Many people are weary of chiropractic treatment. This is likely due to both the hands-on nature of the practice and the fact that the American Medical Association only accepted chiropractic treatment as a legitimate form of medicine in 1980.
According to the June 2010 issue of The Journal Of the American Board of Family Medicine, chiropractic care is by far the most popular form of “complementary and alternative medicine,” with 74% of patients seeking alternative care choosing chiropractic treatment. Despite the obstacles faced by the profession, its effectiveness has put it on the top of that list.
It is important to understand that one chiropractic adjustment is usually not enough to reset the spine. Chiropractors work to realign the spine. Vertebrae can come out of alignment in a number of ways, including the presence of chronic muscle tension that pulls a bone out of place over time. Other causes of misalignment, like impact or injury, can cause muscles to tense up around the site.
Chiropractic adjustments involves the use of force alongside mobilization techniques to restore mobility and alignment to the back. Tense muscles will be stretched and moved throughout this process. If soreness occurs for a day after treatment, this is likely the simple result of stretching tense muscles. Some chiropractors apply ice to patients after an adjustment to help prevent this soreness.
Any pain not associated with simple muscle stretching is the sign of a bad chiropractor. Chiropractors do more course work than medical doctors to obtain their licenses; they have an intricate knowledge of the spine and the nerves it protects. If your chiropractor performs your adjustment wrong, then it is more the chiropractor than chiropractic medicine itself that has harmed you.
It is important for chiropractors to be aware of any medical conditions you may have before even considering an adjustment. Patients over 50, for example, should be screened for osteoporosis, or the loss of bone density that results in brittle, porous bones susceptible to fracture. X-rays, bones scans or mineral density tests should be obtained to confirm or rule out the presence of osteoporosis.
Can chiropractic treatment increase back pain? Not if administered properly. Short-term soreness is the result of your muscles healing, not a faulty procedure.