Differences Between Healthcare Providers In Davenport

Quad City DoctorsBy: Clay Kuethe D.C. (Dr. Clay)

There are so many initials out there today. If you don’t know what they mean, how can you make the right decision in your healthcare choices? The type of treatment that you receive is often very dependent on the initials after the name. So, we will go through what each of them mean and the tools that they have at their disposal.

I am a D.C., this stands for Doctor of Chiropractic. As a Chiropractor, I am able to treat many conditions. I am a primary care physician, although if you have a broken bone, or are bleeding profusely, please seek more appropriate medical attention. I typically see patients presenting with musculo-skeletal type of problems. These can range from headaches, neck pain, back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel, constipation, posture, and high blood pressure just to name a few.

I treat these problems through the use of muscular release, aka: loosening tight muscles, and adjustments. When we have muscular injuries, we begin to move differently than normal. This causes muscular imbalances. All of our muscles attach to bones. When the muscles aren’t moving properly, this causes the bones to not move properly. Chiropractors focus primarily on the spine. This is where all of the nerves that control your entire body must pass through. A Chiropractic adjustment corrects the mis-alignment in the spine or other joint. This reduces nerve interference and improves overall body function. Chiropractors use their hands, or sometimes adjusting instruments to correct spinal mis-alignments. We do not use drugs or surgical interventions to treat problems. We put your body in the correct alignment to be healthy. We also will often give stretches and exercises to help you maintain this healthy alignment. To summarize: Chiropractors use their hands to put your body into the best position to be healthy without the use of drugs and surgery.

M.D. stands for medical doctor. These are the people that most individuals see for a wide variety of conditions. Most people associate treating infections, broken bones, cancer, diabetes, and many other things with medical doctors. Medical doctors are very good at diagnosing conditions. They can tell you what is wrong with you. They will run a lot of tests to tell you what is wrong with you. Their primary tools for treating you are telling you to diet, telling you to exercise,  they can write you a prescription, or they can send you to a specialist. To summarize: Medical doctors use tests to tell you what is wrong and will give you drugs to correct what they determine is wrong.

A certain number of physicians become orthopedic surgeons. Their primary focus is surgery: to either remove tissue or “repair” tissue.  Surgical intervention is often used to repair torn tendon, repair broken bones, or remove unhealthy tissue. I consider surgeons to be emergency interventionist, and not a first line of defense. To summarize: Surgeons cut.

D.O. stand for doctor of osteopathy. They are also concerned with musculo-skeletal problems but are able to write prescriptions and perform surgery. They take additional course work for the right to use manual manipulations to the joints of the body. They are a combination of both MD’s and Chiropractors. Depending on the physician, they can treat you with any of the above ways already discussed. To summarize: Doctors of osteopathy are kind of a toss up. Manipulations, prescriptions, or surgeries.

NP stands for nurse practitioner. They are registered nurses who have obtained advanced degrees. They can prescribe drugs and use tests to diagnose conditions. Their scope of practice varies wildly from state to state. They have many of the same rights as medical doctors including minor surgery in some cases. To summarize: Nurse practitioners will diagnose your condition and prescribe drugs to treat your condition.

PT stands for physical therapist. They are typically get referrals from doctors to help a patient rehabilitate damaged areas. They will evaluate a patient and determine exercises and stretches to help the patient with the area that they are having trouble with. Typically, you cannot just go to a physical therapist without a referral from a doctor. To summarize: Physical therapists will work you out and help you strengthen weak areas.

I think that it is safe to say that the type of doctor that you see will determine the type of treatment that you are going to get based on the tools available to them. As a Chiropractor, I will loosen tight muscles, adjust any mis-alignments, and give you some stretches & exercises to help you maintain an optimal healthy body alignment. Medical doctors and nurse practitioners will prescribe you a drug for your ailment. Surgeons will perform surgery. Physical therapists will stretch and exercise you.  So make the decision based on the outcome that you are looking for. If you need a good Chiropractor in Davenport, give us a call! I hope this was  helpful. Get Adjusted and Be Well!

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