When I was looking for a job as a chiropractor in Singapore, I realised that almost every chiropractic clinic here has a prescribed protocol. This means all chiropractors in the same practice are expected to do the same thing to everyone with the same complaint without any consideration for who they are as a person. We hated it.
Why did I not work for a chiropractor in Singapore?
The truth is I did. I did some part-time work for a chain chiropractic clinic in Singapore and I lasted a total of two weeks. The reasons were simple:
- I did not enjoy hard selling unnecessary chiropractic packages to people couldn’t afford it. In fact, I think it is morally wrong to fear-monger Singaporeans into signing for crazy prepaid plans.
- It was incredibly meaningless to “pop” spines day-in, day-out without any consideration for the pain experience of the person sitting (or lying) in front of me. The worst part of all was that I knew exactly what I could do to help them get better but there was nothing I could do about it because I had a protocol to follow.
Is your chiropractor putting his clinical training into good use?
One of our biggest pet peeves is when clinically trained allied healthcare providers decided they are service providers. I.e. I am a chiropractor therefore I crack backs. The truth is chiropractors are perfectly equipped to manage pain conditions. In our previous entry, we cited studies that showed chiropractic patients responded faster than physiotherapy patients and that chiropractors were more guidelines-compliant than other allied healthcare providers.
If the chiropractor you see is cracking your back for every visit and that is almost all he or she does – despite no change in your symptoms – you probably need a new person. In our opinion, an allied health provider who puts his clinical training into good use would not repeat the same treatment over and over again in hopes that something would miraculously change for the better.
But really, chiropractic adjustments alone are unlikely to make you better. Check out the latest study on spinal manipulation in our previous entry – The truth behind a chiropractic adjustment.
Operative vs. interactive model of care: choose the right chiropractor!
That brings me back to the point of this entry. The chiropractor who performs only one or more techniques is an operator. In essence, they deliver a service beside on your history and presentation without taking into consideration who you are as a person or the individualistic circumstances of your pain experience. The interactor chiropractor recognises the context of your treatment. They consider the technique, who they are as a person, who you are as a person, the environment you live in, your unique pain experience, and that the interaction between all of these factors in varying parts contribute to your health outcomes!
Why does it matter?
It matters because we no longer subscribe to a biomedical model of care when it comes to musculoskeletal pain. We no longer believe that your back or shoulder pain is the result of a single cause (i.e. bad posture, too much computer time). For the past decade, we have been emphasising a lot on the biopsychosocial model of care. This means that your pain is not just a direct manifestation from what happens within your body but also your work life, social life, support group, your state of mind, your mental welling, etc. Therefore, it is pertinent for all healthcare providers to look beyond what happens in the body to your life as a whole. This is truly the holistic approach to pain.
Traditional chiropractors look at your problem and attempts to fix them with whatever training they have had (which, by the way, may be outdated). Forward thinking, reformed chiropractors work with you to find a solution so you can return to the lifestyle you desire.
To quote Dr Roderick Henderson, “we need to spend more time trying to be Alfred instead of Batman.”
That is all we have for you for now. You can check out the following articles to see if Square One is a good fit for you:
- Six Reasons Why Square One is the Best Sports Chiropractor in Singapore
- Seven Reasons Why Square One Is Not Your Regular Chiropractor
- Five Things to Consider Before Making a Chiropractic Booking With Us
For clinical, research-based readings:
- Nine High Value Tips For Your Tendon Pain
- Nine Truths You Should Know About Your Running Health
- MRI and Slipped Disc: From a Chiropractor’s Perspective
Got a question for us? Reach out to us via our contact form here.