10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Chiropractic

1. Pain is the last symptom of dysfunction.

A patient’s back is often restricted or unstable for months or years before it presents as a problem and they show up in a chiropractor’s office. In addition, the absence of pain is not health. While medication may be necessary in some cases, if you take a pill and the pain goes away, the dysfunction that caused it still persists. Muscle, ligament and joint injuries often occur as a result of long-term bio-mechanical dysfunction, sometimes from past injuries, making the area more susceptible to future injury.

2. Athletes use chiropractors to stay well and perform better, not just for the occasional injury.

Athletes choose chiropractors because we are movement specialists. Chiropractors were spotted all over the Olympic coverage last year, and top athletes such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, Tom Brady, Evander Holyfield, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all been proud patients of chiropractors. These days it’s far more common than not for major athletes and sports teams to keep chiropractors nearby to help prevent injuries, speed injury recovery, improve balance and coordination, and give them a greater competitive edge.

3. The body does not perform as a cluster of separate mechanisms, but rather a cascade of events that all starts with proper control by the nervous system.

The nerves that travel through and control every function of your body originate at the spinal cord and their transmission may be disrupted if the joints of the surrounding spinal column are not moving properly. This disruption in biomechanical integrity combined with altered physiological function is what chiropractors call a subluxation. Below is a chart that illustrates the relationship of the spinal nerves exiting the vertebra branching off to the various organ systems. You can see why it is not uncommon for a chiropractor to treat a patient with mid-back pain who also suffers from irritable bowel system, a patient with a subluxation in the sacral region who has been unsuccessful in trying to conceive, or a patient with an upper back fixation and acid reflux.

10 Things Most People Dont Know About Chiropractic

4. Doctors don’t do the healing.

Sorry to disappoint you, but a chiropractor will never fix your back. What we are able to do is restore proper motion in the joints, which relieves tension on the nerves and muscles and allows your body to do the healing that it is inherently made to do. As chiropractors, we believe that the body is a perfect organism in its natural state, and all disease comes from a disruption in the body’s proper transmission of signals by the nerves which affects its ability to heal and to defend against disease-causing agents. We never treat disease. We assess to find which spinal levels are experiencing disfunction, and we adjust to restore proper nerve flow so the nervous system may work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

5. Chiropractic is for all ages.

Many seniors aren’t aware of the benefits of chiropractic care which can help them not only with pain relief, but also increase range of motion, balance and coordination, and decrease joint degeneration. There’s no patient too young for chiropractic either! Chiropractors check infants moments after birth for misalignments of the upper vertebrae that may occur as a result of the birth process. In addition to supporting overall health and well-being, parents also take their children to chiropractors to encourage healthy brain and nervous system development, to assist with colic, asthma, allergies, bed-wetting and sleeping problems, and to assist with behavioral disorders.

6. We know about more than your backbone!

This surprises many people who had no idea that chiropractors give advice on nutrition, fitness, ergonomics and lifestyle, screen for conditions unrelated to the musculoskeletal system and refer out to other practitioners when necessary. Chiropractors are also able to complete specialties in other areas such as pediatrics, sports rehabilitation, neurology, clinical nutrition, and addictions and compulsive disorders.

Other than particular specialties and the differences in learning to adjust and learning to prescribe medication, our training hours are not dissimilar from that of medical doctor. The following are the classroom hours for basic science requirements compiled and averaged following a review of curricula of 18 chiropractic schools and 22 medical schools.

10 Things Most People Dont Know About Chiropractic

7. Successful chiropractic patients accept responsibility.

When somebody says that they tried chiropractic and it didn’t help, I cringe and get the feeling that they really missed the boat. Of course, there are cases with complicating factors, but I have heard this from people with straightforward chiropractic problems when it is very clear what has happened. In most cases, one doesn’t acquire back pain over night, and it’s not going to go away over night. If a weak core from years of sitting at your desk is to blame for the additional stress on your joints, I would expect an adjustment to provide relief, but once the condition is no longer exacerbated, I would most definitely prescribe some exercises for you to do at home. I might also suggest we evaluate your nutrition if I suspect an inflammatory diet may be wiring you for pain. Sure, I’m always happy to adjust someone and make a living, but if you’ve been given homework and you don’t do it, don’t say chiropractic didn’t work when you’re feeling poorly again!

8. Chiropractic may help you get sick less.

Studies have indicated that adjustments consistently reduce the production of pro-inflammatory mediators associated with tissue damage and pain, and may also enhance the production of immunoregulatory complexes important for healthy immune system defense. As far back as the deadly flu pandemic of 1917-1918, chiropractors noticed that their patients seemed to have fewer fatalities than among the general population and were able to publish their work in an osteopathic journal since no scholarly journals were accepting chiropractic data. The estimated death rate among patients of conventional medical care in the U.S. was estimated at 5 to 6 percent while the fatality rate among influenza cases receiving spinal adjustments was estimated at 0.25%.

9. “I heard I’ll have to go forever” is a myth.

You may want to see your chiropractor all the time once you’ve started because you didn’t realize how great it is to get adjusted, but your doctor won’t expect you to come with the same frequency forever. Generally, if you come in with pain, once you’ve been treated for your initial complaint, you’ll be scheduled for more appointments to make sure proper motion is being maintained, then it will be recommended you return occasionally to be checked just like you would go to the dentist to get checked for tartar buildup and cavities. Of course, many people still choose to see their chiropractor weekly because it keeps them feeling their best.

10. Adjustments don’t hurt.

There is no bone snapping or warrior-style pulling heads off spinal columns! The neck adjustment some chiropractors use causes anticipation for many new patients, but is actually much more gentle than they imagined, and involves a quick, direct thrust to a specific spinal joint. The sound an adjustment makes is called a cavitation and is only space being created within the joint causing gasses to be released from the joint capsule, which creates the popping or cracking noise. Chiropractic adjustments will not wear out your joints, as some imagine because they have been warned not to “crack their knuckles” for this reason in the past. Adjustments, unlike “knuckle cracking” or having your friend stomp on you while you lay on the carpet, are applied specifically to improve the motion of your joints and limit the small dysfunctions that over time can lead to arthritis. Most people after an adjustment describe the feeling as being “lighter”, having greater ease in moving the body, and being able to stand up taller.




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31 Responses to “10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Chiropractic”

  1. Stanley VinceMarch 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    If it wasn’t for the long awaited relief care of Chiropractic, I would be in a box. Some times, I was like Humpty Dumpty, Chiropractic always seem to put me back together again.

  2. VickiMarch 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    GREAT article & a definite must share! People that are uneducated and misinformed and bash chiropractic drive me nuts! Having been a patient first, I later became a chiropractic assistant. I refer everyone I know to chiro’s as I learned first hand of the the benefits! My mom had suffered for years with hip pain and refused chiropractic care when I approached her about it. Iur family doctor finally told her to give it a try as she could not have surgery due to other health issues….. after 1 adjustment, she was an instant believer!

  3. Terrell E PageMarch 4, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    good post April, I do believe I would be a mess now if it wasn;t for 40 years of chiro

  4. Grace reinaMarch 4, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    Great! When can i get an appointment?

  5. Lorna HandkeMarch 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I went from needing a cane to walk at all to nordic walking 5k to my chiro apt last week and am back to singing and dancing at work!!!

  6. harrisonstreetchiroMarch 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    great blog! I must repost this!

  7. June Gilkes TideyMarch 5, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    Fantastic post, i would be a mess without my chiro, thanks Bec, this will open peoples eyes

  8. Elsie UngerMarch 5, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    This was an enlightening article. Thanks to my grandson, Tom, who sent it.

  9. brisbanenaturalhealthMarch 5, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Reblogged this on The Natural Health Blog.

  10. Dr. Jeremy WilsonMarch 5, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    You knocked that out of the park. Great article. I’ll be sure to sure this with my patients.

  11. MaritaMarch 5, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Can’t believe how good I feel since starting chiropractic treatment on a regular basis…..at least 15 years younger and I’ve lost about 15 kilos in under 12 months. Thanks Paul Finn, Veronica and Bianca @ Sims & Finn in Dandenong (outer Melbourne). They’re a great team!

  12. Dr ShaunMarch 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    thankyou, I’ve shared this with my patients also, very well put together!

  13. Stay At Home Dr MomMarch 7, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Reblogged this on Stay At Home Dr. Mom and commented:
    Great Blog on Chiropractic!!

  14. time4yogaMarch 7, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    Reblogged this on time4yoga.

  15. Dominique WenmaekersMarch 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    it is so true, being a CA at chiropractic clinic i get often an adjustment and although sometimes there is no pain or complaint…i feel the difference always right away.

  16. Dr. Karen GardnerMarch 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Great post doc! Thanks for talking “TIC” on the world wide web!

  17. Dr Lynne TruongMarch 9, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    Thank you for this blog. I will repost it on our Chiropractic page and a copy for our clients in the clinic. Dr Lynne

  18. Del LibbyMay 12, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    I have migraine headaches all my life. I moved and lost my osteopath. I’m in Texas close to Clear Lake on disability. I need a new chiripractor. Where u located?

    • Erin O'Maley, D.C.May 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      Hi, I’m in Massachusetts right now. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any chiropractors in your area. The closest I know of is in Montgomery, but I’m sure you can find a great doctor much closer. I hope you can get adjusted and are feeling better soon!

  19. Karen SchabenJune 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I really don’t understand people’s fear of Chiropractors, especially from Dr.s, they both should work together. I have gotten more help and advice from chiropractors than Dr.s. I now sit on an exercise ball while at the computer, which strengthens the “core” muscles, making my body feel better, my core stronger and my posture better, which is key to musculoskeletal flow better. Thank you Dr. Oatman and Dr. Krauss.

  20. AlexJune 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    After 20 + years behind the chair doing hair & nails my shoulders were in constant pain with a borage of knots in my back. I was getting a massage every 2 weeks till I went to my chiropractor. The entire problem was that my hips were twisted, throwing off my whole body. After several weeks of adjustments 2X a week, I was a new person. I now only go to my chiropractor for an occasional adjustment & haven’t had a knot in my back in nearly a year. Chiropractic works, it just works.

  21. Cara Davis, DCJune 18, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    I LOVE this post!! You are an effective communicator! Is it okay to post this on my biz FB page (giving you credit of course) as well as a cliff notes reprint for patients to read?

    • Erin O'Maley, D.C.June 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      Thanks so much, Dr. Davis! Yes, I’m happy for you to share or give it to patients. I just charge a reprint fee for republishing on another website or in similar instances.

  22. MeganJune 19, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    I think there is a lot of value in chiropractic care, however, chiropractors can vary so widely, just like any other doctor. I’ve been to several, and when one is good, it’s great, but not all are created equal.

  23. Dr.ClaudiaJune 19, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Well said Doc! Simple & poignant. Knowledge is power and I’m sure this article helped to open a few patients to the endless possibilities of Chiropractic care! Way to go :)

  24. David PeytonJune 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Excellent post. I’ll be referring to this and linking to here from my website. Just started a new practice. Excited to be in this profession!!

  25. Chiropractor Freehold NJJune 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Great post about things more people need to know about chiropractic. It’s more than just neck and back pain. We could truly make healthcare in the US about health and wellness, rather than the current failed system of sickness and disease.

  26. ShennaJune 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Wonderful post! We are a wellness clinic in NC and have been helping people change their lives for years!! Personally, I have been seeing chiropractors since I was 18. I am now 53 and a grandmother of 3 beautiful little girls. People tell me I have the energy of a 6 year old and I believe them!! I will certainly say chiropractic is a HUGE part of that energy!!! Thanx Doc!!!

  27. taraAugust 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Wonderful post here. Going to share with my friends on facebook!


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