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Myths and Facts

Myth #1 Chiropractors are not real doctors.

Chiropractors are licensed as health care providers in every state in the U.S. and dozens of countries around the world. Chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely rigorous and virtually identical. The education requires a minimum of two years of undergraduate study with a heavy emphasis on the basic sciences: biology, chemistry, and physics. Once in chiropractic college, the four-year course of study is longer than that required of most medical students. Each chiropractic student must also complete a one-year internship where students care for patients under close supervision of instructors. Chiropractors are professionals who are subjected to the same type of testing, licensing, and monitoring by state and national boards. The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, but in their preferred method of caring for people. Chiropractors offer adjustments to correct spinal alignment and improve overall well-being. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines and surgical procedures.

Myth #2: Once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.

This question comes up frequently when the topic of chiropractic is discussed. It is only partially true. You only have to continue going to the chiropractor as long as you wish to maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system. Going to a chiropractor is much like going to the dentist, exercising at the gym, or eating a healthy diet: as long as you keep it up, you continue to enjoy the benefits.

Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt, and that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. The same is true of chiropractic care for your spine. It’s important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear as you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep and bend. Routine chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefit of chiropractic care even if you receive care for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your wellness lifestyle.

Myth #3: I don’t need to see my chiropractor because I can crack my own neck and back.

Many chiropractors hear people claim they can adjust themselves and then watch as someone tries to demonstrate by putting their hands on their head and chin, and then twist to get an audible cracking sound. “See, I can crack my own neck,” they often say, thinking they are saving money every time they do it. Although it is true you can make your spine make noise, it is a myth that you can accurately correct your own subluxations. Although you may experience temporary relief, until you specifically adjust the correct vertebra, you will only make the problem worse. Chiropractors also do not adjust themselves for precisely this reason; they can’t accurately correct themselves.

Myth #4: Chiropractic care is addictive.
If only it were, there would be more healthy people around and chiropractors would not get patients who last saw a chiropractor “a few years ago when their back went out.” It is possible to get used to feeling more balanced, less stressed, and more energetic as a result or regular chiropractic care. Chiropractic is not addictive, however, good health is.

Myth #5: Chiropractors take x-rays regardless of whether they are necessary.
Chiropractors take x-rays to reveal the internal structure and alignment of the spine. Chiropractic x-rays are taken while the patient is upright and bearing weight, which is usually the position that patients most notice their symptoms. This allows for a much better functional analysis of the spine and nerve system. We are also concerned about underlying disease processes and disorders of the spine such as spinal deterioration, arthritis of the spine, abnormal development, bone spurs, disc disorders, tumors and spinal curvature. X-rays also provide a blueprint for correcting the spine back to optimal health and alignment.

Myth #6: I feel fine. I don’t need to see my chiropractor.
How you feel is a poor judge of your health. By the time symptoms appear and interfere with the things you enjoy, many spinal problems can become advanced. Call for a chiropractic checkup before pre-symptomatic subluxations become serious and more difficult to correct.