Say you have neck or back pain. How will you treat it? Many people will go to a medical doctor who will look at the symptoms, such as pain, and treat it with prescription or over the counter medications. In some cases, they may recommend surgery to manage the pain or correct the problem.
However, an increasing number of people are foregoing the medical doctor and opting for chiropractic care for pain management – and often with very good results. So, what is it about chiropractic that people feel makes it a better choice than drugs or surgery for their pain or mobility issues? There is more to the answer than you may realize.
When it comes to certain types of pain, particularly neck pain, medication is not the best way to manage it. Studies show that patients who opted to undergo chiropractic treatments and exercise regularly were more than twice as likely to significantly reduce their pain or even eliminate it completely than those who choose to take medication.
Aside from efficacy though, many medications have unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. Even over the counter medications can cause problems.
For instance, acetaminophen has been linked to serious health issues like pancreatitis and impaired liver function. NSAIDs like ibuprofen can upset the stomach and can cause rebound headaches in migraine patients (studies show that chiropractic is extremely effective in preventing migraines).
Prescription drugs can be highly addictive and lead to overdose. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has declared opioid addiction and overdose in the United States to be an epidemic. They have set forth guidelines for doctors who prescribe opioids for chronic pain, but the epidemic continues.
Any treatment that can help a patient avoid an invasive surgery is an optimal alternative and chiropractic care provides that. One study shows that patients who saw a medical doctor as their first treatment option when dealing with back pain were more likely to have surgery than patients who say a chiropractor first.
Almost 43% of the medical patients eventually underwent surgery while only 1.5% of chiropractic patients had surgery. This means that if you are a medical patient trying to resolve your back pain you are 28 times more likely to eventually have surgery for it than you would if you went to a chiropractor.
Aside from the obvious invasiveness of the procedure as well as recovery time and probable physical therapy that would be required as part of your after care, there are many other downsides. The time and money required for the surgery, pre-surgery appointments, post-surgery appoints, recovery, and therapy can be significant.
However, a major concern in hospital settings is the risk of C-diff (clostridium difficile). C-diff are bacteria that can cause C. diff colitis, an inflammation of the colon or large intestine that can make you very sick. It can be passed from person to person but can also occur in people who take antibiotics – which are often given when a person undergoes surgery.
Chiropractic care gets to the cause of the problem instead of treating the symptoms like most medical doctors. The whole-body approach also empowers patients to make lifestyle adjustments that aid in their care and healing. It allows them to take ownership of their own health and pain management so that they feel more in control.
Chiropractors take a natural, holistic approach to pain management by bringing the body back into alignment if necessary and recommending exercises and other activities to help patients regain their normal range of motion and flexibility while relieving not only the pain symptoms but often correcting the problem that is causing the pain.