8 Common Misconceptions About Chiropractic Care

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Chiropractic care offers proven benefits for pain relief and long-term health, yet many miss out due to widespread myths and misinformation online.

In this article, we’ll address eight common misconceptions that may be preventing you from exploring this treatment method and determining whether it could help you achieve your health goals.

#1 Chiropractic Care Is Only for Back Pain

Yes and no. Back and spinal pain are common symptoms of many conditions. Your spine is an avenue that protects your nerves (or information highways), which send messages from every part of your body to the brain. Small misalignments or damage to the spine often cause pain in other areas of the body, so that shooting pain in your leg may be from a herniated disc or pinched nerve.

Chiropractic care focuses on the spine because it’s an integral part of the body. The spine gives your body structure, helps control your movements, and facilitates support for your head, so when there are issues with your spine, like joint restrictions, it can cause many issues.

With that being said, chiropractic care is far-reaching and can help with all types of conditions beyond back pain. These conditions include:

  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Sciatica
  • Prenatal pain
  • General discomfort

#2 Chiropractic Adjustments Are Painful

Chiropractic adjustments, which are specifically targeted, gentle movements of the spine, are not painful. Chiropractors are not violently cracking bones, as YouTube and TikTok videos often show.

During adjustments, the chiropractor places their hands on specific areas and creates sudden but small movements that aim to adjust the alignment of vertebrae and resolve painful joint restrictions and misalignments. This video from a chiropractic explains what to expect during an adjustment.

#3 Chiropractors Aren’t Real Doctors

If you meet a chiropractor who isn’t a doctor, turn around and leave because they aren’t licensed. All licensed chiropractors are required to hold a D.C. or Doctor of Chiropractic. Without this, they are not allowed to practice legally.

Additionally, there are various types of chiropractic specialties, meaning that not all chiropractors are the same. Some chiropractors may specialize in prenatal or pediatric care, while others may focus on naturopathic techniques like acupuncture and massage therapy or treating sports injuries. Some chiropractors even complete medical school and earn a medical degree before they earn their D.C.

#4 Chiropractic Results Are Short-Lived

Chiropractic care has no average “results” time because each person is unique. For some people, relief can be long-term. For others, it may be just a few days before another adjustment is needed. The amount of time a person experiences pain relief after an adjustment depends on multiple factors, such as the location and the severity of the injury or condition.

Additionally, chiropractic care is like any other type of medical care, meaning there is often more than one strategy for improving pain and mobility issues. The severity of the condition usually determines what steps a person may need to take to seek relief.

#5 Chiropractic Care Is Unsafe

Chiropractic care is only unsafe if an unlicensed individual performs it without specialized training.

Chiropractors offer consultations to learn about you and your needs. If you don’t think the initial consultation fits your needs, choose another provider.

There are also some situations where chiropractors may not recommend chiropractic care based on conditions you’re living with, like severe osteoporosis and cancer of the spine or if you have an increased risk of stroke. Some chiropractors also may not recommend prenatal chiropractic care for ectopic pregnancies or women who are experiencing vaginal bleeding or toxemia.

If you’re ever in doubt, you can always discuss your concerns with your primary physician, which brings us to our next myth.

#6 You Have to Choose Between a Chiropractor & Primary Care Physician

For many people, having a chiropractor and physician is the best strategy. A primary care physician will even refer a patient to a chiropractor if other methods, such as prescription medication, are not working. In many cases, conventional medicine treatments and chiropractic care are complementary.

#7 Rest Is All You Need to Resolve Back Pain

No. Although a routine sleep schedule is definitely important to your overall wellness, it won’t completely resolve your back pain or the complex problems causing it.

When you first experience back pain, rest is an excellent first step. However, continued bed rest limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the area in pain, which can slow healing and potentially cause muscle weakness.

So, while rest may be recommended, you should also ensure you’re keeping your body moving with stretches and physical therapy exercises. Depending on the root cause of your back pain, a chiropractor may also recommend adjustments.

#8 Chiropractic Care Is Expensive & Not Covered by Insurance

Costs will vary but tend to be the same, if not less, than what you would pay for an actual checkup with a primary care physician. The cost of an adjustment generally includes the initial consultation, the actual adjustment, and any diagnostic tests. In fact, according to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, “When D.C.s delivered all the care, evaluation, and management, the average medical cost per claim was 47% lower than that for the comparable non-chiropractic claims.”

Furthermore, most chiropractors accept insurance, including Medicare, although checking your specific plan is still recommended to ensure chiropractic care is covered. If it isn’t, there’s still good news—if you have an HSA or FSA, you can use those accounts to reimburse the cost of chiropractic care if you have a referral from your primary care physician.

See If Chiropractic Care Is Right for You

Are you still uncertain about chiropractic care? Schedule a consultation at Total Health Systems.

When you visit any of our six locations, you’ll talk to a chiropractic doctor who can help you determine if chiropractic care is right based on your health history, existing conditions, and other contributing factors. You’ll always have total control at our center—if you don’t feel comfortable during your consultation, you can leave anytime. Please visit our website to learn more about what to expect during your first visit and consultation.

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