Dr Bret Wilson

What Kind of Chiropractor are You

 What kind of chiropractor are you?
By Dr Bret

Dr Bret WilsonMy patients are generally divided into two categories.  The first is the patient who has been previously treated by a chiropractor, the second is the patient that is consulting a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) for the first time.  A common question from both is “What kind of chiropractor are you?”.  Other derivatives of the question include:  “What technique or method do you use to adjust?”  or  “Do you use (specific method)?”.  If it is a patient who has used chiropractic in the past, they are asking to find out if they are going to receive the same type of care.  If the first timer asks, it is usually because the person who recommended chiropractic, prefers a specific type of treatment.  In my consult with a new patient, I will ask about their previous chiropractic experience.  If they are a first timer, then I try to get an idea of what their expectations and concerns about chiropractic treatment might be.  In any case, it is wise to do a little research and ask some questions.  That way you, the patient, can choose the doctor that best suits your health care needs.

Technique (the methods and procedures the doctor will use to evaluate and treat your condition), is an important part of choosing a chiropractor.  There are by some estimates over 60 different methods used by chiropractors.  Then there are the combinations and modifications of various methods employed by each DC that creates even more possibilities.  The doctor, based on his training, experience and proficiency, will choose a technique that fits his practice model and allows him to serve his patients.

Chiropractors, like other professionals, may choose to specialize.  Pain relief, wellness care, sports injuries, pediatrics, rehabilitation and auto injuries are a few examples.

Doctors may rely on one primary technique, applying it to each patient as best he can.  Others will have a variety of treatments at their disposal, tailoring the method to best fit the situation.  Properly applied, the end result should be the same, treatment of the condition in the safest and most effective manner.

Evaluation and Analysis
Techniques are designed and taught to help the DC evaluate the patient to find the joint dysfunction causing their condition, then provide the method to treat the joint by some form of manipulation or adjustment.  The technique also provides the doctor with some feedback as to the effectiveness of the treatment.  The evaluation portion of the technique may utilize history, examination procedures, posture analysis, motion and static palpation, leg length checks, and x-ray.  The information garnered from these procedures helps the chiropractor to determine treatment recommendations.

The treatment part of the technique is the manipulation or adjustment.  The chiropractic adjustment is a gentle quick thrust to a specific joint, most commonly the spine, directed to reduce postural distortion or misalignment, and restore normal motion and function to the joint.   The adjustment may be delivered by hand, by instrument, with the aid of a specialized table or other equipment.  The doctor should discuss the type of treatments to be used in your case with you prior to beginning care.  During treatments, a continued dialogue about your response to treatment should be maintained.  This should include both benefits and reactions to the treatment.  Consider alternative treatment options or techniques if the desired response is not achieved.

Healthy Choices
Chiropractic care works well for many people for many conditions.  Certain conditions in specific people may respond better to one technique or another.  My experience as a chiropractic patient is that the varied techniques all have merit.  Properly applied by an experienced provider, results are positive.  The individual case or situation may respond better to on technique or multiple techniques.

There are many things to consider when choosing a chiropractor.  Technique is one of those criteria.  Discuss the treatment methods available to you when choosing a chiropractor. The point is that there are choices, and if the type of treatment you are receiving is not helping, I encourage you to try an alternative.  Consider all the options chiropractic health care has to offer.

Dr Bret Wilson