Chiropractic care seems to be one of those topics of conversation that everybody likes to chime in on. While it is positive that people have such strong opinions about chiropractic, this has also led to a great amount of miscommunication on the subject. After all, what do they say? Opinions... well, everyone has one.
If you are on the fence about chiropractic care because of what people say around the office water cooler, we are here to clear the air so that you can make your own informed decision on whether or not chiropractic is right for you. Read the most popular myths surrounding the field, and why they simply aren't true.
1. There is No Proof Chiropractic Care Works
The truth is, there are hundreds of studies which prove that chiropractic therapy has a variety of health benefits for patients. One notable controlled trial by Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research and Palmer College of Chiropractic taken in 2013 proved that chiropractic care has more benefits for back pain patients than medical care alone. The study, titled “Adding Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy to Standard Medical Care for Patients with Acute Low Back Pain: Results of a Pragmatic Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Study,” chose subjects both male and female between the ages of 18 – 35 with acute lower back pain.
For 90 days, all patients received medical care for their back pain, and 45 were also chosen to receive chiropractic treatment. Results showed that after the trial was completed, only 17% of subjects in the group that received medical treatment alone experienced improvement, while 73% of the group that combined medical treatment with chiropractic care noticed an improvement to their back pain.
On top of studies such as this, chiropractic care is now used in professional athletics because of the noticeable benefits it offers to athletes, and many national level sport teams now employ a full-time chiropractor to travel with their team.
However, every individual will experience varied results from chiropractic treatments. The best advice is to try it out for yourself and gauge the level of improvement you experience from your visits to the chiropractor.
2. Back Adjustments Are Painful
Chiropractic adjustments, when done correctly and performed by a certified chiropractor, very rarely cause the patient pain. While it is common to experience some soreness after your first adjustment, this is normally extremely mild and will pass within a day.
While it should be noted that everyone reacts differently to an adjustment, it is extremely rare for a person to find them painful. Chiropractors are trained with your safety and comfort in mind when performing spinal manipulations, and generally patients leave appointments feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
3. Chiropractors Are Not Real Doctors
The neck and spine are both extremely delicate areas, which explains why many people choose to only put their care in the hands of a licensed medical physician. However, according to SpineGuys.com, training prior to becoming a licensed chiropractor includes six years of pre-medical undergraduate education, and a clinic internship before licensure.
During this time, students are required to complete a minimum of 4,200 hours of study, combining time in the classroom and laboratory with clinical experience. This extent of education, combined with experience in a real clinic, prepares chiropractors to treat patients with a great range of needs. For comparison purposes, massage is generally accepted without being surrounded by myth - and licensed massage therapists can undergo a minimum of 1,000 hours of training.
4. Chiropractors Only Treat Back Pain
Chiropractors are highly trained and skilled to handle many different types of manipulation and adjustment. They care for patients with injuries and disorders within the entire musculoskeletal system. This includes muscles, ligaments, and joints.
From back pain, to neck pain, headaches, and even pre-natal nausea, chiropractic care has proven to help with a range of health problems. If you are unsure of whether or not your chiropractor can assist with the pain or disorder you are experiencing, discuss this with him or her during your initial consultation. Be very specific about your symptoms, as this will help your chiropractor determine the safest and most effective method to treat you, even if this includes referring you to another health care provider.
5. Chiropractic Care is Dangerous
According to a U.K. evidence report on the Effectiveness of Manual Therapies, fewer than one per million visits to the chiropractor have a serious adverse event occur during lumbar spine manipulation.
While chiropractic procedures may appear physically abrupt and intimidating, there is little pain or danger during spinal manipulation. A properly trained chiropractor aims to improve symptoms, relieve pain, and improve the patient's overall well-being and physical functioning.
It is vital to do your research first before choosing a chiropractor for your specific needs. Check out their clinic’s reviews, and look into the chiropractor's credentials to be sure he or she is well educated and experienced.
Chiropractic care is designed to improve spinal and joint function, thus aiding in a healthier and more active lifestyle. By attending regular visits, you can experience a range of preventative health benefits, and improve your body’s balance, flexibility and functioning. Do your research, and speak with a qualified chiropractor before deciding whether or not chiropractic care is right for you.