7% – Getting The Message Beyond

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

The goal for this week’s blog was for it to be able to “speak” to either patient or chiropractor. 

For the patient, I would like for it to inspire your good words and action. We need your help. With today’s social media capabilities, your power is unprecedented  

For chiropractors, I would like for it to encourage the focusing of what we have to say so that it can possibly be a more effective and meaningful message. 

It is certainly my belief that we can literally change the face of healthcare in our nation if we get better at telling people “our” story rather than having ourselves and our profession be defined (for better or worse) by outside sources. 

In that spirit….here we go.

According to WebMD, approximately 22 million Americans visit a chiropractor every year and 7 million of those are there for back pain. That sounds like a lot until you realize that, according to my calculations,that is only about 7% of the population.

With at least 31 million Americans suffering from back pain at any one time (according to ACAtoday.orgit is easy to see that we chiropractors haven’t been very good at getting our message out. 

With the mountains of research that continues to show cost savings, safety, and effectiveness of choosing chiropractic care (that I continue to share with you on this blog), patients no longer just have the word of their doctor assuring them, but they also have research that demonstrates Chiropractic’s vital role in the healthcare system. Some would call it a “higher authority.”

That “higher authority” consists of medical doctors/researchers, PhD’s, hospitals, insurance companies, and selected National health committees. If the public doesn’t want to hear the message from chiropractors about how effective chiropractic care can be, that’s understandable; but how can they deny or ignore facts and research?

I think the simple answer is many would not deny the facts; they simply don’t know the facts yet. 

(As a quick side note: if you aren’t a regular follower of my blog, and you enjoy research and facts to back up a message, keep following this blog. In addition, you may check into my past blogs to catch up with what has already been shared.)     

What is the message though?

That’s a great question but difficult to answer since it changes from chiropractor to chiropractor. It just depends on which chiropractor you ask. The answer is even going to be different for each of the chiropractors in Amarillo. Though we may share the same geography, the goals and methods of chiropractors are still going to differ widely.

Research and clinical experience show that In about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, (in comparison to the traditional medical model), patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic . Chiropractic care is safe, saves costs, decreases your chances of having surgery, and reduces your chances of becoming disabled.  We do this conservatively, naturally, and non-surgically. And we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient.

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising their general, overall level of health!

Let’s dive in a little deeper and look at specific conditions, like disc herniations, for example.  Clinical experience and research stats show an amazing difference, when you combine chiropractic care with technology such as spinal decompression and laser. This isn’t me saying “IT WORKS!”…it’s proven to be effective.  I can say it.  Other patients can tell you how well it worked for them.  I can show you scores of testimonials from our patients, but the real question becomes, “Will it work for me?”

But if we get laser-focused, then the take-away is this: 

We are seeing patients canceling their surgeries and being able to be pain-free after years of misery from herniated discs. 

Many of these patients felt like they had “tried everything”.  They did their homework and made the decision to try conservative Chiropractic Care, along with technologies such as  decompression therapy and it worked.  Research shows that if conservative Chiropractic care is the entry point to the healthcare system for neuromusculoskeletal complaints, rather than an alternative, there are less surgeries, less hospitalizations, and less use of prescription drugs. Outside of catastrophic injury, using daily narcotic pain medication, invasive spinal injections, and surgery should be a last resort after all other treatment options have been exhausted.

Now, why aren’t more people interested in that? 

Could it be because their uncle’s, aunt’s, cousin’s, best friend told them that “chiropractors are crazy, they’ll hurt you”, and to stay away from them? Is it because people are misinformed that chiropractors aren’t “real”” doctors? 

(I addressed that in a blog a few weeks ago that you can read by clicking HERE.)

Is it because patients are bombarded with messages in the media and given the false hope that there is a pill or surgery to fix every problem with the human body?

Is it because there was a documented and well-known attack by the American Medical Association that was organized and launched against chiropractors and chiropractic in general to obliterate the Chiropractic profession from the face of the planet? The court case is called Wilk vs. AMA.

Is it because the Texas Medical Association is, in fact, continually attacking Texas chiropractors in the courts and the legislature? When you consider that there are 47,000 medical doctors in Texas and only about 5,500 chiropractors in Texas, let’s just say we’ve all had to deal with bullies before.

(If you’d like evidence of the types of political attacks they use, go to the link right HERE.) 

It’s easy to see why our message gets lost, jumbled, or just dismissed.      

But that doesn’t make it untrue. 

The pesky things about facts and research; people don’t have to “believe” them.

I get a chuckle every time I hear someone say, “I believe in Chiropractic.”  That’s like saying, “I believe in optometry.” It’s not a religion. It’s researched fact and almost every insurance plan in America covers it.

Here it is again just for good measure: 
Research and clinical experience show that In about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, (in comparison to the traditional medical model), patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic . Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled.  We do this conservatively and Non-surgically. And we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. 

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising your general, overall level of health!   

I think there is a mistrust, to some degree, of chiropractors in certain circles of society so think about it this way: if our goal is to bring chiropractic to as many people as possible in a conservative, non-surgical, natural manner, then what good would it do chiropractors to intentionally mistreat or take advantage of patients? If word of mouth is the best way to build a business, then doing business in an honest,straightforward, and responsible manner while inspiring and educating your patients about their conditions is the way to go.  

We do our very best with each and every patient to get them back to where they want to be and then try to make sure they stay that way. We do it in a smart and fair manner so that our patients will want to tell everyone about this awesome chiropractor in Amarillo, TX! At least that’s the goal and we encourage our patients to communicate with us each time they feel we may be falling short so that we can fix it and make it right immediately! 

In the end, each patient has the choice to choose their path of treatment, based on their treatment goals and nobody is EVER made to feel pushed, pressured, or scared for any reason in our office. 

Think about it. With our patients’ help, we can get the message to more than 7% if we focus it like a laser and drill it home with fact-based research and results that can’t be denied.

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think. 

And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!   We cannot make a difference without your help.

Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at www.amarillochiropractor.com for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

Choose several options to schedule your appointment: call (806) 355-3000 or click the button below for our contact info.
by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Chiropractor in Amarillo

Special input for this blog came from  Dr. Tyce Hergert of Chiropractic Care Center of Southlake, TX, Dr. Steve VanOsdale of Boston Chiropractic in Lubbock, TX, and Dr. Lee Birk of Back To Basix in Wichita Falls, TX. Thank you guys for your time and thoughts.