By Gary D. Dillon, DC –
Throughout my involvement in the community, I always seem to get stopped when people find out who I am. They stop me to ask me questions about their health, or someone’s health to whom they are close. This got me to thinking, and I decided to answer commonly asked questions about chiropractic. So here goes:
Dr. Dillon, are chiropractors real doctors?
Answer: Yes. Chiropractors are real doctors. Unfortunately, some people do not understand our training in terms of anatomy; physiology and diagnosis are close to the same. You must realize that anatomy is anatomy no matter what school you went to and the same can be said of physiology, and other courses. What generally differs is that where Medical doctors study pharmacology and surgery, we study spinal manipulation, therapeutic rehabilitation and other natural methods of treatment. Most studies show our trainings are nearly the same in other areas, with us having more hours in a few areas and them having a few more hours in other areas.
Once you go to a chiropractor, don’t you have to go for the rest of your life?
Answer: Many patients that have had success with chiropractic choose to go to a chiropractor for preventative or wellness reasons. The people who would ask that question are the same ones who would not think a thing by taking a pain medication for the rest of their life, but give them a healthier alternative and they think there is something wrong with it. No, they do not have to continue to go see their chiropractor any more than someone who is on cholesterol medicine has to continue to take the cholesterol medicine, or someone on a heart medication has to continue to take their heart medication or any more than the diabetic needs to take their insulin. Now, I know that someone is going to say that is ridiculous, but you see, none of those people have to take those medications…they get to…AND in doing so they get the benefit their medications provide. If they chose not to take their medications, then they chose to suffer the consequences. Similarly, patients who have had success with chiropractic do not have to go to the chiropractor, but they chose to due to the benefits they get…like reduced pain, improved range of motion and improved quality of life.
Can you help a disc problem?
Answer: Each doctor has their own area of expertise. In my office, I seem to be a magnet for people with disc problems. While there are some I send on for surgery, 85-90% of the disc cases I help significantly, without surgery. I even get a lot of people who come to me after they have already had surgery and are still having problems. I do a lot of post-surgical rehab!
Do you treat injured workers?
Answer: Yes. I treat large numbers of injured workers and attorneys refer injured workers to us due to our treatment abilities as well as our very high success rate in helping to defend injured workers and defend their case. I have other doctors consult me for advice on workers compensation cases.
Is chiropractic safe…that noise scares me.
Answer: Yes it is safe. Malpractice rates are like your car insurance rates. The more risk you are to an insurance company, the higher your premium. Similarly, the more risk a doctor is to the insurance company, the higher the malpractice premiums. Did you know that a chiropractors’ premium is normally less than $1,200 a year for the same coverage that a family doctor has? I have known cases that the MD’s premium is 3-4 times my own premium. Now that is not to bash the MD’s. I work with many of them and have a great relationship, but it is to set the record straight and say that chiropractic care is very safe as is demonstrated by our malpractice rates which would indicate our safety record is substantially better than traditional medical care.
Does insurance cover chiropractic?
Answers: Most insurance companies do cover chiropractic care. This also includes automobile coverage for auto accidents as well as workers compensation.
Don’t I have to have a referral to see a chiropractor?
Answer: No. Chiropractors are physicians and you can access us directly without a referral.
Who should see a chiropractor?
Answers: I tell my patients that they can see me for anything. However, that doesn’t mean I will treat everything. I have had patients come to me and we discovered terminal cancer, heart problems, female problems and the like. You see, I have a wide network of specialists and those patients were sent to the appropriate specialists. The typical patient that sees a chiropractor sees us because they are tired of suffering with neck pain, headaches, low back pain, sciatica, ruptured disc problems and the like.
A Question for You, from Dr. Dillon:
Is it better for you to keep taking pain killers, muscle relaxants and to hide your pain with drugs, all while your condition is getting worse without you knowing it. Or is it better to look for the cause of your pain and work to resolve the problems causing your pain?
Answer: Only you can answer that. However, I can tell you that with over 20 years of experience most of these conditions get worse. In a nut shell, this is what I hear from patients: “Doc, I have had this pain for years. It has always come and gone. But over the years, it seems like the pain keeps getting worse and it takes longer for it to clear up with each flare-up, and now, I can’t get rid of the pain.” If that sounds like you, then why put it off? Why wait until you can’t do your job, or worse yet, why wait until you need back surgery?
These are some of the most common questions I get as a chiropractor. Hopefully, I answered your questions. As always if you have any other questions that I haven’t addressed feel free to call my office.