During National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM), ACA and doctors of chiropractic nationwide have been working together to promote better access to non-drug therapies and remind people that chiropractic’s non-drug approach is on the “Frontline for Pain” management, offering evidence-based treatments that are safe and effective and that may help some patients to reduce or eliminate their dependence on prescription opioids. In honor of NCHM, the Healthy Living blog on ACA’s consumer website is sharing the stories of ACA members who are “On the Frontline for Pain.”
The series features chiropractors who work in different areas, ranging from sports chiropractic and occupational health to veterans health and community health centers. Each doctor shares what a “day in the life” looks like in their jobs, the common issues their patients face, and their thoughts on what it means to be “On the Frontline for Pain.”
Alan Sokoloff, DC – Sports Chiropractic
Alan Sokoloff, DC, is the owner and clinic director of Yalich Clinic Performance and Rehabilitation in Glen Burnie, Md. He has worked in many capacities as a sports chiropractor: he has been a
member of the University of Maryland sports medicine team since 1991 and has served as team chiropractor for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL since 1999. He is also a medical team member for the Bowie Baysox, the minor league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. When not treating patients, Dr. Sokoloff works to educate the public about concussion and injury prevention and the benefits of chiropractic.
When asked what it means to be “On the Frontline for Pain,” Dr. Sokoloff said: “From a sports perspective, I am very happy to report that every NFL team has a chiropractor, every Major League Baseball team utilizes chiropractic, and most professional hockey and basketball teams have a chiropractic affiliate. So, if something is good enough for these professional athletes, it should be good enough for the general population of people. [We are] working on the frontline to help with pain before it leads to other problems.”
David Paris, DC – Chiropractic in the VA
David Paris, DC, works full time at the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VA) Redding Outpatient Clinic in Redding, Calif. He was previously in private practice for several years, exploring his interest in multidisciplinary healthcare settings via work with an occupational medicine clinic and the Sutter Health hospital system in Northern California. He started part time at the Redding VA Clinic in 2005 and transitioned to full time in 2008. Dr. Paris also serves as adjunct clinical faculty at several chiropractic colleges.
Dr. Paris says that being “On the Frontline for Pain” is an honor: “It’s a responsibility, and a challenge, that I take very seriously. We now know that what is said and what happens in the initial stages of a pain patient’s experience can determine their future health. As Dr. [Scott] Haldeman wrote about in Spine in 2008, the “supermarket” approach can still be presented to patients whether in our healthcare system, direct-to-consumer advertising or simply their own Google searches. It’s a daunting experience to be a pain sufferer, maybe now more than ever. My approach is to really have a discussion with veterans, not just about what hurts but about all the things that might be meaningful to them. I love doing informed consent from this perspective and laying out options for them, including my honest expectations for their involvement in self-care, etc. To have them choose to stay with not just conservative care or chiropractic but to choose to stay with me and at the VA is something that makes my job so personally rewarding.”
Aric Frisina-Deyo, DC, MS – Chiropractic in Community Health Centers
Aric Frisina-Deyo, DC, MS, is a resident in the neuromusculoskeletal program at the University of Bridgeport. Through the residency program, he provides chiropractic services to Federally Qualified Health Centers in Connecticut. He was also previously an assistant adjunct professor of clinical sciences in the University of Bridgeport School of Chiropractic.
Dr. Frisina-Deyo says: “To be “on the frontline for pain” means that I am actively engaged in caring for patients dealing with pain. Treatment, whether it be education, adjustments, soft tissue techniques or exercise prescription, all function to help each patient understand, control and overcome their pain and prepare for a brighter tomorrow.”
Therese Miller, DC – Occupational Health Chiropractic
Therese Miller, DC, is a chiropractor who specializes in occupational health. Trained in Active Release Technique (ART), she works as an independent contractor with ART Corporate Solutions, providing treatment onsite to improve employee health and reduce OSHA and workers’ compensation reportable injuries. She is also the founder and president of Linchpin Health, which provides employee safety trainings to educate and empower employees regarding occupational health and injury prevention.
For Dr. Miller, being “On the Frontline for Pain” means an opportunity to change health care: “I have an opportunity to help numerous employees across different industries look at their health care differently, ask different questions, maybe pursue non-drug options more readily than they might have been able to, so it’s a great opportunity to impact health care. From the patient side, I think it’s an opportunity for them to educate themselves, become their own advocates, start to learn more, and feel better about asking questions about their health. I think that’s becoming more and more important to people.”
For more information about ACA’s National Chiropractic Health Month campaign, visit handsdownbetter.org/nchm.