Many people perceive different things about chiropractic. I like to joke with people who say that they “believe in chiropractic”. We’re not a religion but thank you for your prayers anyway. Chiropractic is an art, a science, and a philosophy. Manipulation has been performed for thousands of years dating back to the ancient Greeks and Chinese. In North America chiropractors perform 90% or more of all manipulation or adjusting and we are the best trained to do it. In Europe, it is the physical therapists who perform the most, and in Asia it is the acupuncturists.
The biggest misperception is that you have to go to a chiropractor all the time. One person’s clinical need is completely different from another. You can choose what kind of care works best for you. I expect to provide enough care to improve your condition back to a reasonable baseline. This typically takes anywhere from 5-6 visits on the average. Realize that this range averages the one visit miracles and the 20-visit lumbar disc or serious worker’s comp cases all together. After your condition stabilizes you will transition to supportive care, which is care you need so that you don’t get worse. This is different for every patient. Over 20 years I have had every combination possible from weekly supportive care to “call me when you need me”. Every human being needs chiropractic care, our needs just vary and can change over time. People take medications every day and do not blame the medical and pharmaceutical professions for creating their clinical need, but somehow that blame gets inappropriately transferred to chiropractic. With medications you can take your pills at home. With chiropractic you need to come into the office to get treated. It’s that simple, and everyone’s needs are different.
Please allow me to be clear about one thing: I am not laying out my own clinical approach to disparage or undermine any of my colleagues that have wellness or corrective care practices. I am in full support of that form of chiropractic care. It just isn’t my particular style or clinical interest. My colleagues that adjust three to ten times the number of patients that I do in a day are spreading healing and wellness to the community and the world, and that is a wonderful thing.
Another misconception is that our education is not equivalent to our medical or osteopathic colleagues. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are, in fact, over-educated to do what we do. Our education surpasses that of our medical and osteopathic colleagues in many key areas related to our field of health care. The first two years of chiropractic, medical and osteopathic educations mirror one another very closely. The difference comes in the third and fourth academic years of our educations. Our medical and osteopathic colleagues go through clinical rotations in the various fields of allopathic care (drugs and surgery), whereas we focus on radiology, orthopedics and our chiropractic skills and techniques. The fifth academic year is primarily clinical for chiropractic students, whereas our medical and osteopathic colleagues choose their particular discipline and begin their residencies of varying lengths in their fifth academic year and beyond. Chiropractors have the most education and training in manipulation, period. It is our main clinical focus, and you are in good hands. Our experience surpasses all others as we do it all day and every day in the office, not just on occasion as our osteopathic or physical therapy colleagues do.