Benefits of Chiropractic Care – and How to Choose a Chiropractor
As research about chiropractic care grows in size and scope, so do the reports about the benefits of this treatment. As the Annals of Internal Medicine reports, a combination of spinal manipulative therapy – the kind performed by chiropractors – and physical exercise can actually relieve pain more effectively than medicine. And, this automatically creates other benefits: you don’t have to worry about medicinal side effects or the cost of prescribed pharmaceuticals.
Meanwhile, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reports on reduced health care costs associated with chiropractic care, a hot-button concern as health care insurance and associated costs rise. Chiropractic care as part of an integrated approach to health care, this journal reports, was shown to reduce pharmaceutical costs by 51.8 percent, with 43 percent fewer hospital admissions. You can read more about the benefits of chiropractic care in this Fox News article.
The American Chiropractic Association lists numerous other research results, and here are three highlights:
- Also according to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, “Manual-thrust manipulation provides greater short-term reductions in self-reported disability and pain compared with usual medical care. 94% of the manual-thrust manipulation group achieved greater than 30% reduction in pain compared with 69% of usual medical care.”
- According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, data from 2000-2009 from North Carolina indicates that “care by a doctor of chiropractic (DC) alone or DC care in conjunction with care by a medical doctor (MD) incurred ‘appreciably fewer charges’ for uncomplicated lower back pain than MD care with or without care by a physical therapist.”
- Research published by Spine indicates that “Reduced odds of surgery were observed for…those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.”
You can find significantly more statistics and study summaries at the American Chiropractic Association site.
What Exactly is Chiropractic Care? How Many People Choose It?
Chiropractic care provides pain relief to joints and bones, muscles and connective tissues, without using drugs. Instead, hands-on manipulation of the spine and other methods are used to align the body’s musculoskeletal structure so that healing can take place. Pressure is placed in strategic places, unblocking nerve energy. This can be used in conjunction with traditional medical care or as a stand-alone treatment. Typical treatments have focused on pain relief in the back and neck, along with headache reduction, but the use of chiropractic care has expanded significantly. Many chiropractors focus on treating a person holistically, with the goal of overall wellness rather than simply focusing on the specific problem that brings a patient to a practice.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shares a 2007 study that reveals how more than 18 million American adults have already had chiropractic care, along with more than two million children, over the most recent 12-month period. When looking just at people experiencing back pain, two thirds of them reported “great benefit” from these treatments.
History of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care has been offered for more than 120 years and the name of the treatment was created by its founder, Daniel David Palmer. Palmer combined two Greek words: Cheir, meaning “hand,” and praktos, meaning “done.” So, simply, done by hand.
Palmer came up with this discipline after realizing how manual manipulation had been used as a healing treatment for hundreds – perhaps thousands – of years. Yet, no one had scientifically studied this phenomenon to understand the benefits – and why it works. So, he contributed the “codification of the philosophy, art and science of chiropractic which was based on his extensive study of anatomy and physiology.”
He performed the first chiropractic adjustment in September 1895 on a hearing-impaired janitor who felt something give way in his back. Palmer made an adjustment to an upper back vertebra and, not only did the man experience pain relief, he reported improved hearing. In 1897, Palmer opened the Palmer School of Care in Iowa, now the Palmer College of Chiropractic. Others became interested in this form of healing, including his son, and chiropractors began to get licensed in 1913. By 1931, 39 states had given this form of treatment legal recognition. Now, it is recognized and licensed in all 50 states, plus in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Great Britain and Switzerland.
How to Find a Good Chiropractor
Perhaps that nagging back pain seems to resist all your efforts to eliminate it or your neck pain is keeping you up at night. Or you just haven’t gotten relief from pain sustained after a car accident and you don’t want to just take more pills. Naturally you wonder whether a chiropractor might be the answer. But, because you’ve never had a chiropractic adjustment before, you are looking for more information about the best professional for your situation. Or maybe you’ve moved and need a chiropractor near your new home. In either case, how do you make the right choice?
You, of course, want high quality care, so ask friends and family members if they have recommendations. If that doesn’t work, do you have people in your social networks who have utilized chiropractic services in your area with positive results? Take time to contact them and inquire about their experiences. It isn’t necessary for your specific pain issues to perfectly dovetail with theirs, as chiropractors deal with a wide range of conditions and challenges.
When you get a positive report about a professional, contact that office to verify they are taking new patients, and read information on their site about their specialties and their experience. You’ll want an experienced professional to help you achieve desired results.
Your chiropractor of choice should provide you with an appropriate examination, diagnosis and treatment plan. Once you’ve made your choice for your first chiropractic adjustment, recognize that developing a relationship with your doctor is important. You want to feel comfortable with him or her, able to ask your questions. If you find that your initial choice isn’t responsive to your needs and won’t clarify your treatment plan, trust your intuition and find a chiropractor who clearly communicates treatment options and answers all of your questions (even if you have to ask them more than once!).
First Chiropractic Adjustment? Do Your Part
Once you’ve done your homework and have chosen the right chiropractor to make a positive difference in your quality of life, then it’s time for you to do your part. Here are five practical steps you can take to get the most out of your partnership with your chiropractor.
Be honest and accurate about your health history. Your chiropractor can serve you best when he or she knows the full extent of your history. Do you feel silly about how you injured your back? Your chiropractor isn’t here to judge you, but to help you. So, don’t hold back. Give him or her accurate information so he or she has the tools to help you.
Speak up. Quality chiropractors will make an effort to de-mystify the therapy process but it is up to you to let them know when something is not clear. Asking questions supports your working relationship, allowing them to know your concerns. Communicate your wants and needs and, if you have a question regarding the treatment plan, your appointment schedule or payment process, speak up immediately.
Inform the chiropractor about changes in your health status immediately. Keep your chiropractor informed about how you are progressing. If you notice changes in your ability to function (good or bad), let your service provider know. Did you slip and fall? Tell your chiropractor. Were you able to golf without pain for the first time in a long while? Tell your chiropractor! Remember, he or she wants to customize treatments to help you improve. That can only happen if you regularly communicate any changes that occur in your health status.
Follow your plan of care. Keep in mind that you have committed time and money into a process that will improve your quality of life. So, resolve to actively engage in your treatment plan. Your chiropractor may suggest some resources and ideas for helping to improve your overall health. Commit to choosing at least one or two small goals that you will pursue outside of the core treatment plan. Your active participation increases your chances of successful treatment and can catapult you forward to better overall health and quality of life.
Take responsibility for the consequences if you choose not to embrace your part of the therapy plan. Asking questions about a treatment plan is fine, even preferable to NOT asking. But, once a treatment plan is agreed upon, not fulfilling upon your part of the treatment plan can limit or even undermine the goals your chiropractor has set for you.
How to Choose a Chiropractor in South Carolina
Dr. Donald G. Kimble has 59 years of experience in chiropractic care, and his son, Dr. Mark G. Kimble, has 33. Mark remembers, as a child, watching his father help a patient – and that patient said that, if it weren’t for his dad, he’d be in a wheelchair by now. See more about what people say about our care:
We have been helping people relieve pain since 1959 by getting to the root of their problems, not just treating the symptoms. We use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and gentle care to treat acute and chronic pain alike. Our non-invasive, low-force adjusting relieves pain without twisting and/or popping – and many patients stay with us long-term for wellness care! We think you’ll appreciate how well we explain diagnoses and treatments, answering questions in plain English, and how your wellness truly matters to us.
Here are specific services our chiropractors in South Carolina offer:
- Decompression traction therapy to help you avoid back surgery
- Neck and back pain chiropractic care, which, among other benefits, can help heal sciatica pain
- TMJ and jaw pain care: well-functioning jaws are critical for daily functions
- Post-auto accident/personal injury care: don’t minimize your injuries!
- Laser light therapy for improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling
- Therapeutic ultrasound physical therapy enhances healing, deep into tissues
- Extremity pain treatment helps painful elbows, wrists and more
And, yes! We also offer animal chiropractic care for a variety of conditions.
Kimble Chiropractic Center is located at 518 North Avenue in Rock Hill, South Carolina. You can contact us online for a chiropractor appointment or call 803-327-6155 today to begin healing.