This course from Dr. Robert Leach provides a brief introduction to the science of chiropractic for the busy clinician or student, explaining how theory and evidence may inform and drive modern clinical practice. The course focuses on five promising theories for evidence-informed practice, including: inflammation, segmental dysfunction, neuroplasticity, immobilization degeneration, and wellness/psychosocial. This course provides the knowledge and skills necessary to enable the busy clinician to understand possible scientific explanations for chiropractic and how the research has informed practice guidelines, discuss ways to communicate these topics with patients and other healthcare partners, and incorporate them into the practice behaviors
After completing this course, participants will be able to:
1. Explain how science impacts guidelines, press and public attitudes, private and government payor reimbursement schedules, and clinical practice in a modern healthcare profession.
2. Describe the role of inflammation in disease and health, markers of inflammation associated with spine pain, changes in inflammation in experimental and clinical subjects after manipulation, and the role of inflammation within the larger context of whole-body or wholistic treatment.
3. Distinguish between “subluxation” as a theoretical construct as opposed to segmental dysfunction hypothesis associated with fixation and other clinical predictors such as pressure pain thresholds and measures of spinal pain provocation.
4. Explain some of the research regarding “misalignment,” how it varies with radiation guidelines, and how it may vary with common clinical practice.
5. Discuss with patients’ modern research of neuroplasticity, and the role for chiropractic spinal manipulation to restore neural integrity to spine and brain centers like the prefrontal cortex, cingulate and amygdala. How exercise may be important to continuing progress after chiropractic.
6. Describe immobilization degeneration and the role of imaging in the larger context of ruling out disease to provide a safe platform for chiropractic, as opposed to determining where and when to adjust the spine.
7. Explain why MRI is unable to predict which patients are in pain, let alone predict chiropractic outcomes, and understand growing science for the role of genetics and inflammation in degeneration and aging of the spine.
8. Recognize the role of lifestyle and discuss with patients how smoking cessation, increasing activity levels, seeking counseling or improved coping skills, or improved dietary habits are ultimately more important to their overall health and wellness than spinal adjustments.