Chiropractors may deal with the alignment of the bones and the body, but we mean it when we say that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) impacts all vital functions of a person’s body. While you may not consider sleep disorders regularly, it’s imperative for chiropractors to a part of the diagnosis process. If you have patients that come in for treatment and regularly complain of chronic headaches, poor sleep, or loud snoring, then you have an obligation to help them in every way possible.
What is OSA?
OSA is a sleep disorder where the person’s body blocks their airways during sleep, causing multiple nightly interruptions and and lead to other problems in their health and quality of life.
There are several types of blockages that can occur in a patient’s body during sleep. One of these causes are vertebral subluxations which interfere with the body’s nerve system communications, causing or worsening existing OSA.
Because Chiropractor’s often have long, detailed histories with their patients, you are uniquely qualified to help your patients discover if they are suffering from a masked illness like obstructive sleep apnea. If you suspect that a patient may be suffering from untreated OSA, you should talk to them about getting an at-home sleep apnea test.
Partner with Sleep Specialists
If you’ve conducted research in any area of sleep studies, you may already be familiar with in-lab sleep studies and/or at-home sleep testing. Both of these methods are sure to get your patient a clear, data-driven diagnosis.
Should your patient be suffering from untreated OSA, you could attempt to help them by scheduling regular adjustments if you believe that their OSA is caused by subluxations or other, similar conditions.
But, while adjustments may help your patient feel more well-rested, there are only a handful of approved treatments, especially if are diagnosed with moderate to severe OSA. If you partner with a home sleep test provider, like ApneaMed, you can have access to home sleep testing equipment, doctors, and customer care representatives that will treat your patients just like you would.
By partnering with ApneaMed, you can offer your patients the easy, cost-effective home sleep testing alternative to pricey, uncomfortable lab testing.
Supporting Your Chiropractic Patients
It’s possible that you have patients struggling with sleep disorders like OSA, and it’s important that you, a medical professional, keep an eye out for symptoms so your patients can get the treatment they need. Untreated OSA puts your patients at risk of a variety of conditions from obesity to heart disease, and will drastically impact their quality of life if it remains untreated.
Typically, the only reliable way to diagnose sleep apnea in a patient is to have them do an in-lab sleep study. These tend to be expensive and uncomfortable, making the results scattered and occasionally requiring more than one night of observation. But at-home sleep tests are a new option that will render accurate sleep apnea results from the comfort of their own home.
If you choose to enter an in-office partnership with ApneaMed, you can give your patients the quick, effective testing options they need to diagnose and treat sleep apnea.
Other Partnership Options
For chiropractors like you, ApneaMed highly recommends the in-office partnership because it provides your and your patients the most options for at-home sleep apnea testing. But we know that you need to make the decisions that best support your patients as well as the needs of your practice, so we do offer two other partnership options that may better serve your needs.
Referral Partnership: In a referral partnership, you refer your patients to ApneaMed that may benefit from in-home sleep testing. ApneaMed will contact the patient for you and ensure they are set up with an in-home sleep testing unit so they can undergo sleep apnea testing. If they receive a diagnosis from our board-certified sleep physicians, your patient will be contacted by ApneaMed’s patient care representatives that will go over treatment options.
Mail-Out Partnership: As a medical professional enrolled in this partnership, you can order a home sleep testing unit and ApneaMed will mail the kit to your patient for you. After your patient has concluded their testing, they mail it directly to ApneaMed to be evaluated by board-certified sleep specialists. If they are diagnosed with sleep apnea, our patient care representatives will contact them personally and review their diagnosis and treatment options.
If you are an independent chiropractor or have your own practice, there are many options available to you. Each patient is different, which means that certain OSA diagnoses can have different implications for your patient’s future health and quality of life. Be sure to address any potential symptoms by asking thorough follow up questions and doing your research on reliable testing and treatment options.