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Who Makes A Good Referral For Chiropractic Care?

Who Makes A Good Referral For Chiropractic Care?

As one might expect, there are patients that make a great referral for chiropractic care while some are not a good referral for chiropractic care. We wanted to highlight some of the differences in this article. 

There are many conditions that need medical treatment and just do not fit well in the scope of a doctor of chiropractic. For instance, patients with cancer, diabetes, or heart disease may not consider chiropractic immediately to address those conditions.

However, some of these patients could still be a good referral for chiropractic care and may still find relief for discomfort that may go along with some of their aches and pains.

Think about someone with cancer: they may have to spend extended times laying down in bed. That can certainly bring on musculoskeletal pain that may be alleviated by some gentle chiropractic care. 

What about a patient that spends considerable time on dialysis laying or sitting in one spot several times a week? Heck yeah, chiropractic care can help with some of that musculoskeletal pain that may accompany that treatment. 

It has been our experience that those patients that respond well to chiropractic care are those suffering from more musculoskeletal conditions. We typically see those patients bounce back fairly quickly after just a week or two of chiropractic care. 

Research Says So

Some impactful research and recommendations have emerged in the last several years in the wake of the opioid crisis and chiropractic care has started to step into the spotlight as a result. It’s an excellent time to be a chiropractor or the patient of a chiropractor. Those unsure of chiropractic care in 2019 have been living under a rock and need to get with the research. Otherwise, the rest of the healthcare world is going to start looking at them like Flat Earthers. 

As of 2017, The American College of Physicians recommends spinal manipulative therapy as first-line therapy for acute and chronic low back pain. In America, chiropractors do 90% of spinal manipulative therapy treatments. Just to be sure, spinal manipulative therapy is a fancy term for ‘chiropractic care’.

In 2017, The Lancet medical journal in the UK published a series of papers on low back pain authored by a global multidisciplinary group of low back pain experts recommending spinal manipulative therapy for low back pain. 

Following those papers up, research by Dr. Christine Goertz published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2018 showed the effectiveness of adding chiropractic care to usual medical services for treating veterans suffering from chronic pain. As a result, the VA now refers their patients for chiropractic care, massage, and acupuncture. 

Common Referral For Chiropractic Care

Our most common cases are:

  • Personal injury cases – Whiplash associated disorders
  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Pain under the scapula
  • Headache/Migraine
  • Joint pain (hip, shoulder, elbow, etc..)

Chiropractic Care & Physical Therapy

Although the line has blurred in recent years, ideally, chiropractors’ and physical therapists’ treatments complement each other and they are able to work effectively together. In fact, many PTs actually work in chiropractic offices because exercise/rehab is such a vital part of successful outcomes for musculoskeletal patients. 

The literature shows us that successful outcomes are mostly based on a combination of the treatments. Both spinal manipulative therapy AND exercise/rehab. A combination is more powerful than either treatment alone. 

Beyond those reasons already mentioned, there are other common reasons for referring for chiropractic care vs. other comparable alternatives. They include:

  • Considering we are portal of entry practitioners, we are trained at differentially diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions. We by the end of 2019, we will be the only office with a Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists in Texas west of I-35 from Dallas/Fort Worth down to Austin. 
  • Since we are portal of entry practitioners, there is no verification required on the part of the referring office saving time and staff resources. Most insurances are accepted and cover chiropractic including TriWest veterans from the VA.
  • Send them to a chiropractor when patients have failed PT – Sometimes it comes down to the right treatment for the right condition
  • Sometimes the patient is unable to perform PT exercises for one reason or another. These make an excellent referral for chiropractic care.
  • We see it all of the time when the patient simply prefers chiropractic care to PT
  • When the wait time for PT is excessive
  • It is common to see that, for that particular patient, the cost of going through PT is a sincere concern. Chiropractic care is considerably more cost-effectivet than PT. 

Excellent Outcomes!

Using software, we can track our outcomes and, according to our patient responses, we average a case visit number of 8 visits on average, a 78% total improvement rate at 30 days for any and all conditions we see from shoulders to low back – hips to headaches, and 99% likelihood to refer to our office. 

We’d say that’s pretty dang good!

If you are a good referral for chiropractic care and need our help, call us at 355-3000 and let’s get you set up for an exam. 

 

Jeff Williams, DC

Creek Stone Integrated Care – http://www.creekstonecare.com

Amarillo Chiropractor – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX

806-355-3000

 

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