Once view as an ‘alternative’ form of care, chiropractic has moved steadily into the mainstream. Still, some myths persist.
Myth: An adjustment ‘cracks your back’
Fact: Chiropractors manually adjust your spine to restore function and decrease pain due to abnormal joint function, misalignment, nerve irritation, muscle tightness or spasms. A popping sound sometimes occurs due to air being released when joint space is opened. Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment; however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or slight swelling.
Myth: You can’t stop once you start.
Fact: Each patient is clinically assessed and provided with a personalized treatment plan/protocol. Many conditions will respond to a few treatments. An acute problem such as overdoing it at the gym may respond very quickly, while other chronic problems may benefit from a more comprehensive treatment plan.
Once patients understand the importance of maintaining a healthy spine and nerve system chiropractic care becomes a lifestyle choice similar to proper nutrition and regular exercise.
Myth: Chiropractors only work on your back.
Fact: chiropractors are trained to care for all the joints in your body. They can help with symptoms and injuries to areas such as the spine, wrist, shoulders, hands, feet and ankles, as well as conditions such as osteoarthritis, ligament sprains and chronic pain syndromes.
Myth: Chiropractors are not real doctors.
Fact: To practice in Canada, chiropractors must complete fours years of post-graduate study and 4,200 hours of specialized clinical training. They are one of a limited number of health professionals entitled to use the designation of “doctor”.
Myth: Neck adjustments can be dangerous
Fact: Adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rate and side effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. There are comprehensive clinical guidelines that chiropractors refer to when recommending a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are well trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require a referral to another health care provider.
Myth: You must be referred to a chiropractor by your medical doctor.
Fact: Chiropractors are legislated as primary-contact health professionals in every province in Canada. This means that patients can consult them directly. However, many medical doctors refer to chiropractors when they believe chiropractic treatment will help alleviate a patient’s conditions. Similarly, chiropractors will refer to medical doctors when necessary.