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Chances are that you are visiting this site because you or someone you love is experiencing back, neck, low back, or some other type of pain and you are wondering if chiropractic might be able to help.
You’ve come to the right place for answers!
Consider that 80% of the world’s population will have significant back pain at some point in their lives. There are any number of treatments available, so which do most people seek?
When it comes to back pain, most people will choose chiropractic care over other types of treatments. Roughly 22 million Americans will see their chiropractor this year alone! Why? Because chiropractic is a super effective, non-invasive way to heal back problems and find pain relief!
A full 35% of these people are looking for back pain relief, but others seek out chiropractic care for other issues, including headaches, whiplash, strains and sprains, tendonitis, arthritis, and pain from health issues that involve the neck, arms, legs, ankles, and shoulders.
The World Health Organization defines chiropractors as a “health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of this disorders on general health.”
In short, this means that chiropractic treatments, or chiropractic medicine, not only alleviate pain, but it also prevents and treats systemic problems that are the result of subluxations and impact a person’s quality of life.
What is a chiropractor? At the end of the doctor’s name, you will see the initials DC, which stands for Doctor of Chiropractic. DCs are specialists in the area of all things involving the musculoskeletal systems of the body. DC’s, often called Chiropractors, are highly trained health care professionals who have broad diagnostic skills and are qualified to provide nutritional, dietary, lifestyle counseling, as well as recommend rehabilitative programs and provide other therapies and modalities.
Chiropractors undergo a tremendous amount of education, starting with a 4-year degree in pre-med, which will include classes in organic and inorganic chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, physiology, and more. This is followed by a 4-year doctoral graduate problem. This includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom learning, laboratory work, and clinical internship. Chiropractors actually receive more education in the areas of anatomy, nutrition, public health, rehabilitation, and physiology than regular M.D.s receive. Since a great deal of chiropractor’s work involves hands-on manipulation, they spend a large portion of their curriculum studying clinical subjects. They also spend a minimum of 1-year in a clinical program handling patient care.
Chiropractor’s must then pass a certification and licensing test from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. They will then need to pass an additional test for their state license and fulfill that state’s requirements in order to keep the license. This generally means a certain number of hours (which varies from state to state) of continuing education that must be completed each year.
David Palmer was a lover of all things scientific. He was a voracious reader who came to the realization that manipulation of the spine, while it had yet to be given a name and did not have any true understanding as to how it worked, had been performed for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years.
In 1895, Palmer performed his first chiropractic adjustment on a janitor. The janitor stated he lost his hearing about 17 years prior after he felt something happen in his back. With nothing but some book knowledge, Palmer examined the man and give him a spinal adjustment in the upper back. Both Palmer and the janitor were amazed when he discovered that his hearing had improved tremendously.
David Palmer went on to develop chiropractic methods and established the first chiropractic school in 1897. By 1931, 39 states had given chiropractors legal recognition.
There are approximately 70,000 active chiropractic licenses in the United States. All 50 states, Puerto Rico, The District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands, all officially recognize chiropractors as health care professionals.
Chiropractors are best known for their holistic, drug-free therapies that treat the entire body, not just the symptoms.
Similar to conventional doctors, a chiropractor will take your full medical history, do a physical exam, order imaging tests, and make a diagnosis. The diagnosis will determine the type of treatment plan the doctor will create, which can range from adjustments, stretching, sustained pressure on certain joints, as well as a variety of modalities, depending on the patient.
Modalities your chiropractor might use include massage therapy, cold laser, ultrasound, traction, electrical stimulation, and/or heat/ice therapy. Chiropractors are also qualified to offer nutritional and lifestyle advice, offer ergonomic advice and suggest exercise programs, as well as other informational discussions such as gait training and proper posture/lifting techniques for a variety of every day situations.
In a nutshell, yes. Spinal manipulation, sometimes called spinal manipulative therapy or adjustments, is practiced by not only chiropractors, but osteopathic doctors, physical therapists, naturopathic physicians and even some M.D.s.
The amount of force and the exact manner used depends on where the subluxation is and the overall condition of the patient. The focus behind spinal manipulation is to relieve pain and improve the physical function of the body, increasing range of motion and flexibility.
Chiropractic is an effective treatment for nearly everyone! While no one would claim that chiropractic can cure everything or is a good replacement for dental care, immunizations, or other preventative and health problems, for the majority of neuromusculoskeletal issues and health problems stemming from them, chiropractic care can certainly be of tremendous help!
Even cancer patients seek out chiropractic therapies to improve their quality of life through pain relief, improved mood, better sleep and deep relaxation that comes from regular comprehensive chiropractic care. Persons suffering from everything from fibromyalgia to migraines, pregnancy issues to carpal tunnel will all benefit from this holistic type of therapy.
That being said, there are some people with certain health condition or problems that make them unsuitable for this hands-on type of therapy. If you suffer from any of the following, you should avoid seeking chiropractic treatment.
If you are in doubt as to whether you are a good candidate, speak to your primary care physician or talk to your chiropractor about your concerns.
Despite having a plethora of information at our fingertips, myths regarding many things, including chiropractic care, persist. Some of the top myths surrounding chiropractic and chiropractors include:
This might have been true about 80 years ago, but today, with tons of scientific evidence showing the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment, even The American College of Physicians updated their guidelines, stating that doctors should send patients to chiropractors before resorting to back or neck surgery or addicting pharmaceutical drugs.
This is perhaps the biggest myth that won’t die. No one would dream of telling a dentist that he wasn’t a real dentist because he didn’t perform surgery or a travel nurse that she wasn’t a real nurse because she wasn’t an LPN. Chiropractors are real doctors who are specialists in the neuromusculoskeletal aspect of the body. Is your primary care doctor less of a doctor because he’s not a brain surgeon? The ACA notes that “Chiropractors are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship, with the average DC program equivalent in classroom hours to allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.”
The facts are that, even the so-called “dangerous” neck adjustments are statistically safer than driving your car or even taking ibuprofen! Chiropractic adjustments are far less invasive and safer than many other types of medicine or medical procedures.
This is also an old rumor that just won’t die. Of course, chiropractors tend to work more with those who have back pain, but that is hardly the only disorder they treat. Chiropractic therapy can help with a variety of problems, from pregnancy to whiplash, fibromyalgia to tendonitis.
While some people believe this, the truth is that children have been successfully treated by chiropractors since at least 1910. One look at online testimonials from parents will tell you that chiropractic is effective for children of all ages.
This is another old myth that needs to hit the road. Sciatica pain is caused by a compression of the sciatic nerve. The reasons as to why the sciatic nerve is feeling this compression are multiple. What works for one person’s sciatica does not work for another person. While some patients feel almost immediate relief after one chiropractic treatment, other people take several weeks and treatments. It will all depend on the root cause. However, chiropractic care is extremely effective in this area. You can discover more about what chiropractic can do for sciatica, as well as it’s effectiveness, in this article.
This is absolute nonsense. Anyone who has ever had an adjustment knows how good they feel! There is an instant sense of relief and a release of pressure! Occasionally, people feel a bit sore the next day, but it certainly isn’t painful. You can read more about what adjustments actually feel like in this article.
This is another myth. Chiropractors don’t actually “crack” anything. That description comes from the noise joints make when a build up of gas escapes from them. Similar to the pop sound you hear when opening a bottle of soda. While it’s true that you can probably “crack” your own back, it’s certainly not the same as finding the proper subluxation and having the chiropractor put the joint back into proper alignment. If you notice, most people who crack their backs or necks continually need to do so– often several times each day- to find relief. This isn’t even close to what a chiropractor does and shouldn’t even be a comparison!
This myth is often stated in one of two ways; either it’s years or the rest of your life. The reality is that, for some conditions, it’s true that chiropractic will be a long-term engagement if there is no cure and the patient will need long term care and/or pain management.
For nearly everyone else, once your body has healed, you won’t need to return to the chiropractor unless you wish to. Some patients love the way regular chiropractic adjustments and massages make them feel so they go on a regular basis. There is no “requirement” or addictive substance involved in chiropractic treatment, so, no, you won’t have to go “for the rest of your life.”
Depending on where you live, prices will vary considerably, but generally speaking, chiropractic is much more affordable than conventional care. This type of therapy is often covered by insurance and when you consider that many people discover that they can avoid surgery and lengthy amounts of time off from work, it’s easy to see why chiropractic is the affordable choice. If you don’t have insurance that covers chiropractic, you will want to read this article.
This myth might have been true 100 years ago, but no longer. There are hundreds of scientific studies showing that chiropractic is effective. Check out our list of reasons to see a chiropractor in the article below. Each one has a listing with scientific evidence of its effectiveness.
This is another old wives’ tale that isn’t true. While the words strains and sprains are often used interchangeably, they aren’t exactly the same thing, however, regardless of which one you have, chiropractic can not only help to relieve the pain, but it can cut way back on the amount of time it takes the affected area to heal. How quickly can chiropractic help that strain or sprain to heal? That will depend on many factors. An 80-year old diabetic will take much longer to heal than a 25-year old athlete.
This is an outdated statement. While this used to be true, unless it is a requirement from your insurance company, federal law says you can see a chiropractor first and you don’t need a referral.
The truth is that any doctor, whether they are a chiropractor or not, who does unnecessary x-rays is not a true professional. Your chiropractor will only order imaging tests if the need is there.
This is 100 percent false. If you find a chiropractor who claims they can cure anything and everything, run for the hills! Chiropractic can help many people, but it is not a magic cure-all!
This false statement is often applied to other health care professionals and the pharmaceutical companies as well. Conspiracy theorists love to tout this statement, but they never have any facts to back it up. Of course, chiropractors need to charge for their services, no one wants to work for free, but like all true health care professionals, their main satisfaction and reason for getting into medicine to begin with stems from a genuine desire to help people.
It’s important to remember that persons who suffer from incurable health problems are only able to have their health and pain levels managed. This doesn’t mean that doctors, prescription drug companies, and chiropractors are only in it “for the money.”
At Better Health Chiropractic, we want you to feel that you can trust us, so we will always be brutally honest with you. Can chiropractic care help you? That depends.
Chiropractic care is not a cure-all or a magic potion. Chiropractors are highly skilled specialists, but this doesn’t mean that they can cure, prevent, or even offer relief for every single human health condition.
Chiropractors can, however, help many, many people. If you are suffering from any type of musculoskeletal problem, including low back pain, neck pain, herniated or bulging discs, tendonitis, low back problems, sciatica, or carpal tunnel syndrome, yes, we can absolutely help.
Chiropractors can also help with other health conditions, including (but not limited to):
If you are experiencing any type of health problem but aren’t sure if chiropractic care can help, you can always call one of our 4 locations and speak to our friendly staff. They will be happy to answer your questions or have a chiropractor return your call if they don’t have an answer for you.
Many of the myths above are reasons why people wait so long to see a chiropractor when they have back pain or accidents and it’s sad. This is one reason why it’s important that people tell others about their experiences with chiropractors, to inform others and dispel myths.
While we don’t want to get political, the fact is that many people have no insurance, or their insurance has little or no coverage for chiropractic.
First, if you have no insurance at all, you should read this article, which explains your alternatives.
Second, insurance that offers little or no coverage for chiropractic is a national problem that needs to be addressed. With all the evidence that chiropractic is effective and with the American Medical Association’s release of a meta-analysis of 26 clinical trials and admission that spinal manipulation was effective, there is zero reason for insurance companies to disallow chiropractic therapy.
We talk about the cost effectiveness of chiropractic further on in this article, so keep reading for more information on this subject.
There is no doubt that, before you commit to any type of treatment or product (heck, think of the research you do before you purchase something as mundane as a vacuum cleaner!) you want to know that what you are “buying” is going to work.
As is true of many things in life, some of the effectiveness will depend on the skill of the chiropractor themselves. The nature of chiropractic care has been proven to be effective in multiple areas through a variety of studies, but you will need to rely on the skill and common sense of the doctor.
This is why you should get recommendations from previous or current clients. Read reviews and get a general “feel” for the chiropractor before you commit to a long-term treatment plan.
While there is a long list of conditions that chiropractic is effective for, we have compiled a short list of some of the most common complaints, along with links to studies that prove chiropractic works.
You will find links to more studies in our listing of 101 benefits, which can be found below.
Most people think that chiropractic is only about “cracking backs: but there is so much more to it than simply placing the spine back in its proper position.
There are a multitude of benefits, including:
Low back pain is one of the most common injuries in the world and affects at least 10% of the world’s population at any given time. In fact, back pain is number 6 on a list of reasons for increasing medical costs. Chiropractic not only saves money on prescription drugs, surgery, and lengthy hospital stays, but it looks to resolve the root of the problem, not just treat the symptoms.
Chiropractic care is also the first choice for most patients who are looking for pain relief from chronic pain, including chronic back pain. Depending on the root cause of your condition, chiropractors have multiple techniques to help relieve pain and prevent pain from flaring again by keeping the spine in the correct position.
In addition to adjustments, some of the modalities your chiropractor might use to speed your recovery include non-surgical spinal decompression, massage therapy, ultra sound or cold laser therapy, or a TENS device.
Many times, when conventional medicine doesn’t have answers, they turn to medications to provide relief of symptoms and pain.
Chiropractic is different in that, being holistic, they treat the entire body and realize that everything is connected. A pain across the shoulders, for example, is not necessarily a problem with the shoulders, but could be tight chest muscles pulling on the muscles across the upper back.
By looking at the entire body and removing any subluxations that might interfere with the communication of the central nervous system, chiropractors are known for locating the source of pain.
The U. S. (Federal Drug Administration) reports serious injuries and deaths relating to drug use, especially opioid based pain relievers, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting terrifying annual statistics reaching the tens of thousands.
Of course, this isn’t to say that there isn’t a real need for these types of pain meds in some cases. However, in many situations, research has found that there are plenty of benefits to drug free therapies, such as chiropractic, yoga, and exercise.
Comprehensive chiropractic care can often bring the same benefits as many types of pain medications. When the spine is properly aligned, it automatically leads to less discomfort and pain. Massage therapy, which is a part of chiropractic care, and other modalities, such as electric stimulation and infrared, are all well-known pain relievers.
Chiropractic is not a one-size-fits-all type of therapy!
Many people are unaware that chiropractors have a wide choice when it comes to techniques they can use, as well as tools that they have access to. If you are having an issue, such as difficulty lying flat on the table or if one body part experiences intense pain after a certain exercise, tell your doctor! The chiropractor will certainly have a way around those issues and/or can provide tools to make things more comfortable for you.
For patients who suffer from chronic pain or health conditions, the use of a variety of therapies is often the most helpful. Chiropractic works well in conjunction with other therapies, such as physical therapy, massage, electric stimulation, and prescription medications. Patients should always advise all their healthcare professionals of all treatments and medications that they are using.
While pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. For those with chronic pain, it’s important to find and use whatever tools work best for your situation at any given time. When it’s cold outside, heat might help relieve pain or you might find tremendous pain relief when swimming in a warm pool. Add chiropractic care as another tool in your fight against chronic pain.
Since chiropractor’s are specialists in the musculoskeletal aspect of the body, is it any wonder that study after study finds that spine manipulations are effective for treating neck pain, low back pain, and other types of joint/muscle pain?
You can read some of these studies for yourself here, here, and here. In addition to back and neck pain, chiropractors are frequently consulted for the relief of shoulder, foot, wrist and elbow pain, as well as help with tingling and numbness in the hands and/or feet, which can indicate a pinched nerve.
Contrary to popular news stories, chiropractic care is extremely safe. In fact, the major complaint most patients have after having adjustments is general muscle soreness. Some patients say they feel achy or have a headache after the first session or two, but chiropractic has one of the best safety records in medical history.
Chiropractic is more than simply treating back pain. It can also help to prevent future joint pain by keeping joints aligned, and by reducing pain in other joints besides the spine.
This study used 14 subjects who were awaiting hip replacements. Half of the subjects received chiropractic care while the other half remained the control group. The group receiving chiropractic adjustments over a 3- week period had significantly less pain, improved functionality and better quality of living in self-rated questionnaires.
One of the first signs of undiagnosed cancer for many people is generalized musculoskeletal pain, headaches, and fatigue. Many cancer patients seek out chiropractic care to help improve their feelings of being cared for and for a reduction in pain levels.
Chiropractic care has been shown to help cancer patients deal with the stress of their condition and treatment. Studies show that patients had less stress, improved moods, and an improvement in their overall quality of life.
If you are a runner or a big fan of sports and fitness, you might find that injuries happen a great deal more than you would like. The desire to get back in the game or back on the track, causes many runners and sports fans to avoid surgeries and the traditional “stay off of it for 6-8 weeks” advice and see a chiropractor.
Chiropractic is designed to improve the joint mobilization, so the affected joint moves freely. Most chiropractors use rehabilitation methods, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, but in addition to adjustments, they also can determine your stride or stance to determine how the injury occurred, then educate you on how to avoid this injury in the future.
Sports, running, or even traffic accident injuries heal much more quickly when the affected area is moved and manipulated, rather than allowed to rest. While allowing the injury to heal is important, the body only needs a few days of rest before rehabilitation should begin. Studies show that the body heals much more quickly being moved and manipulated, rather than placed in a cast.
For those suffering from chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, living with pain and other quality of life issues, such as insomnia, joint pain, or migraines, day to day functioning is difficult at best. Chiropractic care can offer tremendous relief from many symptoms that these patients deal with every day.
From the second trimester, pregnant women begin to experience back pain from weight gain and the uneven weight distribution on the pelvis. The joints also go through changes as a pregnant woman’s body will make more hormones that allow for a relaxing of the joints, which allows the child to pass through the pelvis. This can also cause other types of joint pain.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy balances the pelvis and attaching muscles, which relieves pressure on the uterus and allows a bit more space for the baby. A full 72 percent of pregnant women who undergo chiropractic treatments reported less pain and easier delivery according to one study.
Chiropractors often treat conditions, symptoms, and health problems by discovering and treating the underlying problem. When the central nervous system operates properly without obstruction, it improves a wide range of health problem, including gastrointestinal problems such as colic, heartburn, chronic constipation, GERD, and even IBS.
When it comes to finding reliable nutrition, exercise, or advice regarding your diet, it can be difficult to weed out the junk peddlers from real science via a search engine.
Your chiropractor can offer you valuable advice regarding a workout routine that works for you and your health issues or injury, supplements that can fight inflammation, even a realistic, healthy diet plan that you can stick to.
More than just treatment for back and neck pain, chiropractors work together with other healthcare providers to provide help with migraines, menstrual disorders, ear infections, ADHD, quitting smoking, even fertility issues, asthma, colic, and multiple sclerosis.
While the mainstay of chiropractic remains the healing effects of their hand-on adjustments, there are plenty of new therapies being introduced to the profession. Light therapy, for example, is a painless, non-invasive method of speeding up the healing process. Cold lasers have been around for a while, but there are new wavelengths of light, such as blue light therapy, which can help to kill MRSA and other bacteria, as well as speeding the healing process in studies done with rabbits and rats.
While your local chiropractic clinic might not have blue light therapy available yet, you can bet that any technology that is available to help in the healing process, your chiropractor will put it to use.
As American culture shifts more and more towards a workplace that involves sitting, it is imperative that not only do we improve our posture and do stretching exercises on a regular basis, but to have the proper ergonomics. Sitting is very hard on the spine and a poorly designed workstation can lead to serious injuries, such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel.
Your chiropractor can not only show you how to properly sit to prevent back injuries, but they can also help with your workspace design and give you stretching exercises to help prevent injuries. By the way, sitting at your desk job is just one way you can injure your neck or back. How you sit or lounge on your sofa or bed to watch television, play video games, or use your cell phone is equally as important. There is no substitute for the ergonomic advice that your chiropractor can offer regarding your work and lifestyle habits.
In some cases, our posture in everyday situations can be the source of our pain. While chiropractic adjustments can relieve the pain for a time, when patients return to their poor posture habits, the pain will also return.
Chiropractic adjustments will help to improve posture but only to a point. This is why it is important to talk about your job, the tasks you do daily, as well as weekend activities, and demonstrate to the doctor the way you typically sit, stand, exercise, or play certain sports. Your chiropractor’s advice in this area will prove to be invaluable in helping correct the postures that cause pain.
While you might think of chiropractic as more of an “ache and pain” control center, there is substantial evidence that regular adjustments can help to cut the risk of depression.
There is no doubt that chronic pain often causes depression and when you consider that chiropractic can substantially reduce or eliminate pain, it makes sense that this would help reduce depression or the risk of developing depression. One study found that subjects who received 12 chiropractic treatments had reduced muscle tension and less intense feelings of anxiety and depression.
An unscientific reason that many anecdotal stories will tell you is that chiropractic care, including massage therapy, makes people feel good! When you have less pain, you feel cared for, and your body feels better than it did before your treatment, who wouldn’t feel better?
Like nearly every other part of the body, the central nervous system in the body directs and takes orders from the immune system. When the nerves are able to send signals without interruption, the body can protect can heal itself. Chiropractic removes any obstruction in communication, so the immune system can function at its best. While most evidence is anecdotal, thousands of parents report that children who receive regular chiropractic treatment have fewer incidences of the flu, colds, and fewer infections. This meta-analysis of studies found numerous cases of improved immune function among children.
Receiving regular chiropractic adjustments can prevent muscle and joint stiffness, back pain, pinched nerves, and other issues. When our spine is properly aligned, many of the musculoskeletal problems people encounter can be avoided entirely.
Similar to your yearly dental checkup, preventing problems or spotting them when they are in the earliest stages is one of the best ways to prevent bigger, more painful problems later on. You’ve most likely heard stories of one kind or another where a person waited to seek medical care until their pain was unbearable or until something very bad happened (such as a body part that stopped working) with dire consequences. The commonly repeated refrain often being “If only they had come to me (the doctor, dentist, surgeon, etc.) sooner.” Chiropractic is an excellent means of preventative care that is well worth the time and money spent.
While happiness is often talked about as a given or clear concept, happiness derives from several factors and has a complex meaning. While several studies state that genetic factors account for as much as 50 percent of a person’s feelings of happiness, other studies have found that neurotransmitters and hormones also have a tremendous affect on the way a person feels.
So, while there are no studies that can positively link chiropractic care with a person’s level of happiness, there is a very clear link between the electrical message the brain receives and the health of the body. When you consider that chiropractic treatments have a direct affect on clearing the communication within the central nervous system, it only makes sense that this would support mental health. See #24 for more about mental health and moods.
Chiropractic care and massage therapy, which is offered at nearly every chiropractic clinic, has been shown to reduce blood pressure, which is a sign of stress relief. Adjustments and other modalities performed at your chiropractor’s office have also been shown to increase “feel good” hormones and those that promote feelings of social bonding and being cared for.
Everyone would agree that when your blood pressure is reduced, you feel less stress and anytime you feel as if you are being cared for and that friendship bonds are being created, you can’t help but be in a better mood.
Most people struggle with a lack of energy now and again. However, if you find that your get up and go got up and went most days, you might want to look past that energy drink or cup of coffee for relief.
Chiropractic care can increase energy levels by reducing the pressure on the nerves of the central nervous system while stimulating the nerves to transmit the proper signals to increase metabolism and circulation. Increased circulation to the brain always results in improved energy levels and clarity of thought.
High blood pressure is a major factor in the development of the #1 killer around the world, heart disease. The majority of Americans rely on medication, however, with the recent recall of most of these medications due to contamination, it is clear that a better method needs to be applied.
Say hello to chiropractic care! Several studies have shown that adjustments lead to significant drops in blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic. Although the exact reasons behind how this works is not fully understood, most researchers believe that the drop is due to an adjustment of the Atlas vertebra, which impacts the regulation of blood pressure.
Many people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or stress often have a difficult time relaxing and suffer from muscle tension, muscle aches, and tension headaches. Regular adjustments and other chiropractic therapies offer pain relief, stress relief, and offer a means of relaxation not found in other health care settings.
People who are relaxed, feel cared for, are less depressed and in a better mood will naturally sleep better. Studies state that chiropractic care improves sleep patterns. This study even found that cancer patients found significant relief from insomnia after receiving a combination of massage therapy and chiropractic manipulations.
Health care has become a hot topic, with prices being the main point of discussion. When you consider that the average person who experiences back pain will first visit their primary care physician, receive a referral to a specialist, who will most likely refer then to a physical therapist and give them several prescriptions, only to return to the specialist for an update or for extensive imaging testing before they are referred to another specialist or surgeon, you are talking thousands of dollars in health care costs.
Some studies have found that had that same patient gone to a chiropractor either directly or after they saw their primary care physician, they would have saved a minimum of 50 percent on drug costs and most likely avoided surgery to being with.
One study found that chiropractic was a cost-effective treatment for chronic low back pain and that chiropractic care was as good as or better than other types of therapy.
Another study, published in 2003, found that when 183 patients with chronic neck pain were given chiropractic treatment over a 1-year period, the patients had quicker recovery times and their treatment cost two-thirds less than conventional patients.
It’s well known that chiropractor’s effectively treat most common sports injuries, such as tennis elbow, pelvic strains, muscle strain, and back injuries. By relieving pressure on the joints, adjustments can prevent injuries and allow the body to heal more quickly.
Professional athletes and weekend warrior types can also learn techniques from their chiropractor for how to have the proper stance for minimizing muscle fatigue, improve their performance, and avoid injuries without unnecessary pressure on joints and tissue.
Nearly every football and Olympic team in the US has a chiropractor on staff. Many professionals rely on their chiropractors, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods.
Don’t smirk at this one, it’s true! First off, no one is interested in sex when you are experiencing pain, especially back or neck pain. Since chiropractic adjustments can substantially reduce pain, you might yourself more interested in sex once you realize it won’t take a toll on your back.
Additionally, spinal manipulations and other modalities your chiropractor might perform, such as chiropractic massage, increases blood circulation to the brain and all other extremities of the body. This will improve sensitivity and stimulate the reproductive organs, including the largest sex organ your body has: the brain.
Chiropractic offers benefits for people of all ages; from improving balance issues for seniors to helping kids with ADHD or asthma symptoms, chiropractic can help nearly everyone, no matter how many or how few years you have under your belt.
While there are no definitive studies that can verify that those who see a chiropractor regularly go to the ER or are admitted to the hospital per se, you can see the clear evidence in the following studies:
There are more studies along the same lines as those above. When take all of these into consideration, it’s easy to see why there is less of a need for chiropractic patients to go to the ER or be admitted to the hospital for musculoskeletal issues.
What would it take for you to be able to say that your quality of life had improved? Less pain? Better movement? Fewer bouts with flu, cold, or allergy problems? Improved mobility? Generally feeling great, with a great sex life, positive outlook and lots of energy?
Chiropractic offers that and more. Keep reading and discover all the ways that chiropractic improves your overall quality of life.
It is not uncommon for seniors to slow down and want to take life easy. That’s not a problem, unless the reason for doing so is due to pain, stiff joints, back problems, or arthritis.
Chiropractic can help ensure that your “golden years” are filled with activity and fun. Imagine being able to play with your grandchildren, go on wine tasting tours, go walking and see the sites as you travel, without worrying about your back acting up.
Your chiropractor can offer you nutritional advice, a realistic exercise program, massage therapy, and adjustments that will keep your body limber and improve your sense of balance.
Headaches are a pain on both ends, if you get our drift. Frequent headaches and migraines not only affect our day to day lives, but they impact society. Chronic headaches and migraines can be the result of an abnormal positioning of the head, which can lead to intense pressure on the neck. Chiropractic reduces the severity and/or frequency of chronic headaches and migraines by removing obstructions, reducing strain on the cervical spine, or releasing tight knots of muscles in the upper back.
If you have ever had whiplash, you know how painful this injury can be. The truth is that while most people get whiplash from a car accident, you can get whiplash in other ways, including playing air guitar, bull riding, even riding rollercoasters!
When it comes to whiplash, you just want to be out of pain fast! While conventional medicine suggests a neck brace for several weeks, this is actually one of the worst things you can do! A neck brace is fine for the first 2-4 days, but after that, you are only making your neck muscles more stiff and weaker.
It seems impossible that you will be able to move your head and stretch it, but you can, and you must. This is where chiropractic comes in. No, your doctor isn’t going to twist your head like something out of the Exorcist. What they will do is offer gently guided stretches, massage, perhaps other modalities such as ultrasound, to help the soft tissues in the neck heal.
Physical therapy will get your neck stronger and help you improve your range of motion. Don’t avoid seeing your chiropractor because you think your neck will get better in a few days. A study done in 2016 found that as much as 40 percent of those who experienced whiplash still had pain and a lower quality of life a full 5 years after the accident if they didn’t seek medical attention.
Chiropractic care is the number one way to heal whiplash fast. If you would like to read more about whiplash, how to sleep while you have it and the things you should never do when you have whiplash, this is an extensive article. Visit our chiropractic locations at Anchorage, Juneau, or Wasilla to be treated.
Repetitive tasks, such as typing, carpentry work, passing items under scanners, and similar tasks can lead to a painful condition of the wrist called carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel symptoms can be reduced or eliminated, and surgery avoided, when chiropractic is used.
Adjustments to the wrist, elbow, hand, and to the spine where the median nerve begins, can reduce or eliminate pain, as this study demonstrates. While carpal tunnel usually develops after years of repetitive tasks, this isn’t always the case. The actual cause of carpal tunnel, for some individuals, is unknown. Many chiropractors believe that a compression of the median nerve is the root cause.
While surgery is a last resort, even this is not successful for about half of those who undergo this painful surgery. Chiropractic should always be your first choice, since it is non-invasive and frequently offers substantial pain relief.
Temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ is an umbrella term for those who experience problems with the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. There is no known cause and, worse still, no cure, however, chiropractic care can help.
Through adjustments, chiropractic massage, and other stress relieving modalities, chiropractors can alleviate tension and dysfunction in this area. The reduction or removal of pressure on the nerves offers some much welcome pain relief.
Patients often need regular adjustments to manage their condition. The pain management that chiropractic offers TMJ sufferers helps tremendously, as this study demonstrates. Adjustments are far more pleasant and offer long lasting pain relief than over the counter pain medications, uncomfortable dental devices that need to be worn each night, or addicting prescription pain relievers.
Similar to TMJ and migraines, while the mechanics of cluster headaches are understood, the reasons why these occur is not known. However, chiropractic care can help.
Cluster headaches, often called suicide headaches because the excruciating pain has caused some persons to commit suicide, aren’t actually headaches, but are neurovascular events where the large blood vessel near the trigeminal nerve will suddenly swell with blood, touching the nerve, causing terrible pain that lasts for 15 minutes to 3 hours. For most people, these “headaches” come in sets or clusters, lasting 6-12 weeks then disappearing until the next episode. For others, these headaches occur every day or every night, for years.
Unlike migraine sufferers, cluster headaches cause a person to be extremely restless, unable to sit down, lie down, or even talk. Pain medications are generally ineffective and while oxygen can help stop an attack or steroid use, neither of these will prevent cluster headaches from returning. While there are virtually no studies showing a link between chiropractic and cluster headaches, this study found that those with cluster headaches have myofascial trigger points. A combination of chiropractic care and massage therapy are known to relieve these trigger points and one 2016 study found that regular chiropractic adjustments reduced the intensity of cervicogenic headache, which will not a cluster headache, are similar in nature.
While there are a wide range of treatments doctors and other health professionals can recommend, many suggest chiropractic care. Why? Studies, such as this one from the respected Journal of the American Medical Association, found that evidence from 15 randomized controlled trials that involved nearly 2,000 patients found that spinal adjustments reduced pain dramatically and resulted in improvements in overall functionality.
In fact, the American College of Physicians recently released new guidelines for doctors that included chiropractic care as one of the first-line therapies that should be recommended for chronic low back pain.
Scoliosis, or a curvature of the spine, often means annoying and painful braces for children and life-long problems with little or no course of action available for adults. Chiropractic is changing this notion.
This study found that 24 months after 28 patients had completed a chiropractic program that included rehabilitation exercises, all subjects reported improvements in pain levels, Cobb angle, and less disability.
While chiropractic isn’t claiming that it can cure scoliosis, regular treatments can definitely help patients manage their condition and slow the progression, avoiding or delaying restrictive braces and/or surgery.
Compared to the standard medical treatment of RICE (Rest Ice Compression and Elevation) chiropractic care is far more effective for sciatica pain. In one study, a double-blind trial compared active vs simulated adjustments on patients who had sciatica. The group that received “real” spinal adjustments had less pain and zero side effects.
A meta-analysis of 51 studies found that there was evidence that chiropractic care reduced pain and improved function for those suffering from sciatica.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that is not at all understood by medical professionals. Chiropractic care in this area has long been used as a means of improving range of motion or reversing the condition entirely.
One study found that, of the 50 patients involved, half had as much as a 90 percent improvement rating, eight had a 75 percent improvement and only one had a 50 percent improvement. Before their adjustments, it’s interesting to note that the patients rated their pain levels on a scale between 7 and 10 but after their treatment, the scores were dropped to a 2.
While many insurance companies are reluctant to cover chiropractic care or limit the amount of coverage, this shouldn’t be the norm, especially when studies have found that, generally speaking, chiropractic care and other forms of alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, spend less for their treatment than those who rely on traditional medicine.
Traditional medicine is well-known for offering addicting or liver damaging medications or surgeries that don’t work well in some cases. Addictive prescription medications, including opioids, can lead to huge costs, not only in pharmaceutical bills, but for rehab clinics.
Some physicians don’t like the idea that chiropractors (and/or other alternative medicine practitioners) somehow “know something they don’t.” Surgeons and other physicians should face facts when presented with evidence that some of the traditional treatments they have recommended for years don’t work or don’t work consistently, especially when speaking of surgery VS. non-surgical methods.
While there is a need for larger and better controlled studies involving the benefits of chiropractic care and the treatment of allergies and/or asthma, even the limited studies available to us now, including thousands of testimonials, show that chiropractic leads to less use of medication and inhalers for asthma sufferers and fewer allergy attacks.
Chiropractic treatment is not only for injuries, but for overall wellness. Regular chiropractic care for children has been linked to improved symptoms of ADHD and the learning disabilities that often trouble these children.
By increasing a child’s ability to concentration, many learning and behavioral problems can be reduced or eliminated entirely. This also serves to improve a child’s mood and keep their moods more stable, according to several studies.
Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of patients ( at least a 65% upswing) who are seeking non-surgical, drug free methods of helping their spine condition(s).
It is quite common for most Americans to seek out over the counter pain remedies for pain relief. When those fail, they seek out medical attention for prescription pain relievers. This has led to a dramatic increase in prices, both for medical care and for medication, not to mention the addictive behavior that sometimes comes as a result.
Chiropractic treatment can provide pain relief and healing for nearly all the reasons people seek out medication to begin with. Prescription drugs only hide the symptoms and do nothing to treat the real cause.
Atrial Fibrillation, commonly referred to as AFib, is an irregular heartbeat that leaves patients at a higher risk for stroke and heart attacks. Chiropractic has been shown to affect the sympathetic and parasympathetic response, as well as stimulating the Vagus nerve, all of which are thought to be involved in some cases of AFib.
While no studies have been done in an attempt to show that adjustments improve AFib, this study found that subjects had reduced diastolic pressure while increasing pulse pressure. There are also a great many testimonials online from AFib patients who state that chiropractic reduced or eliminated their need for medication.
While research here is rather new, some interesting studies have found that an MRI will show that upper cervical manipulations increase cerebral spinal fluid and blood circulation to the brain. Montel Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has had tremendous success with chiropractic You can hear what he has to say in this interview.
There is also evidence that chiropractic adjustments can help to treat seizures and epilepsy. In this study, all 15 pediatric patients had upper cervical subluxations that, after correction, resulted in less frequent seizures. All of the subjects had tried antiseizure medication without success.
High levels of inflammation have been linked to numerous health issues and disease, including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. These conditions are tied to higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including CRP and IL-6.
Chiropractic care has been shown, as this study demonstrates, to lower inflammation markers, even for those who did not have back pain. This study found lower inflammation markers after only 9 chiropractic visits.
Depending on the cause of your vertigo or dizziness, chiropractic adjustment benefits reach into this area as well, often providing nearly instant relief.
While some cases of dizziness and vertigo can be stopped using the Epley maneuver, a procedure that chiropractors can perform and teach their patients to do at home, other cases of vertigo involve positioning the body so crystals can be removed form the inner ear. There are other maneuvers your chiropractor can perform, including the Semont or the Barandt-Daroff exercise.
Your chiropractor can also provide nutritional advice, as well as offer advice regarding supplements, such as ginkgo biloba, which has been shown to help stop vertigo in double-blind trials.
Chiropractic manipulation and chiropractic massage are great ways to relieve stress, relieve tight muscles, and reduce depression. For a few people, feelings of vertigo or dizziness occur after their first few chiropractic visits. You can read more about this subject here.
Chiropractic care is not a one size fits all treatment plan. Your chiropractor knows that everyone is different and not everyone responds to certain types of treatment the same way. For example, while many find ice therapy to be a great pain reliever, some patients say that ice only causes them even more pain! Your chiropractor can modify therapies to suit your needs, body size, or disability.
One of the greatest dangers to seniors occurs from losing their balance and falling. Falls are the leading cause of death from injury for those over the age of 65 and about 9,500 deaths are fall related, according to the National Council on Aging in a 2015 report.
While there aren’t many studies in this area, one meta-analysis found that the evidence that was available showed that manipulations can lead to improved balance in the elderly. When the spine and other joints are in proper alignment, they can restore and improve both balance and coordination. Manipulations also help to keep joints flexible, and your chiropractor can create an exercise and balance improvement program to ensure that you don’t lose this vital feeling as you age.
All the comforting won’t stop an infant with colic from crying. With approximately 20% of infants experiencing colic, this painful condition has no known cause or cure. Chiropractic can offer weary parents some relief.
Research involving colicky babies and chiropractic adjustments show tremendous benefits over the typical treatments of infant positioning, formula changes, or long rides in a car seat. One study involved more than 316 infants who had colic, crying for an average of 5.2 hours each day. After 3 chiropractic visits over a 2-week period, 94% of infants had improvements in their colic and continued to maintain this improvement at the 4-week follow up visit.
It’s important to note that slightly more than 50 percent of the infants had undergone prior treatments that were unsuccessful and that all infants had some type of improvement in their symptoms after 2 weeks. While this isn’t a cure, it does demonstrate that colic symptoms can be relieved through chiropractic.
With asthma affecting 1 out of every 13 persons, as well as being the leading chronic health problem in children, this devastating disease causes reduced airflow, daytime fatigue due to difficulty sleeping, and difficulty with concentration.
While chiropractors don’t treat asthma, they do consider how the entire body is functioning and if a subluxation in the spine is present. Chiropractors will look at the thoracic spine and if it is not moving freely, they can make spinal adjustments, which will allow the lungs to expand to full capacity.
One boy, who missed one or two days of school each month due to his asthma, was able to stop using his inhaler and did not miss school for an entire year after 5 months of chiropractic adjustments.
You can rest assured that if your chiropractor discovers a health issue that requires another specialist or if you are interested in other types of therapy that they do not offer, perhaps acupuncture or aroma therapy, your doctor will be able to provide you with a local recommendation from someone they know and trust. Chiropractors often have deep connections to others in the larger, overall health care community.
There are probably as many reasons for feeling fatigue as there are people who experience it. Whether you are overworked, overly stressed, have a poor diet, poor circulation, poor lifestyle habits, or you suffer from pain or a chronic health condition, fatigue can sometimes seem like an overwhelming problem that you have no energy to deal with.
Your chiropractor can help! Of course, if your fatigue stems from an incurable health condition, such as HIV, fatigue can only be managed. However, for most people, fatigue caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, poor circulation or subluxations, your chiropractor can find the root cause of your fatigue and will work with you to reduce or eliminate the problem.
One of the little-known benefits that regular chiropractic care provides is a restoration of the brain/gut connection. When the central nervous system can communicate with the internal organs of the body without interruption, many common digestive issues, such as inflammation, chronic constipation or diarrhea, as well as food intolerances, are minimized or disappear completely. Some studies have proven links between chiropractic and improved digestion.
As we said in the beginning of this article, chiropractic is about SO much more than “cracking backs.” The same adjustments that work for the spine also work for other joints.
Painful joints stem from problems such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, knee injuries, or tendonitis. Manipulation of any joint will offer substantial pain relief, especially when the root cause is overuse, injury, or osteoarthritis.
While there is no cure for the painful conditions that fibromyalgia patients must endure, there is pain management and relief from symptoms.
Science has yet to discover the cause for this condition and some experts believe that there is a psychological aspect to it. Others believe it is physiological and might be rooted in some type of physical trauma. There is still another group who believes that this is a problem with the central nervous system itself and that those with fibromyalgia are hypersensitive to any stimuli, no matter how small.
One study found that 60 percent of fibromyalgia patients found significantly reduced symptoms, including less pain, less fatigue, and improved sleep, after regular chiropractic treatments. General feelings of pain are reduced through adjustments that increase mobility within the spine, while chiropractic massage treats pressure points, headaches, and relieves stress.
While the painful and annoying symptoms of PMS, menstruation, and menopause have not changed over the years, the way these issues are being treated has changed tremendously.
With more than 150 identified and reported symptoms, from headaches to breast tenderness, cramping to back pain, fatigue and mood swings, doctors would prescribe hormone replacement therapy or pain medication, pat women on the head and get them out of the office.
Today, women are looking for safe, drug-free means of treating their symptoms. More and more women are turning to chiropractic. Adjustments in the lumbar spine, especially in the L2 and L3 regions, affect the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems of the body, which control the regulation of hormones. Multiple studies , such as this one involving PMS and this one involving menopause, have found that women who receive chiropractic treatments experience less pain, fewer headaches, and other symptom relief.
While chiropractic does not claim to “cure” infertility, there does seem to be a connection between chiropractic care and women becoming pregnant.
The autonomous nervous system in the body, which is when you have a muscular function you don’t consciously think about doing, is called Peristaltic motion. An egg must be propelled via peristaltic motion down the fallopian tube to the uterus. When there is insufficient motion, the egg never makes it to the uterus to be fertilized. Chiropractic improves and increases peristaltic motion by removing obstructions and the stimulation of the central nervous system.
While there are no studies that can point to chiropractic equaling pregnancy, nearly every chiropractor has stories of women who unable to get pregnant or who had become pregnant previously only via IF, who then became pregnant after a few chiropractic sessions.
OK- So We Couldn’t Quite Manage 101
While we didn’t quite make it to the 101 figure this is a continuing article that will reach our goal of 101 in time. We did create an amazing list of benefits, nearly all of them scientifically researched and backed up with proven studies.
Want to know more?
Like all professions, chiropractors have some inside knowledge that they rarely share, but you can read a few of their secrets here, such as:
Some people visit their chiropractor with excruciating back pain, absolutely positive that they have a herniated disc, only to discover that their real problem is…kidney stones or endometriosis or even appendicitis. Back pain isn’t always a problem with your spine, but your chiropractor will be certain to guide you to the proper healthcare professional if it isn’t.
Many patients believe that those popping or cracking sounds means that the adjustment went well and if they didn’t hear them then they didn’t get a “good” adjustment. This isn’t true. Low force adjustments or twisting motions often do not make those types of sounds. The truth is that those cracking sounds are more of a psychological relief than a physical one.
While your chiropractor might have told you that you need to stop looking down at your phone or tablet for long periods of time, you might be thinking that you can’t break your Instagram/Facebook/Reddit addiction. That’s OK with your chiropractor.
You see, that addiction is going to keep him in business. There is no way you will ever be free from neck pain or headaches as long as you keep your head down, eyes glued to the screen. Don’t say that your doctor didn’t warn you, however.
It’s not that chiropractors have a bigger ego than any other type of doctor, they simply understand that if you have surgery first, then you have severely limited what the chiropractor can do if you still experience pain or other symptoms despite surgery. You should always try lifestyle changes and chiropractic first, then see the surgeon if you are unable to get the results you are looking for.
Even after 120 years of proven success, you will still hear people say that they don’t “believe” in chiropractic, as if it were some type of religion. Chiropractic care is based in science. It is not a faith-based therapy. There is no magic involved, no deity, just decades worth of research that shows chiropractic is an effective healthcare strategy.
This can be a frightening thing for some people, as any new experience tends to be. A few tips that will help make your first visit easier include:
There is always paperwork to fill out, no matter how well you might have prepared in advance. Bring any imaging records, such as X-rays or MRI’s with you, as well as any other medical records you might have regarding treatments performed or tests that were taken.
You don’t need to impress your chiropractor; they aren’t there to judge your attire or choice of accessories. In fact, is it best to simply be comfortable. For most people, this will mean athletic wear, yoga pants, tennis shoes, sweat pants, and/or t-shirts. Anything that you can move or stretch in will work just fine.
Your chiropractor will ask you questions about your medical history, your current pain and experiences, what medications you are taking and more. Be prepared to tell the doctor everything he needs to know. The doctor will do an exam and if you haven’t had imaging tests recently, they will perform those as well to confirm a diagnosis.
Many chiropractor’s like their patients to have a massage before the adjustments are done. This helps to relax the body and make the adjustments easier.
After their first visit, most people are surprised that, not only did the adjustments not hurt, they actually felt good!
You might experience a few minor side effects after your first or second chiropractic session. This is completely normal.
It is completely normal to feel a few minor side effects after your first couple of chiropractic adjustments While the reasons for these side effects isn’t understood, many believe that this is simply the result of toxic release. Others think that these feelings are simply your body’s way of adjusting to it’s new and improved alignment.
Whatever the reason, you might experience the following:
These are simply mild side effects that generally last no more than 24 hours, for most people. Drinking a few glasses of water and taking a nap or after getting a good 8 hours of sleep, the majority of people find that the symptoms are gone.
If you want to avoid back pain in general and, therefore, avoid the chiropractor, despite reading about the multitude of benefits, the following is a list of do’s and don’ts to avoid back pain or when you are experiencing back pain.
Smoking and alcohol abuse are major factors when it comes to back pain. In fact, numerous studies have found that alcohol abuse was associated with chronic low back pain.
One of the problems is that most people abuse alcohol and they don’t even realize it. Do you know how much “moderate” alcohol consumption is? If you aren’t sure or if you want to see if your guess is correct, you can find out here.
This is the worst sleeping position when you have back or neck pain. Sleep on your side or on your back and be sure that you have a good, supportive pillow.
SO much back pain can be avoided if people were to take up yoga or tai chi. Stretching helps to reduce the stress on the lower back, especially the stress caused from sitting.
As we mentioned above, if you can’t break your addiction and you spend hours staring down at your phone or tablet, then don’t be surprised by neck and back pain that simply won’t go away.
Massage therapy has multiple benefits besides feeling good. It can actually prevent back problems before they begin by keeping the muscles loose and flexible. You can read more about all the benefits massage has to offer here.
Let’s face it, no one wants to be in pain or have back, neck, pinched nerves, or other types of health problems. You can avoid most of these issues or find relief simply by visiting your chiropractor.
We know that some of you will still be skeptical, even after wading through this article. There is only one sure way to know if chiropractic is going to work for you and that is by going to see one.
For those of you in the Anchorage, Wasilla, or Juneau areas of Alaska, did you know that Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab is the only clinic with the 3 promise guarantee?
We are also the only clinic that offers the Alaska Back Pain Protocol, to help Alaskans just like you, find pain relief fast and get their lives back! We’ve helped more than 6,000 patients using our unique system. It worked for them and it can work for you too!
Don’t believe it? Just read the reviews from the more than 10,000 people who have benefited from the caring professional chiropractors at our clinics.
We offer 4 clinics to serve you. Call today for a same-day appointment or click here to make an appointment online. Stop living with the pain and get back to living the way you used to, the way you always wanted to, the way life should be- pain free!