What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Doctors of chiropracticare educated as primary-contact healthcare providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the healthcare professions. The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work.
Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more. Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation and adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures. In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education, an accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. They are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches using their highly skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. DCs also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, ligaments and joints, such as tendinitis, sprained ankle, rotator cuff, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis and other conditions of the arms, legs, feet and hands. These painful conditions may involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. In addition, chiropractors offer advice to patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?
A referral is usually not needed. Most health plans as well as accident insurance allows patients to “self refer” for Chiropractic.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation and auto accident insurance. Dr. Gudmundsen accepts Providence, Regence/Blue Cross/Anthem, Cigna, Aetna, Healthnet, Pacific Source and United Healthcare. Dr. Gudmundsen does not bill Medicare or Medicaid.
If I have an accident, do I have to go to an "Accident/Injury clinic?" What if I get a letter in the mail telling me to go a certain clinic right after my accident?
No you don’t. Oregon law for both Workers Compensation and Auto Accident (PIP) insurance allows you to go to the provider of your choice. The practice of soliciting patients from DMV accident records, while not against the law in Oregon is considered unethical. Do not be fooled by these letters. They are not from your insurance, they are predatory solicitations.
I got hurt at work and my boss told me I have to go to Urgent care. Do I have to go where they tell me?
No. Many employers do this. It is called “steering of injured workers” and is actually against the law. Oregon workers compensation law allows for a Chiropractic Physician to be your attending physician for 60 days, or 18 visits, whichever comes first. Most conditions we treat will get well within that time frame. Should you need additional care or if we find that you have a more serious condition or complications, we can refer you to a specialist to take over your care.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands to manipulate the joints of the body, including the spine or extremities, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.