Chiropractic care as is a fairly underutilized healthcare choice today. It is something that many people do not have a good understanding of. After working in chiropractic clinics for the last couple of years there are many questions that both myself and Dr. Emily have noticed are very frequently asked. So, for this blog post I am going to take a look at many FAQ’s that we commonly hear. As always, a big part of my blog posts is citing sources for my information, and providing additional reading.
Don’t just take my word for it.
FAQ: Is chiropractic care safe?
Yes! Chiropractic is overall a very safe healthcare option.
Safety first! This is a question that I get asked both directly and indirectly very frequently. It is completely understandable for patients to want to make sure their choice in healthcare is safe. It is with confidence and evidenced-based practice that I can say chiropractic is safe. This topic is incredibly nuanced because every person who walks in our door is different, and a treatment that may be entirely appropriate for one individual would not be safe for another. So, something that both Dr. Emily and I pride ourselves on is conducting a thorough examination in order to determine what treatment is appropriate for each individual. Being trained to diagnose a vast multitude of conditions and having ample experience in different clinical environments around the world, helps us to support safe chiropractic care.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a page dedicated to spinal manipulation (The most common treatment performed by chiropractors), that is an excellent resource of information. It states that spinal manipulation is one of the most sought out forms of complementary health in America. A quote that I like from the page goes, “Spinal manipulationis relatively safe when performed by a trained and licensed practitioner”. Often times some of the dangers associated with chiropractic, actually stem from non-licensed individuals attempting to emulate a procedure that they’ve seen a chiropractor perform.
Another excellent resource that covers the safety of manual therapies is an article distributed by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The article evaluates the frequency of severe complications from spinal manipulations and describes them as very rare. In reality people with serious conditions are likely to be experiencing pain, and seek out both medical care and chiropractic care for relief. The article does an excellent job explaining how serious complications are not related by a causal standpoint. That means, and further supports that if you are experiencing different symptoms make sure to seek care from someone who will listen to you and evaluate you.
“Will a chiropractor break my bones?” or “I have a different body type than most will it cause me to be hurt?” and both of these are valid. With professional chiropractic care, the treatment will be adapted to your unique health status. With all of that being said, there is no miracle treatment in healthcare. Side effects and sometimes adverse reactions are not excluded to chiropractic care . There are pro’s and con’s to any treatment available, which is why it is important to seek providers who are thorough and will discuss the pro’s and con’s of treatment with you personally.
FAQ: Do you treat children!?
Every parent I meet has an amazing sense for prioritizing the health and well-being of their child even above their own. It has become a passion of both myself and Dr. Emily to work with children in our practice. We want to cultivate a family culture and maintain the health of our entire community.
So, this begs two main questions is chiropractic care safe for kids? And is
chiropractic care effective for kids?
Yes! Chiropractic is safe for children
Once again, safety first. Usually when thinking of pediatric chiropractic, people conjure up ideas of wrestler moves being applied to a small child and it gives people cause for concern. In reality chiropractors take great care in making sure that children receive quality healthcare and there are even additional techniques for working on children.
The NCBI safety standards for manual therapies on children details that over the course of 41 years there were only 14 cases of adverse events with manual therapy, this is especially impactful because chiropractors accounted for almost 95% of the manual therapy and almost half of the injuries happened with non-chiropractic clinicians. I have included another article as well that’s a cross sectional survey, found on PubMed, of chiropractic safety for pediatric patients when examining European chiropractors. I think a consensus between parents, and us at Concho Valley Chiropractic is that children deserve the highest quality of care as well.
Yes! Chiropractic care is effective for children
After examining safety, it is important to see if chiropractic care is prudent for children. I’ve found in my experience, that one of the best parts about working with kids, is how fast their bodies heal. Whether it was treating an injured family in an auto accident, to promoting healthy living for the whole family, overwhelmingly the children are the fastest to heal. I don’t thin that it’s a huge stretch for people to understand that they just bounce back slower, from the challenges of life, with age.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physio-Therapy examined both safety and efficacy of chiropractic in children. It concluded that children showed overwhelming improvement in the complaint that they sought care for. There was also improvements in seemingly unrelated systems. It’s for this reason that I recommend elective care for people who might not think they have any “problems”. It is important to understand that as our bodies develop we need to move effectively. Restoring optimal function to children, is massively important for setting them up for success.
FAQ: You guys treat more than just backs!!?
Yes! We like helping our patients from nose to toes!
We have the privilege of practicing in the great state of Texas and serving the San Angelo community. In the state of Texas, chiropractors are licensed to diagnose and treat the neuromusculoskeletal system, and that’s not exclusive to just the spine. That means that nerves, bones, muscles, and joints are huge areas of our expertise. I’m going to list some fairly common conditions that are outside of the spine that both Dr. Emily and I have worked on:
The nerves that control our hands have to get there through various tunnels in our wrists. In particular the main nerve that controls the first three fingers can get irritated as it travels between the bones and ligaments of our wrist and this is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is one of the most common reasons for missed work, and the doctors at CVC enjoy when patients no longer feel this discomfort, but much prefer teaching people how to avoid it all together.
Officially titled “lateral epicondylitis”, tennis elbow is an irritation of the muscle attachments in our elbow that many athletes have had the trouble of dealing with. Athletes know how slight the margin between 1st and 2nd place can be, but anyone can benefit from having the discomfort in their elbow evaluated.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Our shoulder is supported by 4 muscles that come together to form a structure called the rotator cuff. Unfortunately, this area has a relatively high likelihood of injury due to the fact that the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. In fact, Dr. Emily’s first patient ever was a woman with a rotator cuff injury.
Our hip is made of an intricate ball-in-socket mechanism and it can greatly affect our lives when it isn’t working properly. At the time of writing this, I have a patient whose golf game was severely limited by an impingement in his hip. My entire goal is to get him back finishing 18 holes, and keep him that way for a long time.
Often times people tell me that they have weak ankles. What this really tells me is that they have had an ankle injury that was not treated properly. Not only a common site for injury, but also re-injury our ankles are highly important for how we move. Keeping healthy ankles is also incredibly important for preventing further health issues by limiting falls.
Fascia is the fibrous coating around many parts of our body. On the bottoms of our feet, it is very thick, and important in the function of supporting us. Someone with plantar fasciitis can readily tell you the things that it has limited in their life. Working on feet is actually one of the first things that us CVC doctors learned in our higher education.
Each of these injuries could represent a whole blog post on their own. They each require careful diagnosis and unique treatment. Chiropractic is an excellent avenue to keeping our whole body working its best. We want to keep our patient’s well, and that is best achieved from a holistic approach. Don’t let your thoughts of chiropractic be limited to just backs.