SHIFNAL CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC

Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947

Whole Health Care

21/12/2015

As Chiropractors, we treat muscle and joint disorders...so that’s all we need to know about, right? Wrong!

We are what is called a “Primary Healthcare”, which means you don’t need a referral from your GP (or anyone else) to come and see us.  I for one really appreciate that being the case.  Of course, that also means that my patients come to me with no diagnosis, and I have to spend a considerable time with each and every person who walks through my door to make sure I know exactly what is going on and what I can do about it.  It’s the old saying – it’s every bit as important to know what you shouldn’t do as what you should.

A recently published study by Carter in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies highlights a case where a woman presented with back pain in the area at the bottom of her rib cage, and when she was examined there was a lot of muscle tension in the area and an over-sensitivity to touch that meant it was very painful for her.  Her Chiropractor decided that she should be referred for further testing, an ultrasound was performed and she was found to have cholecystitis, or an inflamed gallbladder with gallstones.

Thanks to the Chiropractor’s early detection and referral of the patient, she was able to avoid some of the nastier complications that could have occurred, and with the help of her GP and consultant she made a full recovery.

So yes, Chiropractors treat disorders of the muscles, joints and nerves.  But we have to be able to recognise pain that is coming from the internal organs, skin complaints, infections, arthritides and even cancer to name just a few.  Not only do we have to recognise them, we have to recognise that they are not things Chiropractic can help with, and know who to refer the patient on to – for example, should you be booking a GP appointment whenever is convenient, should you be rushing down there now demanding the next available appointment no matter what, or should you in fact be heading straight for A+E right now?

We're also not trying to be just annoying when we ask about what medication you're on.  It's not a memory test for you, it's not just a silly question...some medications can have a significant impact on your bones and joints, or might indicate other conditions you may be prone to.  For example, if you have had severe asthma for a long time, and have regular had to use a steroid inhaler, your bones may be weaker than normal for someone in your age range.  Can you see how that might change how your Chiropractor treats your problem?  Don't want to be putting full-force adjustments through weak bones!


When your Chiropractor is going through all your medical history with you during your first appointment, try and answer every question as fully as you can.  You may not think it is relevant, but with a bit of extra knowledge a picture sometimes builds which suggests a non-mechanical cause of pain.  The case mentioned above could easily have been dismissed as just muscle tension, but other apparently irrelevant factors (such as the fact the patient had 3 children, had suffered gestational diabetes and had recently been trying to lose weight) allowed the Chiropractor to correctly identify her condition and refer her on for the appropriate care. 

Amazing, huh?!

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TF11 9BQ

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