FAQ’s for Medical Practitioners

Numerous interviews conducted by the New England Spine Institute with medical practitioners have identified reasons why there is such separation between chiropractors and medical professionals. The most common reasons to be:

  1. There is a great variation among chiropractors and no way to predict what treatments will be provided to medical practitioners’ patients.
  2. Most medical practitioners are unfamiliar with the scope of chiropractic practice.
  3. Most medical practitioners have never spoken with a chiropractor.

Swanson Chiropractic is committed to building integrated relationship with area medical practitioners. Dr. Swanson meets often with these professionals to educate them on what we do and how we ARE a service to their patients. Our goal is to build this bridge so that patient care is heightened and health care costs are diminished. We accomplish this with:

  1. One-on-one discussions
  2. Educational lectures
  3. Newsletters
  4. Patient referrals

If you are a medical practitioner, please send us your questions/comments or set up a time to meet.

Which patients should I consider for referral to Swanson Chiropractic Clinics?

  • Outcomes for chiropractic treatment are optimal for mechanical/myofascial cervical, thoracic
    and lumbosacral spinal pain.
  • Patients with disc herniations commonly respond favorably to chiropractic management. Our clinic
    uses a combination of traction (axial, flexion-distraction), extension therapy, and spinal stability
    rehabilitation instruction, and posture correction aimed to unload discal stress.
  • Patients with repetitive strain conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet respond
    extremely well to our treatment protocols and have positive outcomes.

Check out our conditions we treat and services pages for more information

With so many variations of chiropractors, how does a medical practitioner identify a qualified chiropractor?

The Journal of Family Practice published the following guidelines to consider when selecting a chiropractor:

  • Willing to be clinically observed
    – We welcome observation and discussion.
  • Does not radiograph every patient
    – We radiograph only AFTER a complete exam and with clinical indications to radiograph.
  • Treats mainly musculoskeletal disorders
    – We specialize in these disorders.
  • Solicits positive feedback from patients
    – We give our patients satisfaction surveys so that we can improve every day.
  • Communicates with the referring physician
    – We send narrative reports, exam findings, treatment plans and progress reports to every physician.
  • Administers reasonable treatment programs
    – Our goal is to have the patient at maximum medical improvement (MMI) as quickly as possible.

How many chiropractic treatments are necessary for patients to improve?

  • The acute, uncomplicated spinal pain patients usually have significant relief in two-four weeks, plus they have added function and stability preventing future problems. The chronic or complicated acute patients typically require four-six weeks of treatment to gain a system wide response of healing and relief of symptoms. Again, in these patients scar tissue, dysfunctional movement patterns and muscle imbalances must be addressed AND corrected which may prolong recovery times. Many of our patients notice such vast improvement in quality of life the choose to continue chiropractic care on a maintenance or wellness plan.
  • Patients with some chronic and/or permanent conditions will be treated under a different model. Once the patients have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), we typically will provide chiropractic care and home exercise instructions on a maintenance basis to maintain their health and functional improvement. We promote patient independence.

Is chiropractic manipulation a safe treatment for patients?

We use the correct manipulative procedures for the various types of patients. When this occurs, manipulation is extremely safe. We do assess contraindications our patients may have prior to treatment.

  • Patients may experience soreness in the area of the manipulation. This is a welcomed response.
  • The most concerning potential complication is Vertebral Artery Dissection (VAD). Currently this is estimated to have an incidence of 1:3,000,000 to 1:10,000,000; however, the studies include manipulation performed by untrained practitioners, athletic coaches and tribal medicine men.
  • A recent systematic review done at Dept. of Neurosurgery Penn State revealed no evidence for causation between stroke and chiropractic adjustments. 
  • History of spinal surgery, osteoporosis, arthropathies, disc herniations without significant neurological deficits, scoliosis, degenerative changes and joint instabilities ARE NOT absolute contraindications; however, they do require that treatments be altered to be as safe as possible.
  • Absolute contraindications are severe/progressive neurological deficits, infections, malignancies, acute fractures/dislocations and acute arthropathies.