Times have changed, in terms of public and professional acceptance of chiropractors, and one New Jersey practitioner of the science of spinal manipulation, says access to knowledge through technology has been the key. Modern chiropractic services, offering a holistic approach through multiple techniques and disciplines, are, in this chiropractor’s opinion, turning people plagued by pain and immobility away from pharmaceuticals and surgery.
“The good news is that because of the internet more and more people aren’t just following doctor’s orders,” reports Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at the Oakland Spine & Rehabilitation Center in Oakland, NJ. “They are researching these things and realizing the risks aren’t worth the limited results they get.”
In other words, people are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the latest developments in rehabilitation and therapy, making them more aware of the risks of drugs and surgery that may be harmful and detrimental to the quality of life. Back pain, for instance, is something that eighty percent of Americans will experience in their lifetime, says Dr. Butler, whether it is temporary, injury-related or chronic.
There is something else happening in the opening decades of the 21st Millennium. Back pain is not just for the middle-aged and elderly any more.
“Cases we were used to seeing in thirty-year-olds, we are seeing in teenagers,” reports the chiropractor who has been diagnosing and treating patients for eighteen years. “Cases that we are used to seeing in sixty-year-olds, we are seeing in people in their thirties and forties.”
Technology may also be a culprit in the disturbing surge in back pain cases he’s seeing in patients of all ages. Smart phones, computers and tablets may have allowed us to access more reliable information about health care, but they have also brought about pain and mobility issues that weren’t as prominent in previous decades.
“People of all ages today are fighting a constant battle with bad posture and its long-term consequences. If there is no relief in sight, mobility will continue to worsen.”
In the meantime, chiropractors are gaining acceptance among medical doctors and surgeons, once the chief skeptics of chiropractics, receiving positive comments in recent years in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and British Medical Journal. The nonprofit RAND Corporation confirmed the changing opinion back in 2001, with its research mavens reporting that the AMA as an entity considers it appropriate, professionally and ethically, to refer patients to chiropractors for diagnosis or therapy.
“I am grateful that we have the best medical doctors in the world in our country,” says Dr. Butler, who sees preventative health care as a mission. “However, medicine is limited because it is mainly centered on either early detection of disease or treating the disease after it’s already present.”