The Safest Health Care Available
What is chiropractic care and why is it both effective and safe to treat many different health conditions? Read on to learn about how chiropractic doctors can help you improve your health without resorting to unsafe pills or other questionable medical treatments.
Among scientists it is commonly understood that one cannot prove, disprove, or improve that which one cannot measure. Today nutritionists, exercise physiologists, and chiropractors have the means to measure their results. Chiropractors in particular have taken the best of what neurological and chiropractic research has to offer and combined it to discover even more about what a healthy spine should look like, and what can be done to treat the unhealthy spine, than has ever been known before.
Chiropractic is based on the accurate and specific measurement of the spine, particularly the upper cervical spine, which houses the lower brain and most of the vital parts of the spinal cord. Newer research on the brain and nervous system, as well as ever advancing methods for measuring the normal alignment of the healthy spine, has built upon that foundation to bring the science of chiropractic to an unmatched cutting edge level in today’s wellness world.
Based on neurological research, the laws of physics, engineering, mathematics and endless studies of the spine, doctors, scientists, and researchers of all kinds have developed an optimum model of the upright spine. These models have been published in the world’s most prestigious medical journals. We can now distinguish a normal healthy spine and nervous system from an abnormal, unhealthy one using measurable factors. Just as we know normal healthy blood pressure or cholesterol ranges, we now know normal healthy spinal ranges as well as abnormal, unhealthy ones.
A chiropractor can now make precise measurements of your spine, make an accurate assessment of the damage to your spine and nervous system and make equally accurate recommendations for care, rehabilitation, and determine a clear cut prognosis.
In addition to using the spinal x-rays and examination of the patient’s posture to evaluate spine and nervous system health, advances in technology have brought tests like EMG (electromyography, which records the electrical activity of muscles) and computerized range of motion and muscle evaluations to give even more insight into the presence of neurological interference, abnormal spinal alignment, malposition of the spinal curves, joint degeneration, and other parts of the vertebral subluxation complex.
Turns out, despite many myths, it is also the safest care available
Two recent medical studies were done regarding the safety and the safety and effectiveness of a chiropractic adjustment.
“More than 19,700 patients who underwent more than 50,000 cervical spine adjustments, a team of researchers have concluded that your risk of having a serious adverse event from a chiropractic adjustment is none.” (Spine Medical Journal October 1, 2007, 32(21):2375-2378.)
The manipulation technique at the focus of this safety study was defined as the application of high-velocity / low-amplitude or mechanically assisted thrust to the cervical spine. Patients were followed, and any adverse symptoms recorded immediately, and up to seven days after treatment. There were no reports of serious adverse events. (*In comparison to medical treatment, the chance of serious adverse events in hospitals is 1.5 million/year with a cost of 3.5 billion dollars, with a 1 out of 1 risk or 100% (July 20, 2006 Washington D.C., National Academies).
A recent study that has made world news revealed the remarkable impact of Chiropractic care on blood pressure. Note, however, the comments on safety.
“Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure” WebMD Medical News: March 1 6, 2007 — A chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests. “This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination,” study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. “And it seems to be adverse event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center
One of the great medical myths has to do with what people think a chiropractic adjustment is. Most think it is some sort of “popping” of the neck or “twisting and cracking” of the back – not unlike popping your own neck or twisting and cracking your spouse’s back when he or she feels tight after work. While this may be true of some chiropractors and osteopaths, the reality is that this is not an accurate depiction of what is available through chiropractors today.
The truth about a chiropractic adjustment is that there are dozens of ways to analyze vertebral subluxation and more than a hundred ways to adjust and correct spinal problems. There are light-touch adjustments, small and large instrument adjustments, and adjustments using trigger points and reflexes, adjustments using specialized tables, multiple forms of hand-only adjustments, as well as techniques that focus on only certain areas of the spine. Vastly dissimilar to manipulations performed by osteopaths and physical therapists, specific, scientific chiropractic adjustments are not generalized mobilizations of the spine. Rather, using various methods of evaluation, chiropractors actually use precise contact points designed to gently shift an individual segment or segments of the spine and extremities in a very specific direction.
Chiropractic adjustments are incredibly safe. Malpractice insurance carriers do not use myth or bias to determine their premiums. They use raw data based on the likelihood that a doctor would injure someone and be sued thus costing the insurance company money. While medical professionals can pay a hundred thousand dollars per year or more for their malpractice coverage, chiropractors pay barely a fraction of this, with premiums as low as only a few hundred dollars per year. Given the prevalence of the myths, prejudices, and fears, this is hard to believe, but absolutely true.