Chiropractic care has become a common and recommended treatment for many ailments. It's often covered by health insurance and the US government offers chiropractic care for members of the armed services; a licensed chiropractor is even stationed in the Capitol building!  Do you visit a chiropractor? If not, the following fast facts will give you good reason to start.
Chiropractic Care Facts
1. What is Chiropractic?
With an emphasis on promoting balance throughout the body, chiropractic treatments typically involve quick thrusts, or adjustments, to realign and relieve pressure and stress.   A syringe-looking device, known as an activator, may also be used to deliver quick bursts. The practice as we know it today, which was was founded in 1895, was originally coined as "a science of healing without drugs." However, the roots of chiropractic, also known as manual therapy, have been practiced all across the world for at least 2000 years.
2. Chiropractic is Real Medicine
In the 1990’s, the chiropractic industry achieved professional autonomy and was granted statutory self-regulation.  Around 2000, a study compared chiropractic education to that of medical students and found the programs to have more similarities than differences – clinical sciences included.  Clearly, the US government echoes the benefits, for there is a chiropractor stationed at the Capitol for members of Congress.
3. Chiropractic is Worldwide
In the United States, spending on chiropractic care rose from 1996 to 2005.  That trend has continued. Healthcare expenditures for professional services, including chiropractic, totaled $76.4 billion in 2012, a 4.5% increase over 2011.  The industry is fully expected to continue its growth, at least partially because of increased insurance coverage and offerings by the military.
4. There's More Chiropractors Now Than Ever
The number of chiropractors in the US steadily increased until 2004, at which time there were nearly 53,000.  During the following years, the total diminished slightly but a 2010 study projected an 18-20% increase over the next decade.  That's just in the United States. Worldwide, chiropractors practice in over 100 countries and counting. 
5. Chiropractic Can Help Back Pain
Chronic back pain is one of the most common, debilitating conditions for which many people desperately seek relief. Although back pain has a number of causes, in general, most people report positive outcomes with chiropractic care.  In fact, persons suffering from chronic back pain who experience relief after the first visit typically report continued improvement over the following 3 months. These results are supported by a 2000-2010 literature review which noted that chiropractic care promotes physical health.  Low-force techniques are even safe and useful for geriatric patients. 
6. Chiropractic Improves Many Conditions
- Pregnancy - Clinical studies have reported that pregnant women may benefit from chiropractic services for headache and heartburn.  
- Respiratory Health - Research has shown chiropractic to be effective at supporting respiratory health, especially for children.   And, spinal manipulation has been reported to support lung function in older persons with COPD. 
- Colic - Research from the United Kingdom suggests that manual therapy can help colicky babies.  
7. Encourages a Healthy Doctor-Patient Relationship
When the Northwestern College of Chiropractic surveyed patients, 92% reported that chiropractic services improved their health.  Furthermore, the outcomes typically exceed patient expectations and many people improve quicker than expected.  Much of the success is due to the fact that chiropractors encourage an open dialogue to identify and establish treatment goals.
Is Chiropractic Right for You?
For decades, patients have had great success with chiropractic care; outcomes which are supported by modern, clinical research. But, as with all medical care, quality matters. Ask around and research local providers. Don't be scared to visit with several in order to find the one who is right for you. Additionally, check with your health insurance. Many providers offer care coverage and may be able to steer you toward a good chiropractor.
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†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.