• Myth #1: Quacking like a duck.
Many people assume chiropractors are nothing more than glorified massage therapists. They have the mistaken concept that chiropractors do not go to school for long periods of time, as opposed to other physicians. They are also sometimes not considered “real” doctors because they do not perform surgeries or prescribe medication. So they should not be considered doctors? Admission into chiropractic college requires at least 4 years of undergraduate education, in which they must pass courses in biology, psychology, chemistry, physics, English/communications, and the humanities (just like medical students). Most licensed boards have a minimum requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree for obtaining the degree of doctor of chiropractic (DC). Chiropractic programs differ from school to school, but 5,000 hours of course work are required from all the schools. The core subjects taught in a chiropractic program are basic sciences; anatomy, biology, neurology, radiology, pathology, and so on. Unlike other professions, chiropractors also focus on adjusting techniques, biomechanics and physiological therapeutics. Chiropractic care has been around since just after the U.S. Civil War.
Between 1924 and 1949, the Secretary of American Medical Association, Mr. Morris Fishbein, started a personal war against the chiropractic profession, deeply involving the AMA . Fishbein took a personal offence to any healing discipline that did not perform surgery or prescribe drugs. As the core concept of chiropractic care was treating the body naturally with non-invasive methods, his mission was literally to eliminate chiropractic.
Fishbein waged his 50-year war chiropractic care as if it were black magic in the modern ages. Due to his influence and the influence of the AMA, many MDs followed suit and denounced chiropractic care, claiming that it was not a viable or effective treatment option for any health-related issue. All of this was based on the desire to dominate healthcare rather than what was really important; the well-being and health of the patients.
In 1963, the AMA established a commission on Quackery (no joke); its primarily target was to eradicate chiropractic care. They even issued propaganda to teachers and other guidance counselors and abolished any mention of chiropractic care in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Health Career guidebooks. Likewise they strictly instructed the medical schools to teach against chiropractic care.
In 1975, the United States Supreme Court ruled that health care professions are not excluded from antitrust suits. In 1982 the court also ruled that the FTC has the right to enforce antitrust laws and take action against medical societies (Goldfarb vs. The Virginia State Bar). Many chiropractors took action against the American Medical Association in Federal District Court and other health-related agencies. As a result of these lawsuits, the AMA was instructed to strictly change their behavior with chiropractors. In 1987 the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the AMA were guilty of plotting to eliminate the chiropractic profession. The American Medical Association was forced to publish the court’s ruling in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) and was strictly notified to begin recognizing chiropractic care as an authorized healthcare practice.
• Myth #2: Chiropractors always persuade their patients into long-term treatment plans
When you want to get your teeth straightened do you see your orthodontist only once, believing that one session will be enough to fully straighten your teeth? The answer will probably be no, of course not! You must see the orthodontist regularly, either weekly or monthly, until you are satisfied with your teeth. A similar analogy is a patient who is referred to a physical therapist for a specific condition. Will one visit do the trick? Hardly. Chiropractic is the same. To produce real and lasting correction to the spine multiple visits will be required. Not always, but in many cases.
• Myth #3: Chiropractic care is overpriced
When you see a chiropractor sometimes you pay out of pocket for the services provided and in many situations your treatment is covered by health insurance. You should consult your health insurance provider or the chiropractors billing department to see whether chiropractic is covered by your plan and to what degree.
• Myth #4: Chiropractors only know to cure back pain
People erroneously think of chiropractors as “bone doctors” since a common adjustment results in the sound of bones “popping” but that is far from the truth. Your bones, spinal column and all joints of the body, do not actually transmit pain at all – but they do have a direct effect on the nerves, which do transmit pain. So in reality chiropractors are nerve doctors, since that is primarily what they are targeting with their treatments. That being the case, the same nervous system that is affected when there is back pain is the same nervous system that is affected with neck pain, upper back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, leg pain and so on. Also, it is a common misconception that if it feels like a “muscle problem” then it would not be a chiropractic problem since a muscle is not a bone. This is very far from the anatomic and physiological truth. A muscle in spasm is a result of overly excited nerves – the same nerves that are affected by the adjustment of the spinal column.
• Myth #5: Chiropractors do nothing but “pop a disc back into place”
The job of chiropractor is to assess the condition of the body (spine and nervous system) and then establish a program of treatment in order to manipulate the joints of body to positively affect any dysfunction observed within the nervous system. A person hears different kinds of noises when knuckles, neck or any joint get cracked. When you hear that popping noise it does not mean that a disc is popping into place or that bones are breaking. Science explains these sounds quite simply: it is nothing more than gases escaping from the joints when they are moved slightly passed there normal anatomical limits. There is fluid known as synovial fluid in joints which is used as a lubricant. This fluid accommodates oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. When a joint gets popped or cracked, the joint capsule stretches and the gas releases rapidly. That is all there is to it.