There’s no shortage of misconceptions about chiropractic care. Most of these misconceptions are spread by people who have never had a chiropractic adjustment and by doctors who haven’t been educated in chiropractic care.
Chiropractic adjustments are excruciatingly painful. Once you start, you have to go forever. Chiropractic is only for back pain. Chiropractors aren’t real doctors.
I could spend a lot of time debunking various myths about chiropractic care, but I’ll just focus on reality. To understand what happens during a chiropractic adjustment and why you need one, you need to first understand the philosophy and goals of chiropractic care.
Let’s look at the Association of Chiropractic Colleges definition of chiropractic, which also captures our approach at Natural Healthcare Center.
Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.
As for a chiropractor’s training, it involves four years of undergrad studies, another four or five years of graduate work, and completion of state and national board certifications to become licensed. Not exactly a piece of cake.
Chiropractors actually take many of the same core classes as medical doctors. Medical doctors eventually focus on pharmacology, while chiropractors focus more on physiology. Ultimately, it comes down to how you prefer to treat patients.
While conventional medical doctors tend to rely heavily on medication and surgery, chiropractors like myself promote healthy living. We work to remove obstacles that prevent the body from functioning at an optimal level. Proper spine alignment is critical to optimal function.
The nervous system controls every cell and organ in the body. When the spinal bones, or vertebrae, shift out of place for any reason – an injury, weak soft tissue, a degenerative disk, poor posture, inflammation, etc. – this is called subluxation.
Subluxation causes nerves to become irritated and interferes with communication between your brain and the rest of your body. This can cause everything from back pain and headaches to stomach issues and poor sleep.
When subluxation is diagnosed, a chiropractor may perform a chiropractic adjustment, or manipulation. The chiropractor applies controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint to mobilize the joint space. There are also non-force techniques, such as Activator and Cox Decompression. That’s why it’s important to see a chiropractor with the education and experience to know what’s best for the individual, and the resources to offer the right treatment.
You may hear a popping noise during a chiropractic adjustment but, contrary to popular belief (and myth), that’s not the sound of cracking bones. It’s the release of gas from the spinal joints as your spine is restored to its proper position. This allows the spine to move properly and the nervous system to function as it should without interference or roadblocks.
Someone with an acute issue, like pain caused by an injury or accident, could find the relief they need after a few visits. Someone dealing with chronic condition will probably require ongoing treatment. Someone who feels great and functions at a high level may go for regular chiropractic adjustments to stay healthy.
Remember, chiropractic is about maintaining good health, not just treating an unhealthy condition.
Chiropractic care is another tool in the Natural Healthcare Center shed that we use to help people stimulate their body’s natural ability to heal itself. Don’t believe the misinformation. If you want to find out if you can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment, contact us for a free consultation.