In the second part of the chiropractic myth-buster series, we look more into the misconceptions that could be preventing people from seeking chiropractic help and enjoying healthier, pain-free lives.
Myth 5: Chiropractic therapy is unsafe.
Truth: Chiropractic treatment is a non-invasive therapy and much safer than surgery.
For many who suffer from lower back pain, treatment options include surgery and medications. Back surgery comes with risks such as infections, internal bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, and nerve damage, along with poor outcomes. That’s why surgery is considered a last line of treatment after options like spinal manipulation have been explored and exhausted.
On the other hand, chiropractic care is focused on spinal manipulations, which are considered extremely safe in the hands of a trained professional registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA). In fact, one report discovered that fewer than one per million patient visits for spine manipulation lead to a serious adverse event.
Myth 6: Chiropractic care is not covered by insurance.
Truth: Chiropractic care in Australia is covered by Medicare as well as private insurance.
All private health funds cover chiropractic care. The refund from the health fund will be determined by the level of cover you have.
If you have been going through a chronic medical condition for six months or longer, Medicare can cover up to five of your chiropractic visits every year. To do this, your GP must organize your treatment through a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) or Team Care Arrangement plan.
Myth 7: Chiropractors only crack bad backs.
Truth: Chiropractors perform a range of treatments besides spinal manipulations, and they treat a wide range of ailments.
While the “crack” of a spinal adjustment is almost ubiquitous with the chiropractor’s office, chiropractors work with a range of interventions like manual or manipulative therapies, postural training, exercise rehabilitation and education. They can even offer ergonomic advice.
And while lower back pain is the most common complaint for which people usually go to a chiropractor, Allied Health Professions Australia highlights that even people who suffer from neck pain, extremity pain and dysfunction, migraine headaches, and degenerating posture can find relief from chiropractic therapy.
Myth 8: Chiropractors do the same work as physiotherapists.
Truth: Chiropractors and physiotherapists are both focused on managing pain using non-invasive therapies, however, while physiotherapists are focused on improving mobility, the primary goal of chiropractic care is to help the body heal itself.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractors focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, while the American Physical Therapy Association tells us that physiotherapists (or physical therapists) are movement experts who aim to improve a person’s range of movement. While both forms of therapy are non- invasive and aim to relieve pain and increase quality of life, chiropractors differ in two ways: first, they follow the philosophy that your body can heal itself with chiropractic intervention and second, they specialize in aligning the spine and adjusting joints toaddress many health conditions.
There is a growing body of research highlighting the benefits of chiropractic care for spine health, so actively check it out and share it with people you know. Hopefully more of us will get past the fears caused by these myths and step into a chiropractic clinic soon. We’re just a call away!