While chiropractic is one of the largest holistic health professions out there, there is still a lot of confusion about how it works and who benefits from chiropractic care. I was inspired to write this post because I get a lot of questions on a daily basis about exactly that. I rounded up the Top 5 Myths I encounter when answering questions and educating about the benefits about chiropractic care. Let’s jump in with myth number one: once you start going you always have to go!
1: You always have to go
This is one of the most common myths and is a reflection of our society’s “illness care” paradigm. The truth is, it is always your choice how you benefit from chiropractic care! We start most of our practice members off with “Restorative Care” to get them back to functioning their best. Once they reach that point a decision is made about whether to stop care or continue as a means of being proactive about their health and transition to Wellness Care. Our wellness members notice they feel and function better when under regular care, therefore they choose to incorporate chiropractic into their health regimen. This is contrary to the “illness care” system that many of us are accustomed to in our society. Time and time again we’ve found this approach is expensive in the long run and doesn’t do a great job at keeping us well. As a nation our health outcomes are at the bottom of the barrel despite how much money we spend on healthcare, or how much medicine we consume. We get only body to live in every day, so it only makes sense to cultivate habits that nurture our health and keep us tuned up whether we have symptoms or not. Regular adjustments are a simple, natural, and affordable way to take charge of your health and enjoy a higher quality of life.
2. Chiropractic care is expensive
This is a great segue from our first myth. Your health is your most valuable asset. Without it the ability to spend time with your family, work, enjoy hobbies, etc. is compromised. That being said, your health is worth the investment and chiropractic visits are very reasonably priced in comparison to what you get! Although more research needs to be done for conclusive data, there are studies that indicate individuals utilizing chiropractic care spend less on healthcare and have less visits to their primary MD. Being sick less often is a common “side effect” reported by people under regular care which translates into more productivity and less sick days. This little saying from the developer of chiropractic B.J. Palmer sums it up nicely: “Chiropractic care: investment small, dividends large!”
3. Chiropractic care is not safe
As a drug and surgery- free profession chiropractic care is one of the safest health care options out there. Adjustments are safe and appropriate for most people from newborns to the elderly. There are many techniques that allow adjustments to be tailored to each person. For example, I adjust newborn babies with my fingertips using about the same amount of pressure as you would use to check the ripeness of a tomato. There are mild risks associated with adjustments, the most common being muscle strain/sprains. There have been efforts to associate neck adjustments with strokes, but research has clearly demonstrated that neck adjustments do not cause strokes. With that being said, some common symptoms of strokes are severe headaches and head/neck pain which also happen to be common issues people seek out chiropractic care for. It’s important you always be straightforward about your symptoms, health history, and to let your chiropractor know about any unusual symptoms so your he or she can care for you appropriately.
4. I can adjust myself
Confession: it is my personal pet peeve when people say this! Chiropractors undergo years of training to learn how to adjust, and many like myself continue that training as a postgraduate. It’s a common misconception that getting a joint to make a popping sound constitutes an adjustment, but that sound you hear is simply gas bubbles being released. The real focus of the adjustment is to positively impact spine & nervous system function. Sometimes when motion is restored gas bubbles are released from the joint, but other times you won’t hear that sound at all. There are actually certain types of adjustments that you won’t hear any “popping”, and they are just as effective. Bringing it back to safety, “self- adjusting” can do more harm than good. Forcefully popping joints can create abnormal wear and tear and create instability. If something is feeling “stuck” in your spine leave it to the pros and get yourself checked by a chiropractor!
5. Chiropractors are back doctors
While we do focus spinal health, back pain is seriously just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything chiropractic care can help with. Because the spine is intimately connected to the nervous system, keeping the spine healthy effects the way the whole body functions. Many people notice chiropractic helps with their allergies, sleep, digestion and much more. This is not because chiropractic is “treating” these issues, but because adjustments decrease stress and improve function throughout the whole system.
I hope this list sheds some light on the common misconceptions out there about chiropractic care! So many people tell me they wish they had known more and started chiropractic care sooner to end needless suffering. My goal is to continue educating to there are less misunderstandings about chiropractic and more people living their health potential! For more information about how chiropractic care works check out my posts Creating Balance Through Chiropractic and Why Do Babies Need Adjustments?