Like most alternative medical practices, chiropractic care is a topic that houses many myths and mistruths. As the center for corrective chiropractic care in Oxnard, California, we are dedicated to providing patients and consumers with the truth about chiropractic.
Myth: Spinal Adjustments Hurt
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, most patients feel relief immediately following treatment. Patients who experience severe back or neck pain may experience some discomfort because of the pain that already exists, but for most patients, this is not the case.
Myth: Spinal Adjustments Are Dangerous
Chiropractic spinal adjustments are safe when performed by licensed chiropractors. In fact, chiropractic is recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neurological, skeletal and muscular complications. Research shows that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic adjustments.
As part of a literature review published in the March/April 2007 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, researchers reviewed nine previously published trials and found high-quality evidence that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal manipulation.
Myth: Chiropractic Doctors Lack Education Compared With Medical Doctors
With the exception of specialized surgery practitioners and pharmacists, chiropractors go through training extremely similar to that of medical doctors. Chiropractic training is comprehensive, challenging and rigorous: Aspiring chiropractors spend 2-4 years in pre-medical undergraduate college before embarking on 4-5 years of meticulous study at a chiropractic college or university.
Chiropractors are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship, with the average DC program equivalent in classroom hours to allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.
Licensed chiropractors are trained in biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, radiology, differential diagnosis, chiropractic adjustive techniques, biomechanics, and other health-related studies.
Before entering professional practice, new DCs must successfully complete rigorous national and state board examinations. Additionally, they must meet yearly continuing education requirements to maintain their license.
Myth: Chiropractic Is Not Scientific
Chiropractic care is just as scientific as other medical and alternative medical therapies, if not more so. In fact, there is a growing list of research studies and reviews that point to chiropractic being clinically effective, safe and cost-effective.
For more information on chiropractic research, read research reviews from the American Chiropractic Association.
Myth: Chiropractic Care Is Expensive
Chiropractic care is not proven to be any more expensive than traditional medical care. When compared to most visits to doctors offices, hospitals, and other clinics, chiropractic care is actually less costly. Chiropractic can offer long-term treatment plans that are both less invasive and less expensive than implementing medication, surgery or intensive physical therapy.
Myth: You'll Have To Continue Chiropractic Care For The Rest Of Your Life
How often do you see a dentist? If you’re like most people, you go every six months or at least once a year. Just like you wouldn’t expect to maintain dental health without seeing your dentist, you shouldn’t expect to maintain spinal health without seeing a chiropractor.
Most licensed chiropractors advocate for an active, preventative lifestyle, which can sometimes seem like they mean patients need a lifetime of care. But what they really mean is that patients need enough initial care to treat their condition, along with periodic care to maintain the integrity of the spine and nervous system.
So although it would be wise to see a chiropractor regularly, it’s only necessary that you see one periodically (after your initial treatment is complete).
Chiropractors Only Treat Back Pain
You’re probably most familiar with chiropractors as “back crackers.” But the truth is, doctors of chiropractic treat so much more than back pain. Chiropractors can treat complications in all of the body’s joints, as well as non-skeletal issues. Some common ailments healed by chiropractic include dysmenorrhea (painful menses), ulcers, migraine headaches, and ear infections in children. While chiropractors can’t claim to fully cure these conditions, we believe that many of the symptoms of those issues are developed due to misalignments in the spine and nervous system. By correcting these spinal abnormalities like the vertebral subluxation, chiropractic has helped thousands of individuals overcome many conditions aside from musculoskeletal pain in the neck and back.