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Practical Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor

By April 3, 2017Chiropractic
Chiropractic Benefits - Spine Image

Before you schedule an appointment for a consultation with a doctor of chiropractic, it’s natural to want to know what to expect. Chiropractic is a healthcare practice that traditionally uses, as one of its primary tools, manipulation of the spine and limb joints to alleviate pain and enhance mobility. With spinal and peripheral joint manipulation, we can create a different perception of the capabilities of your body which may allow you to move in ways that can help you feel better.  This is a relatively harmless technique to help your body naturally, without surgery or medication.

There are many practical benefits of seeing a chiropractor. Read on to learn more.

Conditions Commonly Treated with Chiropractic

The primary objectives of chiropractic are to improve functionality and therefore, relieve pain. It is no surprise, that chiropractic can sometimes bring relief to those suffering chronic back pain that has been attributed to osteoarthritis as well as acute lower back pain. Spinal manipulation has helped many patients who have been unable to achieve drug-free pain relief through any other means.

When combined with education and exercise, treatments like chiropractic or massage therapy, can contribute to providing immediate relief for the ongoing suffering of chronic conditions, as well as the pain of their acute flare-ups. Chiropractic has also been shown to decrease ‘muscle tension’ while increasing range of motion for patients experience a broad range of physical discomforts. However, the practical benefits of chiropractic go beyond the conditions that we typically associate with pain in the neck, back and shoulders. Chiropractic can provide pain relief in unexpected ways for many other conditions.

Chiropractic Care for Other Conditions

In addition to providing relief from pain for conditions relating to the spine,  you may hear claims that treatment with a Doctor of Chiropractic can provide significant results in lowering blood pressure, diminishing the side effects of chemotherapy for cancer patients, or reducing asthma-related symptoms that affect the airways.

Chiropractic Care to Lower Blood Pressure

According to a 2007 study by Dr. George Bakris, published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, individuals with high blood pressure were treated with a one-time, specialized chiropractic adjustment to correct a misaligned Atlas vertebra. The results were “astounding,” with drops in blood pressure that were similar to taking multiple medications to treat hypertension.

However, there are many flaws in this study’s premise: that a vertebra can “go out of place” and that you can determine its placement using extensively disproven methods such as leg length discrepancies, and its research design:the doctors measuring the changes in vertebral placement were not blinded, therefore drastically increasing the risk of bias and making the research findings weak.

Chiropractic for Cancer Patients

The side effects of life-saving chemotherapy treatments are well known to cause significant discomfort to patients. Cancer treatment programs may cause patients to have to remain in positions for prolonged periods of time and thus, some cancer patients experience aches and pains in the head, neck, back and shoulders.  Chiropractic may be used as a temporary relief to these aches and pains in patients who have previously had benefit from prior chiropractic care.  If any chiropractor suggests that chiropractic care can provide anything other than relief from aches and pains BEWARE!!

Chiropractic for Asthma Patients

The motion of ribs play a role in the ability to expand the lungs and you may be told that assisting them in their movement would help asthma patients. If any chiropractor claims that manipulation or adjustments do anything to improve asthma symptoms, they are making claims with no quality evidence.  As of the writing of this blog, there is no evidence that manual therapy can provide any assistance to lung function in asthma patients.

As you can see, there are many ways regular chiropractic treatment is claimed to improve your overall quality of life. If you are experiencing discomfort in any area of your life, we urge you to beware of practitioners attempting to take advantage of your discomfort through the use of questionable claims of causation and poor quality evidence.

Consult Your Health Insurance Provider

The services of a Doctor of Chiropractic are currently not covered by the provincial healthcare plan in British Columbia, unless you are under Premium Assistance.  However, patients who wish to benefit from chiropractic care may be eligible for services under health insurance benefits offered through your workplace.

When you book an appointment for chiropractic care in Victoria, speak with our office manager, Alison, and she may be able to determine your coverage with a few details of your plan; however, you may have to contact your health insurance provider to determine what coverage is available.

Achieve Health takes an evidence-informed approach to helping our patients live a more meaningful life. The health benefits of massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic, start by booking an appointment to visit our office in Victoria, BC. We can’t wait to help you reach your health and wellness goals.