Chiropractic adjustments have a proven ability to relieve pain for a wide range of conditions. Some people swear by chiropractic care. Others, however, do not.
There are a number of prevailing myths about chiropractic care out there. Today, we’re going to debunk several of these myths to ensure you know the truth about chiropractic care.
Myth: Chiropractors Aren’t Real Doctors
Chiropractors do not have medical degrees, so they’re not medical doctors.
Instead, chiropractors pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic. Every state in America requires chiropractors to obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from a Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) accredited college. Without this degree, you cannot call yourself a chiropractor. A Doctor of Chiropractic is an intense, full-time, four-year program.
Some chiropractors will also choose to specialize in a certain area, which means more education and training. Additionally, chiropractors may do an additional residency after their Doctor of Chiropractic, with the residency lasting 2 to 3 years.
With over 100 different chiropractic methods, some chiropractors choose to specialize in multiple areas. Chiropractors with multiple specializations may advertise themselves as “diversified” or “integrated” chiropractors.
The hard work doesn’t end there for chiropractors: in order to get a license, chiropractors must take an exam. Chiropractors must also meet continuing education requirements to stay licensed over the years.
Myth: Once You See a Chiropractor, You Need to Keep Going Back
Some people mistakenly believe that chiropractor care is performed exclusively to get patients to keep coming back for repeated adjustments.
This isn’t true. When seeking care from a chiropractor, the chiropractor will perform an assessment that includes a physical examination of the patient and an analysis of the patient’s history. Based on this information, the chiropractor will recommend a diagnosis customized to the unique needs of the patient. The goal is to put the patient on the path towards solving the pain or dysfunction.
A typical chiropractic treatment plan involves a number of initial visits to see if the patient responds to care. Then, the chiropractor may schedule re-evaluations to determine the long-term effects of chiropractic adjustments. Based on all of this treatment, further chiropractic care may be necessary. Or, the patient may already be on the path towards long-term recovery.
Each patient’s care plan is catered to the patient’s unique needs. Plans are developed in partnership with the patient: the chiropractor does not dictate treatment to the patient.
Myth: There’s No Scientific Evidence Behind Chiropractic Adjustments
A quick search on PubMed.gov will reveal thousands of peer-reviewed articles examining the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments. Some studies analyze the effects of chiropractic adjustments on treating headaches, back pain, and neck pain. Other studies analyze chiropractic’s effectiveness on more specific conditions – including anything from sciatica to colic.
In many of these studies, chiropractic adjustments have demonstrated a proven ability to put patients on the path towards long-term relief. Many of the studies are the ‘gold standard’ of scientific research: they involve hundreds of patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled environment. In these situations, chiropractic adjustments have often proven to be more effective than physical therapy, invasive surgeries, and prescription medication at treating symptoms.
Additionally, The American College of Physicians, the American Pain Society, and Britain’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence all recommend spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) as the first treatment for back pain in their clinical guidelines.
Myth: It’s Going to Hurt
Many first-time chiropractic patients are surprised to find that treatments do not hurt. In fact, many patients experience immediate relief from chronic pain after receiving chiropractic adjustments.
There’s the old myth that cracking your knuckles can lead to long-term conditions like arthritis. Studies have shown this isn’t true: it’s believed the ‘cracking’ sound is just gas bubbles escaping from the joint. Chiropractic adjustments can lead to a similar sound. These sounds may surprise some patients at first, but the adjustments aren’t painful, and most patients experience no pain or side effects.
Myth: Chiropractors Can Only Relieve Back Pain
Some people only visit the chiropractor when they’re experiencing back pain. It’s true: chiropractors can often provide proven relief for upper and lower back pain.
However, chiropractors can also do much more than just treat back pain. Many are surprised that chiropractors can treat pain and stiffness throughout the body. A chiropractor is an expert on the body’s musculoskeletal system. They have proven expertise at diagnosing, treating, and preventing all types of biomechanical disorders originating from the body’s muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems.
But chiropractors treat far more than just pain and stiffness; some people visit chiropractors to enjoy relief from TMJ pain, for example, or to relieve pain in the extremities.
Many people have also experienced relief from migraine and tension headaches after a visit to the chiropractor – even after trying dozens of other treatments, surgeries, or medications have been ineffective.
Final Word on Chiropractic Care
All fields of medicine have their unique quirks. The myths above on chiropractic care, however, can all be quickly debunked with a bit of cursory research online. An experienced chiropractor can help to make a huge difference in your overall health and day to day happiness.
Schedule an appointment with Renew Chiropractic for leading chiropractic care in Lakewood, Colorado to see how a chiropractor can help with your specific needs.