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misconceptions about chiropractic

Chiropractic is dangerous.

The safety of chiropractic care has been well documented in professional journals of all kinds. Serious side-effects of chiropractic manipulative therapy occur in approximately one out of every one million adjustments. Compare this to the serious side effects of medicines and surgical errors to put safety into perspective. Research reveals that some 100,000 people die each year from the effects of prescription drugs that are prescribed by their doctors.

Now this isn’t meant to be “MD bashing”, it’s just the simple truth about the safety of prescription medications, as reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 1998). The article continues to say, “Discovering new dangers of drugs after marketing is common. Overall, 51% of approved drugs have serious adverse effects not detected prior to approval. Merely discovering adverse effects is not itself sufficient to protect the public. Each year prescription drugs injure 1.5 million people so severely they require hospitalization and 100,000 die, making prescription drugs the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.” So the question was about the safety of chiropractic care?

You have to keep going for the rest of your life!

Chiropractic care is like “orthodontics” for the spine. Clinically, repeated adjustments “train” the vertebrae to maintain their proper alignment and movement. Like the time required for braces to achieve correction depends on an individual’s teeth and mouth structure, the time required for proper positioning to occur depends upon the condition of the patient’s spine, their job, and other lifestyle activities.

Think of your spinal adjustments like maintaining your car. It’s recommended that you change your car’s oil every 3,000 or so miles. For how long you ask? For as long as you have the car! While some individuals drive 3,000 miles in a week, others do so in a month or two. The point is, however, that we change our oil on a regular basis. The same goes for caring for your spine. Whether to get adjusted weekly or monthly depends on each patient’s specific health condition. Remember, “An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Don’t let your car’s engine fall out before changing its oil!

Chiropractors are not real doctors.

Chiropractors comprise the second largest health care profession with over 50,000 practitioners in the US alone. They earn the title “doctor” along with medical doctors, osteopaths, and dentists.

The educational process leading becoming a Chiropractor is quite similar to that of a Medical Doctor and Osteopath. In order to earn a degree in Chiropractic, a student must meet the relevant secondary education requirements in terms of completion of subjects such as English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, etc and they are then required to sit an interview to be accepted into the Chiropractic Course.

A Chiropractor undergoes five years of full time training to attain a double degree at University. The Chiropractic course structure (changed at RMIT Victoria as of 2003), is an initial 3 year Bachelor of Science Degree covering subjects such as anatomy, biomechanics, pathology, nutrition, radiology, pharmacology, neurology, physiology, etc. At the completion of this 3 years the student is then required to undergo a 2 year Masters of Chiropractic; it is only possible for a student to practice Chiropractic if they have completed this full 5 years of study.

Within the final Masters degree, Chiropractic Students undergo clinical training at specified student clinics, where they are responsible for patients care under the supervision of qualified Chiropractors. The chiropractic student’s last year also allows the opportunity to undertake a clinical internship (similar to MD or Osteopath “rotations”), providing all requirements at student clinics have been met. During this time the chiropractic intern, under the supervision of a licensed Chiropractor, will consult, examine & treat patients in a clinic setting. Upon graduation and earning the Chiropractic degree, a clinical proficiency exam must be passed in order to practice.

Chiropractic students study many of the same textbooks as medical and osteopathic students. As a matter of fact, a chiropractic student accumulates more course hours in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics (how the body moves), neurology, and nutrition than their medical and osteopathic colleagues! Your chiropractors’ knowledge in the field of health is vast and is continually advanced by attending annual conferences.

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