Let me start by saying that I am not anti-medicine. I am thankful for lifesaving drugs and surgical procedures. I even see the huge benefit of things like vaccines and antibiotics, despite their side-effects. That being said, I have learned during my practice of chiropractic that most MDs are clueless when it comes to handling everyday musculoskeletal complaints. If you go to your PCP with back pain, for instance, they will most likely either give you painkillers and muscle relaxers, which will merely mask the problem, or send you to an orthopedist. If the orthopedist does not think you are a surgical candidate (most people with back pain are not), you will be sent for physical therapy, which may take several weeks to actually get an appointment.
The same goes for things like plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and shoulder impingement. I can’t even count the number of patients I have seen who have been to several different specialists and eventually just told to just “live with it”, when in fact the problem was due to something as simple as a trigger point. After they are all better within a few treatments, the question they usually ask is, “Why didn’t my doctor know about this?”
The fact is, most MDs are not well trained in the neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) system- they are internists. While MDs and chiropractors both have to dissect human cadavers during the course of their training, MD’s spend most of their time studying the internal organs, merely glossing over the muscles, fascia, nerves, etc. In contrast, chiropractors spend hundreds of hours studying the NMS system. When I was in school, we not only had to know the name of every muscle, but its origin, insertion, action, what blood vessel fed it, and which nerve activated it. I can’t say I remember every detail, but I would feel confident in a NMS trivia contest with any family doctor.
Orthopedists and neurologists are much more familiar with the NMS system than general family doctors, but they are limited in their treatment options. If they cannot give you a cortisone injection or some type of surgical procedure, there is really not much else they can offer.
My point is this: When you have a health problem, you should go to the doctor that specializes in that area. If you have a heart condition, see a cardiologist. If you have a toothache, see a dentist. If you have aches and pains of the NMS system, see a chiropractor- we are the NMS specialists, and you don’t even need a referral!