Not all chiropractors are alike. Although they go by the same name, chiropractors can differ greatly in treatment goals. The traditional philosophy that chiropractic was based on has never changed, but for social acceptance, some chiropractors have. As a result, when patients go to different chiropractors they get different treatment schedules, results, and costs. This can be frustrating for the patient. If expectations aren’t met, patients stop care and never get to experience the great results chiropractic care can give them.
Like the typical M.D., the symptomatic relief chiropractor primarily focuses on back pain and headaches. The treatment plan is usually dictated by the patient’s symptoms and/or insurance coverage. This means shorter overall treatment time, but still leaves the patient far short of correcting the cause of the symptom. The patient may feel better temporarily, but the spine and nerve system remain in a pathological state. The body degenerates silently, resulting in damage to spinal discs, joints, and whatever part of the body the affected nerve supplies. The bottom line is that treating only symptoms still leaves the cause uncorrected. Over time, the body’s imbalance will be expressed through another series of symptoms.
A wellness chiropractor follows the traditional philosophy of care. Originally, chiropractic was designed to maintain health of the whole body by supporting nerve system integrity. The nerve system is our internal electrical system that regulates all functions of the body and keeps us alive. Although the traditional wellness chiropractor wants his or her patients to feel better, their primary focus is removing the nerve interference (subluxation). A treatment plan will focus on resetting the nerve system to a more balanced state. The wellness chiropractor may use advanced diagnostics like nerve system scans or X-rays. These diagnostic procedures may be repeated at regular intervals to monitor progress of subluxation reduction.
When choosing a chiropractor, ask questions. Do you focus on subluxation? Do you provide wellness care? Do you teach about diet and exercise? Wellness doctors will say yes, we do.
About the author: Dr. Barbara Kaiser, DC, CCWP, is a wellness-certified chiropractor at Vital Life Chiropractic in Eagan, Minnesota.