The topic of chiropractors and their profession is a very misunderstood and mythical existence. Do you see one? Have you thought about seeing one? Have you lived in fear of seeing them?
I hope to clear up some questions and concerns in order to shine some clarity on the topic.
In full disclosure, I have lived in fear of them almost my entire life and certainly my entire professional career. I felt like they were a poor fix to a growing problem. It was like scratching a wound that would never heal but felt good to itch. I never counted them out as I always saw a underlying curiosity for their profession. So I continued to explore. I talked to many of them and I got much of the same responses. Nothing was making sense to me or sticking. It all seemed to be the same protocol; someone enters with pain, take X-rays, adjust, feel better, pain reappears, enter with pain, adjust. This was the cycle I hear from patients and chiropractors. Both were happy because the patient had a solution for instant pain relief and the chiropractors were happy because they had a stream of patients coming back.
So I approached a physical therapist colleague of mine that I highly respect and asked him what he thought of chiropractors in hopes of gaining clarity. He responded by saying that if you are able to find a good one they are useful in the initial stages of pain. In other words, they can quickly relieve pain from someone, but left unattended after treatment the pain will almost always reappear. He continued by saying that if you figure out why the pain was there in the first place you can then attack the root cause of the problem instead of continuing to repeat a never ending cycle of treatment.
I felt better but still was not fully satisfied because I did not understand or agree with all the chiropractors that I spoke with and how they approached the treatment process. No matter what the issue was on a particular person they seemed to do the same adjustments on them every time. That part did not make sense.
So I investigated further.
I finally found the answer. The answer is that a good chiropractor sees the whole picture of a person. They see a end game. Meaning, they see where their treatment begins and where it should end. They understand they only fix what needs to be fixed and attack the problem at the root cause. They use more than one method to achieve the result. Meaning, they have continued their education and are up to date with treatment plans that are both more effective and better for the patient. They coach and teach the patient how to feel when something is not right physically and structurally so they can look to correct the problem reducing the amount they see them. I know it is hard to believe that a chiropractor would not want to see you, but for the good ones that is true.
So, here is what I know to be true. Chiropractors do have their place in your overall health and wellbeing. They are great at getting you out of initial pain and should provide you with a action plan of how to stay that way. Then comes either a physical therapist or strength coach which helps to hit the save button on feeling good more often reducing the cycle of pain.