The COVID-19 Crisis: Visiting a Chiropractor During The Pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way people receive chiropractic care. If you’re someone in constant need of chiropractic services, you’re probably having a hard time getting the care you need nowadays.
Living with musculoskeletal issues can be difficult, and it has become quite harder nowadays due to the pandemic. With the imposed home quarantine and the call for social distancing, a treatment that involves physical contact can be difficult to carry out. Hence, chiropractic care patients are struggling to get their regular treatment.
But like other health care providers around the world, chiropractors are tackling ways to best serve their patients, all the while adhering to social distancing protocols. It might be challenging, but there are still things you can do to get the care you need.
Here are the things you need to know about visiting a chiropractor during the pandemic.
Social Distancing In Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care physicians are now limiting the number of patients that they see every day. However, there are still some who refuse to delay or cancel their appointments. People dealing with musculoskeletal conditions need regular chiropractic sessions. Many clinics are trying their best to adhere to social distancing protocols.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended minimizing the virus’s spread through the guidelines it released. Practices to follow include waiting rooms with a 6-feet distance between patients, use of face masks, and regular sanitation.
Beginning May 29, all areas in Chicago alone were placed in Phase 3. During this phase, chiropractic care and physical therapy clinics, such as PhyxMe, should only accept reservations and not allow walk-ins. Clinics must also adhere to a maximum of 50% patient capacity.
In line with this, the Illinois Chiropractic Society recommends that chiropractors should cancel appointments with patients who are only receiving maintenance care or those who reached maximum medical improvement.
In Pennsylvania, chiropractic offices were limited to acute care, emergent care, and urgent care that affect a person’s health, as long as they follow the CDC guidelines. They have since opened completely as long as safety measures are followed.
In Alaska, a health mandate was signed by the governor regarding chiropractic practice. All patients must make a pre-visit telephone call to screen any symptoms, travel history, and exposure to COVID-19 patients. The clinic must decline an appointment if the patient answered “yes” to any or all screening questions. Moreover, only services where patients do not need to remove masks are allowed.
The Board of Chiropractic Examiners in California recommends chiropractic care practitioners to assess whether their services are essential, as outlined by the governor of their respective states. The association also said that practitioners should follow the guidelines set by the CDC.
The Response of Chiropractic Associations
Different states in America are implementing a lot of regulations, especially medical care. Chiropractic societies also released recommendations regarding social distancing protocols and adhering to certain imposed laws by the government.
The American Chiropractic Association said that treating musculoskeletal conditions are critical in helping triage and managing cases that might end up in emergency rooms. They said that chiropractic clinics share responsibility with other healthcare providers to minimize or stop the spread of COVID-19. The association also stated that they are committed to responding to misinformation about chiropractic care amidst the pandemic.
On the other hand, the Illinois Chiropractic Society vowed that they are committed to providing accurate and updated guidance on issues regarding chiropractic practitioners during this pandemic. The association also said that chiropractic physicians are vital in treating acute pain and decreasing the burden on hospitals already busy with COVID-19 patients.
The Board of Chiropractic Examiners in California is committed to coordinating with the local and state government in protecting the health of people in California. The association is also working on implementing new technologies for remote working and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Telehealth services allowed in chiropractic care
Chiropractic care clinics now utilize telemedicine or telehealth services to cater to patients. Although chiropractic care is supposed to be done with physical contact, services can still be administered through this alternative.
Chiropractors have to think of ways to teach their patients the physical aide techniques virtually. They could also teach their patients different muscle stretching techniques to alleviate muscle pain. Other health and rehabilitation services might also be done virtually, such as examinations, consultations, range of motion assessment, and exercises.
Telehealth services are a great alternative to getting appropriate chiropractic care. This method is helpful, especially if you feel pain in your musculoskeletal system but do not want to go out due to COVID-19 restrictions. Through this method, the chiropractor can evaluate your symptoms, evaluate your progress, recommend exercises, and discuss pain management.
Although telemedicine is outside the coverage of insurance policies, the government has urged to include telemedicine in insurance coverage. Governor Pritzker of Illinois State has issued an executive order to increase the insurance coverage for telehealth services.
Before making an appointment, you should evaluate whether telehealth services are feasible for you. Check your internet connection and prepare your gadgets, such as a phone, tablet, or home computer. Additionally, assess whether or not you are comfortable with this type of health consultation.
Important Note: Chiropractic care is not proven to boost the immune system
A lot of claims have surfaced that chiropractic care directly boosts an individual’s immune system. However, the World Federation of Chiropractic disagrees. They said that there is no scientific explanation as to how spinal manipulation can boost immunity. Chiropractors were even asked to take down posts claiming that chiropractic care boosts the immune system and prevents COVID-19.
Even the Global Chiropractic Research Community is against the said claim. They investigated the reports regarding the issue and studied the method mentioned in the reports. They concluded that there is no valid and clinical scientific evidence on how chiropractic care can directly boost the immune system.
However, this does not mean that chiropractic care is not essential during this pandemic. Back and neck pain can cause stress, less sleep, and even major health problems. People with musculoskeletal issues also need their regular sessions to avoid being in constant pain.
A healthy diet, exercise, and proper sleep are essential in boosting the immune system. Thus, chiropractic care’s benefits can add to the factors that boost the immune system, but not directly contribute to it.
You cannot deny the benefits of chiropractic care to your body. However, the decision to visit a chiropractor is entirely up to you. If you do go, remember to adhere to the protocols set by the government to ensure your safety and wellbeing. As long as you wear your mask, frequently sanitize your hands, and observe social distancing, you’ll increase your protection against the virus while getting the chiropractic care you need.
Melissa Bell is a content writer and copywriter who specializes in fitness, lifestyle, and health. She’s known for being a health junkie, and is crazy about yoga, tea, biology, and self-help books.