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Chiropractic Medicine

Misconceptions of Chiropractic

Chiropractic Misconceptions

DC's only manipulate/adjust the spine
Once adjusted, you will always need more adjustments 
An adjustment can fix a
"straight spine"
You need an x-ray before getting adjusted
DC's only treat spine conditions
Bones go out of place 

Chiropractors Only Manipulate/Adjust 

Chiropractic manipulation is only one part of the treatment plan at River Forest Health and Wellness and at other modern chiropractic clinics. Like therapeutic exercise, massage therapy/muscle manipulation, infrared light therapy and other modalities, chiropractic manipulation needs to be incorporated into a proper treatment plan for improved outcomes.



Chiropractors Only Treat Spinal Conditions

Chiropractors are well trained in treating other conditions in addition to those of the spine. At River Forest Health and Wellness our physicians commonly treat nearly all musculoskeletal system impairments, with spine conditions only representing 40% of the treatment plans.



Once You Get Adjusted, You Always Need To Get Adjusted

Manipulation, whether of the spine or an extremity, does not need to be an ongoing regular occurrence. While there are no contraindications to regular manipulations/adjust-ments, when properly preformed, the chiropractic goal is to identify and understand proper biomechanics and/or visceral-somatic dysfunction causing the restrictions of the spine or extremity and to correct that problem.  



Manipulation Can Fix A Straight Spine

A straight spine, military neck and reverse curvature are all variations of a reduced lordosis of the cervical spine. The typical (abnormal) cervical spine has a "C" shape in appearance both on x-ray and in person. When a patient is x-rayed, especially while standing, the radiology technician typically will cue the patient to stand up straight. This posture causes the cervical spine to lose its natural curve and does not need to be treated unless it is associated with other unusual findings from palpation, orthopedic and/or functional assessment. Manipulation can add motion to the joints of the neck, allowing it to function more properly; however, it will not fix the curvature of the spine alone, especially after the age of bone maturity. 



You Need An X-Ray to Get Adjusted

An x-ray is a good diagnostic tool that can help diagnose boney and occasionally soft tissue conditions throughout the body. An x-ray is not required before a manipulation. A chiropractic physician uses diagnostic tools (orthopedic testing, functional assessments, neurological testing and palpation assessments) to properly assess the skeletal system. If there is any doubt as to the integrity of the musculoskeletal system, manipulation will not be preformed and imaging, such as an x-ray, will be ordered. If the assessment does not show any positive signs, there is no contraindication for performing a manipulation without an x-ray. 



Bones Go Out Of Place

Bones that go out of place need immediate surgical attention, either at a hospital emergency room or an orthopedic surgeon's office. The notion that chiropractors put bones back in place is a misconception. Perhaps a more appropriate way to describe the phenomenon of a joint with reduced motion is that it is "stuck."


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