Wow. How much has our world changed in a matter of a week or two? Two weeks ago I was ready to watch my beloved Wildcats make a brief appearance in the Big XII tournament before saying thanks for the invite and driving back to Manhattan. Now, we’re all confined to our houses and sports are the farthest thing from our minds. We’re all trying to figure out how to navigate these new times and who is open and who we should or shouldn’t go see. Some might not initially think a chiropractor’s office is a place that is still open or see the value in us staying open. But I’m going to explain how important it is that chiropractors and other entry-level providers stay open and why you should see a chiropractor during the coronavirus era.
Let’s rewind back to the good old days of January 2020. Remember them? We were busy arguing politics. The Chiefs were making their historic run to the Super Bowl. You could get a same-day doctor’s appointment. I miss those times. Back then, in the olden days, doctors’ offices were busy. They were treating the flu, broken bones, rashes, strep, etc. It was business as usual. They could also fit in the person who threw out their back and didn’t’ know where else to go. A primary care doctor could examine your shoulder that hurts with any overhead movement. Or they could even look at a chronic case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Us chiropractors were busy treating all kinds of hips, and shoulders, and backs as well. That’s what we do really well. In fact, a lot of those cases that started at an MD ended up in our office. There’s some overlap between what chiropractors do and what MDs see. We each have our strong suits. MDs are great with medications, illness, internal conditions, etc. They have good knowledge of the muscles and joints. MDs know some meds that can help with those, but outside of that, usually don’t know how to treat conditions of the nerves, muscles and/or joints. On the flip side, chiropractors know nerves, muscles, and joints like the backs of our hands. We also have a good understanding of the flu, broken bones, and rashes, but (outside of not being able to prescribe) don’t do as well treating those conditions.
In ordinary times, we both have the flexibility to examine the patients that fall farther from our expertise and get them to where they need to go. Unfortunately, coronavirus has thrown a kink into that. It is hitting us all within a very short window. The MDs are still seeing their normal workloads with broken bones, cuts that need stitches, Type 2 diabetes, rashes, heart attacks, asthma, etc. On top of that, they are suddenly being saddled with the care of severe cases of coronavirus.
This is where we fit into the picture. We can lessen their caseloads. They are already busy treating a bunch of stuff that no one else can see. Now they also have to see these extra coronavirus cases. If people come to a chiropractor during the coronavirus era we can take the cases of muscle, nerve, and joint pain off their schedules, which frees them up for more incoming coronavirus cases.
These are times unlike any of us have ever seen. We will get through them. But it will take us all doing as much as we can. We must adhere to the “Shelter in Place” rules. Eliminate any unnecessary trips or interactions. That being said, life doesn’t stop because of Covid-19. Backs are still going to “go out.” Carpal tunnel will still plaque you. Shoulder impingement will still prevent us from picking up our toddlers. This doesn’t mean you need to try your best to deal with agonizing pain for 30 days. Still seek care. Just help the MDs out. Schedule with us or your local chiropractor if you are experiencing pain. If we can’t help we’ll get you to the right place, but let us be the first line of defense and let the MDs care for us that may struggle through this pandemic.
A couple of side notes:
- If you are just looking for maintenance care and don’t have a specific complaint, please wait until this order is lifted. This is an area we can minimize interactions.
- If leaving your house to see a chiropractor during the coronavirus era makes you nervous, we do provider telemedicine visits. We can assess you through various movements and give you exercises to help yourself.
- Obviously, if you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms, please stay home.
Tom Cotter, DC, DACRB