As someone who has been a chiropractor for more than 30 years, Dr. Randall Davis has heard almost every negative stereotypes possible when it comes to his profession. “After 30 years, I’ve heard them all,” Dr. Davis says.
We asked Dr. Davis to share some of the biggest myths about chiropractors and give us some insight on the truth behind this century-old practice.
Myth #1: Chiropractors Aren’t Real Doctors
Fact: Chiropractors are licensed and go through rigorous medical training before receiving their degrees. In the United States, most chiropractic schools require students to have completed at least three years of undergraduate coursework in the biological, physical and chemical sciences, and many schools, including the Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota where Dr. Davis studied, require students to have a Bachelor’s in Science before enrolling. Typically, chiropractic students must complete a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and internship training.
Myth #2: Chiropractic Only Helps Your Back
Fact: Chiropractors do usually focus on adjusting your spine, but that doesn’t mean they can only help with back problems. In fact, by keeping your entire spine in proper alignment, you can ensure that the nerves that send signals to other parts of your body are operating properly and that you have proper blood flow to all other areas as well. That’s why chiropractic treatments can be used to help improve any type of joint or muscle pain, as well as other conditions such as headaches, digestive problems, breathing problems and more.
“For example, the nerves that connect to the knee come out from the lumbar spine (which is the low back ),” Dr. Davis explains. “If any of the bones in your spine are out of their normal alignment, or more accurately, if the bones in the spine are moving in a dysfunctional way, or if a muscle or ligament is pulling too tight, or if there is inflammation, etc., this is a condition called subluxation. Subluxation can cause a cascade of adverse neurospinal reflex patterns and responses, which could result in you having knee pain.”
If there is irritation on certain nerves, it can prevent an area of the body from functioning properly, so by relieving that irritation, often times normal functioning can be restored.
Myth #3: Chiropractic Adjustments Are Painful
Fact: Dr. Davis says chiropractic adjustments should not be painful, and he says he has various techniques that can make adjustments safe and comfortable for anyone from infants to the elderly. He says many people enjoy the feeling of having their joints adjusted, or “cracked” as many call it, but for those who are squeamish or who he feels it’s not appropriate for, he can also use a tool called an activator, which is a handheld device with a rubber tip on the end that applies a much lighter pressure at a faster speed, with much less force, than a hand can.
And, if you’re scared of the popping sound that your spine makes when it’s being adjusted, just know that that’s the sound of gas bubbles escaping from a joint capsule; nothing is being broken!
Myth #4: Once You Start Chiropractic, You Can’t Stop
Fact: “You don’t have to go forever. You only have to go as long as you want to be healthy,” Dr. Davis says, adding that many people choose to continue to see a chiropractor long after their pain has subsided because they want to make sure that their nerves are operating at optimal efficiency. If the nervous is functioning at its best, you will feel better and function better, which is the definition of health.
“People are hard on their bodies. We all have to deal with gravity, pollution, doing the same movements over and over again such as sitting in a chair for eight hours a day or driving a truck for eight hour a day,” Dr. Davis says. “This is a way to maintain that machine and keep it running smoothly.”
Myth #5: Chiropractors Only Do Adjustments
Fact: Chiropractors use a wide range of tools to help patients heal. In addition to adjusting the spine, Dr. Davis also uses a light beam generator, a non-invasive machine that uses low-current gas light photons that drives safe and gentle radio frequencies into the body to help break up lymph materials that are causing inflammation in a certain area of the body. Your lymphatic system is what the body uses to discharge waste, and it is blocked, it can cause swelling, so by breaking up the blockage, swelling and pain are reduced.
In addition, he is also a licensed acupuncturist, he encourages his patients to have proper nutrition to avoid inflammation in the joints, and he is trained in a technique called Contact Reflect Analysis, which helps correct energy imbalances in the body to treat problems such as headaches, sinuses, sleeping problems, hormone balancing, fatigue and more.
Interested in learning more about how chiropractic can help relieve your pain? Come to our free workshop on “Hip/Knee Pain and Inflammation: Avoiding Surgery” on Wednesday, May 31 at 5 p.m. Dinner will be included.