Spinal correction performed by a properly qualified practitioner has been testified to be among the safest forms of health restoration. Research has shown the risk of injury subsequent to such therapeutic encounter to be less than 1 in 3,000,000. This was disclosed in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics more than ten years ago and compares extremely favourably with medication and surgery.
Looking at one of the most widely used and relatively benign medications – aspirin is reported to be directly responsible for in excess of 10,000 mortalities per annum, and the Merck Manual reports it to be one the most common causes of poisoning.
In one study of surgical procedures, such interventions were seen to be inappropriate in 40% of cases with negative outcomes in 40% of the remainder (What Doctors Don’t Tell You – Lynne McTaggart. June 1994); further, the effects of surgery can often be extremely difficult to reverse.
Education to the appropriate level is key to the development of the skills essential for the practice of this discipline. The degree Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) or B.Sc.(Chiro.) entails six years of rigorous full-time training with ongoing clinical experience encounters culminating in a final training clinic year requiring 400 patient visits. This demonstrates the current educational requirement for today’s practitioner and -bearing such a qualification with satisfactory completion of this syllabus- entitles the candidate to be regarded as trained to internationally accepted standards. Further ongoing Continuing Professional Education is incumbent on all professionals of this discipline.
The correction of a spinal complaint by manual procedures performed by a suitably educated and trained expert is invariably a comfortable and reassuring encounter. Many people do not know this, but it is extremely rare for the treatment to involve any great degree of discomfort. In the rare instances of patient discomfort this would usually be attributable to an extremely acute condition causing the overlying soft tissues about the area to be treated to be tender or inflamed. In the highly unusual case of discomfort associated with treatment, it is virtually unheard of for patients to feel discomfort related to treatment after the initial visits.
In most practices the setting will be congenial with helpful staff working to ensure the greatest possible relaxation and comfort of the patient. Therefore try to ensure you find a practice where you can be comfortable in a relaxed atmosphere. This can often make a significant difference to your outcome as the condition itself often involves a considerable amount of tension – less likely to be resolved in a stressful environment.
Try to find out about the track record of the profession in rectifying the kind of complaint you have, as well as the practitioner – don’t be bashful about asking for references or testimonials (If their clients are not saying good things about them, can you reasonably expect a good result).
Ensure the practitioner you choose will give you a full report of their findings (preferably in writing) to enable you to assess your standing and potential outcome.
THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TREATMENT
As described, initial treatment is usually directed towards pain relief. This is followed by an active decision about such ideas as to whether or not to let things coast or keeping things right with the goal of a stress free life.
BEYOND PAIN RELIEF
Relief of pain is often the first requirement of the patient. With the improvement in function of the nervous system invariably accompanying the improved function of the spine, many will feel their health performance also to be improved. Many practitioners report anecdotes of improved balance, memory, concentration, ability to deal with stress, improved sleep, enhanced energy levels to relate but a few. The appreciation of many improved conditions are shown by such statements as “I did not realise I had a problem with … until it was no longer a problem.”