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Posted on 08-22-2017

As successful as chiropractic has become, there are a lot of myths about chiropractic floating around in the general public.  I like to address these myths right up front with my patients and those considering Chiropractic Care.  According to many surveys, patients are actually far more satisfied with their chiropractic treatment than they are with conventional medical care. I believe one of the reasons for this is that many patients feel much better immediately after their sessions. How many patients can say that after visiting their conventional medical doctor?

The second myth I often hear is "You have to keep going for the rest of your life to achieve any benefit." Many patients come to chiropractic because they are in pain, and once the pain is gone, they stop going to the  chiropractor. And that’s fine— if all they want is relief from pain. But remember, chiropractic philosophy is based on allowing the body to achieve and maintain its natural state of radiant health and well-being, and to do that, we need to take care of our spines on a regular basis.

I hold patient education talks in my practice every week, and in them I ask, “How many of you have heard that once you go to a chiropractor, you always have to go?” (There are usually several sheepish grins and half-raised hands at this point.) I continue, “It’s just like those darn dentists. Once you start going, they expect you to come in for a cleaning every six months!”

Dentists today practice preventive medicine. You go in every six months and get a cleaning and a checkup. The dentist examines your teeth for normal wear and tear, catches small problems (like cavities, gum disease, and so on), and fixes them while they’re minor. However, if you don’t go to the dentist until you’re in pain, you run the risk of needing far more extensive, painful, and costly work (like root canals, periodontal work, tooth extractions, bridgework, even dentures).

Just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear— you walk, drive, sit, stand, and move every day, sometimes in ways that create misalignment and even discomfort. When you see your  chiropractor once a month, or once every three months, for what we call “maintenance care,” then he or she can catch and handle any small problems quickly and easily. But if you wait until you’re in pain, then it will take the chiropractor longer, and you’ll need more treatments than you would have if you’d been coming in for regular care.

There are two exceptions to equating regular dental and chiropractic care. First, most chiropractic visits are a lot more enjoyable than most trips to the dentist. And second, while I have great respect for dentists (and value my own teeth highly), I believe that keeping your spine healthy is more important even than keeping your teeth sound. After all, if you have problems  with your teeth, as a last resort the dentist can give you a set of dentures to replace them, but there is no equivalent replacement for your spine. Regular chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. To me, that’s worth a half an hour every three months.

To read more about the myths of chiropractic, check out Dr. Lenarz’s book The Chiropractic Way, available on Amazon.

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