There is no question that more people than ever are seeking out chiropractic care as an alternative to traditional medical treatments. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that more than 30 million people each year seek out chiropractic care. While the majority of these patients are looking for relief from low back pain (estimates range as high as 75 percent), chiropractic care can treat a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders, ranging from headaches, to digestion, to foot and knee problems.
Of course, many of these patients are choosing to undergo chiropractic care as their “treatment of last resort.” Odds are they have already tried to find relief from a variety of other, more traditional medical treatments, to no avail. On top of that, what little patients may know about chiropractic care is that it is essentially nothing more than “cracking backs.” They may also have heard horror stories from friends and family about chiropractic care. As a result, it is not unusual for Dr. Nathen Horst to see patients who are nervous, skeptical, or even outright resistant about the potential benefits that chiropractic care may offer them. Due to the lack of information about chiropractic care, Dr. Horst to review out the pros and cons of chiropractic care.
Cons of Chiropractic Care
Dr. Horst finds that perhaps the biggest argument against chiropractic care is that it is not covered by all insurance companies or that coverage is limited to a certain number of visits. Because chiropractic care involves not just treatment for acute symptoms, but regular, ongoing adjustments to help the body maintain proper alignment for a longer period of time, it can incur a number of costs for those without health insurance, or those who have reached the limit of the number of visits for which their insurance will pay. Fortunately, the recent implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sometimes known as Obamacare, has allowed for coverage of chiropractic care on a state-by-state basis. Almost all states will offer some level of chiropractic care under the ACA.
Another argument against chiropractic care has been that it has not proven to be beneficial to the same degree as traditional medical care. While it may be true that chiropractic research is relatively new compared to other medical fields, a considerable body of work has been amassed on the benefits of chiropractic care for a number of medical conditions.
Pros of Chiropractic Care
The biggest advantage of chiropractic care is that it provides a safe, effective alternative to either treatment with pain relievers (which can have unpleasant side effects or interactions with other medications, as well as possible addiction) or risky surgeries with extensive recovery periods and no guarantee of pain relief. As mentioned above, there is a growing body of research supporting safety and efficacy of chiropractic care.
Another advantage is that chiropractic care is available to a wide range of patients, from children, to the elderly, to expectant mothers. In fact, there are a number of chiropractic techniques to suit almost any patient, no matter their age, health status, or activity level. This means that even more people are committing themselves to a wellness lifestyle, which will not only benefit them as individuals, but help to reduce the overall health care cost burden to society from medical expenses, chronic disease, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and lost productivity.