May 17, 2019 -- Alex Vidan, DC
and Sara Vidan, DC gave a presentation at the 2019 Logan University Spring Symposium
that challenged DCs to reframe obstacles and opportunities.
Vidans graduated from Logan in 2004. The couple shared some of the challenges
they’ve faced, including the realization early on that trying to appeal to
everyone wasn’t the best business tactic. “We had to change our perspective on
some things and faced a lot of obstacles along the way,” Dr. Sara Vidan said.
“We realized we were going wide versus deep when we started our practice. We
wanted to help anyone with a spine. The problem is that it’s really hard to
market that and have people understand what you do. We realized we had to find
discovery of their niche occurred when Dr. Alex Vidan started experiencing temporomandibular
joint dysfunction (TMJD), which causes pain or dysfunction of the jaw and the
joints connecting the mandible to the skull. “In our search to find answers, we
found a market so huge that we had no idea existed. It’s a $4 billion market,”
Dr. Sara Vidan said. Between 5 and 12 percent of Americans suffer from TMJD,
which tends to be more prevalent in young people and women.
are looking for answers but not finding them anywhere,” Dr. Sara Vidan said,
adding that research from oral care providers says that a diagnosis of TMJD or
related orofacial pain conditions should be based on a cervical spine
examination, in addition to patient history. In addition to providing an
accurate diagnosis, chiropractic can provide effective treatment through jaw
adjustments. The problem, however, is that many oral care providers have a poor
understanding of chiropractic care and how it can help their patients. The
result is that many TMJD sufferers end up undergoing unnecessary oral surgery.
Vidans are working on changing that, educating oral care providers on
chiropractic’s role in treating TMJD. Key to their success, they said, has been
taking the time to understand the unique philosophy of oral care providers.
“You have to know who you’re speaking to, otherwise you’ll lose out on those
opportunities,” Dr. Alex Vidan said. “You have to meet them where they are and
show them what we do.”
Vidans challenged Symposium attendees to uncover their own unique niche and
start to see obstacles as opportunities. One huge obstacle that is also a huge
opportunity for chiropractic is the opioid epidemic. The risks of taking
opioids are astronomical: “A study by the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain
Management found that up to 26% of patients prescribed opioids become addicted
on the first prescription and up to 80% of heroin users became addicted because
of opioids,” Dr. Vidan said. “The demand for opioids is based on a
misconception that pain can be helped with a pill. As chiropractors, we know
that’s not true. You heal the body, not just cover up symptoms with a pill.”
opioid epidemic has resulted in growing support for chiropractic from the
insurance and medical fields. Actuaries hired by UnitedHealthcare recommended
chiropractic and other conservative treatment be given as a first line of
defense against chronic pain, from a purely financial standpoint. “They want to
find a way for doctors to automatically refer their patients to chiropractors,”
Dr. Vidan said. “They see us as the answer and want to waive copays and
deductibles—even doing that, chiropractic can save insurance companies huge
amounts of money,” Dr. Alex Vidan said.
medical field is also more widely endorsing chiropractic. The Institute of
Medicine, the FDA and the CDC all now recommend non-pharmacological approaches
to chronic pain treatment. Harvard and Yale have also recommended chiropractic
for chronic pain treatment.