Frequently Asked Chiropractic Questions

May 20, 2021Blog Post


Knowledge is good. Misinformation is bad. Those are two points on which most everyone would agree. And they have a lot to do with our quest to make sure people know what chiropractic medicine is all about. At Integrative Physical Health, we do everything we can to work with individual patients and carefully explain all the details of their treatment.

That’s why our patients are so well informed and know what’s happening with their care every step of the way, from the day they step into our office until their condition improves and they get the relief they hoped for.

But, what about folks who have never visited a chiropractic physician? The following list is our way of helping to address that knowledge gap and getting information to whoever wants to know more about what chiropractors do, why it’s such a beneficial, safe, effective, and natural way of dealing with a wide range of physical conditions.

Here’s a list of some of the questions we hear in the medical office, at social events, and from just about anyone who isn’t quite sure what, exactly, chiropractic medical care is all about.

FACQ: Frequently-Asked Chiropractic Questions

While there are literally hundreds of questions floating around out there about chiropractic medicine, four that seem to top the list include queries focused on:

  • What a chiropractor is
  • Whether chiropractors are doctors
  • When to see a chiropractic physician
  • How effective it is

Below, we’ll walk through those very common questions as well as several others that people ask on a regular basis.

The most common question of all is, “What is a chiropractor?” That one usually is quickly followed up by, “What do chiropractors do?” Here’s the answer:

An official definition of the term “chiropractor” explains that these health care professionals treat neuromuscular disorders and generally treat conditions “related to the body’s structure.” They emphasize treatment methods that use manual adjustment of the spine or other parts of the body that are in need of care.

What do they do? In addition to restoring the alignment of the spine and making sure bones and joints are functioning properly, chiropractors often order x-rays, perform or prescribe physical therapy, give detailed medical advice to patients, take medical histories from new patients, and employ various forms of non-invasive, drug-free techniques to bring the body back into its original, natural state of health.

Here are other common questions, along with brief answers:

Are chiropractic physicians the same as medical doctors?

Chiropractors are doctors. They’re referred to as doctors and physicians just as MDs are. The difference is in the training. Both MDs and chiropractors attend a four-year medical school and take a rigorous board examination, and pass it before they’re allowed to practice and receive a license. However, for chiropractors, there are four board exams to pass and the number of hours of medical school training are greater than MDs.

One key difference is that chiropractors do not prescribe drugs nor do they perform invasive types of surgery. That only makes sense, because the entire philosophy behind chiropractic medicine is about non-drug, natural methods of healing the human body without invasive surgeries of any kind.

What conditions do chiropractors treat?

Low-back pain and neck pain are common conditions treated by chiropractors. Also, people who suffer from all kinds of headaches, particularly migraines and tension, see chiropractors for relief. Whiplash, shoulder pain, discomfort or pain in the sacroiliac region, knee pain, and joint pain are some of the other things that bring people into chiropractic offices millions of times every year across the U.S.

Is chiropractic care effective?

Not only is chiropractic medicine effective, but it’s also often the only form of treatment that can bring long-term relief for people who suffer from injuries that arise from sudden movement of the body or car accidents. Those include conditions like low back pain of the acute variety, back injuries from sports or poor posture, neck discomfort arising from multiple causes, headaches, joint pain, and shoulder pain.

Additionally, chiropractic care has a high rate of effectiveness for many emergency situations that result in vehicular accidents, as noted above, and sports injuries like falls, twisted joints, injured muscle tissue, and virtually anything related to the back, neck, and shoulders.

What about costs?

In most cases, the out-of-pocket cost for patients who see chiropractors is about 40 percent what it would be if that same patient were to visit an MD or allopathic doctor. Most insurance carriers reimburse policyholders for medical fees and expenses associated with necessary medical treatment, and that includes chiropractic care as well.

Why should people seek chiropractic care, as opposed to other kinds of medical care?

The advantages are many. In addition to the much lower cost of chiropractic medical treatment, there’s the question of drugs and surgery. If you visit a chiropractor, you’ll never have to worry about becoming addicted to painkillers, for example, nor will you need to be concerned about the costs and very high risks of invasive surgery because chiropractors don’t employ drugs or surgery.

Chiropractors are experts in musculoskeletal pain, discomfort, and disease. They are specially trained to identify, diagnose, and treat hundreds of serious and non-serious conditions that result from poor spinal alignment, injured bones, joints that are not working properly, and much else. The core philosophy of chiropractic medicine is to treat the whole patient, including the root causes of discomfort, pain, and disease.

Will I get relief from symptoms when I seek chiropractic care?

Treating symptoms only is not what chiropractic care is about, but yes, the vast majority of people who receive care from chiropractors get the pain relief they desire. But, it’s long-term relief rather than the short-term kind that often comes from taking drugs and painkillers.

Further, patients who see chiropractors can look forward to getting expert advice about diet, nutrition, exercise, physical therapy, and general medical topics that will help them avoid future injuries and physical problems.

Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?

This is one of the common myths about chiropractic treatments, particularly about adjustments. Not only is there no pain involved, many patients often don’t feel anything but the gentle pressure of the doctor’s hands on the back during a session. Even for conditions that call for multiple adjustments, the patient might hear a soft popping sound of joints that release natural air and other gases, but for the most part, you won’t feel much at all during the session.

However, after an adjustment or a series of adjustments, it’s common for people to report that they experience pain relief and a general feeling of less tension and discomfort in the areas that were previously in pain.

What are some of the common things chiropractors treat?

There’s a very long list of conditions that chiropractors treat, but some of the more common ones include:

  • IBS, which stands for iliotibial band syndrome, often referred to as runner’s-knee
  • Various injuries that result from vehicle accidents
  • All kinds of rotator cuff injuries
  • Work-related accidents, particularly related to falls and back injuries
  • Discomfort, pain, and serious injuries related to lifting heavy objects or lifting any objects with incorrect posture
  • A wide range of sports injuries
  • Whiplash, usually resulting from car accidents

Putting Your Knowledge to Good Use

Now that you have the 411 on some of the basic concepts about chiropractic treatment, feel free to give us a call at 302-993-9113 if you need more detailed information about your individual situation, whether it’s a suspicious ache or pain, or a more serious medical issue you need to learn about.

At Integrative Physical Health, we’re always ready to answer questions, book new patients, and assist our current clients with anything that concerns them. If you don’t need to phone us, then check out our website to find out more about our practice.

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