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The benefits of chiropractic go far beyond relieving back and neck pain and can help people of all ages from infants to the elderly.

Chiropractic is proven effective (can help but we don't absolutely guarantee cures) in the treatment of many common ailments including...

  • Headaches (see separate discussion, under Health Topics)
  • Low Back Pain
  • Mid and Upper Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder and Arm Pain
  • Leg Pain (Sciatica)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Dizziness
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Numbness and Tingling
  • Low Energy
  • Stress
  • Scoliosis (see separate discussion, under Health Topics)
  • And many other common health issues

See: Leboeuf-Yde C, Pederson EN, et.al., "Self Reported non-musculoskeletal responses to chiropractic intervention: a multination survey," J Manip. Physio. Therap., 2005, 28: 294-302. *Upshot here was that long term chiropractic care seemed to increase long term health improvements. As well, the longer the patients were under chiropractic care, the more positive changes they experienced.   Also,

Hannon SM, "Objective physiologic changaes and associated health benefits of chiropractic adjustments in asymptomatic subjects: a literature review," J Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2004, 1(9).  *Upshot here was that the research revealed significant improvements in patient's respiration, ROM, HR variability, CV function, immuity, muscle strength, overall athletic ability once chiropractic care was initiated. Add to that, patients noted improvements in reaction time, information processing, visual acuity, healing and recovery time, general health of senior citizens and reduced labor times for pregnant women; all following or during chiropractic care.


Dr. H with life-long friend Dave Jurman, former #2 man at Columbia Records. Far left is Kurt and peeking through is Jordan-all chiropractic patients.

Note the recent article from the "Dynamic Chiropractic" (Crownfield PW, Vol. 27, #19, 2009) issue stated; "Cost Effective Care: The Evidence Mounts;" -  "Only weeks after the release of a Wellmark pilot study that suggests chiropractic care reduces both costs and need for surgery, Milliman USA has released finding from 'An Actuarial Analysis of the Impact of Chiropractic Carea on the Costs of Medical Care for Patients With Common Spinal Diagnoses,' a previously confidential report that adds to the mounting evidence linking utilization of chiropractic services with significant cost savings."  - The upshot in these broadbased, independent studies is that chiropractic is now, more than ever, a fact/evidence based, highly effective health care option for patients, especially those with back pain. Self evident for us in the profession but rather nice to see huge, independent studies being funded that also show what we have been saying for decades: chiropractic works.

Let's talk a bit more about basic BACK PAIN?? Everyone wants to know about this common problem.  Consider the following: According to recent research;

31 Million Americans have low back pain at any given time. 1/3 of all Americans, over the age of 18, had a back problem within the past 5 years that was so bad, that the issue required professional intervention. The estimated cost for all of this together with litigation costs is thought to be around $100 BILLION yearly {Leigh JP, et.al. Occupational injury and illness in the U.S.: estimates of costs, morbidity and mortality, Arch Intern Med (1997) 157: 1557-1568}, and that doesn't include many of the ancillary costs such as orthopedic devices and pillows, electrical stimulation pads etc. It is further estimated that 80% if all Americans will have back pain at some point in our lives. According to famed orthopedic surgeon Gorden Waddell, MD; "Back pain was a 20th Century medical disaster and the legacy reverberates into the new millennium." (from "The Back Pain Revolution", Churchill-Livinstone, 2nd Ed., 2004) He refers to the medical treatments and algorithms that utterly failed to reduce or help all the back pain sufferers world wide in the last century. Dr. Waddell himself embraces chiropractic treatment. Let's see what chiropractic can offer:

Manipulation (adjustments) of the spine is gaining a whole new following and revival in popularity now that there is such emphasis on cost containment. The American health bill is now over $2 TRILLION/year and growing (Office of the Inspector General-US Government and the OBM:Office of Budget and Mangement). According to a 2006 ABC investigation, the health bill in the U.S. will reach $4 Trillion by 2015!!!Chiropractors are in the vanguard of inexpensive, reliable, effective treatment for back pain that no other health care provider can offer. Chiropractors are keeping people out of surgery and are also in the forefront of nutritional and lifestyle advice for their patients. In short, chiropractic is leading the charge for a more "wholistic" approach to health care. If you have not realized this or forgot to look into chiropractic, do so now. You may be pleasantly surprised.


Over the years, a number of unfortunate myths have arisen regarding chiropractic care. Some of these I hear to this day. Let's debunk some of these false ideas right now:

1) Adjustments Hurt: Actually, they hardly ever hurt. Most patients feel some degree of relief immediately. If the patient doesn't feel a sense of relief the first day, usually they will shortly thereafter. See our page on Adjustments for some more detail on this. The famous "crack" sound associate with chiropractors is actually CO2(carbon dioxide) comeing OUT of solution. See Below. 

2) Spinal Adjustments are Dangerous: We answered this question on the Adjustments page. Suffice it to say again, chiropractic manipulation of the spine is one of the safest health care expressions in existance.

3) Chiropractors are not as educated as Medical Doctors: See our page on Education for an explanation for this misconception. Actually chiropractors get more hours of classroom and lab education than basic medical school.

4) Once you start seeing a chiropractor, you have to keep going forever: Chiropractic philosophy has always espoused the keystone of "prevention" with our patients. As such, we often recommend checkups after a patient has been dismissed from regularly scheduled care. This is no different than when you make several trips per year to see your dentist. Do your teeth hurt? Seldom they do, but most of us still go in for our regularly scheduled dental check ups; whether or not our teeth "hurt."  Likewise, with chiropractic, we recommend spinal check ups regardless of whether or not your back actually hurts. This is where the myth that people "have" to keep going started. You don't "have" to do anything. But chiropractors will often recommned a few check ups per year after a patient has finished with the care rendered for their initial problem. This to prevent future flare-ups and/or to catch a new problem before it gets worse.

5) Chiropractors "only" treat back pain: As you can see from our list at the top of this page, there is a wide gamut of conditions that chiropractors treat. By virtue of the universal significance of the spinal cord and the effect that chiropractic adjustments have on the spine and hence the cord and the emerging nerves, chiropractic adjustments can affect a wide gamut of conditions. Revisit the HOME page and check out our 3-D Spine Simulator to get an idea of how the spine and spinal nerves interact with the entire body.

6) That "Crack" sound is the bones banging together: Not so. The truth is far less dramatic; it's carbon dioxide coming OUT of solution. The joints of the body have fluid filled sacks called bursa surrounding them. When any joint becomes subluxated-out of its normal alignment- the bursa gets stretched and the fluid inside the bursa undergoes changes. The quick adjustment forces CO2 out of the fluid and thus the characteristic crack sound is heard. Have you ever opened a can of soda? That swoosh sound that occurs is CO2 coming out. Same thing.

Shift seen in acceptance of chiropractic care: DCs in Hospitals across the U.S.
by Scott Kilmer

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

There is a shift occurring toward inclusion of chiropractic in the hospital setting.

There are a number of ways that chiropractors function in hospitals. In 2003, the American Chiropractic Association reported that there were 500 hospitals in the United States with chiropractors on staff. Often the chiropractor is assigned to the emergency department and is on call to treat patients with back and neck pain after the patient has been found not to have another underlying medical condition, which would warrant treatment other than chiropractic care. A substantial number of patients enter emergency rooms with back and neck pain and having a chiropractor on staff is one more tool that some hospitals have found helpful.

Another way in which chiropractors function in the hospital setting can be found in Rochester. In 2003 at Monroe Community Hospital, a chiropractic department was established through the hospitals nursing home. This clinic not only offers chiropractic services to nursing home residents but also to the community at large. The blending of chiropractic with hospitals is in part because of greater public acceptance of the profession as well as a need for some hospitals to offer more to the community to stay vital and ever expanding.

There is also now an association for hospital chiropractors called the A.A.H.C. (American Academy of Hospital Chiropractors). One of the main goals of this organization is to help chiropractors obtain hospital privileges and to instruct chiropractors on hospital protocols, practices and maintaining the standards of the hospital.

Dr. Scott Kilmer is a licensed chiropractor in Auburn and has recently been named to the New York State Board for Chiropractic

NB: A recent article in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics tells us that patients who receive chiropractic care had a 60.2% decrease in hospital admissions, 59% less hospital days and 62% less outpatient surgeries and procedures as well as 85% less pharmaceutical costs. Makes you think. See  Richard L. Sarnat, MDa, James Winterstein, DCb, Jerrilyn A. Cambron, DC, PhDc, "Clinical Utilization and Cost Outcomes From an Integrative Medicine Independent Physician Association: An Additional 3-Year Update," Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 263-269 (May 2007).

See our page on "Adjustments/Risk" to see more articles on the benefits of chiropractic manipulation of the spine.

Dr. Haberstroh is a Boston chiropractor and Everett chiropractor. Find more information at Boston Spine Clinics.



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