There are over 70,000 active chiropractors in the United States who treat over 27 million Americans each year.
The word chiropractor comes from the word “chiro” meaning hand and the Greek word praktikos which means practical. In other words, chiropractic loosely means done by hand. Chiropractors treat a variety of ailments with their hands, similar to massage therapy.
If you are new to chiropractor care, you have probably wondered if some of the rumors surrounding chiropractors are true. There is a lot of misinformation about their treatment out there.
Here we’ll debunk the top 5 chiropractor myths including chiropractors are not real doctors. Read on.
1. Chiropractic Care Is Expensive
Visiting a chiropractor is less expensive than many long-term treatments from doctors and other specialists. Consider the cost of surgery, physical therapy, medication and so on. Chiropractic care is usually a natural, healthy alternative for chronic pain and other ailments.
The cost of each type of treatment is different. Usually, an initial consult is free of charge. In this session, you can discuss costs with your chiropractor based on your unique needs.
The more intense or advanced treatments, the higher the expense. Your practitioner will give you an honest look at your expected costs at your first appointment.
Plus, chiropractic visits are usually covered by health insurance. Some clinics even bill directly so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for your treatment.
Some patients are happy to find out that just a few visits are enough to fix the issue. If your treatment will be intensive and ongoing, your chiropractor may offer payment plans if you do not have insurance coverage.
2. Chiropractic Care Is Not Effective
This a broad statement that is not true.
A study published in Spine Journal in 2008 evaluated a group of 192 people that had sciatica or back pain. 87% of the participants felt the treatment was worthwhile. 74% of Americans suffering from back pain have used chiropractic care.
But that’s not all chiropractors help with. Chiropractors treat a wide variety of conditions from foot and knee pain to whiplash related injuries.
Chiropractic care is drug-free and non-invasive and is an excellent choice for many people who want to avoid the risks of other treatments. Chiropractic alignments may help improve your posture, reduce symptoms, and enhance your general wellness.
Yet like other forms of treatment, chiropractic care will not benefit all injuries. A licensed chiropractor will create a treatment plan that is customized to each patient’s needs.
3. Chiropractors Aren’t Real Doctors
This is a prevalent chiropractic myth. To become a chiropractor, an individual must complete 4 years of undergraduate studies followed by another 4-5 years for a chiropractic doctorate.
A chiropractic college grants a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree to successful students. The education is rigorous and demanding. The American Chiropractic Association confirms that the average chiropractic program involves as many classroom hours as a medical doctor program.
In total, chiropractors tend to have 8 years of post-secondary education before they are licensed chiropractors. So even though they are not medical doctors, they do have a doctorate degree and many years of schooling.
During the four years of a Doctorate of Chiropractic, students take courses in anatomy, biochemistry and chiropractic principles and procedures.
They also learn about research methods and how to interpret images like Xrays. In the upper years, students study dermatology, ethics, and pediatrics.
As part of their studies, chiropractic students complete a residency placement where they work with real patients in a clinical setting, under the direction of a licensed doctor or chiropractic. This is often completed during their final year of school.
Chiropractors are required to pass 4 sets of board certifications at the State and National level to become licensed.
They often choose to complete additional certification in specialties such as nutrition, sports medicine, acupuncture, and rehabilitation.
4. Once You Start, You Have to Go Forever
Your spine is susceptible to wear and tear throughout your day. When you walk, sleep, sit, bend and move your body, you are putting pressure on your spine.
Much like going to the dentist, a visit to the chiropractor can become a part of a healthy lifestyle to keep you feeling great. A chiropractor will not force you to continue visits. Some people do visit a chiropractor for a short while to fix an issue such as whiplash and that’s it.
If you are interested in maintaining the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system, regular visits are the best way to do it.
No one has to use chiropractic care forever, but many people choose to once they feel the difference it makes in their lives to live free of pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.
Many people turn to chiropractic care as part of their overall wellness habits in addition to massage therapy and cardio and strength training exercises. After all, the more you can do to keep your body feeling good, the higher your chances of enjoying a long life.
5. Chiropractic Care Is Unsafe
This is another one of those chiropractic myths that is completely untrue. In fact, statistics show that chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare out there.
Millions of people get chiropractic adjustments each year, yet only a small number of them will make a complaint. Chiropractors pay much less than medical doctors in malpractice premiums.
Chiropractic care is a much safer option than surgery or painkillers. Doctors may advise patients to first see a chiropractor before planning surgery. In fact, the American College of Physicians recommends that people with lower back pain use a variety of non-pharmacological treatments, including spinal manipulation.
Bottom Line on Chiropractic Myths
We hope you found this article insightful in debunking common chiropractic myths. Feel free to educate your family and friends so that those who need chiropractic help will be empowered to seek it.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, check out these 7 amazing benefits of TENS unit therapy.