Scott Tesoro: Chiropractic care edges into the mainstream |

Scott Tesoro: Chiropractic care edges into the mainstream

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

So many people seek out a chiropractor these days when they experience back trouble or neck pain that it’s debatable whether that type of health care is “alternative” anymore.”In 2002, approximately 7.4 percent of the population used chiropractic care – a higher percentage than yoga, massage, acupuncture or other diet-based therapies,” according to the American Chiropractic Association.

If that number is holding true, then about 22.5 million people will visit a chiropractor this year.In the Roaring Fork Valley, it’s even more widely embraced, according to Dr. Scott Tesoro, the owner of Sopris Chiropractic in Carbondale and El Jebel.”You couldn’t produce in a lab a more perfect demographic for utilization of chiropractic services,” said Tesoro, who has practiced in the valley for 13 years. “It’s a highly educated, very motivated population that questions things and will more likely look toward alternatives.”In his view, chiropractic service shouldn’t qualify as alternative treatment for back pain. In fact, he says, chiropractic service should be the “gatekeeper” or standard treatment for lower back pain. He said he views chiropractic care as more effective for long-term treatment than the muscle relaxers and painkillers that many family doctors use.

He credited many local physicians for recognizing the value of chiropractors and even referring patients. Likewise, Tesoro strongly supports people visiting medical doctors in many cases. “It’s not one or the other,” he said.In the Roaring Fork Valley, there are probably more chiropractors per capita than in most areas of the country. And Tesoro believes they’re quality practitioners.Tesoro characterized his practice as “traditional chiropractic health care focusing predominantly on neuromuscular, skeletal problems, disorders and injuries.” He said 60 percent of his practice is related to issues with the spine – the vast majority tied to lower back problems.For a first-time visitor who was suffering intense lower back pain, Tesoro used a combination of massage, stretches and manipulation. For a rookie patient, the most interesting aspect of treatment was getting splayed out on a table and having Tesoro strategically bend legs and arms, then use quick thrusts of pressure to produce some pops and cracks in joints.

After a couple of visits the pain subsided. Then Tesoro started working with the patient on exercises designed to strengthen the spine – and hopefully avoid further back problems.The other 40 percent of his practice is related to problems outside of the spine. “I’ve gotten a reputation over the years of doing a lot of work related to the feet.” That includes orthotic care and treating heel pain and plantar fasciitis.But Tesoro also takes an interest in people’s general health, nutrition and wellness. That can range from helping to improve a patient’s diet to lowering their cholesterol, to helping with mood disorders like depression or anxiety. Telling people to get off medication “isn’t what I’m about,” said Tesoro, but he feels his care can complement that of a physician.”Most people do come to chiropractors for back pain, there’s no ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ and ‘buts’,” he said. “But chiropractors – people often times are surprised to learn – we have a very, very broad-based education, and chiropractic philosophy is always about the whole person.”

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