Given the initials after my name, you can assume there’s going to be a bias in this post. Let’s just go ahead and assume it’s going to be a big one. The overall question, however, is–how many neck pain sufferers have not seen a chiropractor?
I’m sure the number is far too high. I remember sitting in the ER with a friend about 4 years ago. The ER was overcrowded and we were in the hall separated by a curtain. I could clearly hear the clinician talking with the patient in the area next to us (so much for HIPPA, huh?) and it was all I could do to not step next door, step in and suggest that I would be better off handling this.
Can we just accept that mainstream medicine gets a very poor education in musculoskeletal problems? Just like you wouldn’t want me removing your gallbladder or discussing whether you should take 10 or 80 mg of Lipitor (yeah–like THAT would even be on the discussion board…), we really need to accept that the average PCP does not have the training necessary to adequately manage most musculoskeletal problems.
I had a new patient in last week that has relatively straightforward non-specific low back pain. I expect her to be doing much, much better within 3-5 visits. The problem is she has been under medical care for a year which has included cortisone injections, an MRI and now Percocet, ibuprofen and gabapentin. She then mentions to me that her family has always had somewhat of a fear of chiropractors, and this is why she has been hesitant to see one.
Huh? Afraid of chiropractors? Let’s look a little closer at her care:
- She’s had maybe $5K-15K worth of services
- One YEAR of pain (which now has her unemployed and unable to work)
- She has been told by the pain management doctor that there are no other options
- She’s on a drug that the manufacturer paid $2.3 BILLION to the Justice Dept for offlabel promotion of gabapentin
- The list of dangerous side effects of NSAIDs like ibuprofen is so long as to be its own blog post
- Narcotic pain relievers (Percocet) now exceed illicit drugs in deaths and ER visits in this country
While her case is for low back pain, the clinical scenario with neck pain is not much different. This particular study just confirms what every practicing chiropractor already knows–chiropractic manipulation, in both the short and long term, was more effective than the medications typically used to treat them.
And, to my knowledge, no one’s ever experienced their stomachs rupturing with subsequent internal bleeding following an adjustment…