Treating with Chiropractors in Latin America vs US: social vs medical considerations?
Thread poster: mkirkland
mkirkland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:45
Spanish to English
Nov 16, 2011

Hello!

I work as an interpreter/translator in the US and have noticed something that I would like some additional insight on. In my work, I have noticed that it seems more common for hispanic patients to choose to treat with chiropractors than those who are non-hispanic. I wonder if there is a reason for this.

I have tried to research the social/medical importance of Chiropractors in Latin America but haven't found many resources to help. I am not sure if there is a cultural difference in treatment preferences, if there is a higher concentration of Chiropractors in Latin America or a difference in treatment prices. I also wonder if there is a difference in the services that Chiropractors provide in the US vs Mexico, for example? Just like there is a difference internationally in the services provided by pharmacists, I wonder if this is the difference.

Has anyone else noticed this as well? Does anyone have any insight into this topic or recommendations for resources I can research? Unfortunately, I haven't found much in the way of defining cultural difference in medical treatment between these various cultures and I would like to know more.

Thanks so much for any thoughts on this!


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boostrer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:45
Member (2007)
English to Russian
+ ...
* Mar 17, 2012

This is an interesting OFF topic. A couple years ago, I came upon a PhD thesis "Touching a child in the US" (something like this; I am not sure about the title). The author claimed that the outburst of feminist ideology made the US people much more reluctant to touch their children than their grandfathers were 30-40 years ago. This conclusion can be applied to all other kinds of touching; e.g., I know that massage is very popular in France and in Russia, whereas in the US this treatment is considered somewhat indecent and is hardly tolerated.

[Edited at 2012-03-17 19:36 GMT]


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:45
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Europe Mar 17, 2012

One thing I can tell you is that chiropractors aren't nearly as popular in Europe as they are in the US. Perhaps there is variation within Europe as well, but 9 times out of 10, when I hear the word "chiropractor", it has to do with the US. My Wikipedia research shows that chiropractic is mostly a North American and Australian phenomenon - not a word about Latin America.

Perhaps it's off topic here, but I would have very serious moral problems with translating/interpreting for patients/practitioners who use chiropractic for anything other than mild back pain.


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boostrer  Identity Verified
United States
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English to Russian
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2 FarkasAndras Mar 18, 2012

It may be just a matter of terminology. As far as I know, this kind of therapy is fairly widespread. They can be called bone doctors, orthopedists, manual therapists.

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FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:45
English to Hungarian
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No Mar 18, 2012

boostrer wrote:


It may be just a matter of terminology. As far as I know, this kind of therapy is fairly widespread. They can be called bone doctors, orthopedists, manual therapists.


Chiropractic is a specific thing. It's about treating people by trying to realign their spines (fix the "subluxations"). Massage, injury rehabilitation through movement/strengthening of joints and muscles and so on are not chiropractic. People might call it chiropractic, but that's like calling a pill with real, "traditional" dose of active ingredient a homeopathic pill, or calling TENS acupunture. It's muddying the waters to make chiropractic seem more effective or established than it really is.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:45
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Chiropractors are respected professionals in Denmark... Mar 18, 2012

FarkasAndras wrote:
...
Perhaps it's off topic here, but I would have very serious moral problems with translating/interpreting for patients/practitioners who use chiropractic for anything other than mild back pain.


Our local chiropractor is highly respected - and for good reason. I was treated for SEVERE back pain - with permanent effect, AND unexpectedly, though the chiropractor was not surprised, it reduced my migraine dramatically into the bargain.

I have translated for clients associated with chiropractic - sober material that did not raise the slightest ethical question in my mind.

Chiropractors are authorised in the Danish health service and there is an established 5-year training course for them in Odense. Over here they are as science-based and skilled as physiotherapists or any other member of the medical profession.

One of their big successes is in treating babies with colic - thousands of parents have experienced that it reduces the hours in the day when the baby cries, and both parents and babies are able to sleep better.


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
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Actually Mar 18, 2012

I agree with FarkasAndras, for several times I had to interpret the medical conferences regarding chiropractics and their ilk, so I researched relevant topics, communicated with competent people, scrutinized some official data, and eventually I also came to the conclusions backed up by Stephen Barrett, MD et al--especially info at http://www.chirobase.org and other competent scientific weighty opinions and reviews.

There were a few polls to have preliminary data, and most people who considered so-called 'alternative' medicine answered they didn't know or care unless there were 'real' results without drugs or 'inefficient' mainstream medicine procedures... They just wanted 'something new'!

Perhaps, it's still the point -- treat me the other way, without drugs and not like others!
The only thing is, that 'drugless' demand usually depends on either rather costy official drugs (which is the golden egg for herbalist-pushers and foodsupplements-peddlers) or bullied individuals.

Thus, they are people
1) who don't have at least basic medical insurance or are short on money;
2) who are afraid of terrific 'chemicals'; or
3) who are not aware of the options and/or just bought those ads.

As for me, I know a few 'routine' patients who regularly visit the chiropractor, some of such patients change chiropractors because they 'haven't achieved lasting effect'. And I do know why)


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boostrer  Identity Verified
United States
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2 FarkasAndras Mar 19, 2012

FarkasAndras wrote:

...

Chiropractic is a specific thing. ...


Yes, it is, but the personnel authorized to provide this treatment may be called differently. E.g., physiotherapist in Russia provides physiotherapy per se, whereas in the US he is also responsible for therapeutic exercises and some types of manual therapy.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:45
English to Hungarian
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chiro for colic Mar 19, 2012

Christine Andersen wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:
...
Perhaps it's off topic here, but I would have very serious moral problems with translating/interpreting for patients/practitioners who use chiropractic for anything other than mild back pain.


Chiropractors are authorised in the Danish health service and there is an established 5-year training course for them in Odense. Over here they are as science-based and skilled as physiotherapists or any other member of the medical profession.

One of their big successes is in treating babies with colic - thousands of parents have experienced that it reduces the hours in the day when the baby cries, and both parents and babies are able to sleep better.

That's exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. I would reject jobs connected to this on ethical grounds.
This brand of chiropractic is based on prescientific and pseudoscientific notions (innate intelligence, subluxations causing organ dysfunction), it lacks any plausible mechanism by which it could work, and there is no good scientific evidence that shows that chiro works for colic - back pain, probably, migraine, maybe... colic, no. Mothers reporting that they think their baby is crying less is not evidence. Maybe their teeth grew and they cry less because of that, maybe it's wishfulness on the mother's part. It's just not something to base medical decisions on.
And it's not a risk-free intervention. You can get nerve damage or a stroke caused by arterial damage from chiro. It has also caused paralysis, blindness and death in a couple of cases. These complications are rare, but if there is no credible evidence that the treatment will fix the problem, inflicting this low risk on people is unethical in my opinion.

[Edited at 2012-03-19 08:41 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:45
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
OK, let's agree to differ Mar 19, 2012

[quote]FarkasAndras wrote:

[quote]Christine Andersen wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:
...
Perhaps it's off topic here ...


... because otherwise we will get way off topic.

I know a great many things are called chiropractic 'and their ilk', and I would not translate for them either. The form practised here is approved within the health service as a means of controlling it and studying it, and I have no problem with that.


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mkirkland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:45
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Perhaps this is the root of it Mar 19, 2012

I know in Latin American cultures the use of alternative medicine is more widely accepted than in the US medical culture. The acceptance of using a curandero or sobadero is much higher in, say, Mexico than it would be in the United States. I do not have numbers to support this but it has come up in my general observation.

Perhaps the Chiropractor in the US is closer to a curandero and more personal in interaction for the Hispanic patient than the General Practitioner is. The interpersonal and the heartfelt are key components in successful communication for the Hispanic patient and perhaps this is the root of it. As a Chiropractor necessarily has a more hands-on approach, perhaps this is more appealing to hispanic clientele.

Thank you so much to everyone who has provided insights, and please continue to comment. I have appreciated your input so much.



[Edited at 2012-03-19 14:04 GMT]


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