If you feel trepidation about working with a chiropractor, you're not alone. There are many people out there who have either had a bad experience or have been mislead in some way about chiropractic care. While there are similar misgivings for any medical profession, controversies have surrounded the field of chiropractic care for as long as the field has been around.
Chiropractic care has, over time, become more widely accepted. A chiropractor's goal is to provide his or her patients with long term results for healing injuries that are causing pain. So despite the misgivings, chiropractors just want to help you live a pain-free life.
A bad apple
Some patients have been put off by bad personal experiences. Others haven't even given it a try because of controversial misinformation they may have heard or read. Sadly, there are chiropractic offices and doctors who tend to give the profession a bad name. This, however, can be said of any profession. Examples include a dentist who fills teeth that do not have cavities, or a doctor who has a free hand with a prescription pad. Some chiropractic offices have been known to try and sell their patients on alternative therapies and supplements that are costly and, likely, a hoax. It's hard to have a positive outlook on the profession when you've had a bad experience, so here are a few helpful hints and trick to knowing if you're choosing the right provider for your needs.
Take your pick
Chiropractic care has a long history and scientific data that can prove its efficacy. If your physician advises you to seek out chiropractic care, it's because he/she knows that it is an effective tool in your health care. The key to good chiropractic care is a good chiropractor. Choosing a chiropractor is the first step to getting that care. Avoid doctors that commit the following infractions.
- They offer quick treatments, or short-term prepaid treatment plans.
- The practice in question has heavy or pushy marketing tactics.
- They offer extra products or services that aren't related to the field, like offering a supplement that can cure asthma or other quick-fix unreliable claims.
- They offer treatment for things that are clearly not treatable with chiropractic care, such as cancer or ear infections.
- They make unscientific claims about their services, like promoting anti- vaccination propaganda or claiming to have cures for autism.
Myths vs Fact
Let's dive deeper and review some common myths about chiropractic care.
Myth: "Chiropractic care isn't safe."
Fact: Chiropractic care is a safe and effective tool in treating many kinds of injuries and chronic pain. Chiropractors have years of medical training under their belts and years of experience working with other patients. The care you receive will start with an examination of your injuries and a carefully considered treatment plan will be created to treat your pain. You should also consider that the goal in chiropractic care is to help the body heal without drugs. Opioids and other pain medications not only come with potential side effects, including death, but can be addictive.
There are very rare instances where a patient experiences an injury from chiropractic care. Even more rare are those times when a patient is injured to the point where it is a permanent injury or causes death. It should also be noted that these rare injuries are often likely caused by a preexisting injury or medical condition that hasn't been diagnosed correctly or disclosed to the chiropractor by the patient.
Myth: "It's a cure all."
Fact: A chiropractor can help you if you are injured or suffering from chronic pain, but you should leave the rest– cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, and more– to your regular physician. A chiropractor has the ability to help patients overcome sports injuries, headaches, whiplash and other pain-related maladies. Just like a physical therapists' efforts can aid in the healing process, the adjustments and treatments provided by your chiropractor can help your body heal.
Myth: "A chiropractor can cure you quickly, with just 1 or 2 treatments."
Fact: Your chiropractor can offer you relief from your pain in just a few visits, but true healing and lasting results may take more time. During your initial visit, your chiropractor will discuss your injury and the amount of care that is required to help your body heal. The goal with chiropractic care is to offer pain relief to patients and to treat the cause of the pain. Many patients feel better after as little as one treatment, but for lasting results, and true pain relief, they need to stick to the treatment plan outlined by their chiropractor to get the full benefit of chiropractic care.
Myth: "Chiropractors aren't doctors. There is little to no schooling or training required to become a chiropractor."
Fact: To become a licensed chiropractor, the amount of schooling required after high school is 8 years. The average chiropractor has 4 years of pre-med schooling before starting a chiropractic graduate course. Chiropractic training is only offered by 15 board-approved schools. They also have to sit for the same board exams as other medical students. There is also at least a one-year clinical internship where the student works with a licensed chiropractor and completes rotations in a hospital or veterans clinic.
Myth: "Chiropractic care is expensive and most people can't afford it."
Fact: While it is true that you will likely have multiple appointments over several months time, chiropractic care is actually quite affordable. Many chiropractic offices have payment plans as well as financing available. The best part about paying for chiropractic care is that like visiting a physical therapist or your regular physician you can use your insurance to help pay.
If a chiropractor is offering you a package deal that sounds too good to be true, it's likely you won't be receiving the care and attention you need. The cost of chiropractic care can also vary depending on where you live. If you live in a heavily-populated area with many chiropractors practicing in that city, you'll likely find that care is much more affordable. In remote areas where there are only one or two chiropractors and few patients, it's reasonable to expect that you'll be paying more for your care based on supply and demand.
Now that you are armed with better information, you can choose for yourself whether or not chiropractic care is the way to go. Just remember that there may be some bad apples in the bunch, but as a whole, the field of chiropractic care is tried and tested. There are thousands of satisfied consumers out there that would advise you to seek out the help of a trusted licensed chiropractor.