Is Seeing a Chiropractor Safe?
Neuromusculoskeletal pain makes it difficult to live a fulfilling lifestyle. When you are not able to function in your full range of motion or participate in athletic activities, life can be overbearing. Luckily, chiropractic care is available as a safe and effective solution. This form of care is focused on manipulation of the spine and other neuromusculoskeletal therapy techniques. People often opt for a chiropractor to alleviate arthritis, headaches, back pain, accident injuries, sports injuries, bad posture, and weightlifting injuries. Nevertheless, chiropractic care has universal appeal because everyone can benefit from improved posture or regular check-ups.
When it comes to back pain, the numbers are split on whether a patient chooses a chiropractor or a physical therapist to improve their condition. For this reason, you can think of chiropractic as a specialized type of physical therapy. Chiropractic doctors use an exclusive method called “spinal adjustment” to correct subluxations and other joint mobility issues. Because they do not use any invasive procedures or surgeries to correct spinal alignment and joint problems, there is no dark side.
However, if you are particularly sensitive, there are even doctors who use gentle hand manipulations rather than drop tables. The types of subluxations that chiropractors treat are not the type that are recognized by other medical sciences. Instead, these subluxations are more metaphysical and part of a belief that muscle memory must be retrained in misaligned vertebrae.
When your body is injured, the natural reaction is to limit the range of motion because there is pain and inflammation that punishes you whenever you overwork injured muscles. This inflammation is useful to force injured people to stay off that bad foot or to refrain from lifting heavy objects while they heal. However, this mechanism can malfunction if the injury produces chronic inflammation, or you fail to address it with proper physical therapy. The end result is a vicious cycle where the pinched nerves and pain are exacerbated by tense muscle reactions that seize up the body.
The World Health Organization (WHO), nonetheless, cites some of the problems that can be experienced by careless doctors who do not consider the tolerances of their patients, or who use excessive manipulation, poor techniques, or other inadequate practices. Although extremely rare, it is possible to suffer the following injuries:
- Exacerbation of neurological symptoms
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures
- Herniated lumbar disc
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Horner’s syndrome
- Pathological fractures
- Vertebrobasilar accidents
- Cervical disc lesions
- Diaphragmatic paralysis
- And others …
These results are extremely rare and should not be cause for concern. Unless you are extremely frail or in very bad health, the chances are infinitesimal of suffering an injury at the hands of a well-trained doctor who graduated from an American university. In any case, always be sure to ask your doctor about using gentle hand manipulation therapies that progressively test your tolerances to prevent injuries.
Building a strong relationship with your doctor and providing feedback on your condition will reduce the risks of injury even further. Your doctor should know how you feel before, during, and after the alignment or therapies provided. Having a check-up and adjustment can be a very relaxing and freeing feeling that patients simply have to experience, in the very least, for its effects on their sense of well-being and comfort.
Most insurance plans in the US cover this type of medical care. This makes it easy for anyone to regularly obtain check-ups, adjustments, and posture-correcting instructions to improve their quality of life. A massage or physical therapy treatment does not provide the unique feeling of freedom and mobility that only is possible with quality chiropractic care.