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Chiropractors are the go-to non-drug resource when it comes to assisting patients with pain management, injury recovery, and healing from musculoskeletal problems. But that care includes a lot of wear and tear on the part of chiropractors performing a very physical job.
The primary method taught to and used by chiropractors has long been manual adjusting, but the emphasis on improving patients’ quality of life via this physical endeavor can have detrimental effects on the long-term health of the chiropractors themselves.
The manual adjustment dilemma
Unlike most other health care professionals, a chiropractor’s primary tool is their body. They leverage this tool to manipulate their patients and provide pain relief and healing through physical adjustment.
While the result is better outcomes for people in need of chiropractic help, there is a significant toll on the chiropractor’s body, and the physical cost can be tremendous. Over time, the sessions compound, leading to the doctor of chiropractic experiencing physical deterioration, pain, and an inability to optimally assist their patients. Over the long term, the physically demanding work can reduce the longevity of a chiropractor’s career, especially when injuries appear and persist.
According to a recent survey, nearly 45% of chiropractors suffer from pain, physical fatigue, or other restrictions that limit their ability to manually adjust their patients. Of these, a significant portion reported that they frequently experience such challenges, indicating that their physical concerns greatly impact their ability to provide their patients with the treatment they deserve. Another survey found, from 397 useable responses, that 40% of DCs reported that they had experienced injuries while performing chiropractic work. This is significant, as nearly half of the respondents reported injuries.
Despite the common negative outcomes associated with manual adjusting, the method still dominates the chiropractic world. However, the wear and tear that manual adjusting places on the body is a real concern, especially over the course of a career.
Building a practice with manual adjusting
The majority of chiropractors are aware of the risk associated with manual adjusting in an excessive or prolonged manner. Despite the evidence of potential harm to their bodies, many DCs are at an impasse, as more growth means more physical treatment and more potential for injury.
Rather than giving their bodies time to recover from the physical exertion and stress of providing manual adjustment care to their patients, many chiropractors will push their bodies even farther in pursuit of a brighter career. The result is a dilemma that nearly every doctor of chiropractic has or will have to face in their career:
- What level of physical sacrifice is worth the career risk and potential long-term damage?
- How can a practice continue to grow without bodily harm reducing the longevity of their career or worse?
The advantages of chiropractic tools and multiple impulse therapy
There are several modern innovations — in method and technology — that can facilitate both long-term physical wellbeing and the ability to see more patients for DCs. Chiropractic tools, specifically those used to deliver multiple impulse therapy (MIT), are prime examples of how supplementing manual adjusting techniques with modern technology, innovation, and methodology can be extraordinarily beneficial both for the chiropractor’s body and their practice.
Not only do these innovative chiropractic adjusting tools allow a doctor of chiropractic to reduce the physical toll on their bodies, but they also increase the efficiency with which a session can take place. By lessening physical fatigue and expediting sessions, chiropractors can feasibly see more patients in the same amount of time, thereby expanding practices while enjoying a healthy, prolonged careers.
Of the doctors of chiropractic that participated in a recent survey, those using instrument adjusting tools reported seeing substantially more patients per day on average. The gap between those using chiropractic instruments and those relying primarily or solely on manual adjusting was significant, indicating that incorporating instrument adjusting sustainably improves the ability to increase patient load in a set time period.
How chiropractic tools work
There are several varieties of chiropractic tools, the majority of which are designed to work together and complement each other in a seamless manner. These tools can be implemented into a chiropractic practice in many ways and to varying degrees depending on the preferences of the doctor of chiropractic, the desires of their patients, and the scenario in which they are being used.
The tools themselves tend to be handheld with interchangeable tips. The availability of specialty tips, the ergonomics, and the way in which the tools interact with software can vary greatly depending on the company producing them.
Most often, these chiropractic tools are used to deliver multiple impulse therapy. They will likely have several settings that allow the doctor of chiropractic to customize the force and frequency of the impulses, thereby providing precise treatment with pinpoint accuracy. It allows the chiropractor to adapt the instrument on-the-fly as necessary, and many of these tools can also be used throughout a joint’s range of motion, further increasing the possible applications.
In addition to preserving the chiropractor’s physical health, many patients find instrument adjusting gentler and less intimidating than manual adjusting. This can attract more patients, providing further opportunities to expand the practice.
Chiropractic tools pair flawlessly with visualization software, providing DCs with an internal view of the spine, and facilitating a more precise adjustment and efficient session.
While different producers may offer different features, real-time evaluation of the adjustments made is common, allowing DCs to see the effectiveness of the adjustments, reevaluate the areas of concern, and compare the patient’s condition at the moment and historically.
Having a visual to pair with the chiropractic instrument adjusting saves the chiropractor from unnecessarily expending energy and physically straining their body. It also provides the insight required to allocate time and effort to the areas that need it the most.
Reduce injuries and lengthen your career
Chiropractors experience injuries at an alarming rate. This often prevents them from delivering the quality of treatment they wish to provide, limits the number of patients they can see, and shortens their careers.
Finding ways to negate these negative effects of manual adjustment is essential to preserving physical health and expanding DC careers and practices. Chiropractic adjustment tools, including visualized instrument adjusting, can do exactly that. As such, incorporating instrument adjusting should be seriously considered, especially as a supplement to traditional manual adjusting techniques.
For those new to PulStar or instrument adjusting as a whole, there is a convenient quiz that can act as a guide to the perfect chiropractic toolset. Additionally, the experienced professionals at PulStar are a wealth of knowledge, ready to answer questions ranging from generalized curiosity about visualized instrument adjusting to specialized queries about how the products can enhance a practice and lead to a long, healthy chiropractic career.
- PulStar Survey