Exploring The Differences Between Chiropractic And Conventional Medical Care
Most people think professional chiropractors do little more than adjust their patients’ backs. In reality, they offer many services, one of which is relief from pain felt throughout the body. Unfortunately, most people have grown accustomed to visiting their primary care doctors when they encounter pain or signs of other problems. Few consider that the treatment they receive may not address the root causes. This is one of the main differences between a doctor of chiropractic (DOC) and a medical physician.
This article will describe several differences between chiropractors and doctors. You’ll note from the following discussion that both are focused on relieving the patient’s discomfort. However, their respective approaches toward achieving that goal are entirely different.
Invasive Versus Non-Invasive Therapy
When presented with a medical issue, doctors often recommend surgery, catheter-directed treatment, or other types of invasive therapy. This may even include removing one or more organs. Such an approach usually involves recovery time (in the case of surgery) as well as postoperative side effects.
Chiropractors contend that invasive treatment is usually unnecessary. They argue that a non-invasive approach is more effective and much less traumatic.
Use Of Medications
A mainstay of medical physicians is the prescription of drugs to relieve the patient’s symptoms. These medications are often effective, but only temporarily. In many cases, the patient may be forced to take them for months, or even the remainder of her life.
A DOC believes that such an approach, while potentially effective in the short run, is ineffective over the long run. Moreover, medications introduce a significant risk of side effects, causing more harm than good. For these reasons, chiropractors do not prescribe drugs.
Treatment Of Symptoms Versus Root Causes Of Pain
This is a primary difference between physicians and doctors of chiropractic. Most forms of treatment provided by the former are meant to relieve symptoms. A good example of this is the prescription of medications. If symptoms persist, or the patient’s condition worsens, further treatment may be focused on the root cause.
By contrast, chiropractors are interested in identifying and resolving root causes of problems upfront. While immediate relief from back and neck pain (among many other ailments) is often an outcome, it is secondary to fixing the underlying problem.
The Body’s Ability To Heal
Both physicians and chiropractors believe that the body is capable of healing itself. The difference is that doctors believe such situations are rare, and thus drugs or surgery (or both) are necessary. A doctor of chiropractic believes the body is nearly always capable of healing itself as long as it is given the opportunity to do so. Spinal adjustments and joint manipulation are performed to this effect.
The Focus Of Therapy
Medical doctors tend to address problems in the body categorically. That is, pain in the patient’s abdomen is considered to be an abdominal issue. Likewise, pain in the upper thigh is considered to be related to an issue of the thigh.
Chiropractors have an entirely different perspective. They maintain that a conventional medical approach is unlikely to resolve the patient’s ailment since the ailment is due to problems with the nervous system. Vertebral and spinal misalignments must first be resolved before the patient can enjoy long-term relief without the use of medications.
Potential Side Effects From Treatment
As previously mentioned, medications represent one of the staple components of a medical doctor’s approach to providing relief. Unfortunately, they often lead to side effects. A worse situation is when one drug causes side effects, which prompts the physician to prescribe another drug. The latter medication also causes unexpected results, leading to yet another drug. Before long, the patient is taking multiple prescriptions while the underlying problem remains unresolved.
Chiropractic care poses no long-term side effects. Drugs are not prescribed, nor is invasive surgery performed. Instead, the chiropractor applies a holistic approach that allows the body’s natural healing mechanism to repair damage and restore health.
While chiropractic care and medical treatment both focus on healing the patient and providing relief from symptoms, there are several notable differences between the two approaches. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, find out whether chiropractic therapy can offer relief.