Chiropractic Care

What is this system of healing?
Chiropractic care is a system of healing based on four simple ideas:

  1. The body is self-healing. Cut your finger, it heals.  Cut the finger of a corpse, it doesn’t.  Life heals.
  2. The nervous system is the master system of the body. Every dimension of the human experience…everything you think, feel, and do is processed through the nervous system. 
  3. When there is interference with the function of the nervous system, not only does it compromise your physical health, but it also alters your perception of the world and limits your ability to respond to the world.
  4. Chiropractors locate and correct the cause of such interference.

from Dr. Christopher Kent, D.C., Esq.

Who are doctors of Chiropractic?
Doctors of chiropractic(DCs) in Kansas are licensed by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts as Practitioners of the Healing Arts, and as such are able to “diagnose and treat the human condition and all of its diseases.”  The only restrictions on the practice of chiropractic are the prescription of medication, and the performance of surgery or obstetrics.

Doctors of chiropractic are educated as primary contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system and the nerves that supply them.  Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.  Four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education is required before entering an accredited chiropractic college, and includes courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology, and anatomy and physiology.  Once accepted, four to five years of professional study are required and include courses in orthopedics, neurology, more anatomy and physiology, clinical diagnosis, lab procedures, diagnostic imaging, physical rehabilitation, nutrition, and business ethics.  Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master important manipulative procedures.  In total the professional curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.  The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

What conditions are best treated with this method?
Chiropractors treat a variety of health conditions, in patients of all ages.  We are especially well known for our expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches- particularly with highly skilled manipulations, or chiropractic adjustments.  We also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints.  These painful conditions impact the nervous system, and can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. 

2014-2015 Kansas Chiropractic Association

What are the benefits of Chiropractic?
The benefits of Chiropractic care extend to general health issues, since our body structure affects our overall function.  DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.  Benefits may include any of the following:

~Improved Nerve Communication in the Body           ~Relief from Back and Neck Pain

~Improved Joint Motion and Coordination                 ~Relief from Leg, Knee, Foot and Ankle Pain

~Improved Physical Function and Performance         ~Relief from Arm, Wrist, Shoulder or ElbowPain

~Improved Posture                                                            ~Relief from Stress and Tension Disorders

~Increased Respiratory Volume                                      ~Relief from Joint Discomfort

~Increased Rate of Reaction in Mind & Body               ~Relief from Arthritis/Bursitis

~Increased Feelings of Well-Being                                  ~Relief from Chronic Injuries

Chiropractic has been researched extensively and has been found to be very effective for pain-based and pathological conditions.  Studies have shown that it:

        ~Reduces inflammatory cytokines

        ~Boosts the immune system

        ~Decreases mental and oxidative stress on the body

        ~Relieves muscle tension

        ~Naturally increases one’s energy level

How do we know it works?
First of all, chiropractic care does not claim to be a cure all for every medical need.  It is, however, a cost effective, noninvasive form of treatment that has been proven to be as effective as other treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions, especially for back and neck pain.  If a patient is unresponsive to chiropractic, chiropractors work constructively with other physicians and health care providers to help an individual achieve timely resolution of an issue. Secondly, a “Natural First” philosophy adopted by many in the profession does not mean a “Natural Only” philosophy.  It means that, for many musculoskeletal conditions, providers should first pursue more conservative care without the use of drugs or surgeries, as possible, for the benefit of the patient!

Did you know that for years the director of the US Olympic Sports medicine Team has been a Chiropractic Physician (Dr. Bill Moreau, DC, CACBSP, CSCS).  Or that DCs are integrated into all 32 National Football League medical teams (Professional Football Chiropractic Society,

A study published in 2011 (Oct 5) edition of BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, a total of 1090 patients, who completed the study, utilized 83 chiropractors in the US and several countries, over a period of 17 days, focusing on upper cervical (neck region) treatments.  Greater than 5 million adjustments were administered.  Outcome assessments tracked progress at 3 weeks showing significant improvement with high level of patient satisfaction, and with no reported adverse reactions.

From a study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiologics, 2006, results were summarized from numerous studies confirming that of the 23% of the adult population who have ever visited a chiropractor, overall rates of satisfaction were found to be 83% satisfied or better, and 10% found to be dissatisfied.  These results are even more remarkable given the fact that much of the financial burden of seeking chiropractic care is borne by the patient and is usually for difficult chronic neck and back problems.

Additionally, a number of studies indicate that wellness care provided by chiropractors can dramatically reduce costs and improve quality of life.  For example, senior citizens who participated in long-term chiropractic care (5years or longer) had 50% fewer medical provider visits, and spent only one-third of the national average of health care services as their counterparts who were not under chiropractic care.  And 95% felt that the care was considerable valuable or extremely valuable.  So why doesn’t Medicare pay for wellness care???

What are the myths of chiropractic?
One of the biggest misconceptions, or myths surrounding chiropractic care is that causes stroke thru vertebral artery dissection. 

Scott Haldeman, MD, DC reviewed malpractice claims records for a 10-year period between 1988 and 1997.  In reviewing the outcomes following the application of 134.5 million cervical manipulations (commonly referred to as the chiropractic adjustment), the records indicated that there were 23 reported cases of stroke or vertebral artery dissection (VAD).  Of this group, 10 of the patients had the complicating factors of high blood pressure, use of oral contraceptives, or a history of smoking, all of which are associated with vascular disease.  The actual incidence of stroke or VAD following cervical manipulation was found to be one per 5.85 million cervical adjustments.  That means the average chiropractor could work for 1,430 years (or practice 48 full chiropractic careers) before they might be involved with this type of litigation. 

 Arterial Dissections Following Cervical Manipulation: The Chiropractic Experience
Canadian Medical Association Journal 2001 (Oct 2);   165 (7):  905–906

This is significantly less than the estimates of 1 per 500,000–1 million cervical manipulations calculated from surveys of neurologists.Also, other reports, listing a higher frequency of adverse events, have been compromised by the tendency of those authors to inappropriately list the practitioner as a chiropractor even when it turned out that the injury was caused by a medical doctor, a physical therapist or a hairdresser.

Misuse of the Literature by Medical Authors in Discussing Spinal Manipulative Therapy Injury
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995 (May);   18 (4):   203–210

Inappropriate Use of the Title Chiropractor and Term Chiropractic Manipulation in the
Peer-reviewed Biomedical Literature
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995 (May);   18 (4):   203-210

What if I am afraid to try it?
Consider this:
According to long-awaited results from a congressionally mandated pilot project testing the feasibility of expanding chiropractic services in the Medicare program, patients have a high rate of satisfaction with the care they receive from doctors of chiropractic.

When asked to rate their satisfaction on a 10-point scale:
87 percent of patients in the study gave their doctor of chiropractic a level of 8 or higher.
And 56 percent of those patients rated their chiropractor with a perfect 10

Contributing to that satisfaction was the attention given to patients’ needs and the accessibility of chiropractic care. Patients reported that doctors of chiropractic listened to them carefully and spent sufficient time with them. Some 95 percent said they had to wait no longer than one week for appointments.

“Doctors of chiropractic everywhere should feel pride in these patient satisfaction results and in being part of a profession that still sees the great need for spending time with patients and truly listening to them,” said Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “It’s clear that patients deeply value the time their chiropractic providers spend with them and the expert care that DCs offer.”

For more information, see the full Medicare Demonstration Project Report



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