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5 reasons to make a chiropractor your first stop for back and body pains

Chicago Chiropractor

1. We're primary care doctors.  

This means you don't need a referral from any other doctor in order to see a chiropractor. As a chiropractors, we are trained to assess and diagnose any problem that comes into our office, therefore you don't need to see an MD before we assess your problem. That doesn't mean we treat everything, but we are legally oblicated to decide what we can treat, and what we should refer out, very similarly to your family doctor.   

2. We can order any tests or imaging you may need

Luckily, most of my patients don't need advanced imaging or lab tests. I always tell my patients this: If I'm ordering an X-ray, it's because I need to rule out a fracture or something scary like a tumor or bone disease. And same for MRI's: I don't order them unless they will change my course of treatment. 

However, if we see you first and decide you need a referral to a orthopedic doctor or neurologist, we can order these tests so when you walk into your their office, you have them done, and done recently.  I can't tell you how many patients wait several months to get onto a surgeon's consult schedule, only to be told on their first visit they won't be able to do anything until after an MRI is taken, which delays their treatment even further. Or they had an MRI months before their appointment and the Doctor wanted an up to date image in order to proceed. 

3. We don't utilize medication or surgery

We specialize in conservative treatment methods. That means no pills, no injections, and no cutting.  Most chiropractors focus on things like adjustments, exercise, posture, nutrition, or supplements.  These things are not only effective against back pain, but they're safe. And with everything going on with the opiod epidemic in our country, a non pharmocological start only makes sense. 

4. We are trained specifically in musculoskeletal diseases

We love our Medical doctor counterparts - they're experts in several things we are not. Things like infectious disease, pharmacology, internal medicine, etc.  But, outside of orthopedic surgeons, most do not specialize in musculoskeletal problems. 

And while some may think of chiropractors only as back doctors, I have spent thousands of hours studying the rest of the body.  In fact, my first class in chiropractic school was Anatomy of the spine AND EXTREMITIES. And that was just the first semester. We had full semester long anatomy courses on the head and neck, viscera and abdomen, and neuroanatomy of the brain and spinal cord. That's not even to mention the continuing education courses every year that study the extremities in depth. 

5. We're trained in chiropractic and physical therapy

The long and short of it is this: Most aches in pains in our body that are not traumatic come from being too stationary.  That means the key to healing is introducing more joint MOVEMENT.  This can be done in office with passive treatments like chiropractic adjustments, but it also requires the patient get involved with active home exercises to realize a quick recovery.  We are trained and certified in several physical therapy techniques to make sure you're doing everything you can to get better, faster. 

Author
Dr. Todd Peterson, DC, Cert MDT. Dr. Todd Peterson Dr. Todd Peterson is a chiropractor and certified provider for Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy (MDT, aka the McKenzie Method). Dr. Peterson played football at the University of Nebraska, where he was a 4 year letter winner and Academic All American. He briefly played professional football in 2009 before returning to Chiropractic School in 2010. He earned his doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree from National University of Health Sciences in 2013, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors.

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