Why a Chiropractor?
Is fear of the unknown keeping you from seeing a chiropractor? If you’re suffering from back pain, there’s plenty of evidence to conclude that chiropractic is an effective treatment, advises Dr. Cynthia Boyd of Symmetry Health Center in Alameda and Oakland, California.
Why go to a Chiropractor?
#You need to see a chiropractor if you lead a sedentary lifestyle
Research shows that only 21% of adults meet the guidelines for physical activity, which means that 4 out of 5 people are not active enough! So, How a sedentary lifestyle can affect your overall health?
Most likely, when it comes to the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle, you think about obesity. But it’s only one of the many ways that our lives can be affected by sitting all day long and not having enough physical activity. Here is a list of the possible symptoms you may experience – besides becoming overweight – if you have a sedentary lifestyle:
- Low metabolism
- Chronic pain, mostly in the area of the neck and back
- Spine-related health issues, such as a higher risk of osteoporosis, scoliosis, and spinal disc herniation
- Decreased flexibility
- Increased risk of chronic diseases (for example, diabetes, cardiovascular disease)
- Sleeping difficulty
- Decreased quality of life
- Weakened immune system
- Higher risk of breast and colon cancer
Spine-related issues, such as spine misalignment can do a lot of harm to your overall health. To begin with, these underlying health conditions can disrupt the nerve energy flow within the body that is necessary for your basic body functions. Therefore, it can cause further health issues and significantly affect your quality of life. Chiropractors can assess your spine health, address even subtle changes in your spine alignment, and help negate the negative health effects of your sedentary lifestyle as well. Plus, they can holistically improve your overall health by using various treatment methods.
#Spine health care with the lowest cost
Taking care of your spine is an investment in overall health. However, the cost is what everyone has to consider the most. For regular health care while still being the most economical, choosing a chiropractor near you is the right thing to do. Evidence is:
- Healthcare research firm Optum analyzed two years’ worth of its own data and concluded that patients who experienced 14.7 million nonsurgical spinal episodes could have saved a total of $1.3 billion if they had begun their care with chiropractic medicine.The organization further concluded that patients treated by a chiropractor within 10 days of a spinal episode drastically reduced the need for everything from costly surgery to injections to prescription medications. Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) echoes these findings. Its research shows that when chiropractic care is chosen over more invasive alternatives, such as surgery, the cost per treatment episode is reduced by 40%.
- Richard Sarnat, MD, led a similar study, based on 10 years of data from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. He concluded, “The regular utilization of chiropractic could reduce the need for hospitalization, pharmaceutical usage and overall global health care costs by almost 50 percent.”
- For the U.S. military, chiropractors are core members of the spinal care team at 51 US military bases, with a growing body of evidence showing better outcomes at lower cost.
- All 32 NFL teams and 27 of 30 Major League Baseball teams employ chiropractors. Twenty-eight doctors of chiropractic were employed in the Olympic polyclinic during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
#Education and training of chiropractor
In the US, to become a chiropractor, you must complete a four-year program, including three years of college and one year of residency. Chiropractors must have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, complete studies in life sciences, anatomy, and physiology. They practice adjustment techniques, and are regularly monitored and evaluated. Upon completion of this program, they must pass the National Chiropractic Board exam.
To operate in a certain state, chiropractors are required to have a license to practice in that state.
As we discussed above, chiropractors can effectively address any spine-related health issues and help you reduce the negative health effects of your sedentary lifestyle.
How to choose a right chiropractor?
How do you choose the chiropractor that’s right for you? It can be a challenge, because chiropractors practice a wide variety of techniques. Some chiropractors only adjust the spine. Some use instruments for adjustments, others use only their hands. Others incorporate supplements and muscle testing. Chiropractors may also use electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and other modalities, such as traction. You’ll have to decide what works for you.
Start by asking your family and friends for recommendations. But be aware that their experience might differ from yours. It’s a good idea to interview several chiropractors before you choose the one you feel comfortable with.
Your comfort level may depend on several factors. Here are some additional questions to ask:
- Is the staff friendly and welcoming?
- How long do you have to wait for your appointment?
- Do you like the doctor?
- Does he or she listen to your concerns and answer your questions in understandable English?
- Is the doctor rushed, or does he or she spend a reasonable amount of time with you?
- What kind of training does the chiropractor have?
- Is he or she licensed to practice in your state?
- Has she gone to an accredited chiropractic college?
- Does she have several years of experience treating patients with your condition?
- How long will treatment take?
- How many visits it should take before you begin feeling better?
The doctor should ask about your health history and your current condition. He should give you an initial physical examination (checking posture, reflexes, etc.), provide a diagnosis and explain your treatment plan.
Don’t choose a chiropractor who wants you to sign up for a package of long-term treatment even before seeing how you respond. And don’t forget to inquire about the clinic’s payment plans.
Once you find a chiropractor who seems a good fit for you, go in for your first treatment. But don’t sign up for any treatment plans until you are sure the doctor is right for you.
How often should you go to chiropractor?
One of the most frequently asked questions that chiropractic patients or future clients ask is about how often they should go to their chiropractor. There is no definite answer to this question. This is because many factors such as the patient’s health condition, recovery goals, and needs can affect how frequently they should visit their chiropractor to reach their overall health goals.
#The reason for your visit
One of the factors that may affect how often you should see your chiropractor is the reason for your visit. Most people seek the help of chiropractic health professionals for pain, especially for neck pain and low back pain. Unfortunately, low back pain is one of the most common causes of work-related disabilities in the U.S. Therefore, it is an issue that can not be neglected. A spine health expert can bring long-lasting results in pain relief and improve the patient’s quality of life as well.
Besides neck and low back pain, these are the most common reasons for visiting a chiropractor:
- Chronic pain
- Headaches or migraines
- Sleeping difficulties
- Concentration problems
- Mood affective disorders
- Digestion problems
- Weakened immune system
- Injuries (for example, fall, vehicle accident, sports injury, etc.)
- Biomechanical problems
- Incorrect posture
#The different phases of Chiropractic care
How often you should visit your chiropractor will depend on which phase of chiropractic care you are in. Primarily, there are three phases of chiropractic care: pain relief, corrective care, and continued maintenance. In each phase the goals of the treatment sessions are different, so your chiropractor will apply some changes in visit frequency and use other treatment options to meet your needs and accelerate your recovery. We will talk about the three phases of care in detail below.
- Pain relief: Most people decide to consult a chiropractor because they are suffering from pain and they would like to get immediate relief from the pain. This is why in the first phase of chiropractic care the focus is on pain relief. Chiropractors can use a wide variety of treatment options to relieve the pain effectively such as spine manipulation, pain-relieving modalities, or exercises. Pain management is a significant step in the process of recovery as it may be needed for tolerating further treatments as well. In this phase, you may need to visit your chiropractor about 2-3 times per week for 4-12 weeks.
- Corrective care: While in the first phase the goal is to relieve your pain, in the second phase chiropractors aim to facilitate your healing potential by restoring your holistic balance. This means that your chiropractor may address your spine misalignment by spine adjustments, exercises, or he/she can give you lifestyle recommendations such as posture training or how to eat a healthier diet. In the corrective care phase, most likely you should see your chiropractor 1-4 times per month for 6-24 months. It may seem like a very long period but it is worth it if you are looking for a true sustainable recovery.
- Continued maintenance: The third phase of care is about long-term wellness. This is because your chiropractor would like to ensure that you stay well and the results you have achieved in the second phase last for the long term. During your checkups, your chiropractor will assess your spine health and if any kind of issues in your spine alignment or muscle balance get detected, they can address it immediately and make the necessary steps to prevent future health issues. In this phase, you may check in with your chiropractor 1-4 times a month.
Looking for a good chiropractor in Alameda and Oakland
As you can see, chiropractic care offers a holistic approach to patient care and recovery. Chiropractors, especially those elite spine health specialists who are certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), focus on treating the underlying issue that causes the symptoms in addition to pain relief. Addressing the root problem may require time, that’s why you may need to visit your chiropractor frequently- at least at first.
If you don’t have a chiropractor yet and you live near Oakland or Alameda, CA, consider getting in touch with Symmetry Health Center. At Symmetry Health Center, Dr. Cynthia Boyd and her team are among only a handful of Oakland and Alameda-area chiropractors certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP).
Contact us to determine if you are a candidate for care at one of our Symmetry Health Center locations in Oakland or Alameda.