Why Should I Consider Chiropractic Care?
Many people have this same question, so I want to share more about what Chiropractic Care really is and debunk some of the myths you may have been told!
Address the Source
Most pain management techniques only treat the symptoms of a problem, not the root-cause of the issue. Chiropractic works to address the source of the issue.
Prevent Future Problems
Chiropractic care is effective at preventing future problems and spinal joint degeneration related to misalignment, poor posture, repetitive stress, and injury.
Chiropractic care is non-invasive (i.e. there is no surgery or drugs) minimizes risks related to the procedures performed, and presents no drug-related side effects.
May Avoid Surgery
Many of my patients have avoided undergoing invasive and costly surgery by choosing Chiropractic care first in seeking help for the health issues they face.
The initial philosophy of a chiropractic adjustment, simply stated, is that any nerve root interference caused by misaligned vertebrae in the spine, pinching on a spinal nerve root, results in decreased nerve flow from the spinal cord to the body and function of the spinal joints, creating pain and possibly inflammation along the path of that nerve.
Through scientific research, many breakthroughs have occurred in recent decades. Science has improved the knowledge of why chiropractic adjustments work so well in decreasing pain and inflammation and increasing function. The benefits of spinal manipulation reach far beyond the obvious decrease of pain and muscle spasm, to lowering blood pressure and even strengthening the immune system.
Some Facts to Common Chiropractic Care Myths –
Fact: Numerous research studies have demonstrated this to be false. A study conducted in 2009, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, demonstrated that when care was initiated by a Doctor of Chiropractic for patients experiencing lower back pain, it was 20% less expensive than when initiated by an Orthopedic or Medical Doctor, or Physical Therapist.
Fact: Chiropractic care is less invasive than other medical interventions which may increase risk for injury. Surgical and pharmaceutical side effects are more prevalent than any of the non-invasive methods that Chiropractors use to deliver a spinal adjustment. Compare the risk of injury or deaths attributed to Tylenol and Ibuprofen for pain control each year, to the ultra-low risk of Chiropractic care for spinal alignment, and the numbers show that Chiropractic care should most definitely be a first choice of treatment, if safety is a concern.
Fact: Receiving Chiropractic care as a child is completely safe without the frustrating and sometimes damaging side effects of medication on a young, pure system. Research has shown that Chiropractic care is not only safe, but also recommended for infants and toddlers. This is due to the importance of proper spinal function during the formative years. Children are prone to injuries that can impact the functionality of their skull, neck, and back; with the first subluxation happening during the birth process. Chiropractors use a low-force technique along with stretching and sustained contact when working with children, ensuring the adjustment is as gentle as possible. Infants are usually adjusted on their mother’s chest, as she lays down on the table on her back.
Fact: Chiropractors develop a specific treatment plan after identifying what is causing your condition. This plan includes the number of office visits the chiropractor believes you will need to complete the care and improve your health, as well as what will be addressed on each visit. Chiropractors do believe a subluxation free, well-functioning spine leads to improved overall health and sense of wellness. Patients are educated by the Chiropractor about the importance of keeping a healthy spine and ways to achieve that spinal stability through stretching, exercise, and routine maintenance adjustments. It is much easier to prevent pain and illness than it is to alleviate it once it has set into the body. Prevention is indeed the best action for staying healthy and living life to the fullest.
Fact: It may be a little unnerving to think about a spinal adjustment when picturing a doctor putting joints back into alignment and how that must feel and sound. Chiropractic adjustments are generally not painful, though there might be some brief discomfort due to muscle tightness. The sound an adjustment makes (aka “cavitation”) is actually a gaseous release in the joint upon movement, similar to that of burping a tupperware lid to remove the air from the container, not your bones being damaged.
Many times patients feel instant relief after an adjustment because the Chiropractor has relieved the pressure off the nerve root that is associated with that particular spinal joint, allowing more efficient nerve flow to the affected areas.
Fact: Doctors of Chiropractic receive licensure after a Bachelor’s Degree and several years of intense, highly focused study of the human body and all of its systems. They are required to be Board Certified to exemplify their knowledge and skill. It is highly recommended you entrust your spinal health to a Doctor of Chiropractic. Simply twisting your back or neck yourself can result in spinal-instability by stressing joints and their associated ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue. If you hear a noise when you twist your spine at home, it does not mean you have achieved the same results as a carefully performed spinal adjustment in the office. Pain relief may sometimes be achieved but spinal correction and long term health and wellness will sadly be compromised!
History of Chiropractic Care
Evidence of healers and physicians performing manual manipulation of the spine can be found in ancient Greek and Chinese history that dates back over 5,000 years ago.
Fast forward a few thousand years, Dr. D.D. Palmer founded the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1897 in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer College still educates doctors of chiropractic today.
Over time, the fundamental ideas behind chiropractic have not changed much, but great strides have been made scientifically through extensive research validating the science of Chiropractic.
Today’s Chiropractic Care
A majority of Chiropractors focus on spinal alignment, relief from injury, and musculoskeletal issues, but there are also sub-specialties within the field of Chiropractic that many offices will address.
Chiropractic doctors also focus on posture and ergonomics, nutrition, acupuncture, and soft tissue techniques such as ART and Trigger Point Therapy to name a few.