What the practice of Chiropractic is, and how it can help you.
The practice of chiropractic care is a system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and treatment of misalignments of the joints. It focuses particularly on those of the spinal column. A general belief is that misalignments of these joints cause various disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles and organs. In essence, chiropractic is a system of noninvasive therapies which removes interference from the body, allowing natural healing processes to occur.
The following video is a great piece done by our friend, Dr. Axe, which gives an example of 11 tremendous benefits provided by the treatments of chiropractic care.
The treatment of chiropractic care focuses on the manual adjustment of the spinal vertebrae to correct vertebral subluxations. Vertebral subluxations are partial dislocations of vertebral joints that sit around the spinal column, providing support and mobility. Since the nervous system lives in the spinal column, these subluxations can "pinch" the nerve flow. Interference with nerve flow, and resulting disruption in the nerve supply, is shown to impair function of the associated muscles and organs. Diminishing function of the nervous system is believed to be a root cause of systemic disease in the human body.
With an understanding of the healing power of the body, chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure – mainly the spine - and its functioning.
Although practitioners may use a variety of treatment approaches, they primarily perform adjustments to the spine, or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems. Correcting these problems alleviates pain, improves function, and supports the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Effectiveness of Chiropractic
Most clinical research on chiropractic focuses on spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation has shown to have incredible benefit for people with low-back pain, which is the number one cause of visits to general practice medical clinics.. It is also beneficial for those suffering from chronic headaches, neck pain, upper- and lower- extremity joint pain, and whiplash disorders.
A 2010 report by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), it is proven that spinal manipulation offers a beneficial supplementary treatment for managing back and neck pain to conventional treatments. This AHRQ analysis reveals that spinal manipulation is more effective than placebo, and more importantly, equally as effective as medication in treating the immediate symptoms of pain (without the laundry list of side effects).
In a 2008 review by the same research firm, it is shown that spinal manipulation works as well as a combination of medical care and exercise instruction in the treatment of chronic back pain. Further, a combination of spinal manipulation and strengthening exercises works as well as prescription NSAID’s with exercises together - and better than physical therapy in conjunction with home exercise.
In a 2010 review by the same research firm, they found strong evidence that spinal manipulation is highly effective for both chronic and acute low back pain. In a study by the NCCIH, more than 600 people suffering from chronic low-back pain received separate, equal allotments of chiropractic care and traditional medical care, and were monitored. The results show that after 18 months, chiropractic care involving spinal manipulation, was at least and if not more effective than traditional medical care in maintaining relief from pain.
In conjunction, a 2007 study by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which includes an extensive survey of the use of complementary health services by Americans, about 8 percent of adults (more than 18 million people) and nearly 3 percent of children (more than 2 million people) had received chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in the prior 12 months. In an additional analysis, it was found that adults spend $11.9 billion annually on complementary health practitioners, $3.9 billion of which was spent on visits to practitioners for chiropractic or osteopathic medicine. An analysis of data collected by the NHIS in 2002 shows that chiropractic was by far the most commonly used pain therapy for back pain, a whopping 74% of total patients. 66% reported that the care resulted in great benefit to their condition.
Are there any side effects of chiropractic treatment?
Side effects from spinal manipulation can include temporary headaches, tiredness, or discomfort in the parts of the body that received treatment. However, a 2007 study in the United Kingdom studied treatment outcomes for 19,722 chiropractic patients exhibits that while minor side effects were relatively common, the risk of a serious adverse effect was “very, very low”. So low in fact, that chiropractors have the lowest costs for malpractice insurance of ALL medical practitioners, and it isn’t even close. Chiropractic care is often seen as a fringe treatment by formally trained general medicine doctors, but insurance companies beg to differ. Chiropractic care is the most widely covered method of medical treatment among all major health insurance carriers.
One of the main risks people talk about in regards to chiropractic adjustment is the fear of a stroke. While these fears aren’t completely irrational, they have been thoroughly dispelled. Often spread by ill-informed members of media, and often led by paid-for-PR firms by the American Health Association and Big-Pharma corporations (who make the pain pills that chiropractors are proving unnecessary), the fears and myths of chiropractic patients having strokes caught the attention of medical professionals around the world. These medical professionals have studied the issue extensively, and the evidence lies heavily in favor that chiropractic care has been wrongly demonized..
A 2009 study in Ontario, Canada was completed to study this exact phenomenon. The researchers compiled and analyzed nine years of records involving 818 cases of patients who had previously seen a chiropractor or osteopath, and subsequently suffered a vertebrobasilar arterial stroke (involving the arteries that supply blood back to the brain). The study found that the visit to the chiropractic practitioner was likely due to the headaches and neck pain that were present due to the torn arteries, the same ones that wound up causing the stroke. There was zero evidence of correlation between the adjustment and the stroke happening. There was found to be no more evidence of risk in visiting a chiropractor than visiting a primary care physician.
In conclusion, chiropractic care is a virtually risk-free method of combating pain, disease and sickness in the body, and a phenomenal alternative to the commonly accepted practices of medical science. As we are made ever-more-aware of the negative side effects our current medical practices are causing, chiropractic care (and natural, holistic remedies as a whole) are seeing a drastic increase in popularity. This swing in popularity is due to the effectiveness of these treatments, the minimally invasive nature of these treatments, and the ability that they have to prevent the ailments that plague our society today.
If you are interested in seeing what chiropractic care can do for you, call us today to schedule an appointment! Simply dial 208-322-7900, or press the call now button below!