Chiropractic Care Now Considered Mainstream

Longtime chiropractor recalls that medical doctors were very prejudiced against chiropractic — chiropractic care has come a long way, he says

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Chiropractic has become “one of the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine therapies in the United States and Europe,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

Chiropractic care has moved away from the largely stigmatized anecdotal evidence perception of care among patients to providing for patients evidence of its efficacy and complementary nature when paired with conventional medicine.

“Evidence-based chiropractic care and medical providers work well together,” said Barrett Parker, doctor of chiropractic at Allied Spine and Sports Chiropractic in Syracuse. “There’s a wide variety of chiropractors and chiropractic technique, which is good for patients who have a lot of needs but evidence-based practice works well.”

Speaking in the same terms as providers helps providers like Parker collaborate with them. He added that since collaborative care is the type of care patients seek now, chiropractic schools emphasize it in their training.

Another of the reasons that chiropractic care has become mainstream is that with the high costs of healthcare, more people want to find solutions for the cause of their physical discomfort instead of taking medications that only mask the pain. Many people dislike the side effects of pain medications as well, including the possible risk of dependency. They prefer to heal through chiropractic care such as one done by a Collinsville Chiropractor.

“I have been in practice for the past 36 years here in Oswego and we’ve enjoyed excellent working relationships with our local PCPs,” said Ed Galvin, chiropractor and owner of Port City Chiropractic Chiropractors. “Chiropractic care is growing in demand around the world. So much research into spinal care is being done in collaboration with medical and chiropractic researchers. Guidelines for back pain include conservative care and chiropractic care is part of those guidelines.”

Many insurers now at least partially cover chiropractic care.

One of the criticisms lobbed at chiropractic care is that some patients do not receive immediate relief in some cases, unlike with taking pain medication. Unlike most acute injury cases, someone with a long-term injury that sees a chiropractor after year of ineffective medical treatments may find that it takes weeks or even a few months of treatments from a chiropractor to achieve lasting results. Find outstanding care at Chiropractix, where our experienced chiropractor delivers customised treatments to ease pain and boost your health. Trust Chiropractix for comprehensive chiropractic services focused on your well-being. Visit us today for a healthier future.

The profession has come a long way since the 1980s when Vincent Sportelli, doctor of chiropractic, launched his career. He owns Sportelli Chiropractic Health & Wellness Center in Syracuse.

“Doctors were very prejudiced” against chiropractic, he said. “I had a booming practice and did my lectures and different seminars. I hit the ground running. But I’d get referrals from just eclectic MDs. Now, it’s from everyone. There are hospitals that have chiropractic departmentsand universities that have chiropractic colleges associated with them. The controversy has been eliminated, but it took 20-30 years.”

He added that chiropractic is the third largest of the medical primary professions.

These days, Sportelli treats medical doctors who want to avoid surgery and medication side effects.

“They’d rather try conservative approaches first,” Sportelli said. “Chiropractic is 95% effective. Who would not want to try chiropractic first?”

About one-quarter of his practice comes from people who want to prevent injury and stay active. He helps patients with weight control, nutrition and muscular symmetry, all within his training scope as a chiropractor and state-licensed clinical nutritionist.

Like Sportelli, it’s not uncommon for chiropractors to acquire further education that complements their chiropractic care. Sportelli is also certified to offer Theralase cold laser treatments.

Despite his practice’s advances, he said that New York limits what chiropractic doctors can do.

“This state is medically dominated — a pharmaceutical paradise,” Sportelli said.

In addition, chiropractic doctor graduates do not receive the same support in gaining patients as medical doctor graduates who “get fed patients from their medical university,” Sportelli said.

But a positive tradeoff is the start-up costs for setting up a practice are much lower than an independent medical practice.

“It’s rewarding as can be,” Sportelli said. “The patients love you and they bring in goodies and tomatoes from their gardens. They’re very considerate and appreciative of what you do. I can’t think of another profession I could get into than every day getting the reinforcement that they appreciate it and they can’t believe how quickly they got better.”

Richard “Rick” Tesoriero, chiropractor and owner of Tesoriero Chiropractic Office, PC in Oswego, also hung out his shingle in 1980. He said that since then, “it’s like a 180-degree turn. I get multiple referrals as doctors want to try conservative treatment than surgery in many cases. In the ‘80s they didn’t want to discuss a case. Now it’s easy for me to make a referral and I receive referrals from them. Sometimes it’s follow-up after surgery.”

In addition to helping patients address acute issues, Tesoriero helps them avoid reinjuring themselves by discussing posture, stretching and proper movement. He also offers exercises to help patients strengthen their core — “core is everything,” he said — but perhaps three out of 100 patients maintain their core exercise regimen.

“The vast majority of my patients’ injuries are preventable,” Tesoriero said. “I can tell them exactly what happened. It’s stress, tension, work and then hobbies.”

The top injury-causing activities are bowling and golfing, not because of the intensity of these sports, but because unlike football or basketball players, bowlers and golfers don’t warm up and are not in as good physical condition, Tesoriero said.