Recent statistics suggest that roughly one-third of Americans have visited a chiropractor. Most of these visits are due to referrals from physicians, friends and family members. Often times, there’s an injury or traumatic event that drives people to explore chiropractics as a viable route to healing and pain management.
But for the two-thirds of Americans who haven’t visited a local chiropractor, the idea of doing so may seem unnecessary. In fact, they may have only a vague idea of what chiropractors do, how they treat illness or injury, what kind of training they’ve been through, and how chiropractic treatment actually works. Check out this list of five things you probably didn’t know about chiropractors and their practice.
1. They’ve been through a lot of training
In order to complete their professional training, chiropractors log thousands of classroom hours in a surprising range of medical subjects, including everything from neurology to biochemistry and pathology. The typical time required to become a chiropractor is 7-8 years, including 3-4 years of undergraduate education and 4 years to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.). The total educational requirements for chiropractics are comparable to those of a medical physician.
2. It’s not just about back pain
Many people feel that chiropractics is merely a way to treat back pain through expert spinal adjustments. While this is one application of chiropractics, studies have shown a whole range of benefits: Improving heart conditions, strengthening bones, detoxifying organs, correcting digestive problems, and even relieving colic symptoms in babies. Since chiropractics works on the central nervous system, it has the potential to affect virtually any area of the body.
3. It can help with pregnancy
Expecting mothers are always looking for ways to make the process more comfortable, natural, healthy and pain-free. Today, more pregnant women are seeking chiropractic care as a valuable way to achieve these goals. Lower back pain—one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy—can be eased through professional chiropractic care. In some cases, chiropractics may also help babies into better position for birth. The American Pregnancy Associations outlines the benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women.
4. It might strengthen your immune system
Another thing people are constantly on the lookout for is immunity from common bugs and viruses. There is compelling evidence that chiropractics can actually strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body; When the flu pandemic swept the nation in 1917, chiropractors soon realized that patients receiving spinal adjustments were statistically more likely to recover from or avoid the flu.
5. It shouldn’t hurt at all
Some people are afraid to visit a chiropractor because it looks (and sounds) painful. However, chiropractic adjustments do not involve any actual clicking or “popping” of bones or tendons. Actually, there are gasses within the joints. Adjustments will sometimes shift or release these. When this is done by a qualified professional, the sound is called cavitation—and it’s an important part of restoring a natural, healthy skeletal alignment. It will not weaken your joints over time, since the adjustments are done very specifically and with detailed knowledge of the skeletal system and the effects of manipulating certain points in body.
A closer look at chiropractics
Chiropractics has often been misunderstood in the past; but growing numbers of people are beginning to dispel common myths and integrate chiropractics into their health strategy. Doing your own research, and even visiting a chiropractor for an initial consultation, is a good first step toward deciding whether chiropractics can improve your quality of life.
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