Top 5 Chiropractic Myths Busted
As successful as chiropractic has become, there are a lot of myths about chiropractic floating around in the general public. Times have definitely changed for the better, but the fact is that many people still do not understand what chiropractors do. Let’s talk about a few of the more common myths about chiropractic.
Myth #1 – Chiropractors are not real doctors.
Chiropractors are licensed as primary medical health care providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around
the world. While the competition to attend chiropractic school is not as fierce as medical school, the chiropractic and medical school curricula arc virtually identical. In fact, chiropractors have more hours of education than their medical counterparts. As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete approximately nine hundred hours of work in a clinical setting, assisting licensed chiropractors. Once chiropractic students graduate, they have to pass four sets of national board exams as well as state hoard exams in the states they want to practice.
Chiropractors receive extensive training, combined with many hours of practical work. Just like conventional medical
doctors, chiropractors are medical professionals that are subject to the same testing, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare. Medicaid and Workers’ Compensations programs cover chiropractic, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic.
The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their education or diagnostic ability, but in
their preferred method of treatment. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines (chemicals that affect your internal biochemistry) and surgery. Consequently, if you have a chemical problem, such as diabetes. hypothyroidism or an infection, medical doctors can be very helpful. However, if your problem is that one of the bones in your spine is out of place, or you have trigger points in your muscles that are causing pain, there is no chemical in existence that can fix it. You need a physical treatment to correct a physical problem. That’s where chiropractic really shines.
Chiropractors use physical treatments – adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy – to treat conditions that are physical, rather than chemical, in origin; such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches and poor posture.
Myth #2 – Medical doctors don’t like chiropractors.
The American Medical Association’s opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest in the 1940s under the leadership
of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and referred to them as “playful and cute, but killers.” He tried to portray chiropractors as members of an unscientific cult. Up to the lute 1970s and early 1980s, the medical establishment purposely conspired to try to destroy the profession of chiropractic. In fact, a landmark lawsuit in the 1980s found than the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and was ordered to pay restitution to the chiropractic profession.
In the 20 years since, the opinion of most medical doctors has changed; mostly because of several major studies that
showed the superiority of chiropractic in treating a host of conditions, coupled with a better understanding among medical doctors about what chiropractors actually do. Many hospitals across the country now have chiropractors on staff and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. Chiropractors and medical doctors are now much more comfortable working together in cases where medical care is necessary as an adjunct to chiropractic care.
Myth #3 – Once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.
This is a statement that we frequently hear when the topic of chiropractic care comes up in conversation. This statement is only partly true. You only have to continue going to the chiropractor as long as you wish to maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system. Going to a chiropractor is much like going to the dentist, exercising at a gym or eating a healthy diet: as long as you keep it up, you continue to enjoy the benefits.
Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt – that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear – you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep and bend. Regular chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you are only treated for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle.
Myth #4 – Chiropractic adjustments will cause you to have a stroke.
Strokes are definitely a serious event, no doubt, and there are some medical doctors who still tell their patients to avoid
going to the chiropractor because sooner or later, they say, adjustments of the neck will cause a stroke. The risk of suffering a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment is extremely small; about the risk of being struck by lightning. Collectively, the team of chiropractors here has been in practice for over 90 years, and in that time we have adjusted thousands of patients and never had a patient have a stroke on any of our tables. Not a single one of our hundreds of chiropractic friends and acquaintances, and never in the more than 90 collective years of care of chiropractors here at Whiplash Resource Network, had a patient suffer a stroke due to a chiropractic adjustment. In fact, you are 70,000 times more likely to suffer a stroke from the daily use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks than to suffer a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment. You are 37,000 times more likely to suffer a stroke for an unknown reason than to suffer a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment. When administered by a licensed doctor of chiropractic, adjustments are extremely safe.
Myth #5 – Chiropractors can only help my back.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: If you spine is in proper alignment, you will have a stronger immune system. We’re not just helping your back by adjusting it! Numerous studies indicate that consistent adjustments reduce the production of the mediators generally associated with tissue damage and pain, while enhancing the production of cells that are imperative in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Also, chiropractors are experts on nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle. We screen for, and have successfully diagnosed, several conditions that are unrelated to the musculoskeletal system, and refer patients to other practitioners when necessary.
Fun Fact: In 1917-1918, when the flu pandemic plagued the US, Chiropractors noticed that their patients seemed to have fewer fatalities than the general population. Coincidence? You decide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a chiropractic adjustment?
The chiropractic adjustment is a gentle, quick thrust to a particular joint. typically in the spine, intended to restore
normal position and movement. Adjustments are important for releasing adhesions in the joint and reducing stress on the nervous system. Because of the fact that the nervous system is the master controller of all muscles and organs in the body, removing stress on the nervous system through chiropractic adjustments will frequently lead to improved health in the entire body.
Q: How many adjustments will I need?
The total number of adjustments you need depends on five main factors:
- Your age
- Your overall health
- The severity of your condition
- How long you have had your condition
- What your ultimate goals are
If you are young, in good health and have a mild condition with very recent onset, you will need far fewer adjustments than if you are older, in poor general health and have been struggling with a problem for many years.
The total number of adjustments you will need also depends on whether you are merely interested in reducing the pain you are currently experiencing. or are interested in creating optimal long-term health.
Q: Do chiropractic adjustments hurt?
Usually not. There are a small percentage of patients who have experienced mild soreness after being adjusted, but this
is more of the exception. Most people feel better very quickly after being adjusted.
Q: Can I adjust myself?
No, although some people can make their joints “pop”. It may sound like an adjustment but it is not a chiropractic
adjustment. Adjustments are very specific and take years of training and practice to master. Even your chiropractor can not adjust himself and must visit their chiropractor to receive and adjustment.
Q: Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. Every patient is different and therefore every spinal condition is different. Each chiropractic patient receives a
treatment plan specially designed for that patient and to treat every patient the same would be dangerous and foolish.
Q: Hove side effects or problems been reported from using chiropractic to treat back pain?
Patients may or may not experience side effects from chiropractic treatment. Effects may include temporary discomfort
in parts of the body that were treated, headache, or tiredness. These effects tend to be minor and to resolve within one to two days.
Q: Do I still need to see the chiropractor if my pain is gone?
It is very common for pain to disappear long before the total correction of your condition is attained. As in our discussion earlier in this chapter, pain is not a very good indicator of health. Often time’s people are completely unaware of problems that are developing because there is no pain associated with them. Consider heart disease, cancer, diabetes – the three top killers. These don’t have any symptoms at all until they have become very advanced. The same is true with cavities in your teeth – there is usually no pain until a cavity becomes severe. The point is that just because you are no longer experiencing pain does not mean that your problem no longer exists. It is important to continue being treated so that the underlying cause of the pain can be corrected.
Routine chiropractic care is one of the simplest ways to maintain the health of your body. Numerous research studies
have shown that people who receive regular chiropractic care suffer fewer illnesses. injuries and degenerative diseases. and they report a better overall quality of life. In spite of the health benefits of chiropractic care, many people have never been to a chiropractor, most often because they don’t really understand what chiropractic care is all about.
The bottom line is that chiropractic care is a safe, effective treatment for a wide range of physical complaints, such as headaches, neck pain, mid-back pain, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, numbness and tingling of the extremities, thoracic outlet syndrome, stomach and gastrointestinal complaints, wrist, elbow and shoulder pain, knee, hip and ankle
pain, scoliosis and otitis media. While most of these disorders resolve within a few weeks or months, routine chiropractic care will help ensure optimal health for life.
Q: Can Chiropractors prescribe medication?
Currently, chiropractors do not prescribe medications, although they may refer someone to another physician for
prescription medication if it is deemed necessary. In most cases, however, patients are better off with physical, rather than chemical, treatments for physical problems.
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