Every year, doctors of chiropractic (DCs) will treat 27 million adults and children in the United States. Chiropractor services and chiropractic care are an effective way to ease pain and get people back to work.
- Why we need chiropractic care. At any one moment, approximately 31 million people in the United States are experiencing pain in their lower back. Half of working Americans report that they have back pain in a year, and expert estimates are that 80% of the country’s population will have back problems at some point in life. In fact, back pain is the primary reason for disability in anyone under 45 years of age in the United States, and 28% of all adults with pain in their lower back report that it forces them to limit their activity. Seeing a DC is one of the best ways to get started on relieving back pain and minimizing the effect it has on work and life.
- How effective is chiropractic care? Studies have shown that chiropractic care can be very effective, both physically and in terms of cost. Among injured workers, a recent study showed that the worker in question was 28 times less likely to require surgery on the spine if their first stop after the injury was at a Doctor of Chiropractic rather than a surgeon. The National Football League’s 32 different teams all use DCs to make sure their football players are optimized in terms of endurance, conditioning, and function. They also employ DCs to treat neck and back pain, strain injuries such as whiplash, and any other neuromusculoskeletal issues. Recently, a study on treatment for pain in the lower back found that treatment for the condition cost an average of 20% less when it was started by a DC rather than an MD, regardless of how the treatment proceeded from there.
- What should I ask when I’m choosing a DC? First, do your research. Each state has a Chiropractic Regulation and Licensing Board. There you can find out if there have been any actions against any of the DCs you’re looking at. You can also go to the Council on Chiropractic Education to double check that your DC attended a college that’s accredited with them. Once you’ve narrowed the field this way, look at whether the chiropractor is friendly and you feel comfortable talking with him or her. Does he or she fully answer all your questions? Does the DC listen to a complete explanation of symptoms and previous treatments you might have had? How long as the DC been in practice, and does he or she have any kind of specialties? Some chiropractors specialize in nutrition; others in chiropractic care for sports injuries. It’s possible to find a chiropractor for chronic pain or a chiropractor for sports injuries.
- How do I make the most of my visit to the DC? Once you’ve chosen the right DC for you, be sure to be very specific about any symptoms you are experiencing. This will help the DC offer the best treatment, or even know if you should be referred on to a different type of healthcare provider. Also be sure to check with your insurance provider in advance so you know what is and is not covered, and ask your DC about what coverages they accept. Also be sure to ask on the first consultation about an estimate for how long the treatment will last and how many times he or she expects that you’ll need to come in.
Chiropractic care is an effective method for treating many types of injury, strain, and chronic pain. Chiropractic care has proven effective especially for pain in the back and neck and can sometimes help a patient avoid surgery and lower the overall costs of care. If you’re experiencing chronic pain as result of injury or strain, see what a DC near you can do to return you to an active and pain-free life.