What The Haters Say
The list of myths that people believe about chiros is so long, it actually inspired a blog post a while back. People say we’re not real doctors, the practice isn’t safe, chiropractors trap you into going for life….blah blah blah. The blog only covers three of the many many myths floating around out there regarding chiropractic care. However, it does it in an evidence-based method. Meaning what I discussed in it isn’t an opinion, it’s a research backed fact. Which brings me to my point; everyone is 100% entitled to their opinions. However, as one of my favorite sayings goes; “feelings aren’t facts” and research-SCIENCE-exists to provide facts, not feelings.
So what does the research say?
What The Research Says
The American Chiropractic Association
Did you know that the American Chiropractic Association has an entire page on their site dedicated to amassing quotes and summaries of pertinent research in the field? The premise of which is: “the evidence supports the natural, whole-body, nondrug approach of chiropractic for a variety of conditions.” It’s true, the body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic care is already quite large and is only growing (therefore it would be impossible to summarize it all in one blog post), but let’s go over some key points.
One of the things that people commonly believe about chiropractic care is that the cost is not worth the value. Leininger et. al. (2016) Spine found that costs for chiropractic care (spinal manipulative therapy along with home exercise and advice) were 47% lower than supervised rehabilitative exercise plus home exercise and advice. That’s almost half the price. Numbers don’t lie. This study dealt with people who experienced chronic neck pain.
The American College of Physicians
A study in the American College of Physicians makes an important recommendation regarding patients with acute or chronic back pain: “Given that most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat (moderate-quality evidence), massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence). If pharmacologic treatment is desired, clinicians and patients should select nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or skeletal muscle relaxants (moderate-quality evidence).”
Essentially…why try strong medications or invasive procedures if you can get by with something cheaper AND less invasive AND less dangerous/addictive? For patients with chronic pain they recommend “nonpharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction (moderate-quality evidence), tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation.” **mic drop**
Don’t worry, we’re not done yet.
The Pain Medicine Journal
The Pain Medicine Journal published a study that found that chiropractic patients had 64% lower odds of receiving an opioid prescription than non chiropractic patients, and as we talked about in our last blog, that’s a great thing.
A 2013 study published in Spine showed that chiropractic therapy in conjunction with standard medical care had an advantage in terms of decreasing pain and increasing physical function in individuals with acute lower back pain when compared to standard care alone. A 2018 study backed up this claim, and in addition found that the combination of care disciples also showed a greater reduction of disability. In other words, I’m NEVER saying “don’t go to the doctor” I’m just saying don’t agree to surgery or potentially addictive medication (or other invasive procedures) until you know if chiropractic care could help.
Finally, yet another study in Spine came up with this startling statistic: “Reduced odds of surgery were observed for…those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.” I mean…again, numbers don’t lie. If you don’t need surgery, why would you want it?
The Body Doesn’t Discriminate, Why Should You?
For the record, this blog post doesn’t even come close to covering all the information on the ACA page, let alone all the information that has been discovered and proven by various other studies. The moral of the story is this: chiropractic care is a safe, cost-effective, and non-invasive option for acute/chronic pain management, neck pain, back pain, or in comparison to other treatments (or as a complementary treatment to standard medical care).
Adopt a holistic, open-minded approach to improve your lifestyle, and make sure to take the whole person into consideration. Consider trying non-invasive measures first. Your body, wallet, and peace of mind may very well thank you! After all, no one looks good in a hospital gown.
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