Chiropractors are specialized health care providers who treat disorders of the nerves, bones, ligaments, and muscles. They attend graduate level health colleges and complete their education with a chiropractic degree. While these professionals are commonly known for treating neck and back pain, they also treat soft tissue and bone conditions.
There are still many misconceptions surrounding what exactly chiropractic care entails. If you are hesitant to visit a chiropractor in Austin for your pain, arm yourself with the facts so you can feel confident in your final decision.
In this post, we are going to explain what chiropractic care is and clear the myths surrounding it. We will start by explaining the training undergone by chiropractors, the safety of the treatment, as well as the research behind chiropractic.
The Certifications Required to be a Chiropractor
The primary role of the chiropractor is to adjust the musculoskeletal structure of the body to reduce pain in various parts of the body. It’s a common misconception that chiropractors do not undergo enough training. However, the truth is that these professional complete about eight years of higher education before getting a license.
Generally, a chiropractic course takes four years of undergraduate education. After completing their undergraduate studies, the professionals will graduate with a premedical student major after taking various courses in sciences including chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology. After this, they will attend a chiropractic graduate program. On average, the course takes about 4,200 instruction hours.
After completing the four-year course, the aspiring chiropractor will take a US state licensing board test. After obtaining the certification, the individual becomes a chiropractic doctor. Additionally, the chiropractor will also receive training and certifications in various specialties including sports medicine, rehabilitation, acupuncture, as well as nutrition.
Are Chiropractors Legitimate?
Another common misconception is that chiropractic treatment is simply the cracking of a person’s bones or back. While the chiropractors work around spinal manipulation, they have rigorously studied the spine and how its structure relates to the body as a whole, so you can be sure you’re receiving professional care. Chiropractors work to heal the following afflictions:
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Herniated or bulging discs
Does it Work?
According to the US National Center for integrative health chiropractic therapy is the most common treatment option for back pain. It is estimated that about 74 percent of Americans with back pain seek chiropractic treatment. According to the same body, spinal manipulation brings positive results when it comes to treating migraines, back pain, and whiplash.
As we had mentioned there are many myths that surround this practice. The most common is that the only use for chiropractors is to treat back pain. However, chiropractic will help alleviate pain in the neck, elbow, foot, and even the shoulders. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, chiropractic treatment is not effective in treating
- Menstrual pain
There were also scarce clinical trials that showed exactly how chiropractic care helps in treating various musculoskeletal conditions including joint disorders, temporomandibular and mid-back pain.
The Science Behind Chiropractic Treatment
There are various studies that indicate chiropractic treatment is a viable option when it comes to managing pain. According to the latest review done this year, chiropractic treatment is a viable option for pain management when treating chronic lower back pain. The review included seventeen studies that involved spinal manipulation and mobilization.
Another review completed back in 2017 examined the effectiveness of chiropractic care in lower back pain treatment. This review concluded that the treatment was effective in reducing pain for a period of up to six weeks. The American College of Physicians also recommends the use of non-pharmacological treatments including chiropractic treatment to deal with back pain.
Is the Practice Safe?
The most common source of contention when it comes to the use of spinal manipulation is its safety. While most experts agree that it works well in alleviating pain, there have been some side effects cited. These includes
- Discomfort in areas treated
There have also been reports of long-term danger related to the practice, although rare. Some of these conditions, as cited by the National Center for Integrative Health reports, include caudal equine syndrome that damages the lower spinal cord and ultimately worsens the pain.
The American Chiropractic Association states that any discomfort a patient experiences should subside within twenty-four hours after treatment. According to the World Health Organization, chiropractic procedures are unsafe for individuals suffering certain health conditions including:
- Broken bones
- Infections of the nervous system
- Bone disease and infections
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Blood circulation problems
If you are aspiring to become a chiropractor, you must be willing to spend thousands of hours studying before getting a license. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2016, there were about 47,400 chiropractors in the US. The best thing about the treatment is that it is non-invasive and drug-free. Although this form of treatment might not be for everyone, its considered safe for most individuals and is a great option for people who are tired of conventional pain treatments.