The term complementary is usually associated with the hospitality industry and not healthcare.  But in recent years, the trend in modern medicine has been inclusive of, what was considered in the past to be, alternative medicine. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), complementary medicine refers to:

“If a non-mainstream practice is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered ‘complementary.’ If a non-mainstream practice is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered ‘alternative.’

True alternative medicine is uncommon. Most people who use non-mainstream approaches use them along with conventional treatments.”

The case could be made that chiropractic care is more mainstream than an annual checkup with your general practitioner. So why do some consider chiropractic on the fringe of medical care?  Chiropractic is a specialty not taught in medical or nursing schools; a chiropractor holds a specialized title – Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) rather than Medical Doctor (M.D.). But a chiropractor does more than just align your spine; imagine a doctor, physical therapist and sports trainer all wrapped into one.

In this scenario, a medical doctor may recommend chiropractic to avoid using strong painkillers or to prevent the need for surgery, but he can’t perform adjustments himself. A chiropractor can’t diagnose issues or advice drug treatments.  Therefore, a connection is made.

Chiropractic offers drug-free treatment to restore joint function and, in turn, reduce pain. For some conditions, chiropractic may take the place of more traditional therapies like surgery, making it truly alternative medicine. In other cases, chiropractic will be combined with physical therapy, pain relievers, or other treatments to speed healing. In those cases, it is complementary medicine.

If you live in the Belleville area and are looking for a complement to a traditional approach, visit Dr. Rob Fast.  The Back Pain Clinic Belleville is located across from Althoff Catholic High School and within a half mile from Memorial Hospital Belleville.