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3 Common Myths About Chiropractic Care (And How I Debunk Them in My Practice!)

Many Canadians wonder about the role that chiropractors play in the healthcare system, and what benefit chiropractic care may have to their health and wellbeing

May 9, 2024
a person doing a back massage

The Three Myths

Some Canadians are even skeptical to add a chiropractor to their healthcare team due to some common myths about the profession. Here are three common misconceptions about chiropractic care and what you can expect when you book an assessment with me!

1. Chiropractors only perform adjustments.

This is false. In addition to adjustments (also referred to as joint or spinal manipulation therapy), chiropractors may also incorporate other therapies, including but not limited to, soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, exercise rehabilitation, and patient education.

What you can expect from Dr. Rebecca: Taking into consideration current research guidelines for the management of the patient’s condition, my experience treating this condition previously in practice, as well as the patient’s treatment preferences, I create a well-rounded treatment plan that often includes some combination of adjustments, mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, exercise rehabilitation, self-management strategies, as well as patient education and advice. Click here to learn more about the various services I offer!

2. There is no evidence to support the effectiveness of chiropractic care.

This is false. There is an extensive and robust body of research published studying the positive impact of manual therapies, including chiropractic, on muscle, nerve, and joint conditions. In fact, spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is recommended as first line intervention for back pain in numerous clinical practice guidelines including the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force1, the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society2 as well as World Health Organization (WHO)3.

What you can expect from Dr. Rebecca: When creating a treatment plan, I always take into consideration what the research recommends for the management of said condition – whether it be chiropractic care or another healthcare discipline. You can feel confident that if I feel you’d be better off seeking care from another provider, that I will do everything in my power to help facilitate that referral for enhanced patient care and timely outcomes.

3. Once you see a chiropractor you have to keep going back.

This is false. During a chiropractic initial assessment, a history and physical examination are completed to determine the cause of your pain or dysfunction. From this assessment, a diagnosis and a treatment plan will be presented. The treatment plan may recommend a number of subsequent visits to monitor how you’re responding to care. Additionally, re-evaluations may also be scheduled to determine progress made with chiropractic care, when indicated. Depending on the patient and the condition, the recommended course of care may vary.

What you can expect from Dr. Rebecca: At the initial assessment, I perform a detailed and thorough history and physical examination to better understand the cause of your pain as well as your goals with seeking chiropractic care. With all this information, a treatment plan, including but not limited to, recommended number of visits, recommended manual care options (adjustments, soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, etc), as well as education on your condition and a progressive exercise rehabilitation plan will be presented to you. Again, this treatment plan takes into consideration the current research guidelines for the management of your condition, my experience treating the condition previously in practice, as well as the patient’s treatment preferences. At this time, we will have a discussion as to the feasibility of the recommended treatment plan and decide on a course of action together.

I think it is important to note that there is research to support maintenance chiropractic care for low back pain. One study found that over a 12-month period, those who booked for maintenance chiropractic care (defined as treatment once per month) reported 12.8 fewer days of bothersome low back pain (and received only 1.7 more treatments) in comparison to the those who only booked when they had a low back pain flare up4. Knowing this (and knowing that as pain improves, other life priorities tend to creep in and we become less likely to consistently maintain the habits that prevent the pain from reoccurring), I do tend to recommend maintenance care visits. However, as with all healthcare options, the decision to continue care is always yours. It is my responsibility to provide you with all your treatment options, outlining the benefits and risks of each, to help you make an informed decision about your care plan.

Not sure if chiropractic care is appropriate for you? Book your complimentary consultation online today!

And if you’re tired of your muscle, nerve, and joint pain dictating your life, book your initial assessment online today and let’s get you back on track!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a licensed healthcare provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

References:

1Haldeman, S., Carroll, L., Cassidy, J., Schubert, J., & Nygren, A. (2008). The bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders: Executive summary. Spine, 33(4S), S5-S7.

2Chou, E., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross, T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: A joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine, 147(7), 478-491.

3WHO guideline for non-surgical management of chronic primary low back pain in adults in primary and community care settings [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2023. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK599212/

4Eklund A, Jensen I, Lohela-Karlsson M, Hagberg J, Leboeuf-Yde C, Kongsted A, Bodin L, Axén I. The Nordic Maintenance Care program: Effectiveness of chiropractic maintenance care versus symptom-guided treatment for recurrent and persistent low back pain-A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2018 Sep 12;13(9):e0203029. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203029. PMID: 30208070; PMCID: PMC6135505.