The Alignment Between Chiropractic Care and Public Health
In the overarching discipline of healthcare, there is a sort of division in how we can approach treating illness and preventing poor health outcomes. On one hand, there is the health of the individual, usually taken care of through medicine. Doctors see patients, prescribe medications, perform surgeries, and enact many other interventions that occur on an individual level. On the other hand, there is the health of the community, or public health, that involves approaching healthcare on the population level. This involves city officials, organizations, academics, and many other stakeholders coming together to form a population-level plan and institute structural interventions throughout the community. Public health often takes on more of a preventative connotation, but we are seeing a transition into increased public health efforts on a national scale.
Chiropractic care has taken an expanded role in public health efforts, as it is kind of community-based health system. It is a holistic approach to musculoskeletal health and with its non-invasive properties and tendencies towards all-natural treatment pathways, it is somewhat of a refreshing perspective on healthcare that is quite aligned with public health in a variety of ways.
Both chiropractic care and public health place an emphasis on prevention. When assessing health at the population level, we try to find what works best in order to prevent disease and mortality by forming interventions that are applicable in almost every scenario. We want the population to behave in a way that puts them in the best possible position to improve their health status, not get sick. In chiropractic care, there is the constant desire to help patients avoid musculoskeletal health problems and injury. In seeking chiropractic care, patients can out their bodies in the best possible position in terms of alignment and functionality. The focus on prevention is evident.
While you can claim that chiropractic care address health on the individual level, there is an undoubted community approach as well. The amount of interaction between chiropractic clinics and patients in the community is quite high, and education and awareness efforts to promote chiropractic care and preventative health are essentially non-stop. Moving forward, we will most likely see an integration of chiropractic care into various public health models as the need for prevention becomes even more apparent. More and more state insurance programs are allowing chiropractic treatments to be covered, leading to access for those who may truly need it.