Chiropractic Myths and Facts
Myth #1: Chiropractors Crack Your Bones
An adjustment is the most common form of treatment used by chiropractors in clinical practice. Also known as spinal manipulative therapy, an adjustment is a non-invasive, manual procedure that is delivered by a skilled practitioner to dysfunctional spinal or extremity joints. The primary goal is to decrease pain and restore function by improving areas of reduced movement in the joints and surrounding tissues, and to decrease muscle tightness or spasm. The audible sound sometimes heard during an adjustment is caused by the slight opening of the joint space and the release of gas within that space.
Myth #2: Once You Go To The Chiropractor, You’ll Always Have To Go
Your chiropractor will make evidence-based recommendations for your treatment/management plan based on your specific diagnosis. Regular adjustments are a part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercises and nutritional advice can also be included to help you live a healthy lifestyle. The choice to continue is yours.
Myth #3: Chiropractors Are Not Real Doctors
In Ontario, a chiropractor is one of 5 health professionals legally entitled to use the title ‘doctor’. A chiropractor is considered a Primary Care Practitioner – this means we act as a first-contact health care professional, just like your medical doctor. In order for a chiropractor to practice in Canada, they must first complete an undergraduate program and then complete a Doctor of Chiropractic program through an accredited institution. The Doctor of Chiropractic program takes 4 years to complete and includes at least 4,200 hours of specialized clinical training. After completion of the program (which includes the study of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, toxicopharmacology, microbiology, neurology, nutrition, radiology, and clinical sciences specifically relating to diagnosis) chiropractors must pass both national and provincial board exams to qualify for a license. To maintain their license, a chiropractor must complete continuing education courses to ensure updated knowledge in all aspects of patient care.
Myth #4: Chiropractic Is Not Good For Children
Children are highly susceptible to trauma and accidents as they grow. Since growth and development happens rapidly during the first few years of life, checking for abnormalities during this time is critical for healthy development. Research has shown that children under the care of chiropractors have less colds and infections, and, when they do get sick, the symptoms do not last as long! Chiropractic is particularly important for young athletes involved in contact or recreational sports. Minor bumps and bruises should always be properly assessed so they don’t lead to further pain and dysfunction later in life. Chiropractic care allows children to grow with better nerve function and healthy development.
Myth #5: Chiropractic Is Only Effective For Back Pain
Chiropractors are trained to care for all of the joints in your body. Back pain is the most common reason for visits to the chiropractor, followed closely by neck pain and headaches. Conditions such as tendonopathies, osteoarthritis, ligamentous sprains, and chronic pain syndromes all benefit from chiropractic care and it is usually the appropriate first line of treatment.
Myth #6: Chiropractic Care Is Expensive
Patients who have experienced long-term care and the chiropractic lifestyle know it improves quality of life. Studies have shown that long-time chiropractic patients considered their health as excellent, they required less medications, and experienced less chronic conditions associated with aging. Chiropractic care is covered by extended health care insurance plans. Patients who have experienced the health benefits of chiropractic care know the value of treatment in improving their overall health.
Myth #7: Adjustments Are Painful
Most of the time, a spinal adjustment will not hurt at all. In fact, most patients feel great relief after receiving one. On some occasions, such as an acute injury, it may feel ‘uncomfortable’, like your doctor is momentarily pressing on a bruise or like the sensation of sore muscles after a workout. An adjustment should never hurt. Over time, as your nervous system integrates the effects of the adjustments, most people feel a continuing sense of ease. This is one reason why many people make chiropractic an important part of their healthy lifestyle.
Myth #8: Neck Adjustments Cause Stroke
The truth is, there is no scientific evidence that there is an increased risk of any serious event following a chiropractic adjustment. Current research suggests that the chance of having a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment is about 1 in 8,000,000. Research into the safety of chiropractic care has demonstrated that there is no evidence of excess risk of stroke associated with chiropractic care compared to other forms of health care.
Myth #9: There Is No Scientific Proof It Works
Studies completed over the last few years have proven the positive benefits of chiropractic care including reduced pain, increased immune function, general wellbeing, and increased brain functioning. Chiropractic care has demonstrated favourable results over pharmaceutical management when dealing with neck and back pain. The ICL (Index to Chiropractic Literature) is a gateway to the literature published in chiropractic and manual medicine. It offers the most recent literature available. If you have specific questions, ask your chiropractor!
Myth #10: I Can Crack My Back On My Own
Proper positioning is essential for a chiropractic adjustment. A chiropractic adjustment is done to restore dysfunctional joint movement. When you attempt to adjust yourself, any joint that is capable of moving can achieve a sound, which makes most people think that their self-manipulation was successful, however, this does not mean that you have restored the proper movement to the right joint. Using specific adjustments, chiropractors are able to properly restore joint motion, improve function, and provide lasting relief.