1. Chiropractors just treat backs – Yes, chiropractic treatment is particularly effective for relieving back pain, but it is also effective for other problems. The definition of a chiropractor is a neuromusculoskeletal specialist. This means that if you have a nerve, muscle, or joint problem, your best chance of help is a chiropractic clinic.
2. Chiropractic treatment hurts – This simply isn’t the case. Treatment is designed to make you better, not worse. Sometimes after examination a patient may feel soreness and aggravation of their complaint, but this is due to the provocative nature of testing for mechanical disorders. Treatment itself will only cause pain if done incorrectly, making it important patients only seek treatment from an accredited and GCC registered chiropractor.
3. Chiropractic treatment is dangerous – There have been suggestions that chiropractic treatment of the neck can lead to stroke by means of vertebral artery dissection. The chiropractic profession takes this very seriously indeed. Initially, a risk factor of approximately 1 in 1.4 million was placed on stroke following chiropractic adjustment of the neck. Fortunately, subsequent research has shown that there is no causal link between chiropractic adjustments and stroke. Lab studies show that the force involved in an adjustment is far too low to disrupt the vertebral artery, and epidemiological studies have shown occurrence of vertebral artery dissection to be the same between patient visits to general practitioners and chiropractors. The conclusion following 20 years of research is that patients who suffer stroke had presented with the initial signs of a stroke before treatment.
4. Chiropractic treatment is expensive – Chiropractic within the UK is, by enlarge, only available as private healthcare. This, however, does not mean it has to cost the Earth. A recent Sure Health Chiropractic audit showed an average patient spend of less than £120. Also, the cost of treatment is spread over several weeks. How much value you place on lasting pain relief depends on the severity of your pain and the extent to which it impacts on your life, something only a patient can judge.
5. Chiropractors can cure disease – No, no, and no. Some chiropractors claim to cure diseases from cancer to depression. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest this. There are strict GCC rules against claiming to treat such conditions, and any chiropractors claiming to should be reported immediately.
6. Chiropractors like feet – That’s chiropodists. Chiropractors can help with some conditions affecting the feet, and often work in conjunction with poditriasts/chiropodists to that effect, but they are the real experts in this area.
7. Chiropractic is like massage – This is a very common misrepresentation in the UK. Chiropractors undergo 5 years of medical training, including hospital placements and supervised clinical practice. An NVQ in massage therapy can be gained within one day. Chiropractors offer medical treatment for mechanical disorders.
8. Manipulation only works if I hear a crack – Sometimes when undergoing joint manipulation a cavitation (or popping noise) is heard. This is of no relevance to treatment, and is completely incidental.
9. I need my GP to refer me to a chiropractor – Both GPs and chiropractors are primary care practitioners. This means both are trained to diagnose any patient that walks through their door. As such, GP referral is not necessary to see a chiropractor. Your chiropractor may also refer you to other medical professionals where necessary.
10. I have to have an x-ray to see a chiropractor – Most patients can be diagnosed without any imaging at all. Should this not be the case, an x-ray may be taken. Your chiropractor can take your x-ray on site, or refer you externally. They can also read any images taken previously. X-ray is the cheaper alternative to an MRI and in most cases will be satisfactory for diagnosis. Your chiropractor can also refer you direct for MRI, and can read previous scans you may have had.