What is Our Scope of Practice?
Spinal management and spinal diagnosis make up a rather complex field. Numerous medical professionals offer contradictory theories about various spinal issues and many of their treatments have not been proven effective. For general practitioners, spinal pain is a frustrating topic. My Sports Chiropractor works to make it less frustrating and easier to comprehend.
“Manipulation” is commonly associated with “chiropractic treatment”. The “joint manipulation” is only one of the many tools implemented by our chiropractors to reduce stress and interference of the nervous system, joints and musculature. In fact, orthopaedic specialists and physiotherapists often implement this manipulation tool on their patients too. However, our chiropractors are extensively trained in manipulative therapy and attain the knowledge base on how best to implement this tool through our thorough diagnostic procedures.
Identifying whether a patient’s condition is suitable for our chiropractic treatment is paramount. We understand that medical literature regarding spinal diagnosis management is ever changing and updating. Therefore we believe strongly in taking an integrated approach with local GP’s, allied health professionals and orthopaedic surgeons, and maintain good relationships to ensure our patients are appropriately diagnosed, treated and co-managed.
Are all Patient's X-Rayed?
We only implement an imaging modality if we are suspecting an underlying pathology or are unable to gain further information through other means.
Imaging, such as X-rays, are never our first choice of diagnostic tool as our detailed subjective and objective examinations are often sufficient enough to make an accurate clinical diagnosis. However, in some instances, further imagining must be obtained. For example, our clinical examination may identify the level of an underlying disc herniation with associated neurological deficits, however we are not able to accurately distinguish:
All these factors identified through imaging are essential to answer patient concerns relating to prognosis, effectiveness of conservative treatment and the probability of surgery.
As a result, we prefer MRI imaging as oppose to plain film X-rays. We only use imaging with diagnostic intent.
Is Cervical Manipulation Dangerous?
At My Sports Chiropractor, we complete a thorough clinical work up with each and every patient to ensure our treatment is suitable for them. And manipulation of the cervical spine is no different. There is no doubting that any form of manual therapy yields its own risks. It is the practitioners responsibility to ensure that the adequate diagnostic steps are taken to rule out any potential risk of harm to the patient. Spinal manipulation is no different and there are both relative and absolute contraindications to its use. Most contraindications are due to two issues:
- Bone Weakening (eg. rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bone infection etc)
- Joint Instability (eg high grade ligament sprains, fractures, hypermobile joints i.e Marfans Syndrome)
We are well aware of these factors, and our practice is conservative as a result.
As stated above, our chiropractors implement a variety of treatment tools and joint “manipulations” are only one of these tools. Many medical professionals are concerned with the possibility of Vertebral Artery Dissection (VAD) following a cervical manipulation. It should be stated that not only is the possibility very low, the problem lies with whether the manipulation caused to begin with. The current literature documents many known dissection triggers, including hair-washing at a beauty parlour, yoga poses, looking up whilst painting a ceiling, and looking back whilst reversing a car. However in each of these aforementioned events, the individual was already predisposed and susceptible to VAD.
Should you wish to discuss any aspect of your patient’s condition, treatment options or how we may be of assistance, you can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by direct contact on 0435 819 286
Priority Referral Form
If you’re a GP and would like our practice to urgently attend to your patient’s needs, fill out the form below and we will endeavour to get in touch with your patient within 24hrs.
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