Chiropractors care for people of all ages with different health conditions. They are well known for specializing in caring for patients with headaches, neck pain, and back pain especially with chiropractic adjustments or highly skilled manipulations. These doctors of chiropractic (DCs) also treat a broad range of musculoskeletal system’s disorders and injuries, including the joints, ligaments, and muscles. These conditions often impact or involve the nervous system which can cause referred dysfunction and pain that is distant from the injury’s region. They also counsel patients on nutrition, diet, healthy habits, exercise, and lifestyle and occupational modification.
This form of healthcare is widely known as one of the safest non-invasive, drug-free therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal issues. Of course, no healthcare is totally free of possible adverse effects. However, the chiropractic possesses a perfect safety record, and the chiropractic risks are very small. A lot of patients obtain immediate relief after chiropractic treatment. However, some patients may experience mild aching, stiffness, or soreness as people feel after doing some types of exercises. This minor soreness or discomfort after spinal manipulation normally stops in 24 hours. Precise cervical manipulation, aka neck adjustment, treats neck pain and some headaches. It focuses on reducing muscle spasms, restoring the range of motion, and improving joint mobility in the neck. This process helps to relieve tension and pressure. Neck manipulation is remarkably safe with a well-educated and skilled professional, such as a chiropractor. There are some reports that associate high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a vertebral artery dissection or a rare type of stroke. However, evidence showed that this kind of arterial injury often occurs spontaneously in patients with pre-existing arterial disease. These dissections are associated with daily activities, such as swimming, getting a shampoo at a hair salon, or turning the head while driving. There may be a headache and neck pain leading patients to seek professional healthcare which is often at a family physician or a chiropractor, but this care does not cause the injury. Evidence indicated that the artery injuries’ incidence about high-velocity upper neck manipulation is very rare which is approximately one to three out of 100,000 patients getting some heathcare treatment. This fact is similar to the incidence of this kind of stroke among the general population. If you visit your chiropractor for a headache or upper-neck pain, it’s important to be very specific concerning your symptoms. Doing this will help the chiropractor to provide the most effective and safest treatment even it means him/her will refer you to another healthcare provider. When discussing any healthcare procedure risk, it is vital to compare the risk to other available treatments for the same condition. So, the risks of major complications from spinal manipulation for conditions, such as a headache and neck pain, are much better than most conservative care choices. For instance, the risks of some of the most common healthcare for musculoskeletal prescription painkillers and prescription or pain-over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are significantly more than those of chiropractic manipulation. The American Journal of Gastroenterology stated that NSAIDS users are three times likely to develop major adverse gastrointestinal conditions, such as perforation and hemorrhage (bleeding). For people age 60 and older, the risks increase to over five times for people who are at least 60 years old. The prescriptions’ number for powerful drugs, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, tripled in the last 12 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that these commonly prescribed painkiller abuses are one of the leading accidental death causes in the United States. Overdoses that comes from opioid painkillers are responsible for approximately 15,000 deaths annually. These deaths are more than the combination of deaths from heroin and cocaine. DCs are highly trained professionals who offer patients effective, safe care for different common conditions. With their extensive education, chiropractors can identify patients with special risk factors and get them the best care.
There is usually no need to get a referral to see a DC. In some cases, there may be specific referral requirements in your health plan. Thus, it is wise to contact your HR department or directly contact the insurance plan to find out referral requirements.
DCs have the same education as primary healthcare providers but with more education concerning the treat and diagnosis of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. This system includes the extremities and spine joints, ligaments, and muscles. DCs also focus on the nerves that assist the musculoskeletal system. Educational requirements of chiropractors are among the most challenging of any healthcare professions. The regular applicant of chiropractic college already possesses about four years of pre-medical education in an undergraduate college, including courses in organic and inorganic chemistry, biology, psychology, physics, and relatable lab work. Once the student is accepted in an accredited college of chiropractic, there are more demanding requirements professional, academic study with a standard of four to five years to complete. DCs are educated in neurology, orthopedics, physiology, clinical diagnosis, and human anatomy. They used laboratory procedures, exercise, diagnostic imaging, nutrition rehabilitation, and more. They spend a large portion of time in clinical technique training to master vital manipulative procedures which are crucial to apply highly skilled adjusting/manipulation techniques. The whole curriculum of chiropractic college consists of at least 4,200 hours of classroom, clinical experience, and lab work. The Council of Chiropractic Education, who is fully recognized as an accrediting agency by the US Department of Education, approves the course of study.
Chiropractic treatments are tremendously safe for patients of all ages. Even though some chiropractic critics tried to manipulate public views by accusing them of being dangerous, chiropractic techniques are one of the safest healthcare treatments. Some Canadian researchers performed the biggest scientific literature analysis on the most cost-effective and effective treatments for lower back pain, and they found that chiropractic manipulation is safer for low back pain than medical management. Also, the New Zealand Commission Report, the Agency of Health Care Policy and Research Study, and the Manga Report agreed that chiropractic management is significantly superior to medical management in terms of patient satisfaction, cost-effectiveness, safety, and scientific validity. The Manga Report stated that there is no case-control or clinical study that implies or demonstrates that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in low back pain treatment. It also stated that some medical care is similarly safe. However, others are not safe and cause iatrogenic (doctor-induced) complications for low back pain. The New Zealand Commission Report stated that chiropractors are the only health professionals formally equipped by their training and education to perform spinal manual therapy (spinal adjustments). They perform spinal therapy and diagnosis at a refined and sophisticated level, and only a registered chiropractor can safely do spinal manual therapy. So, the training and duration of it for registered chiropractors are sufficient to determine whether the patient should get medical care or whether there are contraindications to spinal manual therapy in a particular case.