Am I The Right Chiropractor For You?

So there can be a lot of confusion in the market place about who is the right Chiropractic Physician to go to in order to meet your healthcare needs.  Well, today I am going to try to explain the general differences in most Chiropractors and then let you decide who is right for you.

Basically there are two schools of thought in Chiropractic.  I am very well versed in both schools of thought because when I went to Chiropractic School, I spent 1/2 of my education learning from a highly traditional school and curriculum and then I finished my education in a school that was more the medical way of looking at things.  With such a diversity in my educational paradigms, I feel that I got the best of both worlds and have been able to find the balance in the best way to serve our patients.  I will give you general descriptions of either end of the spectrum.  Understand that most Doctors of Chiropractic fall somewhere in between these paradigms, but this will give you a decent understanding.

The first school of thought that I would like to discuss is the doctors of Chiropractic who feel that we are only musculoskeletal specialists.  In otherwords, the way that Chiropractic Physicians fit into the healthcare world is in a drug free way to relieve neck pain and low back pain.  The doctors who follow this paradigm will typically operate what is called a treat and release practice.  In other words, you come in, you get a couple of treatments, and you are released from care until you have your next flare up then you repeat the cycle.

The second school of thought is that because the Central Nervous System Controls every organ and system in the Human body including all of the healing processes, and because the nervous system controls all to these processes, then by adjusting the spine, the Chiropractic Physician can infact help the body to cure disease as well as healing back pain and so on.  These Physicians adopt the belief system that all healing comes from the body and it is a self healing organism that when given the correct nervous function the body will heal itself…within certain limitations such as the limitation of matter.

Again….these two schools of thought are at the extreme opposites and most doctors of Chiropractic do fall somewhere in the middle.

With these  two schools of thought come two typical ways that Chiropractors will practice in treating their patients.

In the pain relief model, again the patient will come in when they hurt, get a few treatments to relieve their pain and then only come back when they are in pain.

I have personally been involved in this type of practice in my past experience and I noticed a couple of things.  Patients in this model of practice tend to end up spending more on their Chiropractic care because when they do have a flare up (which will usually happen a few times per year) they would have to come in for multiple treatments to get the pain under control again.  They would also tend to miss a lot of time from work due to disability from the pain, which again costs them more money.

The worst observation that I made in this type of practice is this….many patients that were not seen for a long time would come back in very bad shape…and here is why.  They would come in and get adjusted, their pain would go away for a given amount of time (a couple of days, weeks, or months) but inevitably the pain would come back, and so in there mind Chiropractic didn’t help them, so they would end up going the medical route.  They would try physical therapy, then steroid injections, then eventually surgery.  Then these patients would end up back in our office in severe chronic pain with permanent damage to their body from all of the medical procedures that they had undergone.

These observations made me realize that this was not the type of practice that I wanted for myself or my patients, even more, it was not the type of practice that I would want my family to go to…as these practictioners spent no time educating patients on how to be healthy, how to manage their lifestyle, and how to avoid the pitfalls of exploring the medical world for pain relief.

I was also involved in the second extreme practice model.  In this practice the physician believed that all patients should have Chiropractic care from the moment they are born until they die.  (Which I totally agree with).  So the treatment model that this practitioner used was 90 visits per year for the first year of care…for everyone….it didn’t matter if you were 2 years old or 100 years old…this is what the treatment plan was for everyone.  (Which I totally disagree with!)  This doctor had a very busy practice and in my opinion, the patient care in this practice was not sufficient.  Everyone was treated the same.

My observations from this practice model were that the majority of these patients did very well with their treatment and very few of them ever had to seek medical treatment for their conditions.  However, the negative side to this type of practice is that the patient had to follow the recommendation or they were not accepted as a patient and I feel that the majority of these patients were over treated which lead to excessive expense and time commitments.

So, with my experiences in the different types of practice, and with my experiences in the different schools, I was able to determine my paradigm for running my clinic.  I asked myself how I would want to be treated by a physician, and most importantly, who would I trust with my wife or my kids.  My answers to these questions have shaped how I practice, and what I feel to be important.

First of all, as Chiropractic Physicians, we are the most highly trained wellness physicians there are.  If you break an arm, or have a severe health emergency, then you need a medical physician.  However, when you are looking to lead a healthy life, and improve your health in the future, we are the best trained to help you do that.  We are trained extensively in the natural ways of healing the body which include body work throught the Chiropractic adjustment as well as nutritional and lifestyle training.

With our extensive training in this area, I feel that it is a mistake to not share that knowledge with our patients.

We are also highly trained phsicians in the area of pain relief….and lifestyle factors that can actually heal the source of your pain and prevent future problems.

In other words, most patients seek us out for pain relief, but we are very well trained to perform health coaching services as well.

So with that in mind…I know that some patients just want pain relief.  They dont care about lifestyle changes, they dont want to hear about nutrition, they dont have time for all of this stuff, they just want to feel better to get back to life.  But I also know that the vast majority of people want to take control of their health so that they can be there for their kids and grand kids.  So that they dont have to spend their life in pain or suffering from the many chronic diseases that can be prevented through life style.

Here is my paradigm…..I will examine you thoroughly, I will determine what is the cause of your condition.  And I will offer you the solution that best fits for you.  In otherwords, I will pull no punches, I will tell you exactly what your body needs to give you the best results.  I will tell you what it will take to get you back to a healthy, functioning body that is not just absent of pain, but truly healthy….functioning at the best of its ability, and allowing you to lead your life with as much energy and zest for life as possible.

And after I have explained these options to you, I will happily serve you and give you exactly what you want.  Whether you want a complete health program including nutrition and corrective chiropractic care…..or you just want a couple of adjustments to get symptom relief and make you feel better.  I am here for you on your terms.

I will not make you accept any treatment recommendations, but I feel it is a huge mistake and disservice to not let you know what your options are and what the outcomes of each type of care will be.

In otherwords, I am here to serve you, educate you if you want it, and help you meet your lifes challenges on your terms.

That is how I practice….and that is how I will serve you.

Fair enough?

Have a great day.

Dr. Sean Price
Fort Walton Beach Chiropractor


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