If you suffer from back pain, neck pain, headaches or similar complaints, one of the treatment options at your disposal is to head to a local chiropractor for adjustments, instead of going through your primary care physician. But there’s sometimes quite a bit of disagreement over whether this is a smart move. The bottom line is that chiropractic, like every other health field, has its upsides and its downsides. Here’s a summary that can help you decide:
- Chiropractic Reduces Pain Naturally
The greatest upside of chiropractic care is that it treats pain as communication from the body that something is wrong. Chiropractors don’t simply seek to reduce pain, thought that happens as part of treatment; they seek to figure out the underlying reason the body is in pain and correct it. That means chiropractic care can treat painful conditions without the dangerous painkillers medical doctors often prescribe.
- Chiropractic Care Is Affordable
Often, people worry that a chiropractic visit won’t be covered by insurance. But most of the time, it is. And even without insurance, going to a chiropractor costs less than going to a physician in many cases.
- Chiropractic Care Treats the Whole Body
There’s healthy debate (with evidence on both sides) as to what conditions chiropractic techniques can legitimately treat. But regardless, chiropractors tend to have a philosophy that treats the whole body and considers overall wellness — rather than a simple reduction of symptoms — as the goal of healthcare. For that reason, chiropractors often offer supplementary services such as massage, exercise and nutrition counseling, and even weight loss help.
- Chiropractic Care Can’t Treat Everything
Few people agree on what, exactly, chiropractic should be used to treat outside of the musculoskeletal system. But most people agree that chiropractic can’t treat everything. If your chiropractor is reputable, he or she will be upfront with you about whether your complaints fall within the scope of chiropractic care.
- Chiropractic Doctors Are a Mixed Bag
Some chiropractors are, quite simply, better than others. You’ll probably want to check out online chiropractor reviews and chiropractor ratings, ask around, or talk to a few chiropractors in person before you pick which of your local chiropractors to visit.
- Chiropractic Care Isn’t Given Equal Weight
This isn’t really a treatment problem, but a social one; chiropractic care isn’t treated equally to traditional medical care, and it’s given less weight in legal disputes (such as personal injury lawsuits or insurance disagreements).
As you can see, there are generally thought to be fewer downsides to chiropractic than there are upsides. And even people who are skeptical of chiropractic care tend to admit that there’s little risk involved, making it worth a try for many people.
What do you think? Will you be heading to a local chiropractor, or are you on the fence? Share your thoughts in the comments.