When you receive a treatment plan for a physical condition, you want all of the information up front including the risks and benefits that are associated with your rehabilitation and recovery. Chiropractic treatment is no different than any other specialist. Before you engage in this form of medical care, it is paramount that you are fully educated. This will help you make the final decision as to which treatments will give you the best possible outcome.
Before discussing the benefits and risks, you must first be educated on the intended purpose of chiropractic care. The main focus of chiropractic treatments is on “disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches” (American Chiropractic Association).
The chiropractor will do an initial evaluation. At that time, he/she will determine what treatments will be necessary. If they feel that this form of treatment will not be beneficial, they will refer the patient to another specialist. Qualified practitioners will work closely with the patient’s primary physician to ensure the best possible results.
There are several benefits from this type of care. Pain relief is the major benefit that patients experience. This relief is usually noticed within 12 to 48 hours; although, some patients have noticed a huge decrease in pain and/or stiffness in as little as a few hours (or immediately) after treatment. If there are other medical conditions present, chiropractic care can possibly aid in the patient’s recovery by helping to relieve any musculoskeletal pain that is directly associated with the patient’s condition.
Other benefits include (but not limited to):
Increase in circulation, removal of lactic acid, whole body oxygenation, digestive function, and flexibility.
Reduces pain and soreness, recovery time, painful menstruation, muscle spasms, and chances of injury.
Chiropractic care results in better nervous system functions, allows for an easier pregnancy and delivery, helps with asthma (especially in children), is a stress reliever, increases balance, and even has a positive effect on unborn babies (decreased In-utero constraint and lowers the chance of subsequent scoliosis), and aids in the preparation for an athlete’s next event or training session.
Every medical procedure or treatment comes with its own set of risks. Chiropractic care is no exception. When compared to traditional medical treatment, chiropractic care is extremely safe. Malpractice insurance premiums are two times higher for a medical doctor than for chiropractors. The scientific community has not been able to pinpoint any risks that are specifically isolated to the chiropractic treatments alone. For a more favorable outcome, the patient must divulge all medical history to avoid agitation or injury to current conditions.
The risks for broken bones or tearing of ligaments/tendons is usually the result of a serious underlying medical disorder or disease. With a healthy patient and under normal circumstances, this risk is slim to none if treatment is performed by a skilled and licensed professional. The patient may experience minimal localized soreness, especially if the patient has never had chiropractic care before, and usually goes away fairly quickly after their body adjusts to the treatment that was performed.
Patient safety and well-being should be at the top of a chiropractor’s list. An inexperienced chiropractor dramatically increases the risk for serious complications such as spinal injuries, torn ligaments, or broken bones. Hence why patients should only seek out licensed and skilled chiropractors that have had extensive experience in their field. This will result in optimal care and boost the odds of a safe and full recovery.
Do your own investigation on any chiropractor you are considering. Ask the important questions and, if you are not satisfied with the answers or feel uneasy about them and their practice, continue your search until you find one that is right for you and your condition. Never settle for less than the best when it comes to your health.