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Debunking Common Chiropractic Myths

Woman receiving chiropractic care

Have You Heard These Chiropractic Myths?

Chiropractic care offers a safe, effective way to treat pain and improve mobility, yet myths about this beneficial therapy continue to circulate. If you've been thinking about starting chiropractic treatment, you may have heard a few of these common myths.

Myth 1. Spinal Manipulation "Cracks" Your Bones

Your friends may have mentioned that their necks or backs were "cracked" during a visit to the chiropractor. Cracking certainly sounds alarming, but fortunately, that's not what actually happens.

The cracking sound occurs during spinal manipulation, a treatment that realigns the vertebrae in your spine. Injuries, poor posture, or repetitive movements can misalign the vertebrae and cause joint pain, tight muscles, muscle spasms, reduced range of motion, and other issues.

During spinal manipulation, your chiropractor uses quick, hands-on movements or a handheld activator to realign the vertebrae. The cracking or popping sound that often accompanies manipulation happens when air pockets around the joints are disrupted. Although spinal manipulation is a little noisy, it's a safe, painless way to reduce pain in joints and muscles and improve range of motion.

Myth 2. You'll Need to See the Chiropractor Forever

Initially, you may need to see the chiropractor a few times a week. As your pain improves, you'll schedule appointments less often. Depending on the severity of your issue, chiropractic treatment may last a few weeks or months.

When you recover, you can stop seeing the chiropractor if you want. If you're like many people, you'll probably want to schedule a few follow-up appointments during the year to prevent new problems from occurring.

Myth 3. Spinal Manipulation Is the Only Treatment Chiropractors Provide

Although spinal manipulation is the most well-known treatment, it's not the only therapy you'll receive when you visit a chiropractor. Chiropractors also offer these treatments:

  • Heat and Ice. Applications of heat or ice decrease pain and swelling.
  • Massage. Massages not only relieve stress but also reduce muscle pain and spasms, and increase flexibility and range of motion.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) Treatment. TENS uses a low-voltage electrical current to block pain signals.
  • Soft tissue Mobilization. The treatment involves handheld instruments that gently stretch soft tissues and break apart scar tissue.
  • Spinal Mobilization. Slow, gentle hands-on pressure repositions joints and eases pain.
  • Ultrasound Treatment. Applying ultrasound waves to sore or injured areas relieves muscle tension, reduces swelling, and speeds healing.

Myth 4. There's No Point in Seeing a Chiropractor If You Don't Have Neck or Back Pain

Chiropractors treat many other conditions in addition to neck and back pain. They can help you reduce the frequency of tension or migraine headaches, ease allergy and asthma symptoms, decrease stress, help you sleep better, offer real relief for chronic pain, and treat a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, text neck, carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves, sports injuries, and leg, hip, or shoulder pain.

Myth 5. Chiropractic Treatment Isn't Effective

Several research studies have shown that chiropractic offers effective relief for many painful conditions. A study published in Clinical Rehabilitation in 2018 revealed that people who had mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome reported improvements in pain and function, in addition to decreases in the severity of their pain.

Military personnel who received chiropractic treatment in addition to standard medical care for low back pain had less pain and better physical function compared to study participants who only received standard medical care, according to a study that appeared in the April 15, 2013 issue of Spine.

In 2017, The American College of Physicians included chiropractic treatment in its list of recommended treatments for low back pain.

Are you ready for chiropractic care to improve your condition? Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

American College of Physicians: American College of Physicians Issues Guidelines for Treating Nonradicular Low Back Pain, 2/14/17

PubMed: Spine: Adding Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy to Standard Medical Care for Patients with Acute Low Back Pain: Results of a Pragmatic Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Study, 4/15/13

Pub Med: Clinical Rehabilitation: Is Manual Therapy Based on Neurodynamic Techniques Effective in the Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, A Randomized Controlled Trial, 10/11/18

Spine Universe: Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment: What was that pop?

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