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Myths & Facts About Chiropractic


Like medical doctors, chiropractors must undergo rigorous and extensive education. Chiropractors offer adjustments and various manual therapies as well as modalities to improve a wide variety of conditions and as well as advising patients on preventive techniques before symptoms develop. As successful as the chiropractic profession has become, there are a lot of myths circulating among the general public. Times have definitely changed for the better, but the fact is that many people still do not understand what chiropractors do. Let's talk about a few of the more common myths about chiropractic.

Myth #1 - Chiropractors are not real doctors.

A chiropractic college grants a D.C. or Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Chiropractors are licensed as health care providers in every Canadian province, American state and most countries around the world. Chiropractic curricula are extremely rigorous. The degree program is four years long after the completion of a Bachelor of Science degree or similar undergraduate program. As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete an internship working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they have to pass national board exams as well as provincial board exams in the provinces where they want to practice.

Just like medical doctors, chiropractors are professionals that are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. OHIP does not cover chiropractic services in Ontario but most employee insurance plans provide coverage. Plans vary so this must be checked. Worker's compensation programs cover chiropractic care, and most public and private employers accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic.

The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, but in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicine and surgery. Consequently, if you have a problem such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, you should seek the help of a medical doctor. However, if your problem is spinal joint dysfunction, shoulder or leg pain or soft tissue injury causing pain, a physical solution would be better suited to correct this physical problem. Chiropractors provide a wide range of treatments including adjustments, joint mobilization, modalities, exercises, stretches and soft tissue therapies to provide relief of symptoms and recovery to full function. Postural education and biomechanical correction is a significant part of all treatment programs and a chiropractic office. Chiropractic care encompasses an individual's lifestyle to try to make improvements and prevent future recurrences of injury and pain.

Myth #2 - Medical doctors don't refer to chiropractors.

In the U.S., The American Medical Association's opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest in the 1940's when chiropractors were attacked for "practicing medicine without a license" and being part of an "unscientific cult". Up to the  early 1980's, the medical establishment in the United States purposely conspired to try to destroy the profession of chiropractic. In fact, a landmark lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Illinois in the 1980's found that the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and was ordered to pay restitution to the chiropractic profession.

Since 1987, the opinion of most medical doctors has changed: several major studies have shown the success of chiropractic in helping people with a host of conditions, and medical doctors have developed a better understanding as to what chiropractors actually do. Many people have returned to their medical doctors and told them about the great results they experienced at their chiropractor's office. Hospitals across the U.S. now have chiropractors on staff, and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. In Canada, more clinics have multidisciplinary practices including medical doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors. Chiropractors and medical doctors are now much more comfortable working together for the betterment of the patient. Dr. Kleinberg has observed over the years that at a grass roots level, many doctors and chiropractors work together in harmony and, in fact, Dr. Kleinberg receives many referrals from medical doctors.

Myth #3 - Once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.

Although it is not required, routinely visiting a chiropractor will help you build habits for long-term health benefits.

You can choose to continue going to the chiropractor if you wish to proactively maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system or practice a preventive approach to well-being. 

Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt and that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. The same is true of chiropractic care for your spine. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear as you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep, and bend. Routine chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you receive care for a short time, preventive chiropractic care can become a significant part of your wellness lifestyle. It's not absolutely necessary that you attend preventative maintenance care. After Dr. Kleinberg has assisted you with your particular issue or symptom, you can discuss the value of preventive maintenance care. You can choose to follow that route or you can see Dr. Kleinberg periodically and from time to time as needed. In either case Dr. Kleinberg will encourage you to maintain healthy lifestyle habits including daily exercise, a weekly fitness routine, a balanced and nutritious diet and adequate sleep.

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