Chiropractic myths

I heard from someone that once you start seeing a chiropractor, you have to go the rest of your life. Is this true?

It depends on the treatment plan you choose. Many patients choose to come on a periodic basis for the rest of their lives because they have experienced, and more importantly, they understand the importance of a periodic check-up of their spine and nervous system. Everyone spends hundreds of dollars a year on routine maintenance for their cars, an item that can easily be replaced, but some people are hesitant to invest in maintaining their own body, an item that can never be replaced.

Chiropractic is similar to the dental profession, exercise, and proper nutrition; as long as you continue to perform these things, you will continue to benefit from their application. A long time ago, the dental community instructed patients that routine care was important for keeping your teeth healthy and preventing costly future bills. Chiropractic is the same. Most people don’t recognize that your spine experiences regular trauma as you work, sit, play, and move. Chiropractic care helps take care of these minor problems before they become bigger problems. Chiropractic care helps keep you feeling healthier and moving better.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Some patients seek a chiropractor because they want help with their headaches, low back pain, etc., and they discontinue care as soon as they are out of pain. These patients have experienced significant benefits in their health while under care for only a short period of time; however, chiropractic’s true benefits come when you make chiropractic care a part of your new healthy, wholesome lifestyle.

Are chiropractors “real” doctors?

In the United States, a doctor of chiropractic obtains an extensive educational background beginning with 90 credits, or approximately three years, of pre-medical studies. Following these studies, they advance into a four year program at an accredited chiropractic college. Chiropractic students spend equivalent hours in the study of human physiology, anatomy, diagnosis, orthopedics, radiology, pathology, and neurology as medical students. Chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience, equivalent to that of most medical programs.

Upon receiving their degree, chiropractors receive a license to practice their specialty. Every state and multiple countries have a distinct license for practicing chiropractic. To obtain a license, the individual must have graduated from an accredited chiropractic college, passed 3 or 4 sets of national board examinations (depending on the state), and passed any applicable state board examination. A chiropractor is not allowed to practice without a valid license.

The difference between a doctor of chiropractic and a medical doctor is in their philosophy of healthcare and method of delivery rather than their training. A chiropractor believes in the innate healing power of the body, and thus, believes that true healing comes from within the body. By releasing the body of interferences that are causing the nervous system to function improperly, chiropractors allow the nervous system, the controller of all functions in the body, to work to heal the body naturally. Therefore, chiropractors tend to believe in an inside-out philosophy; healing comes from within the body, and it is expressed to the outside. A medical doctor has an outside-in philosophy of health. The medical doctor believes that your body is deficient or in excess of some chemical, so they give you medicine to either raise the amounts of the deficient substance or decrease the amount of the chemical in excess. They believe healing comes in the form of pharmacology, something from outside the body.

Is chiropractic safe?

Yes. Chiropractic is among the safest of all health practices because it is both non-surgical and drug-free. To emphasize its safety, take a look at malpractice insurance premiums for various health professionals because everyone understands the relationship between insurance premiums and risk; the higher the risk, the higher the premium. Chiropractors have an annual premium of around $2,000-4,000. In comparison, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, and OB/Gyn practitioners have premiums of approximately $15,000, $20,000, $75,000, and $120,000, respectively.

Although chiropractic care is extremely safe, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The most common complaint, although still uncommon, following an adjustment is mild muscle soreness, which typically lasts less than 24 hours.


Are chiropractic adjustments painful?

No. In fact, most patients comment that they have an immediate feeling of relaxation and comfort following an adjustment. Many people equate getting an adjustment to removing a stone from your shoe. When you have a stone in your shoe, you experience an annoying, but tolerable, pain, and when you remove it, you experience an immediate sense of relief.

However, it is important to note that in some instances, it may be tender to receive an adjustment when the condition is acute or the patient is tense. Therefore, the doctors employ various methods to relax the patient prior to the adjustment, and they exercise various chiropractic techniques to suit the patient’s needs and desires.

It is our goal that you are always comfortable in the office. If you have any concerns, please express them so that they may be quickly remedied.

Does insurance cover chiropractic?

We are participating with Highmark Blue Cross, Cigna, and Medicare. We also accept most major insurances, auto accident victims, personal injury cases, and worker’s compensation.

Please contact our office, and we can find out if your insurance carrier covers chiropractic. Most insurance companies cover chiropractic; however, benefits vary according to your individual plan.

Even if you are not covered, the cost of chiropractic care in comparison with other care options is very low, so it is affordable for most people even without insurance coverage.

How long will it take for me to feel better?

In many cases, our patients notice progress after the first visit; however, treatment times will vary. Length of treatment will vary based on the length of your condition, the type of problem you are having, your willingness to be proactive in your pursuit of better health, and your choice of treatment plan. We will come up with a personalized treatment plan to best suit your needs.

For relief care of an acute condition (something less than 2 weeks old), patients typically respond in a couple of adjustments. For more chronic conditions, patients may require consistent care for several weeks.

Chiropractors work at correcting the cause of your problem, not merely covering up its symptoms. Therefore, patients should not expect an instant fix. Some of your problems may be the result of longstanding weak areas of your spine, even if they have remained asymptomatic until recent. If this is the case, it may take an extended period of time to truly correct your problem so that it does not return in the future.

Do I need a referral from my medical doctor to see a chiropractor?

No. Chiropractors are primary care physicians, so you do not need a referral to be seen in our office.