Chiropractic Myths & Facts

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Chiropractic Manipulation Technique on Athletic Girl after SportUnlike standard medical doctors, whom you visit when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall well-being, as a preventive measure, before symptoms develop.

As successful as the practice of chiropractic care has become, there are a wide array of myths circulating among the general public about what the experience entails. The accumulation of knowledge has increased with the times for the better, but the fact remains that many people are still unfamiliar with what chiropractic care encompasses. Here are a few common myths regarding chiropractic care:

Myth #1 – Chiropractors are not real doctors.

Specialty chiropractic colleges worldwide provide years of extensive, specialized education to grant a D.C. or Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. Chiropractors are licensed as health care providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world. While the competition for acceptance in chiropractic school proves to display a different dynamic that of traditional medical school, the chiropractic and medical school curriculum are extremely rigorous and virtually identical in many aspects. The curriculum of chiropractors include more hours devoted to classroom education than their medical counterparts. As part of their educational regime, chiropractic students are required to complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic care. Upon graduation, chiropractic students are mandated to pass four sets of national board exams, as well as state board exams in the states where they intend to practice.

Much like the profession of medical doctors, chiropractors are professionals subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensations programs cover chiropractic care, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by chiropractic physicians. Chiropractors may also be commissioned as officers in the military.

The most distinguished difference between chiropractors and medical physicians lies not within their level of extensive education, but in their preferred method of patient care. Medical doctors are trained in the specialized utility of medicines (chemicals that affect your internal biochemistry) and their integration with the human body, surgery procedures, and other aspects of specialized medical care. Consequently, if a medical problems arises related to a chemical imbalance, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, medical physicians can provide their specialized training, within their scope of practice, to remedy such imbalances. However, if a problem arises regarding spine misalignment, for example, or detrimental damage to soft tissue causing pain, there are no chemical properties that can remedy such issues. In such cases, physical solutions, such as holistic remedies may prove to be a more effective solution to alleviate the problem. It is within this scope of practice where chiropractic care illuminates within the medical field. Chiropractors provide physical solutions — adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy, etc. — to assist the body in healing from conditions that are anatomical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Another vital distinction of chiropractic care is the ability to utilize it as a preventive measure of treatment. Unlike standard medical physicians, whom you visit when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall well-being before symptoms develop.

Myth #2 – Medical doctors don’t like chiropractors.

The American Medical Association’s opposition to chiropractic care was at its peak in the 1940’s, under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and referred to them as “playful and cute, but killers”. He attempted to portray chiropractors as members of an unscientific cult, who cared about nothing more than exploiting their patients for money. Up until the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the medical establishment purposely conspired to destroy the chiropractic profession. In fact, a landmark lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Illinois, in the 1980’s, convicted the American Medical Association guilty of conspiracy and ordered them to pay restitution to the chiropractic profession.

In the past two decades, the opinion of most medical doctors regarding chiropractic care has since been redefined.  Numerous, dedicated studies have indicated the superiority of chiropractic care, assisting people with an array of conditions, with medical doctors developing a more comprehensive understanding and appreciation to the practice of chiropractic care. The consensus of the population has been effectively changed for the better, with patients raving about results they have experienced at their chiropractor’s office. Hospitals nationwide staff chiropractors as a routine part of the medical staff, and many chiropractic offices utilize medical physicians on their staff. Chiropractors and medical physicians are now able to co-exist in cases where medical care is necessary, as an adjunct to chiropractic care.

Myth #3 – Once you start visiting a chiropractor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.

This is a common misconception frequently brought up when chiropractic treatment is discussed. This may only be partially true. Visiting the chiropractor can be utilized as an optional preventive measure, if you desire to maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system. Routinely visiting a chiropractor is much like scheduling an appointment with a dentist, exercising at a gym, or consuming a healthy diet: As long as you maintain a continuous regime, you continue to reap the benefits.

Many years ago, dentists convinced the mass population that the best time to the visit the dentist was before your teeth hurt, as a preventive measure, as opposed to a reactive measure,  that routine dental care would assist in maintaining the longevity of healthy teeth for years to come. The same can be noted for the chiropractic care for your spine. It is important to remember that preventive measures for your spine will assist in keeping your spine in optimal condition, from day to day experiences, such as normal wear and tear of walking, driving, sitting, lifting, sleeping, or bending. Routine chiropractic care can assist you in optimal wellness, a more expansive freedom with range of motion, and provide you different measures to maintain your health  throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care, even for a limited frame of time, reaping the real benefits will become apparent with a progressive wellness plan to include chiropractic care as one facet of your wellness lifestyle.