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4 Myths About Chiropractic Care Debunked

Myth and facts sign

You may have some preconceived ideas about Chiropractic Care that have been built up over the years. We’re here to bring you 4 truths that can help to separate facts from fiction.

diagram of a spine

1.Chiropractic adjustments or spinal/joint manipulations align the spine.

It’s just not true. This is a very old explanation used by chiropractors, physical therapists, and osteopaths because it is simple to explain to the patient. But spines and joints are not so fragile and manipulation doesn’t put you back into alignment. And I’ve got good news — you’re not out of alignment. So what does joint manipulation do? Joint manipulation provides short-term improvements in pain, range of motion, and proprioception. A course of manipulation can be an effective tool as part of a care plan for musculoskeletal conditions. 

a picture of a clock

2.You have to go forever.

This is not true. While healing is a process and seeing a chiropractor or a physical therapist often involves several visits over several weeks (more or less depending upon your condition/injury) it should not be forever. Now, some patients like manipulation because it feels good and like to go on a regular basis, in much the same way that some people like to get regular massages. And that’s totally fine. But it isn’t a requirement and it isn’t medically necessary. It is fine to go regularly if you enjoy it. But it is also fine to see your clinician until your injury is resolved and then not see them again.

a pair of shoes standing near a danger sign

3.Chiropractic care is dangerous.

While no treatment is without risk, chiropractic care is very safe. The most common adverse side effects are soreness. There is no evidence that chiropractic manipulation is correlated with strokes (this has been looked at repeatedly) and no evidence that chiropractic manipulation is correlated with a vertebral disc injury.

photo of an x-ray

4.X-rays are necessary to diagnose and treat your condition.

This is also not true and we believe this may be more harmful than helpful due to the effects of radiation on the body. Most people hurt when they move, not when they are sitting still. That being said, how much can a static picture tell us about your condition? Not much. There is also a very poor correlation between imaging and the amount of pain a patient experiences, further debunking the need for imaging.  Of course imaging is required when red flags are present: when fracture or serious illness is suspected but in absence of that, we don’t recommend it.