Debunking the Top 10 Chiropractic Myths
When patients are making medical decisions about delicate areas of their bodies, it is important to learn all of the facts about different approaches and their advantages and disadvantages before coming to a conclusion. In the course of this research, talking to friends or looking at unverified content on the internet can lead patients to believe incorrect information. For some unknown reason, chiropractic care is a medical subject that has a lot of this inaccurate information passed around. Our goal is to give prospective chiropractic patients correct information about the practice and how visiting a chiropractor helps you, not hurts you.
Top 10 Chiropractic Myths
1. Chiropractic Care is more expensive: Multiple studies have shown that this is not true. A study conducted in 2010, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, showed that when care was initiated by a doctor of chiropractic, for patients experiencing low back pain it was 20% cheaper than when initiated by a medical doctor. Patients think that seeing a medical doctor first is cheaper than seeing a chiropractor over time, but patients who see a chiropractor first are less likely to get spinal surgery. The associated costs of surgery and rehabilitation outweigh those of conservative care.
2. Chiropractic Care is Dangerous: Chiropractic care is inaccurately believed to be more dangerous than standard medical care. Chiropractic care is less invasive than other medical interventions that increase risk for injury. Surgery and medical side effects are more dangerous than any of the non-invasive methods that chiropractors prescribe, like a neck manipulation or spinal adjustment. The American Chiropractic Association has compiled information about risk of death from spine surgery, neck surgery, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin, all of which have a much higher risk of serious side effects and death.
3. It is Unsafe for Children to Get Chiropractic Care: Receiving chiropractic care as a child is widely believed to be dangerous and not advisable. The truth is, research has shown that it is not only safe, but also recommended for children as young as babies to see chiropractors. Being as active as they are, children are susceptible to injuries that can impact the functionality of their neck and back. Chiropractors adjust their approach when working with children, ensuring that they are as gentle as possible.
4. Chiropractors aren’t REAL doctors: Most people are aware of the delicate nature of necks and spines, and therefore only want to entrust their care to a doctor that is properly accredited. Generally, chiropractors have four years of pre-medical undergraduate education, learning about various scientific fields. Next, they have to complete four to five years of study at an accredited chiropractic college. During these years, students must complete AT LEAST 4,200 hours of study, combining time in the classroom and laboratory and clinical experience. This breadth of education prepares chiropractors to treat the variety of cases they see.
5. Once you start you have to keep going: Everyone is afraid of making commitments, especially financial ones, and no one wants to hear that once they see a chiropractor they will have to go for the rest of their lives. The chiropractor will develop a targeted treatment plan after identifying what is causing your pain. This plan includes the number of sessions the chiropractor believes you will need to complete the care and improve your symptoms. If you are seeing a chiropractor for conservative maintenance, in the same way you would eat healthy foods or exercise, the choice to continue going is up to you.
6. Adjustments hurt: When someone is experiencing back pain the last thing they want to experience is worsened pain in the chiropractor’s office. If your chiropractor is performing an adjustment correctly, it should not be painful. Though there might be some brief discomfort, this has to do with your presenting injury and not the adjustment itself. Generally, patients feel relieved and comfortable after an adjustment.
7. Chiropractors are only helpful for back pain: Chiropractors do help patients with back, but it is only one of the many conditions they treat. You can see a chiropractor for a range of conditions, or even if you feel fine but want to prevent future problems and promote wellness. Patients experiencing headaches can get relief from seeing a chiropractor, who will recommend adjustments to their posture and nutrition, perform relaxation techniques and spinal manipulation, and help identify the cause of the headaches. Chiropractors can also be helpful with improving your immune system, though the results vary from patient to patient.
8. Adjustment grinds and cracks your bones: This falsehood stems from the noises that are made during adjustments. These popping sounds are not your bones cracking or grinding, but the release of gas bubbles between joints. When you crack your knuckles you hear the same sound. The noise is from the pressure within the joint changing, not your bones being damaged.
9. Cracking your back yourself is the same thing: This falsehood is particularly frustrating considering the above information about the advanced training each chiropractor has to receive to be able to practice. This training enables chiropractors to have an understanding of the sensitive nature of joints and how they function. Just because you hear a noise when you crack your back at home does not mean you have achieved the same results as a carefully orchestrated spinal adjustment in the chiropractor’s office.
10. There is no proof it works: Studies in recent years have shown the efficacy of chiropractic care. A study conducted by AV Med, the largest medical health maintenance organization in the southeastern U.S., examined the first 100 patients seeking help at the Silverman Chiropractic Center. Of the 100 patients, 80 had already been treated medically without results. After receiving chiropractic adjustments, 86% had their conditions corrected, none needed surgery, and none felt worse. Though this is just one study, there are others that show similar effectiveness, debunking this myth.
If you were reluctant to visit the chiropractor because you believed one of these myths to be true, hopefully you have now seen that the work chiropractors do is effective and helpful for people with a range of conditions. To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors call us at 888-334-4199.