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5 Myths About Chiropractic Care

More than any other medical field, chiropractors face controversy and confusion from the general public. People are suspicious or lack knowledge about the services offered by chiropractors and so many myths exist related to the chiropractic field.

Are chiropractors real doctors? Do spinal adjustments hurt? Are they safe? These and other questions arise as people contemplate going to a chiropractor for the first time. Find the answers to these questions, along with clarity on common myths related to chiropractic care in the article below.

Myth 1: Chiropractors Aren’t Real Doctors

It is a common myth that chiropractic care is not a real medical field and chiropractors aren’t real doctors. While it’s true that they don’t receive a PhD and can’t prescribe you medication, they are doctors who are highly qualified and well educated in the chiropractic field. 

To receive a doctor of chiropractic degree, a student in the field must complete 4,200 hours of post-graduate education. This is roughly the same time requirement as traditional medical school. Chiropractic classes include courses in anatomy, biology, imaging interpretation, and other related areas of study, in addition to courses specific to chiropractic care.

Upon completion of their schooling, chiropractors must then be certified by a state licensing board prior to taking on patients and practicing chiropractic medicine. 

Myth 2: Chiropractic Adjustments Aren’t Safe

Chiropractic care is not only safe, it’s actually better than many other forms of treatment available to you. Chiropractic treatments offer a holistic care that focuses on complete health for the whole body. 

For instance, imagine you are experiencing back pain. You could take acetaminophen, which offers temporary relief, but you know you’ll need to take more in four hours and hope that the pain doesn’t return before then. Also keeping in mind that long-term consumption of acetaminophen or large dose quantities can cause liver damage. You could instead see a traditional physician who might give you prescription strength painkillers. These can be even worse and are also often highly addictive. 

Medication is a temporary solution. You could resort to surgery, which potentially could offer a long-term solution, however, major risks often exist, and there is never a guarantee that surgery will be effective in relieving the pain. 

Chiropractic adjustments, on the other hand, are a gentle, natural solution without side effects. They have the potential to remove back pain completely as they focus on the root cause of the pain, and not just the actual pain. 

Myth 3: Chiropractors Only Treat Back Pain

Chiropractic care treats a variety of conditions beyond back pain. This healthcare profession focuses on a patient’s neuromusculoskeletal system, including bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. 

You can expect treatment for conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Tension and migraine headaches

  • Tennis elbow

  • Neck pain, including whiplash

  • Shoulder pain

  • Sciatica

  • Some types of arthritis pain

  • Sacroiliac pain

Chiropractors can perform adjustments which will help ease pain and pressure and may offer tips on preventing the pain from returning, or recommend exercises and stretches which will help with flexibility and strength. Chiropractors may also suggest diet and weight loss plans as part of a long-term solution.

Myth 4: My Bones Are Cracking During a Chiropractic Adjustment

People often think that their bones crack or rub together during a chiropractic adjustment, because they hear pops and cracking sounds, however, it’s not possible for your bones to rub together. They are cushioned by spongy discs specifically to prevent this from happening, and in the rare case where it did occur, it would be extremely painful. 

The sounds that you hear during an adjustment occur when pockets of air or gas within the synovial fluid collapse as a normal part of chiropractic manipulation. It’s not dangerous or damaging and is simply a side effect of the adjustment. 

When a chiropractor manipulates your joints, the pockets of air rapidly collapse, like when you pop bubble wrap. It makes a distinct sound when this happens, and that is what you hear.

Myth 5: Chiropractic Adjustments Are Painful

Chiropractors treat pain, not cause it! You are probably already in pain if you are considering visiting a chiropractor. If you want to find relief from that pain, a chiropractic adjustment is a smart next step.

In some cases you may feel pressure or discomfort as the chiropractor adjusts the joints. Following an adjustment - particularly your initial one - you may feel mild muscle soreness akin to how you feel following a workout or therapeutic massage. This is completely normal and should lessen after a few more visits.

Ask Your Chiropractor

If you have questions about any of these myths, or are concerned about your visit and what it may feel like, then just ask your chiropractor. They will be happy to discuss the process with you and explain how your unique treatment plan will feel and affect you.

If you’re experiencing pain and would like to try something beyond traditional medical care, schedule an appointment online or call us today. We would love to answer any questions you have about chiropractic care and help you take the next step in your healthcare journey.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.

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