As a patient it can be confusing when at an Orthopedic Surgeon’s office to receive a referral to visit a Chiropractor for an evaluation. Many questions may cross your mind such as; I thought he/she was a surgeon, the “top of the chain”, when it comes to bones and the musculoskeletal system. Why on earth would this MD send me to see a DC?
Chiropractors and Surgeons have become more of a team
As time has progressed, so have the Chiropractic and Orthopedic professions, in both methodology and practice. While it was once taboo to consider a Chiropractor as a part of a medical team- time, technology, and education has progressed us to a new environment where chiropractors are becoming a valuable asset in the medical field.
Chiropractors have had a conflict with MDs, simply due to altered viewpoints on how to treat individuals. Many chiropractors used to contest medicinal use for ailments, while MDs would shun the physical work that chiropractors would use to treat ailments of their patients. As time has gone on, both groups have started to re-approach the healthcare table, to gain a better understanding of the positive purpose of the other’s career. Some ailments have medicinal needs, some have physical needs, and many have both. It’s best for patients, if all parties work together toward the common goal of good health.
Chiropractors offer a different yet relevant perspective on your overall healthcare
Chiropractors and Orthopedic surgeons both start their educations at the same point. From the cellular structure of the human body, upward to the large organ groups, both doctors learn the same thing. The difference comes in at the specialization of their doctorates. Both doctors receive extensive training in anatomy, physiology, radiology, and patient examination protocols. The surgeon learns much more pharmacology, and surgical techniques. The chiropractor learns much more manual manipulation, and functional movement. Both are highly trained experts on the human body, simply in different means.
A surgeon is going to look more specifically at the joint, and pathology that is causing the pain. While the holistic nature of chiropractic guide the chiropractor to not look at the symptoms, but at the possible structures relating to the cause of the symptoms. This is the key point that separates chiropractors from the rest of the medical community.
It is when Orthopedists and Chiropractors work together that a patient’s wellness can thrive.
There are times when an Orthopedic Surgeon may refer a patient to be seen for a chiropractic evaluation. In turn a reputable chiropractor will refer a patient to be seen for an orthopedic evaluation, when the situation is beyond chiropractic treatment. A chiropractor will evaluate the patient from a whole person perspective, to look at not only what is hurting you currently, but may look for other factors or causes behind the pain at the site of onset. Many times people may experience pain or other sensations (tingling, numbness, etc) in their extremities (fingers, hands, wrists, toes, feet, ankles, etc) but actually the source of this pain may be coming from a poor movement of joints in the spine or other various issues at the neck, back, hips or shoulders. This is why an orthopedic foot or a hand specialist suggests a referral to a Chiropractor. Surgeons know what they are capable of, and when surgery is necessary. Sometimes, the injury that is causing a patient pain, is simply not bad enough to warrant surgery, and yet the patient is still in too much pain to succeed at physical therapy. This is where a referral to a chiropractor is best suited. They can guide the body to heal more naturally, and then refer back to the surgeon for a follow up, so the surgeon can then prescribe physical therapy.
Worried about something negative you’ve read or heard about in the past about Chiropractor?
Today’s chiropractic is not the same as what it used to be years ago. How long ago was it that you read that thing in a magazine warning against chiropractors? How long has it been since those people that swears off chiropractors and urges you never go to a chiropractor? The previous history regarding the opinion of chiropractic care has been less than kind in the medical field, but as mentioned previously science and medicine have progressed, the chiropractic profession has changed, grown, aligned, and supplements modern day medicine. It is not possible to stress enough how important it is to thoroughly research and locate a reputable chiropractor that has similar beliefs aligning with modern medicine. If referred to a chiropractor by an orthopedic surgeon, be sure to ask for specific names of DC’s that they recommend.
Ok, I’m ready to make an appointment with a Chiropractor. Now what?
Locate a reputable Chiropractor
-Ask the doctor whom referred you to see a DC for a list of names and phone numbers whom they have had success with in the past.
Make an appointment
-Actually call to make the appointment and show up 15 minutes early to check in for your first visit. A better you awaits!
-Find out their fax number for the following step.
Bring your records
-Call the doctor that referred you to the chiropractor and ask him to fax his last office note to the chiropractor’s office.
-If you have and X-Rays, MRI, CT or other imaging your Chiropractor will need to see those as well. Go to the facility where you had previous imaging done and request a copy of your images on disc, and a radiology report on paper. If you already have a copy, bring those with you to the appointment. These image files are very large and not possible to fax or e-mail, thus it is requested you bring discs to your appointment. Check to make sure the IMAGES are in your possession, as reports may be faxed, images will not be.
-Keep in mind as with any referral, the more information you bring to your appointment, the clearer picture the doctor will have. This can only increase your odds of having a positive experience and possible outcome.