Chiropractic is a combination of an art, science and philosophy. Chiropractors are passionate about helping people maintain optimal health by providing care for disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system while avoiding unnecessary drugs or surgery. The term “chiropractic” means “to be done by hand”. The first chiropractic adjustment was delivered by DD Palmer in September of 1895. DD Palmer examined a janitor who had been deaf for 17 years after the janitor felt something “give” in his back and felt that there was a misplaced vertebra in his upper back. He delivered an “adjustment” and the janitor’s hearing immediately improved. The chiropractic adjustment was originally delivered by hand, although it has now advanced to include the use of adjusting instruments such as the one we use at Trinity Chiropractic, called the Integrator.
Chiropractic is currently the third-largest primary health care profession (1).” It is estimated that chiropractors treat approximately 50 million Americans annually (4). People usually seek out chiropractic care for back pain, however people are also treated for many other musculoskeletal issues including neck pain, headaches, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, hip pain, extremity pain, etc. (2). In addition, many chiropractors also provide soft-tissue therapies, fitness coaching, lifestyle recommendations and nutritional counseling.
What education do Chiropractors have?
Chiropractors are required to have a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate education. A Doctor of Chiropractic program usually takes 4 years to complete. Chiropractors have approximately the same number of hours of education as medical doctors, but with an emphasis on biomechanics, adjusting technique and nutrition rather than pharmaceuticals.
How does Chiropractic work?
Gray’s Anatomy states that every organ, system and function of the human body is under direct control of the nervous system. Your brain controls everything in your body. It sends signals to every part of your body. These signals travel down from the brain, through the brainstem and spinal cord, then out through the peripheral nerves to every part of your body. Some of these nerves go back up to your head. Sometimes the bones of your spine, which are designed to protect these delicate nerve structures, can become misaligned and get stuck. This is known as a subluxation. A subluxation can pinch, stretch, or otherwise irritate the peripheral nerves as well as potentially causing abnormal tension on your brainstem and spinal cord. This, in turn, causes abnormal function of the nerves in these structures and may lead to a wide variety of neurological symptoms and pain.
A chiropractor is a trained specialist who “uses their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve spinal motion and improve your body’s physical function”
(3). Before an adjustment is delivered, a chiropractor will interview the patient, obtain a detailed health history, perform a chiropractic examination, perform diagnostic tests such as X-rays and will come to a working diagnosis. They will review their findings with their patient and discuss a recommended treatment plan.
How safe is Chiropractic care compared to other types of care?
Many people seek relief in drugs or surgery. Painkillers only mask the pain temporarily. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs have been linked to several health conditions, such as stomach ulcers, liver and kidney damage, as well as heart problems. Opioids are highly addictive and potentially deadly. Surgery risks include infection as well as failure rates that may lead to more surgeries, each with a higher failure rate.
Chiropractic care provides some of the safest drug-free, non-invasive treatment available for many neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Chiropractic care is considered statistically safer than even aspirin! Because of the high level of safety, chiropractors enjoy some of the lowest malpractice rates in healthcare (7)! Torque Release Technique (TRT), which we use at Trinity Chiropractic is even safer, as there is no twisting or cracking involved with the adjustments.
“Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions. CAM patient surveys show that chiropractors are used more often than any other alternative provider group and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. There is steadily increasing patient use of chiropractic in the United States, which has tripled in the past two decades.” (6) Meeker, Haldeman (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine
The most common negative side effect after a chiropractic adjustment is soreness, although we see much less of this with using the Integrator adjusting instrument compared to manual adjusting.
Is Chiropractic care affordable compared to other types of treatment?
Low back pain initiated with a doctor of chiropractic (DC) saves 20 to 40 percent on health care costs when compared with care initiated through a medical doctor (MD), according to a study that analyzed data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) beneficiaries in Tennessee over a two-year span. The study population had open access to MDs and DCs through self-referral, and there were no limits applied to the number of MD/DC visits allowed and no differences in co-pays. Researchers estimated that allowing DC-initiated episodes of care would have led to an annual cost savings of $2.3 million for BCBS of Tennessee. They also concluded that insurance companies that restrict access to chiropractic care for low back pain treatment may inadvertently pay more for care than they would if they removed such restrictions. (6)
Liliedahl et al (2010), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
There is a time and place for surgery. However, we are often able to help people avoid surgery through conservative chiropractic treatment. Avoiding unnecessary surgery can save the patient time and money as well as risk of infection, recovery time and the possibility of future surgeries due to Adjacent Syndrome. The average cost of a spinal fusion in Phoenix is $48,331 when you take the median of 35 different medical providers who perform spinal fusions in the Phoenix area (5).
How is the TRT method different from manual adjusting?
Dr. Iszler is Advanced Proficiency Certified in the newest technique in chiropractic, Torque Release Technique (TRT). Using this gentle and specific neurologically based technique, he will adjust your spine and correct the misalignments without the uncomfortable twisting and popping that most people associate with chiropractic adjustments.
Torque Release Technique has been proven through research to be one of the most specific, scientific chiropractic techniques in the world.
If you are suffering from neck pain, back pain, headaches, or any of a multitude of complaints, but are hesitant to go to a chiropractor because you are afraid of the twisting and popping involved, you will be pleasantly surprised with the relief available through our gentle and specific adjusting technique.