One of the areas where chiropractic has traditionally struggled is public perception.
In the past, it’s not been uncommon to hear people say that this type of methodology and treatment is “quackery,” or that it’s just not as effective as it professes to be.
However, there are many scientific studies which support the benefits patients can receive by engaging in this type of care. How can you use this type of information to help elevate your practice, thereby getting more people to realize the value that chiropractic has to offer?
Science equals fact
One of the reasons people love science is because it is based on fact. Fact that is realized only after researchers and scientists go through a painstaking process which Oxford Dictionaries refers to as “the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”
In other words, if there is enough science to say the sky is blue, people will believe that it is blue. Conversely, if science finds that the color is different, the same people are now put in a position where they must consider this new alternative. And if several more studies back up the different color theory, society as a whole would be forced to sit up and listen.
That’s the same type of power science offers in a chiropractic setting. If you can share with your patients the studies that have backed different chiropractic modalities as effective forms of treatment, they’re more likely to see its value because you’re presenting them with facts.
What types of facts, or science, should you share?
Start with the problem
Because chiropractic has been found helpful for a number of different musculoskeletal issues, a good place to start is with the issue facing your individual patient. After all, you can talk about how effective having the right landscaping can be to selling a house, but if I’m not a homeowner, I’m probably not going to care.
Instead, look at the type of problem your patient is experiencing and focus on the science behind how chiropractic can help with it. For instance, if your patient struggles with migraine headaches, share the studies which have found spinal manipulation helpful in improving symptoms associated with this sometimes-debilitating type of head pain.
Talk to the patient about how spinal alignment (or misalignment) can contribute to the formation of these headaches. Discuss what type of treatment plan could provide the best results based on scientific evidence.
Or maybe a female patient has shared that she’s had fertility issues. One case study alone involved two women deemed medically infertile, both of whom conceived while engaging in chiropractic care. Share this type of information so she knows that it is relevant to her.
Share the science in an understandable way
Because science has a tendency of being rather complex, it also helps to share the scientific information or methodology in a more understandable way. This can be accomplished using a variety of methods.
For instance, plastic models and high-quality images can help patients visually see what you’re talking about as you discuss disc dislocations, nerve impingements, and subluxations. This improves the patient’s understanding of the issues they’re struggling with, making it easier for them to also understand your proposed treatment plan.
Another option is to take the information acquired through science and make it more relatable to their world. For example, if you reference a study which involved 2,000 people and that is the size of your small town, share that piece of information to better put it into context for them.
Or maybe a piece of research found that 75 percent of its participants experienced an improvement in their symptoms. When sharing this information, talk about how “three out of four participants” benefited from chiropractic care. Though it is a minor change of wording, it creates a much more visual—thus more powerful—effect.
The thing about science is that it always begins with a question. Why does something work the way it does? How does it work? The list goes on and on.
Take this same approach with your patients by encouraging them to ask you questions, thereby giving you the opportunity to highlight the science behind chiropractic and how it can be beneficial for them.
Plus, by giving patients the chance to ask for more information, you’ll have a clearer idea of which issues are most important to them. For instance, if they ask how much time they should wait before exercising again, the conversation looks much more different than if they ask whether their mattress may be contributing to their problem.
Getting in touch with patients concerns and being able to give them the science behind them creates a stronger doctor-patient bond. It tells them that they as individuals are important to you, enough so that you’re willing to find and share the science that can best help ease their concerns.