Alternative medicine has been practiced in various forms for centuries. While in some cases those therapies proved to be worse than the ailment they were designed to treat, a number of these treatments have been proven surprisingly effective by modern science including massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic medicine. Chiropractic medicine is an alternative medicine focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system through the adjustment, manipulation and alignment of joints. Despite the fact that chiropractic medicine has been practiced for more than 120 years and that there are a number of studies that document the health benefits of chiropractic medicine, a number of myths still persist about this form of treatment.
The top three myths are:
Chiropractors are not real doctors
Chiropractors, like medical doctors, must complete an extensive educational curriculum and be licensed in order to practice. Chiropractic doctors must first complete a three year program of pre-chiropractic study before they are able to advance to a four-year course of study. A student of chiropractic spends as many hours in the study of human physiology as that of a medical doctor and all chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The primary difference between the education of a medical doctors and a chiropractic doctor is that a medical doctor is required to study pharmacology and surgical procedures, while a chiropractic doctor trains in the care of the spine.
Pharmacologic therapy is superior over chiropractic therapy
In the past, pharmacologic therapy was generally preferred over holistic methods for several reasons of reasons. Most medications are more convenient to obtain, and can be taken anytime. Additionally, most medications provide relativelyinstantaneous relief from symptoms. Recently however, more and more patients are turning away from medication due to the numerous and sometimes dangerous side effects they can cause, some of which can be worse than the ailment they are designed to relieve. While chiropractic treatment is not able to provide all of the immediate advantages of medication, in terms of long term benefits, cure and rate of complications, chiropractic therapy is consistently ranked as high - or higher then - pharmacologic or surgical therapy.
Chiropractic therapy is dangerous
There are a number of stories out there of people that have been injured or even killed by a chiropractor. The statistics however, paint a very different story. According to malpractice statistics from the National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company, due to the rarity of injuries or death caused by chiropractic treatment, chiropractors pay significantly less for their malpractice insurance - as little as 1/50 the rates medical doctors are required to pay.
A study published in 2010 found that from 1934 to 2010 there have been only 26 deaths worldwide attributed to chiropractic treatment. The study also found that the risk of serious injury from anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen can be as much as 400 times greater than chiropractic treatment. To date there have been more than 10,000 studies done on chiropractic medicine and of these, the overwhelming majority have found that compared to medical treatment, chiropractic treatment provided patients:
- Increased overall satisfaction of treatment.
- Significantly reduced recovery time.
- A decrease in permanent disability.
- Comparable treatment for considerably less cost than traditional medicine.