UHS security guard Jason Sullivan had experienced nearly every form of back pain imaginable — fractured vertebrae, bulging disks in his neck and back — you name it. The pain got so bad that it started to interfere with his work. “Every day my back hurt,” he says. “I was taking lots of ibuprofen every day, and three or four times a year, I would miss work because my back gave out. I wouldn’t be able to stand up. I’d be all crooked.”
Mr. Sullivan saw several doctors, all of whom were ready to operate on his back. But, he says, “I just wasn’t ready for that.” Finally, Mr. Sullivan scheduled an appointment with Douglas Taber, DC, a chiropractic physician at UHS.
Chiropractic care is a conservative, non-invasive alternative to medical and surgical treatment. Rather than operating or prescribing medication, chiropractors use spinal manipulation, exercise prescriptions, nutritional advice and other therapies to reduce or eliminate pain. In the past, chiropractic care was considered a form of alternative medicine, but today it has become a proven solution for neck, back and muscle pain. “It offers non-invasive treatment, which a lot of people are looking for — and frankly need — in lieu of things that are more invasive, more dangerous, and come along with addictive medications,” Dr. Taber says.
“A lot of the fears of chiropractic care have been dispelled by research,” he continues. “The safety of chiropractic treatment has been studied ad nauseum at this point, and it’s been shown to not only be safe but very effective, especially compared to more invasive procedures that are out there.”
In 2015, the Joint Commission, the national organization that accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations in the United States, added chiropractic care to its standard on pain management. Chiropractic care has been under the UHS umbrella for six years now, but until recently, it has hardly been the standard in large health systems. “We’re ahead of the curve locally, but it has been looked at by larger governing bodies, and has been recommended,” Dr. Taber says.
At UHS, Dr. Taber practices in an interdisciplinary environment, allowing him to treat a wider number of conditions than a typical chiropractor. His relationships with other specialists and care providers in the health system allow for quick and easy referrals. If he sees someone with joint damage from advanced arthritis, for example, he can refer them to an orthopedic surgeon. In the new UHS Orthopedic Center, Dr. Taber’s patients have easy access to X-ray facilities, as well as a new digital foot scanner that tracks foot issues leading to back pain.
For some people, like Mr. Sullivan, chiropractic care has saved their jobs and improved their overall well-being. “I’ve gone from waking up every morning and barely being able to get out of bed, to maybe having pain in my back once a month,” Mr. Sullivan says. “I have no regrets about going to Dr. Taber. I recommend him to pretty much everyone I talk to that has back pain.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Taber, call 754-4850. No referrals are needed for chiropractic care, and it’s covered under many insurance plans.