There are a lot of questions as to whether Chiropractors should be deemed as necessary healthcare providers during this time. The big question that is being asked is whether chiropractic offices should be allowed to remain open or forced to close. I want to discuss why our role is vital, especially during this time, and how letting chiropractic offices remain open is beneficial not only to our patients but to our fellow healthcare providers.

Chiropractic providers treat musculoskeletal cases which would otherwise overload physician offices, urgent care facilities and hospitals even more than they are/will be. Chiropractors are one of the few places that can treat these conditions in a non-infectious environment. Most offices have followed the CDC guidelines to ensure proper sterilization of equipment and treating the environment to ensure that patient and staff exposure is reduced as much as possible. Additionally, most offices have increased their hours and/or spread out the treating times and reduce the number of patients in the office at one time.

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If chiropractic facilities are compelled to close, musculoskeletal cases will have no other option than to go to medical facilities and consume space, time and resources which could be better utilized for the crisis. Having these non-emergent cases in these medical facilities increases exposure risk to non- infectious patients. Chiropractic providers allow citizens the opportunity to have an alternative venue for treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, thereby avoiding the heightened potential of exposure to infectious disease including COVID-19 illness.

As you can see the role of Chiropractors during this time is crucial in supporting the medical healthcare providers in allowing them to prioritize care and concentrate on the emergent situation, while not neglecting patients who have debilitating conditions that are not related to the COVID-19 or other illnesses.

Dr. Michael Harbison graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in 2011. He owns 2 offices with his main office in Edwardsville, IL. He can be reached at doctor.harbison@gmail.com

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