Common Questions From A Chiropractic Patient
- What is the philosophy of Chiropractic and why should I see a Chiropractor?
- How is Chiropractic different from Physiotherapy?
- Is it true that Chiropractors and Medical Doctors don’t get along?
- My Chiropractor says that I should follow periodically to get adjusted. Is this necessary if I don’t really feel any pain?
Firstly, I want to say that these questions have a multitude of responses. Depending on the experience and the philosophy of the practitioner that you ask, the answers will differ. Here’s my long winded answer to some of these questions.
What is the philosophy of Chiropractic and why should I see a Chiropractor?
Chiropractic is a profession that is continuously evolving. It is a profession that is a skillful art along with a science and a philosophy. One can argue that it is a profession that is as variable as there are practitioners in the said field. The great thing here is that you can choose to see a chiropractor for your very own reasons as long as you find a chiropractor that is willing to work with your goals and is willing to adapt their methods to suit your specific needs. Firstly, here is the basic philosophy of chiropractic:
The vertebral column being the centre of your body carries most of the gravitational stress as you go about your day. Because of this stress, the joints in this very mobile part of your anatomy can fixate, get stuck, subluxate or become dysfunctional (multiple terms for similar phenomena). A chiropractor is specifically trained to make sure that the mechanics of your spine work fluidly with all the moving parts of your body. This is one reason why all major sports organizations have regular chiropractic care. Imagine a high functioning machine with a multitude of parts. You would imagine that if one part doesn’t work in unison with the whole, the whole system can perform poorly. Chiropractic care seeks to improve the performance of your spine and its related joints through gentle adjustments, lifestyle recommendations or soft tissue work.
Even if you’re not a high performance athlete, you can benefit immensely form seeing a skilled chiropractor. You can receive chiropractic care or treatment throughout your life as based on your needs. If you have pain, a chiropractor can help. Even if you don’t suffer from aches and pain but just want to prevent future issues, a chiropractor can help. If you suffer from headaches or neck issues, a chiropractor can likely help. Need help improving your posture? A skilled chiropractor would be able to show you what you can do to get your posture straighter. Just open the lines of communication with a good chiropractor, and you will be amazed at the benefits of having a doctor of chiropractic on your health care team.
How is Chiropractic different from Physiotherapy?
I have several colleagues in both of these professions. Depending on which practitioner you see, you will experience very different approaches to physiotherapy or chiropractic. The level of education required for these professions is a known difference.
Physiotherapy is a masters level program that requires a bachelor’s degree prior to entry. Most programs are 1-2 years. Chiropractic requires a 3-4 year bachelor’s degree, and another 4 years of education at a chiropractic institution. There is now a doctorate level physiotherapy program as well.
From my experience, I have learned that these professions depending on how they are practiced, can either be dramatically different from each other or very similar. Numerous definitions end up battling over words, but in all practical reality, the important thing is to find a good health practitioner and ask them about their methods and whether they can help you. Generally speaking, both these professions have their place and both serve patients well.
Is it true that Chiropractors and Medical Doctors don’t get along?
Chiropractic and medicine are different fields under health care. Their approach to a problem is different as well. In the past, this difference in approach and the lack of understanding of the chiropractic field from medical practitioners led to a lack of cooperation among the two professions. Today, a growing amount of research in chiropractic and better inter-professional communication is paving the way for these two professions to work together for the benefit of patients. With my patients’ consent, I regularly communicate with medical doctors and always find them to be caring and concerned health care providers. In short, demand from patients, growing research and better rapport inter-professionally is leading these two health professions to come together and better serve their patients.
Do I need to continue seeing a chiropractor periodically?
Chiropractic practice can vary from practice to practice. Some practitioners, based on their experience find that their patients actually do much better health wise if they periodically get ‘tune ups’ or health checks on some sort of interval. For some it’s once a month, for others, once a week. Each case is unique.
The best answer to this question is: it depends! It depends on your goals and what type of condition you are suffering from. People without any major symptoms typically see a chiropractor periodically to get adjustments/alignments/treatments because they feel that it keeps them functioning better and injury free. This is consistently backed up by research that has shown improved reaction time and better overall body awareness when adjustments are given.
Also, depending on your condition (which may be chronic in nature), chiropractic can help you manage pain and discomfort. For example, patients with arthritis frequently report having relief after chiropractic treatments, but because of the nature of the disease, the results are short lived. In this case, it may be appropriate to go regularly if you are receiving benefit.
If you choose to only come when you’ve hurt yourself, that is totally fine. As a patient, you have the choice to manage your health the way you choose. You should never experience any pressure from a health professional. Find a good chiropractor, build rapport and trust and I promise you won’t go wrong!