There are a bunch of myths that surround chiropractic care. After 20 years in the profession I think that I’ve heard them all. There are 3 or 4 that are much more pervasive than others. They seem to linger around year after year almost as part of the collective unconscious of the population. My personal favorite is the myth that “once you start going to a chiropractor, you can never stop.” It’s usually passed around like “my sister/brother started seeing a chiropractor and now she has to keep seeing one.” There are several implied messages of this myth that I’d like to address.
Myth Bust #1
No chiropractic “Mind Control”. Your chiropractor can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. You never “have” to come back for more. Fact is, my patients drop out of care all of the time. You’re always free to leave. I’ll try to teach you the science of why you shouldn’t so that you can make an educated choice and then trust you to choose wisely for yourself. I’ll welcome you back with open arms when you need me again.
Myth Bust #2
Some people think that getting regular adjustments somehow weakens their spine to the point where they will have more need for continual treatment. How could something that helps an injured spine heal properly at the same time be something that causes healthy spines to break down? It doesn’t! There is no evidence that getting adjusted on a regular basis creates spinal weakness or injury that would cause someone to become “dependent” on adjustments.
Myth Bust #3
Some people think that chiropractic becomes psychologically addictive. This is a little more complex of an answer. What I have noticed over the years is that once people know just how quickly chiropractic can improve function and help them heal from minor injuries, they simply don’t tolerate living in pain. I can’t blame them. I once helped a patient who couldn’t move her finger for over 6 years. She had seen several doctors with no diagnosis or solution. I adjusted her wrist and 10 seconds later, her finger worked. Try to keep that patient from coming back for the rest of her body’s malfunctions to be fixed! We had a long list to work through before she eventually moved away. Chiropractic is about as addicting as eating veggies. You eat your veggies because they make you feel better than when you don’t eat them. Same with chiropractic.
So here’s the deal. I want to see my patients for their entire life but not for the wrong reasons. I don’t want you to feel trapped into coming like myth bust #1. I don’t want you to “have” to come because you’ve become somehow less healthy and stable and you “need” a constant fix. I don’t want you to come in for a lifetime because you’re addicted to the sound of popping joints either.
I want you to come in for a lifetime because you understand that everything in your life that has working, moving parts needs to be maintained. Your car, your computer, your home etc. Without maintenance, everything breaks down prematurely. If you’ve bought into the “crazy” idea that brushing your teeth will help you have better oral health, or that daily exercise might improve your strength over time, or that it might be a good idea to shower every so often, it shouldn’t be so hard to imagine that maintaining your spinal health might lead to a better functioning body, right?
What type of care you receive, how frequently you should be seen are all decisions that we make together to move you from the “treatment of dysfunction” stage on to “correction” stage and even on to the “maintenance”, “prevention” and “wellness” stages of care.