Red Light. Stop. Why What We Don't Do Is Just As Important As What We DO.
If you’ve followed our blog or social media for a while, you know we talk quite a bit about what we *do* that makes us different from other chiropractic care providers. We do this because we think it’s important for you, as a patient of ours or of anyone else, to be educated about your options. Today we are going to discuss what we *don’t* do, and why. 1. We don’t adjust without performing an examination first. Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room - sometimes this is *really* inconvenient for someone who’s a brand new patient. Whether it’s because of time, finances, or the fact that you’re in pain and you want to feel better - yesterday already. We get it. However, it is important that we perform an examination prior to adjusting you for two reasons - first, we need to screen for other health conditions that could make our care unsafe for you. If we find signs of such a condition, it is in your best interest that we refer you to the appropriate provider rather than trying to guess our way through treating something we don’t have the tools, training, or legal ability to treat. Second, we need to determine the exact nature and degree of structural shift you’re experiencing so that we can formulate a comprehensive plan for correcting the problem rather than giving you a “quick pop” and sending you on your way with no deeper answers or solutions. 2. Related to #1, we don’t adjust without performing an examination first - even if you’ve recently been examined by another chiropractor. Again, we are aware of the inconvenience factor - if it were up to us, you’d already be feeling better before you even step foot in our office. However, unfortunately there is no “standard chiropractic examination” that all practitioners perform during the initial patient visit. It’s not like a blood test where it doesn’t matter which lab you went to, anyone can read, interpret, and apply the results. Because of this, and the fact that we apply high standards to our examination process for your safety, we aren’t willing to take any chances with creating a comprehensive treatment plan for you based on someone else’s examination. 3. We *don’t* x-ray pregnant patients. Since the majority of our patients are pregnant or trying to conceive, we don’t even have an x-ray machine in the office. X-rays are generally not recommended during pregnancy (except in some extreme or life-threatening cases) due to the dangers posed by the radiation to the developing baby. Knowing this means that if you’re not pregnant, and we send you for x-rays at an imaging center, you can rest assured knowing that our only motive for recommending x-rays is to enhance the safety of your treatment with us by utilizing diagnostic tools to rule out conditions that may require us to modify your treatment or refer you to another provider better equipped to handle your condition.
4. We don’t perform rough manipulations, especially during pregnancy, infancy or childhood. If you’ve watched any YouTube videos of adjustments being performed, you might be scared to get adjusted during pregnancy, and you might think anyone who is willing to take their child to a chiropractor must be a terrible parent. You won’t see any rough, aggressive, or scary-looking adjustments in our office though. We use only low-force and instrument-based techniques on our pregnant and pediatric patients. 5. We don’t “sneak” into the hospital to adjust you or your baby. The number of times this idea has been posed makes its inclusion in this article a necessity. We realize that there are many providers who are willing to come adjust you or your baby during or after labor in the hospital - visiting under the guise of being a “friend” or “family member.” While the intentions of most of these providers are likely nothing but positive - to help you if you’re having a difficult or painful labor, or to get your baby’s latch corrected in the early days of breastfeeding - this decision unfortunately puts you, your baby, the hospital, the chiropractor, and their patients at risk. This behavior is frowned upon by the licensing board, by the hospital, and by professional malpractice providers. It can leave the patient with little to no recourse should an adverse event take place. It can even potentially result in the provider losing their license to practice - leaving all of their patients in a bind. This is why we require that you book your birth support packages early enough in pregnancy that we have time to talk with your in-hospital provider about becoming properly credentialed so that when the time comes to adjust you or baby you can rest assured knowing we will be there. 6. We don’t do rehab, massage therapy, direct sales products, or advise you on prescription medications. We know we can best serve you by focusing on what we are trained and qualified to do, and that is to correct structural shift. Of course, this is only one part of living your best, healthiest life - and that’s why we work with a wonderful array of local partners, to provide you with the massage, the doula support, the nutritional support, the exercise instruction, and other care or advice you may need! All our local partners are experts in their field and work collaboratively to support YOU and what you need. To learn more about The Structural Difference, feel free to browse our other blog topics, or book your consultation!