During the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials in Illinois, and around the country, have been frantically trying to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of infection by closing businesses deemed non-essential. While the determination of whether a service or business is deemed essential varies by state, it is widely agreed upon around the country that specific recreational businesses, such as spas, gyms, sporting venues, and shopping malls, are not considered necessary.
When looking at the listing of businesses and services considered unnecessary, people may wonder why it is chiropractors are categorized as essential. But given the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and the need to keep sufferers segregated from potential COVID-19 cases, it becomes clear that it is essential to have a designated facility specifically for chiropractic care. According to Dr. Robert Kuyper, a Doctor of Chiropractic at Alternative Health Care Center of the Black Hills, chiropractic care is helping to flatten the curve against COVID-19 and is vital in the healthcare system. “We don’t want people with musculoskeletal complaints going to urgent care centers or hospitals and mixing a healthy population with a sick one,” said Dr. Kuyper. By having separate, stand alone facilities dedicated to chiropractic care for musculoskeletal complaints, urgent care centers and hospitals are better able to focus on treating COVID-19 patients.
Chiropractic facilities in Illinois, have been doing everything possible to keep their clinics safe and clean for patients by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Chiropractic Society, and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines and recommendations. In addition to regularly cleaning and disinfecting facilities, chiropractic staff are wearing masks, washing hands after working on patients, and practicing social distancing by ensuring that seats in waiting rooms are spaced at least six feet apart. Many chiropractic clinics are also checking the temperature of all incoming patients to monitor for fevers. To prevent spread of the virus, any patient with an elevated temperature is either being sent home or to a facility for COVID-19 screening/testing.
Not only has the COVID-19 outbreak been a tremendous stress on people individually, it has overwhelmed many hospitals and healthcare facilities. At the same time, the number of patients needing chiropractic services has not waned. When considering the additional precautions undertaken by Illinois chiropractic facilities and the need for care, it becomes easy to see why chiropractors are considered essential.