9 Characteristics to Look For in an Amarillo Chiropractor – Part Eight

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

8. Know When To Refer.

When we talk about referrals, we can get way off track in the chiropractic profession. Some chiropractors feel that they can solve any problem walking through their doors. As I said before, I am interested in the chiropractor that is plugged in to his profession and to his colleagues. I’m interested in the chiropractor that is plugged in to the healthcare field as a whole. I’m also interested in the chiropractor that knows what his regulating body (Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners) defines their scope of practice.

If a doctor gives me a sense that they feel that they are the only one that can handle any condition, or that there is never any need to look outside of his office for additional help, then I am likely going to find another chiropractor. I think it is extremely important to go to a chiropractor that is not afraid to admit when additional treatment should be reasonably looked at. It’s not a sign of weakness to refer. It’s a sign of knowledge and confidence and a sign of knowing one’s own limitations. I think that is a very admirable quality and one that I, as an Amarillo chiropractor, definitely strive to embody on a daily basis.

I for one, look forward to each and every time that I have the opportunity to work in conjunction with a medical provider. I feel that it is a very complete treatment plan when you are able to address all symptoms thoroughly. A team effort is always the way to go when possible and necessary. It’s the best of both worlds and, let’s be honest: medical providers have a lot of stuff going on in their practices besides sprains, strains, soreness, and other musculoskeletal gripes and woes. They aren’t, as a rule, as effective in treating the conditions that we chiropractors treat on a daily basis. Therefore, patients commonly get muscle relaxers, pain killers, anti-inflammatories, or even a referral to a physical therapist with recommendations to rest, ice, compress, and elevate until it goes away.

These conditions are a good time to refer to a chiropractor that can work with the patient, introduce movement in the joints, address any postural issues, provide therapy, and rehab the complaint. That’s so much more effective and natural!! No drugs.

On the other end of the spectrum, if a chiropractor has recommended a conservative course of treatment but you haven’t shown improvement over the first four weeks or so, it may be time for him to be looking for a referral for your condition. Depending on your case, history, and exam, if a patient actually degrades or gets worse, it’s time to take a long look at getting an MRI and referring the patient to a neurologist.

It’s incredibly important to know when a referral needs to occur on both ends of the healthcare field. Make sure you have the confidence in your chiropractor to know when to say, “when.”

You will have to take into consideration for yourself whether you want a chiropractor that is deeply versed in chiropractic philosophy (potentially less open to outside referrals) or if you want a chiropractor that is open to working with the medical community on a more regular basis.

Thank goodness that there are different doctors, both medical and chiropractic, to fulfill all of our different needs!

Until next week,

Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Chiropractor in Amarillo