Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

January 20, 2014

Another “They wanted me to keep coming back” story



It’s got to be the most common criticism of the chiropractic profession: a patient starts care, gets the relief they seek, then stereotypes any chiropractor who suggests that they continue care beyond the relief of symptoms as “bad” in whatever terms they prefer. The typical patient discontinues care after their symptoms have subsided enough to allow them to get by. Then they return or go somewhere else when their symptoms return months or years later.

There’s been a string of those new patient stories this past week or two (the new patient has a story about some prior chiropractor whom they have left, and a criticism of that prior chiropractor for recommending that they continue care). So I thought I would weigh in with a few thoughts.

First off, just to get it out of the way, there are offices where the primary objective is sell what they have to sell – more adjustments – and not helping patients so much. If you have had any recent experience with any health care facility of any type, at least in this area, you know that that isn’t unique to chiropractic practice. It’s always up to you to figure out whether your providers fairly balance your interests with their own – not easy for some I know, but still it’s up to you.

It’s a very delicate balance helping people achieve whatever health goal they pursue (pain relief is usually first on the list), having them understand the nature of their condition, and offering a way to prevent the relapse and chronic (painless) dysfunction that will be followed by degeneration and disease (usually accompanied by plenty of pain).

It isn’t our job to decide what your priorities are; sometimes investing in spinal health is trumped by other things once you are out of pain. We doctors need to understand that and I do.

It is our job to try and have you understand your condition completely, to recommend only the care you need once we figure that out, and to try and help you appreciate the true value of a healthy lifestyle.

We have to be Ok with your decision, though, whatever it is. It isn’t a failure on our part when you decide to use chiropractic like an aspirin, necessarily. Given your circumstances at the time, you make the best decision you can.

But please don’t hold it against us because we care about your future health enough to encourage you to take better care of yourself while you are still reasonably young (maybe), reasonably fit and healthy (or not), and still able to do the things that will help you avoid future problems. Those things include getting adjusted, doing exercises, and maybe feeding your body the nutrients it needs to fully recover, heal and stay healed. It may include other things.

If your condition has progressed. If neglect has lead to you needing a lot of care to get a little result. If the need for ongoing care just to keep you comfortable is the best anyone can do, well, then that’s what it is. Many people in chronic pain due to damage that is beyond full repair need ongoing care. They manage as best they can and often do well: they just need to do more to take care of themselves than others.

Of course the issue, beyond means and a few others, is trust. There isn’t much of that around these days. Those who can’t be trusted trade in fear – you don’t need an example from me, look all around at conventional as well as alternative health care. They also trade in the very same communication strategies and tactics that those who can be trusted use – they are often fabulous sales people. So a patient who is hoping for help is vulnerable and often victimized by the very professionals who are supposed to offer solutions, and act like professionals. That’s a shame.

It’s also a shame that once people have been victimized enough by enough professionals, they become skeptical and suspicious. In this case, that process, aided by the propaganda of our adversaries in mainstream medicine, has lead to a general impression among much of the public that, “you will have to keep coming back.” Nonsense. We work for you (so does your medic the the way).

I say it’s a shame because I am familiar with your options, and the current state of affairs in the world of back pain, for example.

Here is a recommendation: communicate.

That’s how you will find out if the doctor you see is a good match for you.

We get along really well with our patients (who get along really well with us) because eventually they figure out that we are going to offer what we thing they need, and what will best serve them. It takes a little time, and not every patient follows our recommendations. We gain trust by first getting patients out of pain as quickly and affordably as possible. Then we do the very best we can to help patients get a full understanding of their condition, and we offer to help them prevent relapse and/or worsening, and find health.

We aren’t here to wear you down until you do it our way. We are hear to help you with what you want when you want it, and offer you options.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Have you ever heard that once you go to a chiropractor you will have to keep going. […]

    Pingback by I Guess It’s True | Everett Chiropractic Center Blog — February 20, 2016 @ 11:09 am

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