By Terry Rogers Dr. Jesse Riggin of Delmarva Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Harrington says that in his practice he focuses on working with the people who have conditions rather than focusing only on the condition. He said he began that philosophy while in graduate school when an instructor told his class that a person is entitled to have more than one condition.
“In other words, what may appear as one issue may actually be another as symptoms vary based on physiology, anatomy and history of that individual patient,” Dr. Riggin said. “In our practice, we work on what is known as the ‘Triad of Health’, which includes a structural component, a chemical aspect and the mental attitude of the patient.”
Dr. Riggin said that he finds athletes to be some of his best patients as they want very badly to get better. He said when an athlete is told they may have some limitation due to an injury they are less likely to believe it because they want so badly to return to their sport. “For example, I recently had a young man present to our office who had significant laxity resulting in recurring dislocations of his shoulders,” said Dr. Riggin. “He was told he would need surgery or have to limit his sporting activities. He told me he thought he could avoid surgery if he could just strengthen the right muscles. And, while it was not quite that simple, that is essentially what we did.”
Dr. Riggin said he works hard to pass this message on to all his patients. He said that someone who comes into his practice who does not believe they are limited is more likely to heal more quickly with a better outcome than someone who comes in saying they will ‘never’ be able to do something because of an injury. “Sometimes my biggest challenge is getting someone to believe they can, and will, get past their condition or injury,” he said.
Dr. Riggin says that he considers himself a musculoskeletal, conservative-care expert using many different methods for helping patients heal and achieve optimum function and wellness. A large part of this is helping people better understand their bodies and conditions. He says that he asks whether the patient has had their condition explained to them, saying that sometimes someone may come to his office claiming to have a chronic condition like arthritis but not know what kind of arthritis they have. Since there are several different forms of arthritis, all with different methods of treatment, people need to have the condition explained to them so they can better understand how to be active participants in their care plans.
“I am a firm believer in integrative care,” Dr. Riggin said. “I believe that to improve the quality and efficiency of our healthcare system for the good of those we serve, we have to improve our communication. As physicians, we are all very skilled in our chosen fields. However, we may not be as well versed about what other specialists or professionals can provide to our patients. It is time to bridge that gap.”
As a chiropractor, Dr. Riggin says he is trained to use the least invasive methods possible for treatment. A large part of this is encouraging patients to take control of their own health. He said when it comes to musculoskeletal problems, chiropractic care is very effective in many cases. However, he also acknowledges its limitations and the importance of understanding those limitations when working with people.
“I have had surgery myself,” Dr. Riggin said. “I shattered my wrist and there was no question that surgery would be necessary if I ever wanted to use my hand again. The initial procedure was performed by a phenomenal surgeon who prescribed physical therapy for my rehabilitation phase of care. I then visited my family chiropractor for ongoing care. Today, you would never know I have ten pins in my wrist. If it was not for that level of integrative care, I would not be able to do the job I love so much today.”
Dr. Riggin says that there is a shift happening throughout the healthcare profession as the true value of minimally invasive treatments such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and yoga are being recognized by the healthcare establishment. He also said that younger patients and physicians are starting to look outside conventional methods for treatment.
“For a long time, pharmaceutical and surgical methods had a tremendous amount of support because they were the only options with the research to back them,” Dr. Riggin said. “Chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition, natural supplements and the like were frowned upon as treatment methods because they did not have a robust base of evidence to support their use. This is beginning to shift as the evidence is gradually building to support these ‘alternative’ therapies. My hope is that at some point we can drop the various titles and just do what works for our patients.”
Dr. Riggin says that the brain not only directs our outward actions, but it also influences the chemical processes in our bodies. He said researchers are beginning to show that our mind has its own healing properties. He said that is why mindful-based stress reduction, such as yoga and meditation, which are both offered at his practice, can provide healing where other options have failed. He said that the mind can influence inflammatory markers in the body that effect how and when our bodies heal. Yoga and meditation can help decrease stress and inflammation allowing our bodies to heal
“The simplest way to describe what I do is that I remove the stress from the neuromuscular system,” Dr. Riggin said. “Relieving that stress allows the body to function better and helps facilitate healing. That is the point of chiropractic medicine, to reduce stress in order to improve function.”
To learn more about the services offered by Delmarva Chiropractic and Wellness Center, contact them online at www.delmarvawellness.com or call them at 302-682-7975.
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