what’s the truth?
Chiropractor’s get a bad reputation.
Too many people hear myths that all chiropractors do is crack a person’s back or bones, and that they don’t go through years of training like those going through medical school.
Chiropractors attend graduate-level health colleges to treat disorders of the bones, nerves, muscles, and ligaments. They graduate with Doctor of Chiropractic degrees, but they are not medical doctors.
While chiropractors are widely known for treating back and neck pain, they also treat bone and soft tissue conditions.
Most attend a chiropractic graduate program averaging 4 years of education besides undergraduate studies.
After completing the educational and training requirements, an aspiring chiropractor in the United States will sit for their National boards (4 parts and Physiotherapy). Once they have obtained licensure and certification from the board, they will become a Doctor of Chiropractic. They then must get licensed in the state they wish to practice in. Each state requires different paperwork and/or testing to become licensed in that state.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, the average chiropractic program involves as many classroom hours as a program that trains medical doctors.
What do they try to heal?
Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatments. The theory is that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication by restoring communication from brain to body and vice versa.
Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support.
Chiropractic is primarily used as a pain relief alternative for muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. It is sometimes used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.
Much of a chiropractor’s work involves adjusting to heal:
- lower back pain
- whiplash-related conditions
- neck pain
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
- extremity (shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and feet)
- migraines/headaches, etc.
They may also provide services such as postural testing and analysis, as well as others designed to promote nutrition and healthful exercise.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in the U.S., chiropractic therapy is the type most commonly used for back pain. An estimated 74 percent of Americans with pain in this area have used chiropractic care at some point in their treatment.
Results of a 2010 review cited by the center suggest that spinal manipulation may be useful to treat back pain, migraine headaches, whiplash, and other conditions affecting the upper and lower extremities.
Like other forms of treatment, chiropractic care will not benefit all injuries. Sessions should be performed by a licensed chiropractor and tailored to a person’s needs.
Benefits and Risks of Chiropractic Treatment
Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care are generally considered safe, effective treatments for acute low back pain, the type of sudden injury that results from moving furniture or getting tackled.
Acute back pain, which is more common than chronic pain, lasts no more than six weeks and typically gets better on its own.
Research has also shown chiropractic to be helpful in treating neck pain and headaches. In addition, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia may respond to the moderate pressure used both by chiropractors and practitioners of deep tissue massage.
Chiropractic adjustment is safe when it’s performed by someone trained and licensed to deliver chiropractic care.
Serious complications associated with chiropractic adjustment are overall rare, but may include:
- A herniated disk or a worsening of an existing disk herniation
- Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column (cauda equina syndrome)
- A certain type of stroke (vertebral artery dissection) after neck manipulation
Science also supports chiropractic treatment
A 2018 review included 17 years of studies involving spinal manipulation and mobilization, which is a more passive form of manipulation.
The studies investigated the effects of these treatments on chronic lower back pain, and the authors concluded that the chiropractic methods were “viable” options for pain management.
And a 2017-2018 review looked at the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in treating lower back pain.
The authors concluded that treatment improved both function and pain for up to 6 weeks.
The American College of Physicians recommend that those with lower back pain use a variety of non-pharmacological treatments, including spinal manipulation.
Researchers generally agree that more studies are needed to determine the ideal length and frequency of chiropractic sessions and to identify what injuries may benefit from specific treatments.
An incoming chiropractor must spend thousands of hours studying before obtaining a license. In 2016, an estimated 47,400 chiropractors were practicing in the U.S., according to the country’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Chiropractic care is drug-free and non-invasive, and it may treat some musculoskeletal problems. While this form of alternative medicine may not benefit everyone, it is generally considered safe for most people.
Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
visit shimer chiropractic today
To schedule an appointment for treatment with chiropractic, acupuncture or massage, please contact Shimer Chiropractic today at 720-340-4107. Your body will thank you.
Your body will thank you
Schedule your first visit and adjustment for only $69.