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Myths and Facts about Chiropractic

There are many myths out there about chiropractic. Let's set the record straight.

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Myth #1: Chiropractors are not Real Doctors

The FACTS:

Chiropractors have the same level of education as medical doctors, and are licensed as primary health care doctors. The difference between chiropractors and medical doctors has to do with how they treat the human body. Where medical doctors rely on external chemical compounds to treat ailments, chiropractors focus on structurally correcting the internal conditions that cause the ailments in the first place. Because of this, chiropractic is highly effective in treating a wide range of conditions without resorting to taking drugs.

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Myth #2: Chiropractic Adjustments are Dangerous

The FACTS:

Chiropractic manipulation has been proven to be a safe, effective treatment for neck, mid-back, and lower back pain. A comprehensive review of scientific evidence noted that there is as much evidence supporting chiropractic care as for other treatments such as prescription and non-prescription drugs and surgery. Hurwitz EF, Carragee EJ, van der Velde G, et al. Treatment of neck pain: noninvasive interventions. Results of the bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders. Eur Spine J. 2008; 17(Suppl 1): 123-52.)

Whether a person consults a medical doctor or doctor of chiropractic, stroke can follow at an equal rate regardless of the type of provider. Epidemiologic studies over many years with millions of patients do not reveal any greater association of stroke for persons under chiropractic care compared with persons under medical care. (Cassidy JC, Boyle E, Côté P, et al. Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Eur Spine J. 2008; v.17(Suppl 1): 176-83.)

Many other "common" treatments for neck and back pain can create more adverse and dangerous effects when compared to Chiropractic manipulation.  You are hundreds of times more likely to suffer an adverse reaction to taking an aspirin than you are from having a chiropractic adjustment. Most people don’t realize that there are more than 100,000 adverse reactions each year from taking a simple aspirin, while there are fewer than 100 adverse reactions to chiropractic adjustments. When you consider that there are over 3 million people being adjusted in one year, the risk from being adjusted is small.

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Myth #3: Once you Start Chiropractic You Must Continue Forever

The FACTS:

While this is not strictly true, it is important to remember that ALL doctors continue to treat you for the rest of your life, at least ideally. For example, how often do you go to your dentist? Is it not true that your dentist will keep scheduling visits even when you have no tooth pain? We all learned at an early age the value of routine maintenance for our teeth, but for most of us we never learned the importance of the same type of routine maintenance for the rest of the body.

Another analogy Dr. Cheryl likes is that of your automobile.  You schedule regular service and maintenance to improve the longevity and safety of your automobile, so why not your body?  It is easier to fix and replace parts on your vehicle than parts on your body.

Most people who experience some form of manual therapy (chiropractic, massage, etc.) will become more in tune with their body and begin to recognize when problems are occurring, and when to seek help.  Focus on prevention instead of waiting until you are sick to see a doctor.

Myth #4: Medical Doctors don’t like Chiropractors

The FACTS:

For the most part there is little animosity towards chiropractors from the medical community. Maybe a few medical doctors don’t like chiropractors for one reason or another. As a matter of fact, more and more medical doctors and nurses are being treated by chiropractors every year. Chiropractors are now on staff at many major hospitals, the military, working at insurance companies, and work side by side with medical doctors in private clinics.

Allopathic practitioners (medical doctors) and natural health practitioners (like Chiropractors and Naturopaths) should work together collaboratively because at the end of the day, it is the patient that matters.

Myth #5: People can Adjust Themselves by “Cracking” Their Neck or Back

The FACTS:

It would be almost impossible to adjust oneself in a way to free any fixations or correct any subluxations. Some people can get their neck or back to “pop”, but this usually only affects the segments that are not the true culprit and over time can lead to other problems. Just as you wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself, its best to leave the adjustments of your back and neck to the professional chiropractor. Even professionals cannot adjust themselves.

Myth #6: Spinal Adjustments Hurt

The FACTS:

Many patients feel instant relief after their treatments; for obvious reasons, patients suffering from severe neck or back pain may experience some discomfort, but for most patients this in not the case.  In fact, most patients look forward to their chiropractic treatments.

Dr. Cheryl spends the appropriate time working on the involved soft tissues (e.g. muscles) before manipulating or adjusting the joints.  This way, the area will be more relaxed and easier to adjust (i.e. less discomfort), and should help the treatment last longer.

Have a myth you'd like us to bust? Call 905-634-5495

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