Chiropractic care has been used as a proven and effective alternative method of medical treatment for centuries. Primary care physicians are beginning to fully understand that chiropractic treatment can be a valuable tool in their patients’ rehabilitation and in maintaining a healthy and pain-free (or as pain-free as possible). Physicians are suggesting to their patients that they try chiropractic treatment before resorting to more drastic or risky methods of treatment such as medication trial and error and surgery. Although chiropractic care is proven to be less evasive and poses less risks, it does have its own advantages and disadvantages which should be weighed carefully before choosing to proceed with this method of care.
A chiropractor, or Doctor of Chiropractic, is different from a Doctor of Medicine. The chiropractor’s goals are to “diagnose, treat, correct, and prevent neurological, skeletal, or soft tissue dysfunction by primarily employing manual and conservative therapies; the most frequent being spinal and other articular adjustments and manipulations”. It is a science-based and holistic method of treatment that is far less evasive than traditional forms of medical care and rehabilitation. The focus is on getting the body working smoothly as a whole unit instead of just treating one symptom at a time.
Due to chiropractic care being a holistic method of treatment, it is less risky than traditional treatments. Patients do not have to endure surgery, use medication to induce a comatose state to help the body relax to heal itself, or use medication on a long-term basis to control pain/symptoms. Chiropractic treatments realign the spine and joints which allows the body to naturally “reset” itself to obtain and maintain optimal health.
To avoid further injury to current physical conditions and avoid any new injuries, it is paramount that you choose your chiropractor very carefully. He/she needs to be a licensed and highly qualified, highly skilled and experienced chiropractor. The first step is to research their professional Dr. of Chiropractic license and his/her professional background/profile. Inquire about how long they have been a chiropractor, research if there has been any complaints made against him/her, if they have any specialist licenses or awards, what services he/she is qualified to provide, and if their fees are reasonable (not inflated). If the chiropractor does not meet highly qualified standards then keep searching. An unlicensed chiropractor that has little or no experience or they are not highly qualified/skilled can do serious damage to your body. Often times this damage is irreversible and could possibly cause a patient to become paralyzed, permanently disabled or cause death (which is highly rare).
There are numerous benefits to chiropractic treatment, but there are nine that are more prominent: improved circulation, reduction or elimination of lactic acid, oxygen and nutrients are easily delivered to the whole body, increased flexibility, elimination of (or drastically reduced) pain and soreness, faster recovery time, decreased frequency of muscle spasms, prevention of future injuries or further aggravation of a current condition, and feeling healthier and more relaxed/at ease (The Minneapolis Chiropractors).
The downside to chiropractic care is that there are side-effects and problem areas that patients need to be aware of. Certain patients may not experience any side-effects until hours or days after their treatment. Some of the side-effects associated with chiropractic treatment are fatigue, pain in the area(s) of the chief complaint and headaches. Although rare, there are more serious side-effects such as: herniated disk(s), compression of the nerves in the lower portion (lumbar region) of the spine which can result in pain that is more intense than the original pain along with weakness, bowel problems and the possibility of a stoke. On the plus side, chiropractors will do a thorough exam to make sure you don’t have any medical conditions that might worsen the current physical condition(s). There are also people that need specialized care such as the elderly, pregnant women, children and infants. This group is more physically vulnerable to injuries and need to have a chiropractor that specializes in patients that fit into this group.
Overall, chiropractic treatment is less expensive than surgery or numerous medications. There is, however, a downside to the financial side of chiropractic care. Each chiropractic session runs anywhere from $25.00 to $100.00. The length of the session can last between five or ten minutes up to one hour. The frequency of visits needed to obtain optimal health ranges from two to four times per week. If you do the math, you can see that these sessions can quickly add up. Aside from the financial aspect, this method of treatment is “hit or miss”. Some patients experience immediate relief. Then there are patients that, after numerous sessions and hundreds (even thousands) of dollars, experience no relief or improvement at all.
The way to avoid further injury to current physical issues and/or avoid new injuries, is to choose your chiropractor very carefully. He/she needs to be a licensed highly qualified, skilled, and experienced chiropractor. You need to first research the chiropractor’s professional Dr. of Chiropractic license to make sure they are legally able to provide treatment(s) in your state. Look at how long they have been a chiropractor, if there has been any complaints made against him/her, if they have any specialist licenses or awards, what services he/she is qualified to provide, and if their fees are reasonable (not inflated). If the chiropractor does not meet highly qualified standards, keep searching. An unlicensed chiropractor that is not experienced or highly qualified/skilled can do serious damage to your body. Often times this damage is irreversible and could possibly cause a patient to become paralyzed or (although rare) cause death.
The above pros and cons of chiropractic care will help you make an educated decision on whether or not this method will be beneficial for you and your condition/injury. Choosing a chiropractor that meets your physical and mental needs takes time. Never allow yourself to be bullied or pressured into selecting a chiropractor. You need to another doctor that you feel comfortable with. You need to be able to effectively communicate with your chiropractor for optimal results. You are in charge of your body, so keep searching until you find a chiropractor that you have “professional doctor/patient chemistry” with. Talk with your primary physician about utilizing chiropractic services so you can start enjoying a pain-free life today.
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