There are a lot of conflicting views about chiropractors and in most cases there is no merit. Here are the top ten most common myths about chiropractors:
1. There is no scientific evidence to show that chiropractic treatment works
Chiropractic has a plethora of scientific evidence to show that the treatment works. One of the largest and most recent pieces is a systematic review of chiropractic treatment for a number of conditions by Gert Bronfort et al. Along with many others it shows that there is positive evidence in the treatment of lower back pain, neck pain, and even cervicogenic dizziness.
2. You only have to do a weekend course to be a chiropractor
This is completely false. In order to call yourself a chiropractor in the UK you have to be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). The GCC requires you to have done a degree from an accredited university, which there are 3 in the UK currently. The current degree is a Master of Chiropractic degree of 4+1 or 5+1 years. A common comparison made is the amount of hours done at university by a chiropractor and a medic. Chiropractors do an average of 4822 hours in their degree and medics do an average of 4667 hours.
3. Chiropractic is not a recognised profession
Chiropractors are regulated by government by the General Chiropractic Council. It is the widest used and fastest growing complementary medicine in the world. There are currently trials in North East London regarding chiropractic on the NHS, which so far have been very successful.
4. Chiropractic care is dangerous
Chiropractic care has been shown to be one of the safest medical treatments. The most common concern is that neck adjustments cause stroke. A recent study by Cassidy et al showed that you are just as likely to have a stroke if you see your GP as you are if you see your chiropractor. How can the neck adjustment be the thing to blame? Unfortunately chiropractors and GPs see people who are going to have a stroke, which in a lot of cases is undetectable until it happens.
5. Chiropractors are not “real doctors”
Chiropractors are not in fact medical doctors. As described earlier though they do go through similar training hours and are awarded a D.C. title on completion, which means Doctor of Chiropractic. So although they are not a Medical Doctor they are a Doctor of Chiropractic.
6. Chiropractors X-Ray every person
Chiropractors are trained to read and take x-rays. Because of this chiropractors are required to follow strict guidelines (IRMER) to who they can and can’t x-ray. There always has to be justification to x-ray and in the vast majority of cases this is present.
7. Chiropractors are just cracking bones. That can’t be healthy!
Chiropractors are not cracking bones. They are delivering a specific impulse into a joint in order to stretch the receptors in the aim to return the joint back to normal function. This is required in cases where the spine is not functioning correctly and has been shown to be a safe method of doing so.
8. Chiropractors only deal with problems in the spine
Chiropractors are trained to deal with all problems affecting joints, muscles, and nerves. This ranges from shoulder problems to ankle problems to neck problems. Chiropractors also learn about other pathologies outside of what they treat so they are able to detect if there is something more serious going on and so they can adjust their treatment style to suit the person.
9. Chiropractors claim to cure all problems by adjusting the spine
This is false. This was the philosophy in the 1800s when chiropractic was first invented. Since that time, just like medicine, chiropractic has made large advances and now primarily works off current medical research. Some chiropractors still follow the original philosophy and it is important to find a chiropractor that suits you.
10. Chiropractors are just after your money
Because chiropractic care isn’t free people assume that chiropractors are just after your money. If you were to ask a group of first year students why they wanted to be a chiropractor it would be to help people and not because they wanted to earn money. Chiropractors often given free treatments or reduced rates if someone isn’t improving the way they should. It is a situation of a few affect many, a few ill-informed chiropractors have given a bad name for many chiropractors.