Chiropractors can provide support for men who have either put off visiting their doctor or do not think something is significant enough to be investigated. Patients might visit a chiropractor with a pain complaint, and we sometimes identify other symptoms which might point to something more serious, like prostate or skin cancer, and refer them onto their GP.
How chiropractors support men’s healthcare
As BCA chiropractors, when new patients come to us, we always complete a thorough patient health review to understand, or potentially pick up existing or new medical problems, which may or may not be related to their chiropractic visit. The most common symptoms chiropractors pick up among male patients are urinary complaints; skin complaints, such as suspicious moles; high blood pressure (hypertension); suspicion of inflammatory back pain or low bone density.
One male patient in his 60s told me, as part of his patient review, that he had been suffering from urinary problems over the last two years but had not yet seen his GP about it. We know that prostate problems are extremely common in men over 50 with 1 in 3 males having some symptoms of prostate enlargement. Moreover, up to 50% of men over the age of 50 and up to 80% of men over the age of 80 experience urinary symptoms from benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). This is where the prostate enlarges, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including slowing of the start of the urine stream, the need to urinate during the night and urinary urgency. In this case, whilst this was not linked to the patient’s chiropractic pain complaint, I was able to refer him to his GP for further investigation and treatment.
In another example, I saw a patient with neck pain who also had a suspicious looking mole on the top of his head. He did not know he had this mole as it was in an area not easily visible to him. Following advice to have this mole investigated by a GP, the mole was removed, and a biopsy was taken to see if it was cancerous; thankfully it was benign. The patient was very pleased that I had taken the time to inform him and recommend a referral to his GP.
Men’s health, from moles to cancer, is important
Chiropractors can play an important role in educating and encouraging men to take control of their own health. Part of this is about normalising the discussion of men’s health issues and supporting them in visiting their GP and other healthcare professionals. In my practice alone, I refer at least three patients a week to their doctor for further assessment.
We aim to take some pressure off the NHS by identifying patients with health conditions at earlier stages so that treatment is less invasive, less costly, and more effective for patients and the healthcare system alike.
Just like we have our cars checked for issues every year, it’s good for men to seek the expertise and advice of healthcare professionals to have a body and mind MOT and get a service as needed.