Myths and Facts

Truths and Misconceptions

There are many rumors out there talking about the capabilities and limitations of chiropractic care, but only a hand-full of these are remotely accurate. Hopefully we can clear up some of the foggy claims.

Myth #1

“Chiropractors are not real doctors.”

A Doctorate of Chiropractic degree is earned from an accredited college and doctors of chiropractic can be licensed primary care doctors.  The chiropractic curriculum is extremely rigorous: in fact, chiropractors have more classroom education than medical doctors (4,485 classroom hours compared to 4,248, according to Center for Studies in Health Policy, Inc., Washington, DC. Personal communication of 1995 unpublished data from Meredith Gonyea, PhD).  A residency is also completed, where students work with real patients under the guidance and leadership of licensed doctors of chiropractic.  Upon completion of school, students must pass four sets of national board exams.  There are some states, like Wisconsin, that have a passing requirement higher than the national requirement.  Wisconsin also requires 48 hours of additional nutrition classes and testing.

Myth #2

“Once you start chiropractic care, you have to go for the rest of your life.”

First, you don’t have to do anything; the choice of health is always yours to make.  Most of our Practice Members choose to continue consistent chiropractic care because of the health benefits they receive, just like most people choose to brush their teeth regularly.

Myth #3

“Medical doctors don’t like chiropractors.”

This myth dates back 60+ years, a time when medical doctors didn’t understand what chiropractors do.  After a major lawsuit in the 1980’s where the Supreme Court of Illinois found that the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and slander against chiropractic, medical doctors began to learn more about chiropractic care.  Now, hospitals across the country have chiropractors on staff and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff.  In many instances, our offices team with medical professionals to help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

Myth #4

“People can adjust themselves by cracking their neck or back.”

The only things we crack are jokes and eggs.  A chiropractic adjustment is a specific modification of a subluxation, or joint misalignment.  During certain adjustments, a sound or “cavitation” is heard, but not always.  When the adjustment is made, joint spaces are opened which creates an expansion of air and gas, causing a sound.  A chiropractor is trained to be specific in the adjustment, but when done by one’s self, the joint is being taken through nonspecific motion, which can cause serious harm. While you can recreate this sound, “self adjusting” is extremely dangerous and should always be avoided.

Myth #5

“Chiropractors are low back doctors.”

Although chiropractors are great with neck and back pain, pain is only part of what they do. Chiropractors work with the nervous system, the most important system in the human body. The nervous system coordinates and controls all functions of the body. In addition to pain, chiropractic can help with asthma, allergies, digestive problems, fibromyalgia, sinus problems, ear infections, immune system, metabolism, fatigue and stress.

Myth #6

“Chiropractic is only for adults.”

No person is too young to be checked by a chiropractor and adjusted when necessary.  In our office, infants are checked as soon as practical after birth, as subluxations (misalignments) of the upper vertebrae can occur during the birth process. Monitoring and managing nervous system function with our state-of-the-art technology can assist infants and children with problems such as colic, tics, asthma, allergies, bedwetting, sleeping concerns, and behavior disorders.

Myth #7

“Spinal adjustments hurt.”

Normally, spinal adjustments will not hurt at all. In fact, most Practice Members experience a great sense of relief during adjustments.  Depending on the condition and severity of subluxations, along with other factors like swelling, muscle tightness, inflammation, and duration of time between adjustments, some discomfort may be expected during and following an adjustment.   Similar to being sore after working out for the first time in a while, it is normal and short lived, and we will work with you to help your adjustments go as smoothly as possible.