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Making the case for Chiropractic

Couple jogging

Prevent back pain with exercise.

“Prevent back pain with exercise, not orthotics, review says: 90% of people have non-specific back pain, but using back brace not found useful”

That was the lead on a story last week from the CBC. A “scientific review” (a study of 20 other studies) that looked at data involving 30,000 people around the world concluded the best way to deal with back pain is to exercise.

In the vast majority of cases, orthotics in shoes, back braces, and even redesigned workplaces just don’t work.

The best fix is exercise. Yes – truly feeling better takes effort. This is yet another example that the “easy fix” is no substitute for improving your overall health and well-being by taking better care of that complex machine you scrub each day in the shower.

But what’s missing?

What was interesting about this article is that it makes no mention of what is often the source of back pain – a misaligned spine. We’ve written many times before about how this can be the result of injury, but the much more common cause is far less obvious. All those hours crouched over a tablet or smartphone, or over the desk at work, take their toll.

Not every back or neck complaint arises from a structural issue that can be corrected by a Chiropractor, but a structural misalignment is a contributing factor, more often than not.

And yet, many people still do not consult with a Chiropractor to check on the structural health of their spine.

Most people believe in Chiropractic, but don’t use it

Woman getting adjusted.

Learn about the effectiveness of Chiropractic care.

According to the first survey of its kind by the U.S. Palmer College of Chiropractic and polling firm Gallup, only 14 per cent of American adults saw a Chiropractor last year. It’s fair to assume that the Canadian experience would be comparable.

Again, it all comes down to education, and overcoming outdated stereotypes about the effectiveness of Chiropractic care.

Because the results speak for themselves. This study also found that 57 per cent of people are likely to see a Chiropractor for neck or back pain. Almost two-thirds believe Chiropractic care is effective in treating neck or back pain.

It could be argued that only half of people with chronic back pain are consulting with a Chiropractor to determine if Chiropractic care could help. According to the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse, back pain is the most common reason why people visit their family doctors after the common cold. Fifteen to 29 per cent of the population experiences chronic back pain. (Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting more than 12 weeks.)

If you are taking any form of pain medication on a regular basis, you are just treating a symptom, not the source. You need to understand and address the underlying cause of the pain.

A battle of perceptions

But people often don’t go because they think it costs too much and don’t understand that it is covered by many group insurance plans. They are also often discouraged by other people, who just don’t understand how Chiropractic works.

Those naysayers are most often well-meaning friends and family, not other medical professionals. In fact, that survey found that 29 per cent of people said they were discouraged to go by friends or family, versus only 13 per cent who said it was by a Medical Doctor.

Even people who have trusted their care to a Chiropractor often don’t appreciate how much education and training it takes to become licensed. Only 15 per cent of the study’s respondents said they knew it takes eight years of post-secondary education.

Food for thought

It’s amazing how much practicing good dental hygiene has been drilled into our collective consciousness. Few people enjoy going to the Dentist. It’s much more of a trial to endure than the typical visit to a Chiropractor.

And yet, most of us dutifully stick to that routine of cleanings and checkups. We understand that most of it is just preventative care, to avoid cavities and lost teeth. Dentist visits may be far less frequent than a regimen of Chiropractic care, but you still have to devote time each day on your own to brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

If you’re willing to devote that much time and effort to your teeth, then why not to the health of your spine as well? Teeth are important, but they don’t support your body’s structure, and impact the function of your entire nervous system.

Your spine does. Give it the care and attention it deserves, contact us.

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