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Posted on 10-16-2013

When is the last time you saw your chiropractor? Millions of Americans rely on their DC’s to provide pain relief, wellness advice and preventive care, and that’s why October is being hailed as Chiropractic Health and Wellness Month in Oregon, and throughout the United States. It’s also the perfect time to get in contact with your chiropractor or, if you’ve never seen one, consider what a DC can do for you.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, a doctor of conventional medicine, no less, has declared October to be Chiropractic and Wellness Month. It’s not just a local movement, either. It’s also National Chiropractic Health Month, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). 

In Kitzhaber’s proclamation, he notes that Doctors of Chiropractic contribute to Oregon’s goal to “produce healthy citizens”.  He also states that chiropractors “… acknowledge the simple absence of disease or acute illness does not constitute health…”  That’s a statement that likely wouldn’t have been made by an MD not so long ago. It’s further evidenced that chiropractic care, along with other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) disciplines, is firmly in the mainstream of health care.

The Oregon proclamation describes chiropractors as “… primary care providers who focus not only on the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries but also on health promotion and wellness while using non-invasive treatment interventions…” Kitzhaber’s reference to Doctors of Chiropractic as primary care providers echoes last year’s proclamation by former Governor Ted Kulongoski that referred to DC’s as “… Preventive Care Providers who focus on the health of the whole person…”1

It’s a good reminder that you can rely on your DC’s expertise.

Cost is also addressed in the 2011 announcement.  Kitzhaber states that, “Medical services offered by Doctors of Chiropractic result in improved health, satisfaction, safety and reduced per capita costs.” That’s a message we can all appreciate as we look for ways to cut back costs, without giving up one of the things that’s most important to all of us – our good health.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, National Chiropractic Health Month provides an opportunity to “… educate consumers about the many benefits of care and to position doctors of chiropractic as wellness experts.” In addition, each year the ACA focuses on specific areas where chiropractic care is beneficial. In 2010 the focus was on prevention and treatment of obesity, while 2011’s program features information on the problems associated with increased use of technology, particularly through texting.

The American Chiropractic Association is encouraging the public and providers alike to “get Techno Healthy.” The ACA’s toolkit cites a study by the University of Queensland in Australia stating “… text messaging is the most addictive digital service on mobile or Internet, and is equivalent in addictiveness to cigarette smoking.”2 So prevalent is texting, and the strain and injuries related to it, that names for the disorders resulting from extended use of these tiny keyboards have been coined – “Blackberry Thumb” and “Text Neck".3 Use of this technology can also result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as can the other common activities highlighted, such as use of the computer mouse and cell phones. The Association suggests that, as experts in ergonomics, chiropractors have a role to play in education, prevention and treatment of the problems that occur because of our reliance on technologies.4 Whether you are experiencing the ill effects of frequent texting and cell phone use, or want to find ways to prevent problems, it’s a good time to have a conversation with your chiropractor.

In their press release, the ACA suggests that providers note the following: “People will be delighted to learn that they can enjoy technology without experiencing pain…  Our bodies are made to move - not to maintian the same stooped over posture for long periods of time or to repeat the same motions endlessly. The good news is that there are things we can do to prevent pain and injury. There are also natural approaches to treating aches and pain, such as chiropractic care, that don’t involve drugs or surgery."5

The statements around the 2011 proclamation and programs, whether on a statewide or national level, indicate that chiropractors are being viewed more and more as primary care providers with a real role to play in not only treatment, but in prevention  of a wide range of illnesses and disorders. Doctors of Chiropractic are no longer on the fringes of the health care system. As former Oregon Governor Kulongoski noted in his 2010 decree, “Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine professions…"6

Perhaps it’s time to look at your health from a different perspective – one that a chiropractor can provide. With their focus on the whole person, not just the health care problems you’re already experiencing, a chiropractor might just be able to keep your systems running smooth for a long, long time.

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