The debate has raged for a long time. The evidence is conflicting. “I don’t believe in chiropractic.” “Chiropractors aren’t real doctors.” “There’s no evidence that it works.” The efficacy of chiropractic strangely ignites people’s passions. Maybe chiropractors have been too long associated with ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyers? Maybe chiropractors have oversold the benefits of what they do? One thing is for sure, people are very passionate about healing. Acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, tuning forks, magnets, herbs, crystals, hypnosis, are all considered “alternative medicines” and have their followers. Everybody wants to share with everybody else, what “worked” for them. So how can you tell what truly works? Start with the facts.
We all have bony skeletons. There are lots of spaces between our bones to make room for things like nerves and organs. There are also cushions between our bones, like cartilage and discs, so that the bones don’t compress nerves and organs. Because we’re bipeds, our skeletons undergo tremendous impact, from standing, walking and running. Sitting and sleeping also compress our skeletons and the spaces between the bones. Our skeletons are flexible and our bones are designed to move. Sometimes, they move too far out of place and cause distress. This means you’re out of alignment.
The results can range from minor discomfort to not being able to walk. This means you need realignment. Chemicals and needles won’t work here, because they can’t move your bones back in place. Sometimes bones move back into alignment by themselves. But tight muscles can prevent this, so stretching them is really important. Sometimes these same muscles are too weak to support correct alignment. So it’s really important to strengthen them. Any good physical therapist should know how to move your fascia (tissue that surrounds your muscles and bones), so that proper alignment is achieved. A good chiropractor is also specially trained to move your bones into place.
So which of these is the best course of action? All of them. None of them works best by themselves. The more flexible you are in your structural muscles, the easier your body will move into correct alignment, naturally or chiropractically. The stronger these muscles are, the longer they’ll hold your proper alignment. Sleeping on a high quality mattress, on an adjustable bed, that removes the direct pull of gravity from your back, will also help you maintain your proper alignment.
So the question shouldn’t be, “Does chiropractic work?” The question should be, “Should chiropractic be part of an effective plan to maintain optimal alignment?” In my opinion, the answer is YES! Just make sure you find a qualified chiropractor. Personally, I’ve used chiropractic for 30 years, in emergencies, and for maintenance. But I’ve also diligently stretched and strengthened my structural muscles. The result is that I continue to have a greater, pain-free range of motion than I did as a teenager. I also continue to do the same athletic things I did as a teenager.
We each have to decide what healing modalities we’re most comfortable with. But start with the facts…and know that burning sage and chanting won’t ever move your 5th lumbar vertebra back in its proper place. Full pain-free range of motion, is the only thing that will confirm the truth.