A New Chiropractic Model—More Than Just “Back Popping”

When you hear the word “chiropractor”, you may recall your own experience of getting adjusted. Maybe you think of some viral YouTube or Facebook video of a person getting seemingly every joint in their body cracked. Maybe you’ve been told to never go to a chiropractor, or maybe you’re already a huge believer in it. But nearly everyone can conjure up an image or emotion of some sort.

Just like with any profession, there are many myths surrounding chiropractic. Probably the most common one I hear is, “I’ve heard that once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to go for the rest of your life.” This is one of my favorite myths to debunk. If you have been going to a chiropractor (or any healthcare professional, really) and receiving care that only provides you with temporary relief and no tools to treat the pain on your own, and you constantly feel like you need to rush back to your chiropractor to get out of pain, then it’s probably time to start expecting more. I like to think of the patient-doctor relationship as more of a team—where the doctor helps guide the patient along the right path, educates them, and gives them tools along the way that help them take charge of their own body and their own health. The doctor always remains available for assistance, but the power is largely in the hands of the patient. If your provider isn’t giving you these tools or taking the time to educate you, it might be time to find a new one.

I always tell my patients that the goal of care is for me to use my skills to help them get out of pain and then ultimately pass the ball to their court, with the end goal of them not really needing me anymore unless something new comes up or for “maintenance”. Maintenance care is never a bad idea because, just like a car, our bodies require a tune-up from time to time. But by no means should you feel like your life depends on going to your chiropractor.

There is another big issue I want to address. Too often I see patients who have been going to a whole slew of providers for the same problem. Becky with shoulder pain might see a chiropractor for an adjustment, a massage therapist to work out the “knots”, a PT for some exercises, a medical doctor for her prescription, and the list goes on. Is this really the best we can do? Why have we been compartmentalizing things for so long? Why is it the norm to have to go to multiple providers for the same issue? There is a ton of value in co-managing between providers when necessary, but in certain cases this can and should be avoided. I believe there is a better way, and I have built my practice around this belief. I built The Body Lab with the vision of it being a “one-stop-shop” for people—a hybrid of sorts. A place that combines adjustments with soft tissue work and corrective exercises and gets to the root cause of people’s pain and injuries. A place where care is accessible and pricing is never a guessing game. Where appointments are never rushed and each patient feels like their concerns are being heard. Call me crazy, but I think we need to start expecting more from our system.

My philosophy at The Body Lab is that our bodies were made to move. I prioritize an “active care” approach, and I believe we could decrease a lot of pain in this country if we moved more or moved differently. A lot of patients ask me why I don’t take X-rays in my office, and it’s because I would rather watch how you move in real time and how your muscles and joints behave and are coordinated by your brain than look at a picture at a moment in time for the source of your pain. I believe we need to see a shift toward this model in healthcare, and it brings me a lot of joy knowing that The Body Lab is one teeny tiny step in this direction.

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