Chiropractic doctors offer an alternative treatment solution for certain medical concerns, particularly pain in the back or neck. Although it seems safe at first, certain conditions do not benefit from chiropractic care and actually result in health complications when individuals seek alternative solutions. When a chiropractor ignores ethical standards of care or neglects the needs of a patient, it results in a malpractice case.
What is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care refers to a specific type of alternative treatment that uses spinal manipulation or neck manipulation to reduce pain in the back or neck. Essentially, it strives to reduce pain or discomfort by improving posture or spinal alignment. It also strives to reduce the amount of pressure on nerves in the back that contributes to pain or discomfort through bulging disks in the spine.
As an alternative treatment for pain, it does not follow the same standards as traditional medicine. Doctors in chiropractic care do not necessarily have the same level of medical treatment and do not always have the tools to diagnose certain health conditions. The professional essentially focuses on natural ways to reduce pain through movement, flexibility and gradual changes to personal posture.
While it helps in certain situations, it is not always the appropriate treatment for certain forms of back or neck pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, chiropractic care for the neck has a risk of stroke and treatments for the back can result in more severe pain from a bulging disk or compression on the nerves of the lower back and spine.
Basics of Malpractice
Malpractice is a term that usually applies to medical treatments and doctors, but it also applies to chiropractic doctors due to the risks associated with treatments. The National Institutes of Health report that malpractice is a deviation from normal and accepted medical care for certain conditions. Essentially, it means that a doctor does not provide the appropriate level of care or does not offer care for certain situations. As a result of the negligence or inaccurate treatment, a patient faces more complicated medical concerns or a greater amount of pain.
Although chiropractors focus on alternative treatments to pain, they still comply with ethical and medical standards of care. When a treatment harms or injures an individual, he or she might qualify for a settlement with the help of a lawyer. Chiropractic malpractice focuses on ethical and treatment standards based on the diagnosis of a condition.
Determining Malpractice in Chiropractic Treatment
Since chiropractic care is a form of natural medicine and alternative therapy, it follows a set of clear ethical standards for patient care and health. The International Chiropractors Association explains that ethical standards are the moral and professional behaviors that chiropractors must follow when they work with patients. In particular, a chiropractor must recognize the limits of his or her treatments as well as the possible risks associated with certain conditions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, chiropractors should never treat certain conditions like osteoporosis or cancer in the spine since the treatment actually increases certain health risks. In particular, a chiropractor should never treat an individual with a high risk of stroke.
Factors that can result in a malpractice case include:
- Inaccurate diagnosis or ignoring the diagnosis of a medical doctor
- Providing inappropriate care, such as giving a neck adjustment to an individual with a high risk of stroke
- Ignoring medical conditions during treatment
- Causing pain the back or neck rather than reducing pain
- Causing injuries to the spine or neck
- A death
A chiropractor follows ethical standards for care and should always advise individuals to seek medical attention for serious health conditions. When a chiropractor ignores ethical and professional standards for care, it results in injuries, pain and even death. By seeking appropriate legal advice for a settlement or a legal case, an individual obtains the justice he or she needs to move forward.
Chiropractic malpractice is a legal solution when a chiropractor causes injuries to their patients by deviating from standards of care, misdiagnosing a condition or neglecting the needs of a patient. Although chiropractors do not have the same training as traditional medical doctors, they are still a type of medical professional and must comply with specific standards of care when working with patients. Fill out the free case evaluation form or contact us today to get the compensation you deserve for chiropractic malpractice.