As a chiropractor, are you distinguishing your practice enough?
Patients with neck and back issues are often unsure which way they should go for care and treatment. Is chiropractic the best choice? What about physiatry? Or should they see an orthopedic surgeon?
In your educational marketing and in positioning yourself as an expert in your community, the answers to these questions may be quite helpful to potential patients.
Physiatry is sometimes defined as non-surgical orthopedic medicine, and these physicians can prescribe medication and rely more on lab work to diagnose conditions. They may also refer patients on to orthopedic surgery if warranted.
A good message to share is that chiropractic is a good place to start for many patients with back pain since chiropractors are specially trained to handle spinal subluxations, or misaligned spines. Correcting the misalignment then adding muscle rehabilitation can often provide a more lasting result.
But no matter the branch they pursue, patients should feel confident that their provider's primary goal is to achieve their best outcome, whether that's through chiropractic or a referrral to another type of provider.
The practices of chiropractors and physiatrists are similar in scope but their differences should factor into a patient's decision on which professional to visit.
The biggest factor should be the severity of the condition for which a patient is seeking help.
By definition, physiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease or injury, and the rehabilitation of resultant impairments and disabilities using physical and sometimes pharmaceutical agents.
Chiropractics is defined as a health profession trained in lumbar (spine) manipulations in order to address injury, misalignment and pain. A chiropractor does not employ the use of surgery and does not prescribe pain medication.
This article excerpt, by Karen Dandurant, originally appeared here: http://www.fosters.com/article/20150531/NEWS/150539990