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How Chiropractors take the LEAD

by Dr. Kim Jameson, DC, ART

Now that the Affordable Care Act has finally eliminated the discrimination that Doctors of Chiropractic have faced for our entire profession’s existence, its time to show exactly what we can do, as well if not better than, any other healthcare providers and amplify our impact in people’s lives.

If you haven’t heard, here is what that can mean to our practices.  Insurance companies that cover (i.e. pay for) procedures performed by Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, or others must also pay for those same procedures when performed by Doctors of Chiropractic.

Meaning if a PT does therapeutic exercises, therapeutic activities or even manual therapy and they will pay for it – if those same procedures are performed by a Chiropractor, they have to pay for it. If the provider is licensed and the procedure is within their scope of practice, they can no longer discriminate based on type of licensure.

Basically, we are now at the same table as all of the other providers.  We cannot be excluded just because we have a D.C. after our name.  The insurance payment is procedure based, not licensure based.

The playing field has been leveled.  Sound the trumpets!

And with the focus on evidence based outcomes, meaning everybody is looking for and tracking successes, the more successful the treatment is in reducing the symptoms and reducing the need for care, those providers will be the super stars in healthcare.

This has been what we have been waiting for.  The opportunity to shine in the wide-open marketplace, to eat at the adult table, instead of being put at the kid’s table.  Estimates are that DCs only treat about 15% of the American population.  So for the 85% are suffering from conditions and disabilities that we treat successfully and oftentimes can completely resolve, we can now provide real solutions for them.  There are literally hundreds of conditions that we treat better than any other healthcare system and these conditions are wide open for our profession to take over the market share.

The next decade will be the New Golden Age of Chiropractic.  The age when we can touch and impact millions of lives for the better and create real solutions for millions who are suffering from pain syndromes previously considered “permanent”, reduce symptoms and their need for prescription pain killers, or help those who have no other options.

I recently met a woman in her 60s, who had had 9 surgeries to try to fix her knees.  As a former world-class athlete, gymnast, and dancer, she was told there was nothing more they could do for her.  Her doctors had exhausted all her options and she was left with lots of pain killers, walking down stairs one foot at a time, unable to bend on knee more than about 15 degrees without excruciating pain.  Her spirit was peppy and bright but her movement was hobbled, painful, and severely restricted.

After just two treatments by breaking up the scar tissue that was limiting her movement, she had more than 65 degrees of movement in her worse knee and she could move more freely, could walk downstairs normally and could also walk more than a mile a day without any increase in her knee pain.  She is on her way to being pain free and able to enjoy her life more now that she tried chiropractic care.  She said her doctors never mentioned getting a second option from a Chiropractor.

So as we put our best foot forward and tackle the issues that people need from us, let’s take this time to shine.

We are more than just “back doctors.” We provide full body solutions and unfortunately the grand majority of the population has no idea what we can do for them.

Now is our chance to let the population know what we have for them.

How do we go about getting word out?

Our profession has always thrived by word of mouth.  People flocked to Davenport, Iowa back at the turn of the last century to see D.D. and B.J. Palmer and the myriad of early Doctors of Chiropractic they taught because they got results.  In the age when the traditional healthcare was offering bloodletting and rudimentary drugs, these pioneers were adjusting people and getting results.  Just think of the “miracles” that they delivered to the suffering public.

Now we have countless millions of people on long standing painkillers which are ravaging their organs, they are having surgery after surgery with less and less success, and living with disabilities that have taken over their lives.

They need us.  They need what Chiropractors do best.  And we have another new opportunity to break them free from the chains of pain and problems.

What people are truly seeking is relief.  Relief from their painful limitations. Relief from the “solutions” that have made them more and more dependent on Big Pharma and chasing side effects. Relief from fixations in body and mind.

You’ve seen it in your practice.  Patients who come in scared, traumatized from traditional healthcare (that really is sick-care not health care or anything resembling wellness), and ready to be brave and try something that was never even mentioned in their “health” classes all throughout their schooling.

They have never tried chiropractic before but here they are in your office because they just don’t want to have surgery and they’ve been told that is their only option for relief and knowing that the chances of them getting relief is less than 50%.

Or the patient that has “been everywhere” and done “everything” with little or no results and so they might as well try chiropractic.

Or that person who has suffered a bad injury and heard that chiropractic might give them relief from the countless pain patches, pills, and problems that they developed along the course of trying to just feel normal again.

Over the course of your treatment, they experience that much sought after thing – RELIEF!  They are overjoyed!  They tell everybody they know that they can now walk downstairs without the pain they had before.  Or they can exercise again with no pain.  They can pick up their kids without pain that used to take them to their knees. They get their lives back without the myriads of pills they used to take and they can live pain free again.

Now they are telling everybody they know about their “miracle” that your treatment brought into their lives.  To them it’s miraculous.  To us, it’s just another day in Chiropractic.  The science, art and philosophy of a healthcare system rooted in providing relief.

Our critics say that our results are only temporary.  That “once you start going to a chiropractor, you always have to go.”

I often think that they never say this about the dentist.  No one would expect that you could go to the dentist once and never have to go back.  Why do they think this about us?  Our mouths are constantly changing systems of teeth, bite, and altered function with age. So are our entire bodies, even more so. Just because you had a cavity and a filing in one tooth does not mean that you will not develop something somewhere else.  The general public expects that they will need to go in twice and year to make sure that they teeth are healthy, that they have not developed something that will need the dentist’s unique and specialized attention.  And when that dental patient comes in with a need for a root canal, when they get their relief they might consider that a “miracle.”  How much more does the rest of our bodies experience change and decline with the wear and tear of use?  And how much more effective are we at providing relief since we are dealing with causes not chasing symptoms.

Even so, this is our challenge.  Making our treatments more and more effective.
Our focus, our push, and our challenge are to provide relief that is as comprehensive and effective as possible.

In this day and age, we cannot be satisfied with the static listing scenarios, where patients just expect that their condition is chronic and they will need to come in every week, sometimes multiple times every week, to get their adjustment for the relief that makes them feel normal again.

Our challenge is to provide a solution whenever possible that allows their adjustments to “hold” longer.   If we could do something that was simple that provides longer-term relief, would your patients like that?  Of course.

Would the insurance providers like that?  Honestly it doesn’t really matter.  They often times are only giving you 3 to 6 visits to work your “magic” anyway.  In some cases you have complicated workers’ compensation cases that you have 18 visits.  And if you don’t provide significant relief in that short time frame, you are off the case.

The visit limitations and pre-approval process has made many Chiropractors figure that accepting insurance is just not worth it.  But, what if we could provide dramatic results in that short of a course of care?  What if we could take a patient suffering from a chronic condition and reduce their symptoms by 50% in just one visit?  What about if you were able to take all their pain away in just 6 visits? or less?  How popular would your practice be? How applauded and revered would Chiropractic be? How much would that make Chiropractic the new first choice for millions of patients that are suffering?

Ah, but how would that affect your patient visit average (PVA)?  Many practice management companies are all about how many visits you can get out of each and very case that walks through your door.  In the past, when we only treated 5% to 10% of the population, making sure that those patients come back for care was good business.  And true, patients that receive regular chiropractic care are healthier, happier and usually longer living.

Yes, those that are under chiropractic care are healthier.  But we don’t have to track PVA when our doors are being bombarded by more and more patients because the percentage of the population that we treat just changed from the current 15% to 65%!  Or better yet, what if 100% of the population had chiropractic care as a matter of course.  Now with the Affordable Care Act, if it’s a covered procedure anywhere in healthcare, it’s covered for you too!

Many may say that making Chiropractic a more popular choice for pain relief for the general public is not possible.  I’m here to tell you that we could take over the market share of musculoskeletal problems, if we provided true, long term solutions.  That’s not good business – that’s great business. Chiropractic is on the verge of a BOOM and we need to get ready.  Those Doctors of Chiropractic that are solving problems that traditional healthcare is ignoring or doesn’t deal with well are not only the future, they are the NOW.

How do we BOOM our practices?

Here’s how we boom our practices – deal with the scar tissue and the subluxation.  If we deal with the scar tissue that is encasing the subluxation and then correct the subluxation, we get easier adjusting and longer lasting results.  Scar tissue, fibrosis, or adhesions – whichever name it is known by – it causing some of our treatments to be temporary.  This brittle, limiting tissue that not only is found in muscles causing them to progressively shorten and load the joints excessively but is also contracting the fascial sheaths that cover the entire body can effect every muscle, tendon, joint, and range of motion of every joint in the body.

Up until now, the art and science of removing scar tissue has been a tight-rope walk between effectiveness and pain.  Between applying just enough treatment but not causing some much pain that that process is too much for the patients to handle.  As always “Do NO Harm” leads our clinical decisions.

Manual scar tissue removal can be highly effective and some patients tolerate it well.  This includes those techniques done by hand and those utilizing manual tools, like Active Release Techniques™, Graston™, Rolfing and many, many others.  Some Chiropractors are using assisting tools like the Vibracussor™ to name one to get help breaking up scar tissue with vibration to reduce the pain perception by the patients.  This allows many doctors to work with the tissue at an increased tolerance.

What if there was a way to selectively target the scar tissue or the muscular fibrosis embedded in the tissue and spot welding the tissues to each other while completely sparing the muscles and other soft tissues from any damage.  What if there was a technology that uses the fact that scar tissue is more brittle and less moveable than normal muscle?

Like an opera singer who hits that perfect note, sustains it while the wine glass wobbles and then shatters the glass.

Imagine a small tree embedded in ice after a storm.  An abrupt striking of that tree (like a big gust of wind) could break the limb off because the ice encasing it is causing it to be more brittle. But if you gently shake the base of the tree with small impacts, the ice can’t tolerate the small movements, the brittle ice crackles, then shatters and falls revealing the healthy, flexible tree underneath.  Or the partially frozen over pond – ice forms on one end and slowly moves across.  But if you create a wave in the water, like a droplet in a still pond, it creates a wave form that propagates all the way across the pond.  Keep up the wave generation and eventually you’ll crack all the ice even though it’s all the way across the pond.

How fast is that change once the exact right frequency of impulses is achieved?  It’s virtually instantaneous. How quickly does the ice fall from the branches?  How far are the effects of the wave form created yards away on the pond.

Keeping these concepts in mind, imagine a hand held tool that achieves these benefits and is designed to literally shatter scar tissue.  It creates a wave form in the tissue that feels good to the muscle and skin but is too much strain for the scar tissue to withstand and it breaks into tiny pieces for the body to recycle. It’s called Rapid Release Technology and it’s honestly the best thing I’ve seen in decades for dealing with, releasing and rejuvenating the tissues.

Example: 52 year old female professional suffering from debilitating nerve pain that made a small portion of her leg so incredibly sensitive that even a sheet brushing against it causes excruciating pain.  Even with pain patches and high levels of oral pain killers, she received little or no relief.  Rapid Release Technology was used at the exact right spot in her low back, the scar tissue on that peripheral nerve was shattered and that the excess muscle tension melted.
The pain was all gone in two treatments.  And it has not come back even days later.  It’s gone.  Just think, ten years of suffering, disability and now her leg is pain free.

Another example: 51 year old professional with 30 year old chronic C1 subluxation that causes weekly migraines, occasional tinnitus and neck pain.  She used Chiropractic for over 20 years to reduce or eliminate the symptoms but for the last 5 years the adjustments aren’t really working anymore.  The area is getting worse and worse, more adheased and more difficult to get a release.  And sometimes the adjustment, no matter how skillfully administered, actually triggered a migraine.  The palpable bump was getting harder and harder to fix and the tissue felt more like beef jerky than normal muscle.  By applying the Rapid Release Technology to the area over a period of 6 treatments, the adjustment is now effective in reducing and eliminating her pain.  She has not had a migraine for over a month now, there is no tinnitus, the ear canal is less itchy and she has no more neck pain.  And her ranges of motion are normal for the first time in over 15 years.  She says that it feels like all the “superglue” in the area is all gone and even the skin and muscles in the area feel supple and younger.

You owe it to yourself and your patients to try out this Rapid Release Technology.  And whatever way you use to help your patients, just know that our profession has some of the most talented and effective doctors in the World and at least those in the US are about to see what we can do with a level playing field.  Let’s go “play ball.”

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