What are the Dangers of Over treating?

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Treatment of illnesses and injuries is like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, it can be too much, too little or just right. As doctors we try and get people well and alleviate their symptoms with the correct treatment. Thru the years we learn what generally works and what doesn’t. If patients are not responding the way that we think they should we try a different therapy or modify their home care instructions.

Chiropractic TreatmentsAs someone who has been a doctor of chiropractic for 30 years, I have seen different types of therapy, exercises and spinal adjustments be recommended thru the various schools and post graduate education courses. Starting in the early 1990’s with the Mercy Guideline’s, chiropractors have used a variety of different guidelines to help come up with an appropriate treatment plan. Some of these guidelines were good, such as the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) and some were not as good, such as the Council on Chiropractic Practice’s Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG). The good guidelines review all of the available research and help us understand when to use different therapies appropriately. This helps to prevent using a therapy because it is convenient, but not appropriate. When I began my practice 30 years ago, it was common to tell patients to take a week off of work and use bed rest. Now this is discouraged. Patients in the past had passive therapies done to them such as ice/heat or electrical stimulation for 8 or more weeks. Now we know that after about 2 weeks the benefits from those therapies are limited and that the patient should begin active therapies such as exercises and stretches. Cases of bulging discs of the cervical or lumbar spine that would take 3-4 months when I first began practicing now consistently resolve in 2 months or less.

Doctor’s should try and get patients well as quickly as possible and then give them the correct tools (stretching and exercises) to stay well. When patients are over treated or treated with inappropriate therapies they run the risk of becoming injured, disabled or developing a dependence on their physician. Patients do not need to depend on a doctor to stay well. A good doctor who is treating the patient with the appropriate care or therapy wants to get the patient well and then give them the correct home care instructions so that they don’t need care forever.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!