Let’s just get to the chase here. We are often encountered with questions about chiropractic. Many people really don’t understand what is is that we do and without knowledge comes fear and hesitation. It’s completely understandable, it’s human behavior. We fear what we don’t understand, we fear change and we fear the unknown. So here I am going to go over the questions, or in many cases the myths, that I hear on a regular basis and try my best to explain chiropractic.
The first big question we have is, “Does it hurt?”
Generally when we see clients many of them are in some sort of discomfort or ill health. If this is the case, areas that are likely needing adjustment may feel tender from normal physiological processes. Much like an area that has a bruise or inflammation. It may be tender to touch. So while most people feel great relief and do not experience discomfort when getting adjusted there are cases that there can be some tenderness just to touch. Symptoms are not our enemy. Pain is a sign that there is malfunction in the body. Adjustments are precise, gentle as possible and effective. However with or without chiropractic intervention, areas of improper function will often be tender. With chiropractic care, those areas are able to heal better and most of the time the physical discomfort subsides, as you heal. We always do our best to make sure clients are comfortable.
“I am too old, or too young, for chiropractic care.”
Chiropractic care is beneficial for people of all ages. Chiropractors are trained to care for people during pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adulthood and in their senior years. Each season of life comes with unique challenges, changes and considerations but age is not a determination of whether you will benefit from care or not. In our office we have taken care of people of all ages and in all stages from newborn babies to people in their 90’s. As more and more people realize the benefits of chiropractic care, more are seeking care for not only symptom relief but as a safe, natural, part of their wellness and health routine.
“Once I go, I have to go forever.”
This is simply not true. No client has to go to a chiropractor forever. However, many choose to continue care once they realize the health benefits of chiropractic care. Some clients choose chiropractic care for acute, symptomatic, relief. To help them feel better quickly, safely and without the use of drugs or surgery. Some clients choose to benefit from chiropractic in more of a wellness model; correcting subluxations before they get to the stage of dis-ease or symptoms and to create more vitality and to improve performance. It’s much like going to the dentist only when you have an abscessed tooth or a cavity versus brushing and flossing regularly and getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months. The bottom line is, it is always the clients choice what type of care fits with their lifestyle and health philosophy.
“Chiropractors are not real doctors”
There are many types of doctors in healthcare fields with different focuses and specialties. Chiropractors are no different. Chiropractors education is extensive and thorough. When comparing subject of study between chiropractors and general practitioner medical doctors you will see that areas such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, diagnosis, ob/gyn, and x-ray chiropractic education is equal to or more in classroom hours. In neurology chiropractic education is almost 3 times that of a general practitioner MD. We also have national board examinations, state board tests and annual continuing education requirements to maintain our license. Our health philosophy and application of our skills may be different then western medicine but our understanding of the body is comparable.
When compared to most healthcare office visits, chiropractic care is a deal! Initial evaluations are similar to many naturopath or doctor’s office visits and follow up visits are generally around ½ to ⅓ of the price. Plus with chiropractic care there isn’t the added cost of expensive medications, surgeries or intensive therapies. We work with other therapists when needed, don’t get me wrong. But with chiropractic your visit not only includes our expertise and knowledge, but the application of the care as well. And on top of all that many studies show that people who use chiropractic care spend much less on their healthcare overall. So in fact, we can save you money!
“Chiropractic is dangerous.”
Chiropractic is extremely safe. But don’t take my word for it. Ask the insurance companies. The fact that we are so safe is why our insurance rates are a fraction of the price that most healthcare practitioners pay. And it’s not because insurance companies love us. It’s business. Simple as that. The most dangerous thing about your chiropractic care is probably your drive to the office. But I wouldn’t advise you to let your uncle give you a “chiropractic” adjustment. (Unless he is a chiropractor of course) Chiropractic is extremely safe in the hands of those who are trained to do it.
“Chiropractors don’t like medical doctors.” or “Medical doctors don’t like chiropractors.”
Chiropractic and western medical practices are different. That is true. That is also why we work so well together. Chiropractors are not trying to replace the use of medicine when needed. Medical doctors are not providing the benefits of chiropractic care. We work well together. We work with pregnant clients frequently. That doesn’t mean we are replacing their prenatal medical care providers. And that is the same with all of our clients. We are enhancing our clients health and working with other providers to the benefit our clients and to help them to reach their goals. We refer to other providers frequently and other providers refer to us as well. We get referrals from medical doctors, midwives, naturopaths, doulas, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists and more. Together we all bring our skills and expertise so that you get the best results and the best chance of living a full, vibrant, life.
“I don’t need chiropractic, my back doesn’t hurt.”
Probably the biggest myth of all. The myth that chiropractic care is for back pain, headaches or neck pain. In fact chiropractic never even started as a treatment for pain. Chiropractic is a hands on, natural, healing modality for detecting and correcting vertebral subluxations. It isn’t a treatment for any one thing, pain or otherwise. A vertebral subluxation is a stress response. Stress from physical, chemical or emotional roots. Muscles go into spasm. Spinal bones lock up. And nerve function is distorted. This interferes with the function of your body. This happens because communication between the brain and parts of your body get garbled. Distorted nerve communications can be an underlying cause of many health problems beyond just back pain. Your nervous system controls every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. These nerve impulses travel through your spine. So having a spine free of vertebral subluxations is essential for optimal health.
There is a difference between living, and living well!
Cheryl Schmitt, D.C.