Conservative Care. It’s a “buzz word” in medicine these days, we admit. But, when fully understood, the concept of using conservative care first offers patients safe, cost-efficient, and effective means of managing their health.
What is conservative care? It is a term to describe the use of non-surgical, non-invasive techniques developed to promote healing in the body. Chiropractic care is one of these conservative methods, used particularly when a patient suffers from chronic or acute back pain.
Throughout the medical community, practitioners and patients are keeping their eye on outcomes. Patients want to heal safely and without breaking the bank. Practitioners want to promote healing in patients, also safely and quickly, with the least invasive treatments possible. These two groups share an interest, then, in using conservative care methods first.
In a May 2013 study of Washington State workers it was found that only 1.5% of patients who visited a chiropractor first for work related back pain ended up in surgery. That statistic is in stark contrast to the 42.7% of patients who ended up in surgery after first seeing a surgeon.
Do some people need surgery to correct their injury or chronic condition? Of course, and thankfully Olympia has several talented spine surgeons who work closely with local chiropractors. But, even surgeons are recommending conservative care approaches, utilizing chiropractic along with other less invasive interventions before resorting to the knife.
Another common non-invasive care measure familiar to most is the use of pain medications to ease symptoms of back and neck pain. However, these medications do just that – ease symptoms. They do nothing to address the root cause of pain or injury. By working closely with the doctors at Eastside Chiropractic, patients not only avoid the potentially addicting side-effects of pain medications, but they also work together to plan a healthy lifestyle to help avoid future pain and injury.
Through the use of nutrition, stretching and exercise, massage, and chiropractic adjustment, the doctors at Eastside Chiropractic tailor conservative care to each and every patient with the hopes that their pain will be alleviated without invasive, and expensive, surgery. “People should really come and see us first when they have back and neck pain,” says 25-year veteran Doctor of Chiropractic, Murray Smith. “It’s a safer, and often more effective, option for most people trying to solve acute or chronic neck and back pain.”
One question many people have when considering the conservative care choice of chiropractic is, “Am I going to have to come here forever?” Dr. Smith has an answer for them:
“Do I believe that patients should come to see me forever? Yes, I do. Do I think that what we offer people can benefit their health forever? Yes, I do. Do I believe you should continue to see your dentist forever? Yes, I do. But, our goal is not to see you all the time. In fact, we like it when you don’t feel like you need to come in to see us. We strive to find a way to give you the tools so that you aren’t here all the time. You can use the knowledge we’ve given you to stay healthy, to live a healthy lifestyle and to come and see us at the first sign of pain so that it doesn’t develop into a bigger problem.”
Doctors of Chiropractic are even suggested by the Journal of the American Medical Association as a first consideration when looking for treatment of back pain. And with extensive training, chiropractors know what they are doing. DCs are educated in nationally accredited four-year doctoral graduate programs, equivalent to four-year medical school programs for MDs. The rigorous curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, clinical, and laboratory work equivalent to allopathic medical degrees.
And like MDs, chiropractors continue their study of the body, specializing in particular areas and achieving certifications in specialized treatments. Dr. Amanda Kugel’s specialization in infant and child chiropractic is one such example.
Bottom line? Patients should always become their own advocates, educating themselves on their health as well as their options so they can ask the right questions, and understand the answers, when they visit their health care provider. When patients are armed with information and empowered to take charge of their health, conservative care measures typically follow. Who would march into an office and ask for expensive, painful surgery first?
It simply makes sense to pursue all avenues of conservative care first. And when faced with back and neck pain, a logical conservative care measure to take is to see a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine.
1526 Bishop Rd SW in Tumwater