Is It Time To Try Chiropractic Adjustment?
November 22nd, 2018
Could seeing a Chiropractor help improve your chronic pain?
Here’s the deal: We are all well aware now that the spine is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, and can have a myriad effect on your pain, well-being, and overall health. Stick around to learn what is chiropractic care and just how it may benefit you in your search for natural pain relief. You may be wondering “What do chiropractors do?” and just how a chiropractic adjustment may improve your chronic pain. The spine is very strong, but also very sensitive, so chiropractic care is not for everyone. It is important to do your research, so keep reading and find out if chiropractic care is right for you.
What is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a practitioner of certain techniques of manipulating the spine and other joints manually to relieve pain as well as an array of other symptoms that may be causing you discomfort. “The word ‘Chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’), i.e. Done by Hand. The name was chosen by the developer of chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer.” 1 There is a ton of information available on American Chiropractic Association Official Website if you are interested in learning more about the History of Chiropractic. What it boils down to is that Chiropractors treat injuries, pain, and other problems by manually adjusting the spine and other joints rather than through the prescription of medication or surgery.
Many medications used to treat pain have been linked to addiction. This is especially true for opiate and opioid painkillers. While many other medications used to treat chronic pain have addiction potential, opioids are the strongest and most addictive drugs used in almost any medication regimen. But that’s not all:
Over 80% of all heroin users in the US reported having used prescription opioid for pain prior to using heroin.
Over 130 people per day die of an opioid overdose in the United States alone.
Opioids have been identified as a national epidemic, and many practitioners are moving away from the prescription of these drugs altogether.
While opioids have their place in pain management, the US Department of Health and Human Services, also known as HHS, has addressed that the epidemic may be stoked by overprescribing these kinds of medications. In their plan for addressing the epidemic, along with better prevention, treatment, and recovery services, HHS also addresses the need for better pain management.2 While this does not mean elimination of all opioids altogether, as they do play a very important role in pain control, it does mean exploring options other than long-term opioid prescriptions when they can be avoided. With back pain being the most common cause of pain and disability worldwide, this is very important.
Avoiding flagrant opioid prescription will help preemptively curtail the problem, and lead to the development of better treatments for chronic pain than standard palliative care. Overall, with opioids now being known to the general public as a riskier treatment option, it’s no wonder that people are considering a wide variety of alternative treatment options, including chiropractic care. For more information about the opioid epidemic and how the government is working to stop it, visit the official page from HHS.
What Does a Chiropractor do?
A chiropractor manually manipulates the spine and other joints to correct misalignments. This can help relieve pressure but decompressing a vertebral facet that is experiencing discomfort due to compression of the nerves. They can also help correct alignment problems not only in the spine, but the pelvis, shoulders, and knees as well. Some chiropractors even work with stimulation of certain nerve bundles within the craniofacial cavities to promote sinus health. There are a whole array of health benefits from chiropractic care. But, the common issue that sends people into chiropractic care most often is pain, particularly back or neck pain.
This can be extremely beneficial for those looking for pain relief without seeking medicinal treatments or as a supplement to medical intervention. Chiropractic care has been shown to provide many benefits to people suffering from chronic pain with little to no drug therapy. While it has many benefits, it has a very low risk. There is a very small risk of injury, generally with those predisposed to spinal injury from an unknown medical condition.
Conditions like ankylosing spondylosis or previous spinal surgeries must always be noted so that a chiropractor can customize your care to be safe and effective for you. A chiropractor may also decide you are not a good candidate for spinal manipulation because of certain conditions such as these, which may put you at high risk for injury. While chiropractic care can help most people, you may not be qualified and manual manipulation may make your pain worse if you have certain conditions. It is always important to be open and honest with all health practitioners about your medical history so they can help determine what is the best course of treatment for you.
A chiropractor is a holistic practitioner, so he or she will likely prescribe some sort of exercise therapy for you to do at home. There may be assistants there to teach you some specific exercises and stretches to do at home. If not, check out some of our recommended easy, at home exercises for back pain, as well as stretches for pain and posture.
Are Chiropractors Doctors?
Short answer? No. Normally when we use the word “doctor” we are talking about medical doctors: physicians and surgeons. However, chiropractors are doctors of chiropractic medicine. They are licensed practitioners, and can legally use the term “doctor” in most places as long as they make it clear they are registered chiropractors and not medical doctors. This is an important distinction because as they may not be medical doctors, they are licensed health professionals.
While many of us may have come across someone who’s official title is “doctor,” we would likely not visit a doctor of English literature or political science for our health. However, doctors of chiropractic medicine are licensed health practitioners and are qualified to advise you in health. So, in the longer answer...yes. Chiropractors are doctors. They are certified practitioners, and while they are not medical doctors or a replacement for medical doctors, they are licensed health professionals who receive extensive training in schools that are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education.3
How much does a Chiropractor cost?
Just like with all treatments, the answer to this varies greatly. Different kinds of manipulation have different costs. The area you live in, the chiropractor you see, and what you may need all lead to very different answers to this question. Chiropractic sessions can range anywhere from $30 to $200 per session. The average chiropractic session is around $65.4.
Some insurance plans cover chiropractic care. Your insurance plan may cover a limited amount of visits per year or even an unlimited amount of sessions with a chiropractor depending on what kind of coverage you have. Check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan has any kind of coverage for chiropractic care and if there is any copay you will need to provide. Overall, like almost all healthcare costs, cost and coverage for chiropractic care varies greatly, so some individual study will be necessary on your part to find out what the cost will be to you.
So, is it time to try a Chiropractic Adjustment?
Again, this really depends on what you feel is right for you after consulting healthcare professionals. Just ask yourself a few questions:
Are you experiencing persistent pain in your back, joints, or muscles?
Have you tried other methods to relieve your pain to no avail?
Does your doctor think it is safe for you to entire into chiropractic care?
Do you want to try chiropractic care?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then it may be time to consult a chiropractor and see what benefits he or she may be able to offer you. There are many different chiropractors with different adjustment styles, and it’s likely there is more than one on the main stretch road in your town, or in a city, there are likely dozens or hundreds. Each one is going to have a different style and yield different results. Study patient reviews, consult with more than one practitioner, and if you and your physician decide that it is safe, go ahead and try it.
There are many different reasons one might enter into chiropractic care, whether they be a preventative adjustment, posture, or just overall wellness, this kind of treatment can be great for many. If you’re experiencing chronic pain and want to avoid seeking drug therapy or want to take a step back from your current medication regimen (with your doctor’s blessing), chiropractic adjustment may be just the thing you need to find natural relief from your pain. Overall, the benefits certainly outweigh the risks for almost everyone. Talk to your doctor, do some research of chiropractors near you, and go see what all the fuss is about. You may be very glad you did.
1 “History of Chiropractic” https://www.acatoday.org/About/History-of-Chiropractic
2 “Opiods” https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/
3 “Are Chiropractors Doctors?” https://www.healthline.com/health/are-chiropractors-doctors#training
4 “Cost of Chiropractic Care” https://www.docshop.com/education/chiropractic/cost