Happy anniversary to my profession ... the chiropractic profession!
Today, September 18 is the historical anniversary of the discovery of chiropractic (123 years ago in 1895) and as I reflect on the significance of this day, thought I'd share with you a variety of joys and frustrations of my chosen profession. This post will take 2 minutes to read so grab yourself a chair and grab an insight into my professional environment.
Above all, I'm fortunate to work in a profession that provides my community with a natural, safe and effective choice to find relief from many all too common musculoskeletal conditions that can reduce your ability to enjoy your family activities, your social time or perform your professional responsibilities comfortably, confidently and safely.
The treatment methods used here at Orange Chiro are a safe and effective, drug & surgery free way to improve the mobility and stability of the spine and to provide you with the most enduring relief in the shortest possible time so you can get out of pain, get moving freely and get back to living life on your terms. I'm privileged to have been able to assist many thousands of people in the Orange community over the years and there have also been others who I've referred to different health professionals with whom I felt their condition was better suited to.
Without exception, my absolute focus for everyone who walks through the doors of Orange Chiro is always the same ....
... how can I best help you in the shortest time and with the most enduring positive effect?
Sometimes, an individual's desired goals can be achieved swiftly whilst other conditions can take some time to resolve. Regardless of the condition, each client is provided with an honest clinical appraisal of their condition and provided with treatment options and advice so they can make the best decision for their health condition, their health goals and their lifestyle. You see, it's not about me telling someone what they should do with their health but rather me advising how I can best help them and give them the opportunity to choose the recommendations ... or not.
Yet despite the transparency of the methods used, they are not always understood or appreciated.
Today for example, I followed up with an 80 plus year old female patient to report on x-rays I'd referred her for. For simplicity sake I'll refer to her as Mary (not her real name). She was grateful for my phone call but was unhappy with the way she'd been treated at PRP Imaging here in Orange where I'd referred her to have these x-rays taken. While there, she was told by a female employee there to stop seeing her chiropractor and get herself to a medical doctor instead. This anti-chiropractic rhetoric is not as vocal as it was 20 years ago when I commenced practising here in Orange but nonetheless this myopic agenda is still vocalised on rare occasions.
I sincerely hope the employee who gave this "medical" advice has relevant medical qualifications and had Mary's best interests at heart. Unfortunately though, the prima facie evidence suggest her agenda is rather more anti-chiropractic than pro-patient.
If this person had taken the time to seek Mary's history by speaking to her and not at her, she would have discovered that the medical route had already been tried without satisfactory resolve. And that's not a criticism, it's a statement of fact. It happens. It happens in medicine. It happens in chiropractic. It happens in physiotherapy and it happens in dentistry. Sometimes, despite the best intentions of practitioners, a person's condition might respond better to modalities other than the ones first tried.
The care provided to Mary thus far has not fully resolved her condition either BUT it has improved and is more manageable for her now, thus allowing her to participate more easily in her daily activities. Because Mary's condition had not fully resolved, I wanted to ascertain if there was any anatomical / skeletal reason for this and determined it was clinically prudent to refer her for x-rays.
Now before you read on any further, please don't get the purpose of my essay wrong.
This is not about chiropractic v medicine.
This essay is about promoting an individuals right to self-determination in their healthcare decision-making AND for all health professionals to work towards the desired health goals of the individual.
It's not uncommon for me to refer an individual to their GP or physio if their presenting condition requires treatment that does not lie within my scope of practice. And, it's also becoming increasingly common for patients being referred to Orange Chiro by a growing number of local GPs. (By the way - a referral to consult with me is not necessary. Just pick up the phone and make an appointment!)
For those of you who might be surprised that attitudes such as the one experienced by Mary still exist, consider this. I attended university with a fellow student who's father was a chiropractor. On occasion, police officers were sent to arrest chiropractors for "practicing medicine without a licence." Fortunately for my mates Dad, the local sheriff was a patient and he "may have suggested" he not be in the office between certain hours on a certain day!
This authoritarian action might seem quite Orwellian but we're only talking the late 1960's and early 1970's here. Thankfully, times have changed but not without the persistence of many chiropractors who have gone before me who have fought for and achieved the legal recognition of chiropractic as a separate and distinct profession.
Today in Australia, the chiropractic profession is regulated under the same authority that regulates GP's, psychologists, dentists, physiotherapists and other mainstream healthcare providers. Every discipline is heavily regulated by AHPRA (Australian Health Profession Regulation Authority) which has stringent and ongoing continuing education requirements to ensure the practitioners are up to date with the latest scientific research and management protocols.
But enough of the infrequent frustrations of my professional environment and let me bring attention to some of the many joys it presents.
Since first commencing providing chiropractic care to the Orange community from a building that was once a fruit and vegetable market on the corner of Clinton and Moulder Streets way back in 1997, I've been privileged to;
- treat many thousands of people who've sought natural relief from their back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, hip pain, migraines, scoliosis, posture problems and a host of other conditions that inhibit their ability to enjoy their family, social and work endeavours
- welcome to the practice the children and even grandchildren of patients who were treated by me in the late 1990's and early 2000's.
- share in the joys of people being able to do things they may have not thought possible until they regained their physical ability to do so.
- educate people on the benefits of maintaining a healthy and functional spine
- provide treatment and advice for them to be able to live a more physically active, confident and comfortable life
- work with other health professionals to provide you with the best opportunities to attain higher levels of health and vitality and more ...
So, in closing let this thought resonate with you;
At Orange Chiro, you, the patient are positioned at the centre of all healthcare decisions and actions. Let all healthcare advice you receive be patient-centric, not profession-centric, even if that means referring a patient to another appropriately qualified health professional outside one's own scope of understanding or education.
On that note ... thanks for reading and may good health reign.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot ... happy 123rd anniversary, chiropractic!
With ever increasing frequency, teenagers suffering neck pain and headaches are being brought into the Orange Chiropractic Centre by their parents. The reason for their ailments? In many cases, these teenagers are diagnosed with "text neck syndrome" … a chronic condition caused by spending an inordinate mount of time looking down at their smartphones and tablets. A condition which until about 10 years ago was not a factor in adolescent neck pain and headaches.
Alarmingly, in two recent presentations, two teenagers (aged 13 and 16), X-rays of their necks revealed a complete reversal of the curve in their neck which, if left untreated, can have serious long term implications on their overall physical health and well-being. Of concern for me as a health practitioner is that in both cases, the parents had previously been told there was nothing wrong with their children because the "scans were within normal limits". Thankfully, the parents knew that there had to be something wrong otherwise their children's headaches would not be present and sought a second opinion.
So let's take a look at what a healthy neck and curve looks like;
Now let's take a look at the distorted shape of the 13 year old.
As you can see, the curve in this young female's neck is the complete opposite of what a normal, healthy cervical curve should be. The curve reversal aka kyphosis, projects the head forward thereby increasing the mechanical loading and stresses on the intervertebral discs and cervical spinal joints. This presentation can lead to early onset of degenerative disc disease and cause disc bulges.
The neck of the 16 year old female also has a complete reversal of the curve.
The early signs and symptoms of having a loss (or even reversal) of curve in your neck can be quite mild; tightness in the neck and shoulders, intermittent headaches, decreased ability to focus and numbness or tingling in the fingers and hands.
Taking an over-the-counter medication can provide short-term relief from the symptoms BUT DOES NOTHING TO ADDRESS THE CAUSE OF YOUR SYMPTOMS. As time goes by, you'll probably find yourself taking the medication in greater dosages and more frequently. If identified early enough, the curve may be able to be restored to normal. This probability decreases with the length of time the curve reduction / reversal has been present.
If you suspect your kids (or even you) have signs of text neck, schedule an assessment with your chiropractor, Dr Mick Cornish for a comprehensive evaluation.
Dr. Mick Cornish first started providing trusted pain relief solutions to the people of Orange in 1998.