Nederlandse Vereniging Patiënten Chiropractie NVPC
by Prof T. Atkinson, Former Chairman of
the Chiropractic Patient’s Association (CPA)
You need a Chiropractor for life
Most of us go to a chiropractor on referral from a GP or when in dire straits, using a chiropractor as a last resort to try and solve our pain and problems. We take no account of the damage we have inflicted on our bodies, often over many years, through both normal living and sporting activities. Others are born with congenital physical defects of which they are often not aware, but which will increase the likelihood of their need for chiropractic treatment as they get older.
It seems therefore surprising that while we acquire a medical general practitioner, a dentist and even an optician in early life, we have not yet adopted the thought pattern that we probably need a chiropractor from the early days of our life in order to avoid problems later. While health insurance companies are now slowly beginning to appreciate the need for chiropractic treatment, the National Health Service, which aids patients in respect of medical practitioners, dentists and opticians at various stages in life, does not appear to provide the same service to the population for chiropractic, save now in the one area of referral for low back pain.
From an early stage in life we sit for prolonged periods on inadequate seating, slumped over school desks, carrying increasingly heavy books and tests on our arms or shoulders and all at a stage when we are still growing. We then reached puberty when growth of both bone, muscle and ligaments accelerates dramatically at a time when currently we as prospective patients have no knowledge of how to treat our bodies and minimise any damage. Sporting activities increase, a fast life style is usually adopted and the inevitable physical problems start occurring even if at this stage many of them are hidden. Subsequently, though the next 20 years, we continue playing sport, slumping in chairs, sitting for hours in cars or at computers and generally playing havoc with our own physique. Our bodies cry, ”Enough” and we then go to a chiropractor, saying, ”Please help us”. As we progress into older age, the damage that has been done to us needs increasing treatment, which is the reason why many chiropractic patients are in middle to late age.
Prevention would seem a better idea than only attempting cure when the damage has been done. Many problems can be spotted at an early age and prevented by corrective treatment at that time, potentially thereby avoiding a later life of discomfort and pain as well as the loss, and thereby the cost, of many weeks or months of working days. It would therefore seem sensible for chiropractic examination to be available on the NHS from a very early age, with continued treatment available for those with chronic conditions. As well as improving the quality of life of patients this would also be a huge financial saving to commerce and government.
We therefore need a chiropractor for life as we need medical practitioners, dentists and opticians. Is anybody out there listening to us?
This article was written by Prof. Tony Atkinson, Former Chairman of the Chiropractic Patient’s Association England (CPA) and published in ‘Back Chat’, Autumn 1998, Vol.34 No.2
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