Chiropractic care helps patients alleviate a whole variety of pain issues including backaches, headaches, sciatica, and even inner ear and sinus issues. With all they can offer, there are a lot of misconceptions people still have about what chiropractors do. Here are myths and facts about chiropractic treatment straight from a Salem, Oregon Chiropractor.
What Chiropractors Do
Chiropractors are health care providers that help manage how people feel through hands-on spinal and body manipulation. They diagnose problems primarily with the spine but they can also treat other ailments in the arms, legs, and neck areas including migraine headaches.
A chiropractic doctor uses different techniques including x-rays to diagnose the problem. After finding the issue at hand, they perform what’s called an adjustment. That will generally entail a spinal manipulation of some sort to realign the spine and alleviate tension points that are the root of the problems.
Chiropractic Treatment Myths and Facts
Most everyone knows or has heard of chiropractors. But many people have misconceptions about what chiropractic care entails and who chiropractors are.
Here are five myths you’ll hear about chiropractors:
Myth: Chiropractors Are Massage Therapists
While a chiropractor (Dr. of Chiro) uses his hands just as massage therapists do that is where the similarities end. A doctor of Chiropractic medicine uses his/her hands to adjust a person’s body to alleviate pain and other symptoms. A massage therapist is there to get rid of muscle tension and help with overall relaxation. But a chiropractor will help get rid of pain and be a part of your overall treatment plan if you have spine issues, headaches, pinched nerves, and other musculoskeletal pain.
Despite chiropractors and massage therapists being different, they can complement each other in the overall treatment of aches and pains. In fact, great chiropractor offices have therapeutic massage as part of treatment protocol beyond the adjustments to align your spine. Massage therapy, through deep tissue stimulation, relaxes muscles and tendons which might be tight and painful. This combination of chiropractic care and massage therapy brings whole-body healing.
Myth: A Chiropractor Is Not a Doctor
Chiropractors are doctors. They are not a medical doctor but instead are trained in biological and physiological sciences and will help you feel better and with your overall health and well-being. They are part of your healthcare team. Chiropractors must complete undergraduate studies before attending an accredited chiropractic college which is a four-year program.
Many then go onto do a residency and specialize in an area of chiropractic medicine. Then they must pass exams and licensure requirements. If you walk into an office without an accredited chiropractor, turn around and walk back out.
Myth: Only Surgery Can Deal with Pinched Nerves
Before undergoing an expensive surgery, give chiropractic treatment a shot. If your spine is out of alignment, it is likely pinching or putting pressure on a nerve. Chiropractors are trained to adjust the spine so vertebrae return to the proper place. After they realign it, pressure eases on the nerve reducing overall pain and movement limitations.
You might have to combine some traditional treatment procedures of using ice and heat following your visit for about 24 hours. After that, you’ll feel like a new person. It will likely take a few visits to keep your spine in the proper alignment, but the cost and recovery are much less than surgical procedures.
Myth: Health Insurance Doesn’t Allow for Chiropractic Treatment
Most health insurance plans cover visits to the chiropractor. Every health plan is a little different so be sure to call your insurance provider to find out what your coverage is. Some apply visits to your deductible, others may offer a number of free visits per year.
Some chiropractors who don’t accept insurance, meaning they won’t do the billing on your behalf. If your policy offers coverage, you’ll pay the chiropractor directly and submit the bill for reimbursement. If you are involved in an auto accident or workers’ compensation claim, those insurance policies cover your care, not your personal health insurance.
Myth: Back Pain is All Chiropractic Care Addresses
While chiropractors are most notably seen as car accident doctors who alleviate pinched nerves and cure back pain, chiropractors also fix neck issues from a motor vehicle accident or other injuries causing whiplash. Leg adjustments will help things like lower back pain and sciatica. It also alleviates overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel and other conditions that affect a person’s quality of life.
Going to a chiropractor is about more than just your back, it’s about helping you feel your best in physically and mentally. If you have pain or feel excessive fatigue, you should book an appointment with a chiropractic doctor.
Chiropractic Care Facts
Here are five facts you might not have known about working with a chiropractor:
Fact: Chiropractic Care Helps with Overall Health and Wellness
Chiropractic care is beneficial and can prevent pain to keep you more active. When you can be active, you are better able to exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Patients often find their quality of life is improved because they don’t experience those little aches and pains anymore. This is true for kids, adults and even pregnant women who find they can prevent or manage pain with regular chiropractic care.
Fact: Work Injury Insurance Helps Employees Get Back to Work
It’s a fact of life that injuries on the job can and do happen. That is why employers carry work injury insurance, often called workers’ compensation. If you have been injured on the job it can take months or even years to fully recover, depending on the nature of the injury. And you still may be left with residual pain.
Receiving chiropractic care should be part of your treatment plan and the work injury insurance provided by your employer should cover it. It could mean the difference between suffering long-term or living pain-free. Getting you back to work and pain-free is a priority for your chiropractor.
Fact: Vital Chiropractic Care Following an Auto Accident
Even a minor rear-end auto accidents require medical treatment of soft tissue damage. Soft tissue damage usually means the muscles in the back and neck are strained and the spine is out of balance. One of the common injuries following a traffic accident is whiplash.
Whiplash occurs when the head is thrown front to back, or vice versa, quickly. This jarring can put the neck vertebrae out of place, causing pain, discomfort, and even numbness in the fingers. Chiropractors are well versed in correcting whiplash injuries by adjusting the neck to restore its natural curvature.
Fact: Quality of Life Can Be Improved
Chiropractic care is a cost-effective and easy way to reduce chronic pain, increase energy levels and overall health. Patients of chiropractors report greatly improving their quality of life by returning to golfing, building a fort with the grandchildren or enjoying a road trip with the family. Migraines, numbness in the extremities or pain lead to overuse of painkillers and prescription medications and ultimately have people choosing to refrain from the activities they once enjoyed.
Even doing normal household chores like dishes, laundry or anything that requires being on your feet becomes intolerable. Whatever the case may be, a simple adjustment might be all it takes to get you living life to the fullest again.
Fact: Chiropractic Care is Safe During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is really hard on a woman’s body. As the fetus grows it puts extra pressure and weight on the spine. Everything is off balance as you try to compensate for the discomfort and body changes. Left untreated, these issues can lead to more pain at the end of the pregnancy or even problems with childbirth.
Keeping regular visits during your pregnancy reduces pain and discomfort and actually results in a healthier baby and mom. Following childbirth, visit the chiropractor and make sure everything re-aligns properly. Ask your chiropractor about pediatric chiropractic care as well to give your newborn postnatal care that helps with things like proper nursing and reducing probabilities of ear infections.
Finding the Right Chiropractor for You
Whether you are in the downtown South Salem or Monmouth areas a full-service chiropractic clinic is close by. Full-service clinics offer alternative therapy methods such as acupuncture, heat and ice therapy, therapeutic massage or herbal supplement programs. Alternative treatment plans are a great way to build a comprehensive wellness program together with chiropractic adjustments.
Most chiropractors keep different hours than physicians working in alignment with patients’ busy schedules. For example, some will open their doors before 8 am so you can schedule an appointment before work while others, like Dr. Whitmore in Salem, take appointments into the evening. Making it possible to visit after work. Others will allow walk-ins, making it convenient to visit when it works in your schedule.
What to Expect When Visiting a Chiropractor the First Time
Bring your health insurance card to coordinate benefits. Chiropractors have a comprehensive intake evaluation on the first visit used to determine the reason for your visit, your medical history and overall goals of therapy.
There are times when chiropractors will request x-rays so to see exactly how your spine is aligned and locating fundamental issues. Chiropractic therapy is designed to be hands-on spinal manipulation, so expect the doctor to palpate the areas along your spine and neck. Adjustments are often quick pops to deal with an area out of alignment.
You may be asked to put your hands or legs in certain positions to assist in getting the little joints in the neck, back and hip areas back in place. Post-appointment care is usually minimal. If your condition is the result of an acute injury, expect to use ice modalities to reduce deep tissue swelling. A little discomfort can occur if muscle imbalances strain to keep everything aligned but this gets better with each session.
Schedule an Appointment
Chiropractors do amazing things for people. They ease pain and put things back in order to improve your quality of life. Don’t be afraid to visit one today if you are dealing with chronic issues. Chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy, can help heal work injuries and auto accident injuries, and boost your overall quality of life and wellness. They aren’t massage therapists, they are healers and an asset to have on your medical team.
If you are looking for a quality Chiropractor visit Dr. John-Paul Whitmire and his staff at the Whitmire Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic in Salem, Oregon. They serve West Salem, South Salem, Dallas, Monmouth, and Aumsville. With more than 25 years under his belt as a board-certified chiropractor, he is ready to offer you the best solutions for your health plans.
This is the best experience I have had with a chiropractor. The doctor explained everything he was doing very thoroughly and professionally and helped me to understand why I was experiencing certain aches and pains and how I could alleviate those using massage and stretching techniques on my own. I felt comfortable and safe in this clean and friendly environment and will definitely be back for weekly follow up! I already feel so much better after my first appointment today. Highly recommend Dr. Whitmire and is team at the clinic!