There are many myths about chiropractic treatments. Here are the five most common myths about chiropractic treatments that need to be dispelled, pronto.
5 Chiropractic Myths
1. All Chiropractors Are The Same
Have you ever had a bad experience at a restaurant, so then have you stopped going to restaurants? Right, said no one ever! “Restaurants” are a pretty broad demographic, but it’s not far off regarding chiros!
Just like there are specialties in the medicine, e.g., cardiologist, neurologist, endocrinologist, pediatrician, etc…, chiropractic physicians have specialties as well, and not every chiropractor is the same. Your experience with one chiropractor could be dramatically different than another. A few notable board certifications are radiology, internist, sports physician, rehabilitation, neurology, acupuncture, and nutrition.1
2. Only Treat The Spine
A very common myth, for a good reason, is chiros only conservatively treat spinal ailments – this is far from true. As aforementioned, there are many kinds of chiropractors.
Depending on the practitioner’s specialty, chiros can treat a myriad of problems other than back pain, including but not limited to: jaw dysfunction, migraines, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, digestive disorders, and other muscle/joint/tendon/ligament issues of the body.
A great chiropractor will always perform a thorough history and examination to understand what your condition(s) is actually costing you, concerning function and lifestyle, and how to achieve a solution. When a great chiro doesn’t have the skillset to treat an impairment effectively, they will refer you to a trusted professional.
3. It’s A Lifetime Process
Stereotypes exist for a reason, so this is not an entirely false sentiment. However, going back to my first point, all chiros are not created equally – that being said, you should avoid any chiropractors who pressure you with long-term care packages sold with fear-based tactics such as, “your spine is out of alignment,” and the need to restore your curve.
Brinjikji et al, demonstrated a very little correlation between structural findings and low back pain, whereas psychological variables were more predictive of low back pain.2 There is no credible evidence suggesting you should have your spine adjusted on a regular basis to achieve greater health.
Shilton et al, reveals the contrary, where there was no significant change in neck alignment in patients after four weeks of cervical spinal (chiropractic) manipulation.3
Don’t get me wrong, performing regular maintenance on your body is crucial, but that doesn’t mean you need to rely on a chiropractor to adjust you regularly! Self-care, e.g., foam rolling, home exercises, nutritional habits and optimal lifestyle choices, and occasional body work, i.e. massage, can go a long way.
4. Chiropractic Causes Stroke
Time and time again the topic of the chiropractic adjustment causing stroke catches wind then gets shot down. Its own article is needed to get into the conspiracy theory of why negative press regarding this topic regularly regurgitates – another time.
Previous studies exhibit correlation, not causation, cynically stating that you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning more than once in your lifetime than a cervical chiropractic manipulation stimulating a stroke!
Cassidy et al indicate, “Associations between chiropractic and PCP visits and stroke were similar and likely due to patients with early dissection-related symptoms seeking care prior to developing their strokes.”4
Plain English: Strokes occurring after a visit to the chiropractor occur from patients that are already high risk for stroke, thus an incident could have occurred in another doctor’s office or even at home, regardless of the chiropractic manipulation.
5. Chiropractic Doesn’t Work
Okay. What part of “chiropractic” doesn’t work for you? This is like saying medicine doesn’t work because you expected a drug to do something it didn’t or did something you didn’t expect.
Did it not “fix” your pain? Did it not correct your misalignment (subluxation)? Did it not restore your nervous system function?
What you are seeking to achieve largely relies on your expectations and understanding the process of the treatment plan, and why you’re doing what’s planned, which is highly dependent upon the practitioner’s communication!
Briefly stated, chiropractors help patients understand what a treatment plan looks likes, what to expect, and what’s expected of them. Many times they work as a gatekeeper to determine if they can correct the ailment conservatively, avoiding invasive procedures, or discover that conservative care is not enough and refer out for further testing and alternative treatment options, which is a critical classification to avoid unnecessary treatment(s) and significant savings in the healthcare market.
|↑1||American Chiropractic Board of Radiology. DEFINITION OF A CHIROPRACTIC RADIOLOGIST. ACBR.|
|↑2||Brinjikji, W., Patrick H. Luetmer, Bryan Comstock, Brian W. Bresnahan, L. E. Chen, R. A. Deyo, S. Halabi et al. “Systematic literature review of imaging features of spinal degeneration in asymptomatic populations.” American Journal of Neuroradiology 36, no. 4 (2015): 811-816.|
|↑3||Shilton, Michael, Jonathan Branney, Bas Penning Vries, and Alan C. Breen. “Does cervical lordosis change after spinal manipulation for non-specific neck pain? A prospective cohort study.” Chiropractic & manual therapies 23, no. 1 (2015): 33.|
|↑4||Cassidy, J. David, Eleanor Boyle, Pierre Côté, Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, Susan J. Bondy, and Scott Haldeman. “Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study.” Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases (2016).|