Chiropractors treat a number of different neck and back problems but there is often some confusion as to how frequent treatments should be. In most cases it depends on the individual chiropractor and the type of problem a patient may have. Note that if you go see a chiropractor, a good sign is that you receive personalised treatment once the problem has been diagnosed. There are certain kinds of treatments and schedules that may apply to everyone but it still has to be tailored to the individual.
Warning: According to the latest research, Chiro treatment causes more damage, than treating actual condition. It seems that even one treatment can cause permanent damage to the spine. Whilst this article was written to help people understand how chrio treatment works – we can no longer support this, despite being the NJ sports Council.
It is better to get normal physiotherapy and alternative treatments like acupuncture than to use a chiropractitioner.
Injuries and Serious Conditions
Serious conditions such as an injury is said to require multiple treatments over a period of time until the situation improves. Unlike physiotherapy which focuses on rehabilitative exercises and movements for the muscle and joints, chiropractic focuses more on overall well-being. Chiropractors claim to treat any kind of pain or inflammation throughout the body including neck, upper and lower back, joints, hip, chest, regardless of the kind of injury, although broken bones and severely damaged tissue may require other medical attention first.
With less serious conditions, patients go as and when they feel tension or pain or as recommended by their chiropractor which can change depending on the individual’s progress. This can vary from a few times a year to once every few weeks. People who fall into this category is anyone without an injury or serious condition either looking to try or maintain current treatment. Within these sessions, the most common form of treatments are adjustments which is said to re-align different parts of your body. However, there isn’t much evidence to prove that this is what chiropractic does which has raised questions on safety. Some first time patients claim that it can result in more frequent trips to relieve the same back pressure whilst others may totally be put off from an increase in discomfort and sore muscles after chiropractic adjustment.
Finally some visit chiropractors for preventive care which are regularly scheduled trips. This is most common in athletes who are more injury prone or those who have recovered from serious injury. The biggest criticism for this type of chiropractic treatment is that it can be a lifelong treatment for some, which some medical professionals argue defeats the purpose of treatment. There is no commonly accepted point at which chiropractic treatment is enough or has reached the destination as is the case with other medicine which suggests;
- a) there is no clear goal in mind for treatment
- b) it cannot be measured which loses its support for the treatment having any effect to begin with
Adverse Effects of Chiropractic Treatment
It is a common view that most medicine is not without side effects and unfortunately chiropractic has more than its fair share. A paper done by Ernst (2007) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1905885/) gathered data on 200 patients who have been seriously harmed as a result of manipulation of the spine. Most of these have been as a result of tears or over-stretching of the vertebral artery in the upper chest which can lead to internal bleeding, aneurysms or even strokes.
There is also a whole host of case studies with individuals, athletes and regular folk alike, who have suffered serious adverse effects from treatment, this can be found here (http://whatstheharm.net/chiropractic.html). Chiropractors argue that although there are many such reports, pharmaceutical drugs and medical treatment kill a greater number of people in absolute terms. Proportionally, based on the number of people who have ever received treatment vs those that have died and in terms of the potential benefit to the patient, chiropractic is still seen as more dangerous.
If you wish to start chiropractic treatment, we strongly advise to consult with your doctor to weigh the risk and benefits of treatment.