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Common Questions and Myths about the Chiropractor 

Common Questions and Myths about the Chiropractor 

“Once you go to a chiropractor you always have to go for the rest of your life.”Or …“I hear people get addicted to it.”

People do get addicted to feeling better than they have in a long, long time. Will you be going to a dentist, or your medical doctor or optometrist the rest of your life? How long should you exercise or eat right? These are just healthy lifestyle choices. Many people recognize the value of having a nervous system free of interference and choose regular adjustments to keep it that way.

“Why do I need to come in so often?”

We are doing something physical to change your body physically. Two things are required for that: enough frequency over a long enough time, just like getting in shape to run a marathon. It doesn’t matter how out of shape you are. If you work out frequently enough over a long enough period of time you can get into shape to run a marathon.

“Chiropractors aren’t real doctors.”

Our schooling is the same as medical schools. The difference is our philosophy. M.D.’s have two ways to treat: drugs and surgery. Their philosophy is that healing comes from the outside. This pill will make you better, or I’ll remove this body part to make you better. Our philosophy is that healing comes from the inside and our bodies are self healing as long as there is no interference and we give it the right ingredients for health (nutrition and exercise). We remove the interference to the the nervous system.

“Is it going to hurt?”

There are many techniques in chiropractic. One technique in which I specialize uses an adjusting instrument that gently taps to get the bone off of the nerve. Sometimes people go through retracing, which can be uncomfortable but is a wonderful sign because it is the body getting rid of old traumas from the past, allowing for a more complete healing.

“Chiropractic is too expensive.”

Compared to what? Braces for the teeth – $4,000-$6,000, M.R.I. for the full spine, – $1,800-$2,400, Lasik Eye Surgery – $3,500-$5,000, Breast Augmentation – $4,000-$10,000, Dental Implants – $1,250-$3000 per tooth, Year supply of Claritin – $1,200, Year supply of Cholesterol lowering drugs – $1,500 (without doctor visits), 6-12 month Chiropractic care plan – $1,800-$3,600 (plus the savings of getting off of medications), What is the value of having your brain communicate properly with the rest of your body?

“Chiropractic is dangerous”

Studies show that there is very little risk with the chiropractic adjustment and virtually none with the adjustment instrument. Statistically, it is more of a risk to take 2 Advil a day for 2 weeks than to get adjusted. A look at malpractice insurance premium costs says it all; M.D. costs $22,000 – $175,000 per year while Chiropractic malpractice insurance premium costs are $1,500 – $3,000 for the same liability limits.

“Infants and Children should never be adjusted.”

Do they have a spine and a nervous system? One of the biggest traumas we ever go through is being born. Have you ever seen a child learn to walk? They will fall 30 times a day. Children respond to chiropractic care so much faster than adults. They haven’t had the years and years of physical, emotional, chemical stress and traumas that we have accumulated as adults.

If I can crack my own back, why do I need a chiropractor?

There is a big difference between cracking your own back and having a specific spinal adjustment. When someone feels the need to crack their own spine it is a sign that things aren’t working right. When you crack your back, if you don’t mess it up, it will generally feel better but main subluxations (misalignments) can’t be gotten yourself. So a few hours later you feel the need to do it again. All this self cracking creates looseness in the joints that can lead to degeneration. The main subluxations will still be there, creating havoc with your nervous system.

What is a subluxation?

In simplest terms, a subluxation is when one or more of the bones of your spine (Vertebrae) move out of normal position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes a change in the signals (or nerve energy) traveling over those nerves. Therefore, the area where the signal ends up will not function the way the brain intends.

So how does Chiropractic help with other health issues besides back pain (i.e. asthma,allergies, ulcers, bowel movements)?.

Well, if a nerve is pinched and it’s responsible for your stomach working, your stomach will decrease its function by as much as 60%. So if your stomach doesn’t digest your food as it should, it could lead to ulcers or acid reflux.

Can I tell if I have a subluxation without consulting a Chiropractor?

Not always. A subluxation is like a dental cavity-you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. That’s why periodic spinal check-ups are so important. Although it may be possible to know you have a subluxation, it is rarely possible to be sure you don’t. An occasional spinal check-up is always a good idea.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the US Adult Low Back Pain Population

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the US Adult Low Back Pain Population. Global Advances in Health and Medicine January 2016; Vol. 5; No. 1; pp. 69-78

 

Neha Ghildayal, Pamela Jo Johnson, MPH, PhD, Roni L. Evans, DC, MS, PhD, and Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN.

The data for this article was from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which is the most current nationally representative data available on CAM

health practices. Data was collected on 34,525 adults. “A major strength of this study was that it used a large, nationally representative survey of the US adult population with LBP and included a comprehensive list of CAM therapies.”

KEY POINTS FROM THIS STUDY:

 

1) “A key goal of healthcare for patients with chronic back pain is to maximize their functional status so that they are able to carry out activities of daily living.”

2) “Many people suffering from LBP have found conventional medical treatments to be ineffective and unreliable for treating their pain. Therefore, due to

dissatisfaction with conventional treatments for LBP, individuals suffering from LBP are increasingly turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to find relief.”

3) Low back pain (LBP):

• Costs the United States healthcare system about $100 billion a year.

• Resulting in over 150 million lost workdays per year and $16 billion annually

in lost productivity in the US.

• More than 80% of adults in the US will experience it at some point during

their lifetime.

• Is a major cause of functional limitations and disability:

•• are 3 times more likely to have limited functional ability

•• are more than 4 times likely to experience serious psychological distress

• “People with back pain suffer from worse physical and mental health than

people without back pain.”

4) “A growing body of evidence supports the use of CAM for improving back pain outcomes, with back pain being the most common condition for which patients

use CAM.”

5) “Overall, chiropractic manipulation was the most prevalent CAM therapy used within the LBP population.” [Important]

6) “The majority of respondents (58.1%) who used CAM in the past year forback pain perceived a ‘great deal’ of benefit.”

7) “For people with severe LBP, turning to CAM may seem a better alternative due to its more conservative, noninvasive nature as compared to more conventional medical treatments such as epidural steroid injections, surgeries, and prescriptive medications—all which may carry higher risks than CAM treatments.”

8) Also, “those with severe pain may have exhausted all other possibilities and may be looking for any possibility of relief” and as such seek CAM approaches.

9) People may also seek CAM because of it low associated treatment risks.

10) “CAM therapies are becoming an increasingly important component of care for people with LBP.”

11) Over 40% of the US population used some form of CAM in the past year, with higher use reported among those with back pain.

12) The most popular therapies used in the LBP population included herbal therapies, chiropractic manipulation, and massage.

13) “The majority of the LBP population used CAM specifically to treat back pain, and most adults who used CAM for back pain perceived a great deal of benefit.”

14) “CAM use appears to be an important and growing part of healthcare for the back pain population.”

 

COMMENTS

Limitations from this study include that the authors did not distinguish between acute and chronic back pain patients, which would undoubtedly influence the

percentages of perceived benefits from the various approaches. Chiropractic remains the leader of outpatient management choices for CAM for LBP, with an extremely high patient satisfaction rate; yet only 15% of those with LBP are using chiropractic.

Surprisingly, acupuncture is only being used by 2% of those with low back pain. An important aspect of this study (mentioned but not quantified) is that all of the CAM approaches are extremely safe, with a very low risk of adverse occurrences. Lastly, a mentioned but underemphasized aspect of this study is that many who chose to use CAM do so because traditional approaches to the management of their back pain was ineffective.

[Most chiropractors do not consider chiropractic to be “alternative” or “complementary” to medical practice, but rather a scientifically proven, non-drug, and non-surgical approach to healthcare problems, including musculoskeletal pain].