This is my first time trying out the world of blogging… but I felt it was necessary to get some of my thoughts out there. I racked my brain to try to figure where to start and bounced back and forth between several ideas. My idea for this blog topic came during a routine follow-up visit with one of my patients last week.
This patient had been under the care of a chiropractor for just over 9 months. The treatment consisted of the industry normal plan; 3 times per week for 4 weeks, 2 times per week for 4 weeks, which hopefully put you into a much needed “maintenance” phase where you basically need to come in once per week for the rest of your life.
Seems pretty legit, right?
Oh, and by the way, the doctor also wanted you to sign up for a lengthy payment plan and sign a contract that you were committed to the treatment and costs. Sprinkle in there some minor scare tactics(Showing X-rays of degenerated spines, talking about how horrible being subluxated in the spine was for you, and the disastrous effects of a nerve being compressed in the spine on your health.)
All of this was done by a savvy business mind that seems to come across as a used car salesman more than an actual doctor.
Unfortunately many people who are injured and just want to get out of pain tend to fall prey to these practitioners and once you sign their agreement they essentially have you as they say, “hook, line and sinker.”
This brings us back to the idea of loyalty.
In many cases when I get a new patient referral I ask them what they have been doing for this problem before they came to see me. It blows my mind how many people say they have been going to same practitioner for years and always get the standard protocol done (spinal adjustments, heat and electric stim, mindless exercises and stretches.) My favorite question for a follow-up is always, “Well how is that treatment working for your problem?”
This is when I begin to get frustrated and let down by the treatments that are provided by manual medicine practitioners. Some answers I get include the following:
– I am still having pain in a certain area, but I think I feel better and I think my allergies aren’t as bad.– The doctor is so nice and friendly, and I feel better for a while after I go.
– The doctor told me that it would take a long time and very consistent treatments before I get any better.– They take my insurance so that works for me.
– I feel bad if I don’t go, because the doctor warned me what would happen if I stopped going.
Unfortunately there are a lot of manual medicine practitioners out there who really just are horrible at their jobs. The main job of a manual medicine doctor is to fix musculoskeletal problems. They make up for their shortcomings in treatment by being really nice and energetic, trying to sell you on some expensive vitamins you don’t need, making you feel guilty into unnecessary treatment or just outright scare tactics to get you to keep coming in.
My biggest advice for anyone out there that is dealing with a musculoskeletal injury is to get to the right practitioner. If your doctor doesn’t give you a tissue specific diagnosis with “sweet spot” treatment then all you are doing is wasting each others time, and more importantly your money.
If you go to a practitioner and they ask you to immediately sign up for 80 treatments and get on a payment plan, please do yourself a favor and run far, far, far away from these people.
In closing we go back to the loyalty aspect of seeking treatment for an injury. If the doctor has done the same exact thing for 20 treatments that has provided little or no relief to your problem, then chances are the 21st treatment isn’t going to get it either.
Get yourself to a qualified practitioner that can find what your problem is and has the training to fix it as quickly as possible, without all the gimmicks and payment plans.
Thanks for reading and listening to me rant! If you have any comments please feel free to leave them below.