropractic care in hospital program, on military bases and in VA hospitals and based on the fact that routine chiropractic care is covered by a vast majority of health insurance companies.