Although very rare, during my 17-years in practice at Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, there have been instances when I have advised my patients to seek care outside chiropractic or alternative care. If you have been under the care of a chiropractor for several months or have seen several chiropractors, or if you have tried different chiropractic techniques and modalities, yet you feel no relief, it may be time to look deeper into your condition. But let me make a distinction, if you felt little relief, that is different than no relief at all. If you experienced even a little relief, it just means that your progress may take longer, so don’t give up. Having said that, if you feel no relief at all, then the cause of your pain may not be due to musculoskeletal problems.
I have seen patients who had severe bulging discs, prostate issues, ovarian issues, tumors or kidney issues which mimic back pain. Because these problems are not musculoskeletal in nature, I advised them to look at other solutions. In the presence of these issues, chiropractic will still help with waking up the immune system and strengthening the body’s self-healing ability.. However, the first line of defense is to seek deeper diagnostic tools such as an MRI or diagnostic ultrasound.
After diagnosing the problem, I strongly urge that a patient turn to alternative, non-invasive care such as acupuncture and/or naturopathic medicine in combination with chiropractic to find a solution. Only if none of the above treatments result in progress, would I advise a patient to consider invasive procedures such as drugs or surgery. An MRI or diagnostic ultrasound will determine how aggressive you should be with treatment.
Ask your chiropractor today to send you for an MRI, if your condition seems to remain the same or has worsened within 3 to 6 months of starting consistent treatment. If your treatment has been sporadic or inconsistent, you might consider seeing your chiropractor with greater frequency to give the treatment a chance before deciding to be diagnosed further. For example, if you have severe pain, but only see a chiropractor once a month, you will not see significant changes. Follow your chiropractor’s recommendations for frequency of visits.