Chiropractic Is Safe
A strong indicator of the safety of chiropractic procedures is the fact that insurance companies charge chiropractors a lot less for malpractice insurance than they charge medical doctors.
Despite that fact, and despite the results of countless research projects that have consistently confirmed the safety of chiropractic adjustments, those who wish to discourage people from seeking chiropractic care still dredge up exaggerated fears about the allegedly “riskiest” chiropractic procedure, neck adjustments.
This is an enormously overstated scare tactic that has convinced many long-suffering patients to not even consider chiropractic treatment. Of course, we all know that the most routine medical procedure or misuse of a medication may pose a risk or lead to complications that result in serious injury or death. The question that should be asked is this: what are the realistic chances of serious problems arising based on the empirical evidence surrounding the application of any particular procedure or medicine? The fact is that during their entire professional lives, the vast majority of chiropractors do not have a single case of a patient experiencing serious adverse effects from chiropractic treatment.
So, while surgery and medications are absolutely necessary and sometimes miraculous, I, virtually all chiropractors, as well millions of our successfully treated patients, strongly believe that drugs and surgery should not always be chosen as the first or the only method of treatment. After all, chiropractors graduate from chiropractic colleges having learned how to assist the body in countless situations to heal itself without drug and/or surgical intervention.
This very point was emphasized once again by ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson in a May 25, 2006 report on World News Tonight: “The truth is that 90 percent of back pain can be resolved without surgery if both doctors and patients are willing to try other treatments that basically help the back to heal itself.”
Contemporary educational requirements for chiropractors are among the most demanding of any of the health care professionals and, in fact, are quite comparable to those received by medical practitioners.
Before acceptance to a four year chiropractic college, prospective chiropractors must complete a minimum of two years of undergraduate study with a heavy emphasis on the basic hard sciences.
This focus is greatly expanded in chiropractic college with lab and classroom emphasis on anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, and physiology. As chiropractors don’t prescribe drugs or perform surgery, they receive even more extensive training in anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, X-ray, and rehabilitation; they also receive considerable training in nutrition that, incidentally, it is estimated that 80% of medical schools do not even offer. Because chiropractors are encouraged to develop an understanding of nutrition, they often are just as attuned to disease prevention as they are to disease treatment.
Later, the focus becomes even more specialized when they study the philosophy and practice of chiropractic diagnosis and learn and practice several adjusting techniques that are not taught in any other health field. Before being awarded their Doctor of Chiropractic degrees, chiropractors, like medical doctors, must complete a specified number of hours as residents.
Chiropractors Are Real Doctors
What do you think of when you hear the word “doctor”? Mass media has long reinforced a generic picture of a serious-looking man or woman in scrubs or lab coat who listens, advises, prescribes medications, and performs operations.
Both medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are doctors, and both have received a doctorial degree from a government-accredited medical school or chiropractic college. However, while each discipline looks at health and healing in different (but sometimes in complementary) ways, when examining a patient, most chiropractors use the same approach as medical doctors. First is the consultation, next is the discussion of your case history, and then typically this is all followed by a physical examination. Further tests, such as laboratory analysis and x-ray studies, may then be needed.
Although both medical doctors and chiropractors know that your nervous system controls every cell in your body, the critical difference between the two disciplines is that many medical doctors rely heavily on drugs and/or surgery and often only treat the symptoms. Chiropractors, knowing that interference with your nervous, muscular, and skeletal system can impair the body’s normal functions, strive to help their patients by applying appropriate adjustments. It cannot be emphasized enough that these adjustments can and do play a critical role in reducing or eliminating the causes of nerve malfunction, therefore improving the integrity of the nervous system and promoting proper bodily function – without drugs or surgery.
As David Perlmutter, M.D. of Naples has written “There is no one discipline that has a corner on the market of techniques useful in patient care. No one discipline has all the tools”.
Chiropractic Is Scientific
The “low tech” nature of some types of adjustments has led to erroneous conclusions that chiropractic is therefore not scientific. But what is the definition of scientific? If it is defined as the methodical and meticulous pursuit of knowledge that begins by recognizing a problem, collecting data through extensive experimentation and observation, and then testing and proving the resulting hypotheses, then chiropractic is quite scientific.
Chiropractic procedures, like procedures utilized by medical doctors, have also evolved and improved in this exact scientific manner. It is a fact that your nervous system regulates every cell, organ, tissue, and system of your body. When your nervous system doesn’t work right, you don’t work right. When you don’t work right, you are sick and in pain – it’s as simple as that. Chiropractic treatments endeavor to make you well by reducing nerve malfunction along the spine, without surgery and without drugs, therefore enhancing the ability of your brain to regulate and control the body. That is, our goal is not only to make you feel better, but to truly make you feel well. Because chiropractic treatments have a significant success rate, numerous studies of chiropractic care consistently support the chiropractic approach to healing.
Why do I need X-rays?
Please be assured that we will take only the most essential X-rays need for treatment diagnosis and planning. They help us help you by:
- Confirming examination results
- Identifying evidence of long term spinal deterioration
- Potentially finding or ruling out diseases and other pathologies
- Identifying signs of trauma, such as fractures
- Providing a more complete structural record of your spine