Chiropractic is the second largest of the three primary health care providers in the U.S. Chiropractors not only treat back pain but also the whole nervous system, and the causes and effects of maladies on general health. The word “chiropractic” is Greek origin meaning “done by hand.” Most people see a chiropractor regarding complaints about back pain, headaches, neck pain, pain in the joints of the shoulders, arms or legs. Misconceptions concerning chiropractic care and chiropractors are not uncommon even today when estimated Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) treat more than 27 million Americans yearly. Here are some leading misconceptions about chiropractors and chiropractic care.
Chiropractors Aren’t Real Doctors
Public at large conceive a doctor as someone who prescribes medicine, removes organs, and refers them to a specialist. With that, a chiropractor is a real doctor with a unique approach to healing the body and minimum of seven years of college schooling. A doctor of chiropractic can offer what no other doctor can. One just needs to understand there is more to healthcare than administering drugs and surgery. People of all walks of life benefit from chiropractic care, including well-known personalities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Doris Day, Lance Armstrong, Denzel Washington, Christie Brinkley, Emmit Smith, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and many others.
If You Start Chiropractic Treatment, You Have to Continue It for The Rest of Your Life
Most chiropractic patients would say, “What’s wrong with getting chiropractic treatment throughout your life?” The benefits are endless with statistics proving that people treated by a doctor of chiropractic care live healthier lives and avoid surgery. Truly, the choice is yours. If you rather not have chiropractic treatment throughout your life, that is your decision. The profession is never going away, so you can always come back to it if you like. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is up to you. Keep in mind, most spinal problems begin with traumatic births, accidents, or other long-lasting problems. A quick fix is not what chiropractic care is all about, but correcting years of muscle damage, ligament instability and scar tissue.
Chiropractic Care Wears Out Your Joints
Most patients experience considerable changes in their energy levels, sleep patterns, immune function, and overall well-being. As a matter of fact, seeing a doctor of chiropractic regularly helps prevent joints from wearing out. Bones are protected by a capsule of lubricating fluid that ordinarily offers friction-free stability in movement a whole lifetime. But, if the body loses normal movement of the spinal bones, it can lead to restrictive movement on or around the area. Chiropractors adjust the areas of the body to take pressure of the nerves and allows the body to relax and heal. The treatment even helps those with arthritis.
Chiropractic Adjustments Are Dangerous
There is no scientific proof that chiropractic adjustments are dangerous. Professional research has continually proven it is a safe form of healthcare with major health insurance companies supporting its treatment. However, political medicine has muddied the true scientific analysis of actual and relative risks. Being adjusted by a chiropractor is far safer than common over-the-counter painkillers and other prescribed medications. Recently, opponents have implied the risk of having a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment is about 1 in 1,000,000 – 5.25 million. Such ratio is only estimated but not proven. Even if there was a slight chance, the numbers prove you have a far better chance of being struck by lightning or killed on a bicycle, than have a serious injury from a chiropractor. Chiropractors go through the same hours of education as a medical doctor and pass national board examinations with state-licensing before starting their practice.
Spinal Adjustments Are Uncomfortable or Painful
Not necessarily true. There are many adjustment techniques on hand to adjust the spine. The choices are the classic dynamic thrust to very, very light contacts. The best chiropractors offer many techniques that also involve table or instrument assisted treatment. Chiropractors apply safe and effective treatments applicable to the patient’s comfort level, condition, and age. A tremendous amount of relief is experienced from a spinal adjustment, and they usually don’t hurt at all. If anything, there might be a slight discomfort at first when the doctor presses down, but it doesn’t last long. The body gradually adapts to the adjustments. The body might feel tender in the muscles after starting the program, similar to staring a new exercise regime. In due time, the nervous system merges with the adjustments, and patients continue feel relief and ease with their bodies, which is one reason people make chiropractic apart of their lifestyle.
Chiropractic Results Are Just a Placebo Effect
Critics are quick to make this claim, but never look to see the substantial evidence that proves the opposite. First of all, one needs to understand that a “placebo effect” is determined by the power of suggestion. Infants, newborns and even animals benefit from chiropractic treatment. Besides, there is physical evidence with before and after x-rays of the patients’ spines looking healthier after chiropractic care. Even range of motion and flexibility tests prove major improvement after treatment. With all that, try to explain the millions of patients who rave about how their chiropractor helped them heal their body.
Chiropractic Care Is Expensive
Comparing a visit to a medical doctor and a doctor of chiropractic, the chiropractic visit is in fact less expensive. If you consider the long-term treatment plans with medication and surgery, chiropractic care is way less expensive because it heals the body naturally without surgery or drugs. Most insurance companies such as Medicare cover chiropractic adjustments since they have statistically measured the advantages against drugs and surgery. Another consideration in the cost of healthcare is the overall health of the individual being treated.
Chiropractic Care is Witchcraft
Chiropractic care was founded in 1896 by Daniel David Palmer. Because it is an alternative medicine, certain medical doctors through the century have tried to discredit the benefits of chiropractic care by saying it is similar to astrology and palm reading. For this reason, they equate it to witchcraft. By the mid-1970s, this was proved utterly false. Chiropractic care is holistic, supportive and rehabilitative to the body. When properly administered, the results are nothing short of miraculous to those who experience their conditions and pain cured without drugs or surgery.
Chiropractic Care is a Glorified Massage
This idea comes from people who are not familiar with the educational lineup to become a doctor of chiropractic care. The public at large view a doctor as a person who dispenses drugs and does surgery. Any profession outside this realm of treatment is not a doctor. On the contrary, as mentioned earlier, an extensive educational process is demand of anyone who wants to become a chiropractor. It should be noted that most chiropractic offices offer massage therapy in conjunction with their adjustment. Both together are quite beneficial.
Chiropractors only Treat Back Pain
Patients come to chiropractors for back pain, but that isn’t the only reason to visit an office. Sure their focus is on the spinal cord and how it is affecting the body, but most of them will tell you the spinal cord is the gateway to the entire human body. The nerves follow along the spine and influence how the body functions while influencing the body’s internal and external organs. Because chiropractors are obligated to further their education in order to stay in practice, some tend to become nutritionists, Kinesiology and other alternative practices.
Chiropractors Only “Pop a Disc in Place”
Again, similar to the previous slide, a chiropractor’s purpose is to assess the whole body’s condition and then recommend a treatment schedule to heal the body. It can seem that when the body gets adjusted it is making a tremendous about of noise with so many different cracking or popping sounds from the joints, neck, back and knuckles. The cracking and popping noise is not the “popping a disc into place” nor is it the breaking of bones. The sounds are actual escaping gases caused by synovial fluid. The fluid acts as a lubricant in the body joints and includes oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The joint cracking or popping is when the joint capsule expands, and its gas is quickly released. The noise also can be happening when tendon’s position changes or moves out of place. The tendon is going back to its initial position. Finally, it can happen mainly to patients who are arthritic. Their joints make sounds due to the fact the body has lost its smooth cartilage and rough joint surfaces.
Medical Doctors Don’t Like Chiropractors
Through American Medical Association history people can discover opposition to chiropractic. One such incident and probably the strongest opposition was in the 1940s. Morris Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and referred to them as “playful and cute, but killers.” There were others within the AMA, but a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois in 1980s found AMA guilty of plotting to destroy the profession. Today, medical doctors have developed a much better understanding of chiropractic care. Even some hospitals have chiropractors on staff while many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on board.
Children Don’t Need Chiropractic Doctors
Children’s bodies are young and obviously more flexible and can heal faster than an adult. They still can experience misalignment of the spine and should be checked by a doctor of chiropractic. The chiropractor can ensure the child is developing properly. Studies show that most children undergo 1,500 spinal traumas before they reach the age of five. Reports show chiropractic care has helped children with autism, bed wetting, allergies, asthma, breastfeeding difficulties and more.
I Eat Well and Exercise Regularly I Don’t Need Chiropractor Care
If you are eating well and exercise, you are commended. Eating well and exercising is a key component in maintaining a healthy body. But, it does not replace chiropractic care because people who work out tend to push their bodies. Keeping your spine in alignment helps your body stay fit, so you can exercise well into your Golden Years. In fact, quite a few professional athletes, such as Tiger Woods, regularly visit their chiropractor. Their visit is for aches and pains, but it gives them a healthy advantage to drive their bodies even more. Having a body that is aligned while eating well and exercising is such a positive road to a fulling life.
I Don’t Have Pain, So Why Should I See a Chiropractor
By the time you feel physical pain or diseases, they have been manifesting under your radar for more than a decade. Chiropractors assess the function of your body by focusing on your nervous system. The nervous system coordinates the function of the entire body. It regulates, controls, and heals the body. If you feel “fine,” great, but you want to make sure your body if functioning properly. Bodies that function properly are disease free. With that, here is a quote from the founder of Chiropractic medicine:
“As long as that power within you has control of your body, a state of HEALTH exists. Should something interfere with normal control of that internal power, then you cease to enjoy your birthright-HEALTH-instead a state of disease becomes prominent.” – Dr. BJ Palmer