Debunking the Top 9 Chiropractic Myths

Dr. Lambros Lambrou Mar 31, 2020

Chiropractic care helps people of all ages tackle common ailments, including tight muscles, nerve pain, and herniated discs. More than 35 million Americans receive chiropractic treatment each year, and practitioners are located in countries across the globe.

Many patients happily refer friends and family to their favorite chiropractors after experiencing relief from chiropractic care. Unfortunately, sometimes inaccurate information deters referrals from seeking treatment. Despite the popularity of chiropractic care, many people still worry treatments have more risks than benefits. If a distrust of the chiropractic community has prevented you from scheduling an appointment, review these nine myths for clarification.

Myth #1: Chiropractors Are Quacks

Sometimes people who haven't experienced the benefits of chiropractic care bash chiropractors. They claim medical professionals who specialize in chiropractic care are quacks or frauds. There are also critics who insist that chiropractors aren't real doctors.

These complaints are false. Chiropractors are real doctors, and they undergo extensive training in science, health, and the human body. In fact, the average chiropractor spends at least four years in a professional program before receiving a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Prior to this, potential chiropractors must attend undergraduate courses for at least three years.

Students at chiropractic colleges also complete supervised clinical programs before obtaining their doctorate degrees. Some chiropractors also undergo additional training in specialties such as pediatrics or orthopedics so they can provide quality care to a broader range of patients. Once licensed, chiropractors often participate in seminars and other educational programs, so they remain up to date on industry trends. Dr. Shari Collins, a member of our chiropractic team, takes more than 70 hours of continuing education courses every two years. If you have concerns about the education of our chiropractic team, it may ease your mind to read their bios on our website.

Myth #2: Chiropractic Care Requires a Lifelong Commitment

This is a common concern many new patients have when they visit Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine. Some patients fear that their bodies may forget how to maintain the correct alignment without a permanent spot on our schedule. We've also heard new patients refer to chiropractic techniques as addictive or habit-forming.

While it's true some spinal issues initially require frequent appointments, you can usually expect your need for chiropractic care to taper off over time. Patients often choose to remain with us for monthly maintenance appointments, but this is just to keep new issues from developing or escalating. Our bodies are constantly moving, so misalignment can happen at any time.

Myth #3: Chiropractors Require Referrals

Some new patients view chiropractors as last-ditch options for care when other treatments fail. They visit primary care physicians and other medical providers first, then seek chiropractic care when symptoms linger. There's nothing wrong with getting opinions from multiple health care providers, but chiropractors often assess symptoms using the same techniques as other medical practitioners.

When you tell your primary care physician that you're in pain, the doctor typically does a physical exam. If the exam doesn't yield any answers, the doctor orders diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray. Chiropractors follow the same approach, but the difference is that they're equipped to treat your symptoms right away. Primary care physicians often prescribe prescription medications or refer patients to physical therapists, but chiropractors can diagnose and treat patients.

Myth #4: Chiropractic Care Is Expensive


The potentially high cost of chiropractic care delays some patients from scheduling a consultation with our experienced chiropractors. However, chiropractic care is often surprisingly affordable, especially when compared with other medical options such as spinal fusion or back surgery.

Our patients appreciate that Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine participates in many popular insurance plans. We can also set up payment arrangements if you prefer to pay out of pocket for your appointments. Just let us know what works for you, and we'll help you figure out how to fit chiropractic care in your budget.

Myth #5: Chiropractic Care Is Dangerous

When performed correctly, chiropractic care provides a safe form of pain management. Very little data exists for chiropractic injuries, likely because issues rarely arise after spinal manipulation. While rare, some patients may experience a stroke after chiropractic care. However, this minor risk hardly compares to the millions of patients hospitalized each year for prescription drug reactions.

Surgery isn't much safer. Nearly 2% of patients die within 30 days of having a surgical procedure each year, with sepsis-related complications claiming the largest percentage of lives. There are risks associated with any medical treatment, but chiropractic techniques typically have fewer safety concerns than other options.

Myth #6: Chiropractic Treatments Are Only for Adults


We treat patients of all ages, from babies to golden-agers, at Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine. Many of our chiropractors have received additional training in pediatric care, so they're equipped to gently yet effectively treat the youngest members of your family.

Not sure your child needs chiropractic care? Bring them in for a consultation, especially if they play sports or spend lots of time on electronic devices. These activities are frequently associated with spinal issues in children.

Myth #7: You Only Need a Chiropractor If You Have a Bad Back


Chiropractors are happy to help if you have a bad back, but that's not the only reason you should visit our office. Chiropractors treat many common ailments, including:

  • Neck pain, stiffness, and tingling
  • Wrist pain
  • Knee pain
  • Leg pain, cramps, and paresthesia
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Foot pain or cramping

Give us a call if you're unsure whether we treat a specific issue. If we don't feel chiropractic care is beneficial for your symptoms, we can refer you to other specialists in our office, such as a physical therapist or sports medicine expert.

Myth #8: Chiropractic Treatments Hurt

Chiropractic treatments are designed to reduce or eliminate pain, not trigger it. You may experience some minor discomfort after chiropractic care, but many patients leave feeling better than they did when they arrived. If pain from adjustments or spinal decompression is a concern, we can work with you to develop a more gentle treatment plan. This may include acupuncture, laser therapy, cryotherapy, heat treatments, or electrical stimulation.

Myth #9: Chiropractic Care Isn't Effective


Our patients disagree, as evidenced by the dozens of positive testimonials on social media and review sites about Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine. Chiropractic care helps patients manage, eliminate, and prevent painful symptoms from spinal misalignment. We don't follow a cookie-cutter approach when we perform chiropractic techniques, so each patient gets the care they truly need for their symptoms.

Thanks to chiropractic care, many patients are able to postpone or prevent more invasive pain management techniques, such as back or neck surgery. We also help numerous patients avoid prescription drugs and other non-chiropractic treatments commonly used for spinal pain.

Chiropractic care may seem intimidating, but it benefits patients around the world. If you're curious about the benefits of chiropractic treatment, give us a call or schedule a consultation online. We're happy to answer all of your questions and alleviate any fears you have. Our friendly chiropractors have decades of experience and love helping patients live productive, pain-free lives. Ask us how we can help you address spinal-related issues, whether you have shooting pain in your legs or an achy neck.