Demystifying Chiropractic Care: To Believe or Not to Believe
Recently, I spoke with a middle-aged man at a community health fair. He stopped in front of my table, somewhat reluctantly, because the line to pass by was moving slowly. After saying hello and introducing myself as a local chiropractor, he emphatically proclaimed, “I don’t believe in chiropractors.” To me, this is not an unfamiliar sentiment. Unfortunately, a lot of the old stigmas about chiropractic care remain even though scientific evidence supports our main function, which is to help people find relief from aches and pains.
So, what are the facts? Well, medical research shows that spinal manipulation is an effective tool for treating back pain, neck pain, and certain types of headaches. In fact, the FDA now recommends people seek chiropractic care for relief of pain before moving on to more invasive options such as opiates or surgery. Additionally, the American Medical Association recommends spinal manipulation for low back pain. While some chiropractors continue to make claims that are unsubstantiated by current research and evidence, most of our patients are seeking care for joint pain related to structures of the spine (neck pain and back pain).
Let’s break this down just a bit further…
What does “chiropractic care” mean? Depending on the state regulated scope of practice, chiropractic care often includes various treatment methodologies. It is not uncommon for chiropractors to use active and passive rehabilitation techniques, such as those used by physical therapists, as well as diet, nutrition, and weight loss counseling; however, the one treatment method that is widely associated with chiropractic practice is spinal joint manipulation, or what we refer to as chiropractic adjustments.
What is a chiropractic adjustment? While there are many techniques that are used to adjust patients, most adjustments include a quick thrust applied to an area of the spine or a joint complex. The purpose of the adjustment is to decrease pain, increase range of motion, and restore normal function to the affected segment(s). Chiropractic adjustments have also been shown to decrease muscle tension and relieve radiating nerve pain and paresthesias (tingling and numbness).
Are you a believer or are you a chiropractic skeptic? Consider this: As research continues to surface and prove the merits of chiropractic care, healthcare providers outside of chiropractic offices are using joint manipulation to treat pain. When you finally hear your medical doctor suggest a referral to a chiropractor for your back pain, will you believe in it then?
What are you waiting for? Call 814-777-1558 to schedule a free consultation today or click here to book an appointment online.