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Facts and Myths

Myth: Chiropractors are not real doctors.

Fact: Health care legislation designates doctors of chiropractic as doctors, the same way it does medical doctors and dentists. The big difference is in our treatment approach and our philosophy of care. Chiropractors focus on “wellness care” rather than “sickness care”, and we look to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems to do this.

Myth: Chiropractors only adjust adults.

Fact: All ages benefit from chiropractic adjustments. Spinal and nerve symptoms arise from many different actions, and these symptoms can start at birth. In children, they come from falls, learning to crawl and stand, traumatic birth deliveries, and the list goes on! It is best to treat a spinal injury as early as possible to prevent pain later on in adult life. Adjustments are safe, effective and the force used is modified to fit the child’s age and body weight. It is easier to correct a child’s spine as it is more resilient than an adult’s. Like the saying goes, “as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” Be preventative and get your child’s spine checked!

Myth: Chiropractors are just spine doctors.

Fact: Chiropractors are more than just back specialists. The nervous system controls every function in the body and the chiropractor is trained not just in the nervous system but all systems including the cardiac, hormonal, musculoskeletal and vascular systems. Research shows that a chiropractic adjustment is both safe and effective for conditions like headache, back and neck pain, tendonitis, migraine, menstrual pain, and joint pain of your shoulder, elbow, and knees. In fact, chiropractors are so effective in treating functional issues that we have become a recognized provider for the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

Studies show that the nervous system, mainly the brain and spinal cord, controls every cell and function in the body. There are two basic nerves that exit from the spinal cord. One goes to your organs while the other goes to your muscles and has two functions. The first one is called motor and allows you to move. The second is called sensory and allows you to feel sensations like pain and pressure. An adjustment affects both types of nerves. In fact, it is very common for a patient to experience relief from stomach and intestinal problems following an adjustment.

Myth: Once you go, you always have to go.

Fact: This statement applies to the patient who understands the part regular chiropractic plays in their total approach to health and wellness. Chiropractors work under the philosophy that prevention of illness and pain is the key. Keeping your spine from nerve interference will help promote health and prevent the risk of pain, arthritis and disease, while improving joint mobility. As the saying goes, “don’t close the barn door after the horses are gone!” Once you develop pain, the damage is being done, so a spinal adjustment on a regular basis is crucial to a happier and healthier functioning spine and nervous system.

There are three basic types of care: relief care, corrective care, and maintenance or wellness care. Relief care provides relief from pain symptoms. This can take up to four weeks to accomplish, but is usually just the tip of the iceberg in your total health. Corrective care goes further to address the underlying problem so that it doesn’t recur; that’s the part of the iceberg beneath the water! Wellness or maintenance care consists of less frequent, regular adjustments that support the spine from the stresses of your daily lifestyle. Wellness care keeps your nervous system and joint mechanics at peak levels with the absence of symptoms.

Myth: The noise of an adjustment means something is wrong.

Fact: The cracking sound of an adjustment is the normal physiological sound when a joint is moved. This adjustment restores motion to a joint that is not functioning properly. Repeated adjustments may be required to restore the total function back to the joint’s normal range of motion. This improves joint mechanics as well as reduces the risk of osteoarthritis.

Myth: Adjustments hurt.

Fact: The chiropractor provides just enough force to move the joint. In doing this, some patients may feel a little stiff after their first adjustment. It would be like you running around the block or starting an exercise program for the first time; you may be a little stiff and sore the next day. The stiffness is self-limiting and over the next few days, along with the help of ice, will disappear.

Myth: It takes too long to feel better.

Fact: Every patient is different concerning the severity of their symptoms. To change the structure of a joint is a process that takes time and repetition. It’s likened to putting on braces; you wouldn’t expect your crooked teeth to become straight after a week, so why would you expect the chiropractor to fix your spine in one visit? Most patients feel somewhat better after their first adjustment and progressively better with each subsequent week.

Myth: Chiropractic care is too expensive.

Fact: Most insurance companies including Alberta Blue Cross, Green Shield, Great-West Life and Sun Life allow us to direct bill; this takes the financial burden off you. It is unfortunate that our healthcare system does not recognize wellness care and allows only for sickness medicine. Many studies have shown that regular chiropractic care reduces the amount of lost workdays and, more importantly, increases productivity in the workforce. Chiropractic care is a lifestyle change that increases your quality of life.

Fact: It’s all about the future. Where will your spinal health be when you’re 20, 30, 60 or even 90? Will you be able to walk unassisted or be forced to take a handful of medication? Chiropractic is the safest and most effective treatment for lower back pain. In fact, over 5 million Canadians and 500,000 Albertans receive the benefits of chiropractic care each year. Are you one of them?

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