Chiropractic is an alternative healing discipline that was founded in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. It is focused on what is known as the body’s musculoskeletal structure, especially the spine. The musculoskeletal structure is essentially everything that holds the body together, aside from the skin, that enables the body to move while providing support and protection for its vital organs. Chiropractors use various techniques to manipulate the spine, joints and tissue to treat certain conditions in so doing to encourage natural healing without the need for medication and/or surgery. Chiropractic is considered as alternative healing, however, many modern chiropractors use chiropractic treatment to complement traditional medical treatment. Chiropractors sometimes also provide exercise routines and make healthy lifestyle recommendations.
1. BENEFITS OF SEEING A CHIROPRACTOR
There are a number of benefits to see a chiropractor.
Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be especially effective for the treatment of back-related issues, especially lower back pain. It is not surprising that back pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek the help of a chiropractor. People suffering from neck pain, including neck pain as the result of whiplash, can also benefit from the techniques administered by a chiropractor. Another key benefit of seeing a chiropractor is that it doesn’t involve medicine, which means there are no side-effects to deal with. Chiropractic treatment is also very individual by nature, and not just ‘blanket’ treatment — a chiropractor will apply a range of techniques (there are more than 150) that suit an individual’s unique body make-up.
2. HOW DOES A CHIROPRACTOR REALLY HELP?
While it is said to be able to treat certain conditions and ailments, is chiropractic effective in reality? Studies have shown that chiropractic care is effective for the treatment of mainly back pain. Other research indicate its effectiveness for other conditions such as neck pain, joint pain and headaches.
However, as with virtually all treatments, chiropractic has its limitations, and treatment will not necessarily be effective on all patients. How effective chiropractic treatment is also depends on a person’s body, his lifestyle, and for how long the symptoms have been present. Some people’s body’s may simply not respond positively to the treatment in the same way that some people don’t respond well to certain regular medical treatment.
3. IS CHIROPRACTIC SAFE?
Considering that chiropractic revolves around the manipulation of muscles and the skeleton (especially the spine), a question people often ask is “does chiropractic hurt?” and “is chiropractic safe?”. As mentioned before, the nature of chiropractic techniques means that there may be some pain involved, but usually it is more discomfort than pain. And after the adjustment people often feel a sense of relief, all stress flows away from the body. When it comes to the safety of chiropractic, the World Health Organization considers chiropractic treatment safe, as long as it is applied by a qualified and experienced chiropractor. In the Netherlands, qualified chiropractors are affiliated with a professional association (for example DCF or NCA).
4. WHAT DOES A CHIROPRACTOR DO ON THE FIRST VISIT?
Seeing a chiropractor for the first time is very similar to going to a regular doctor. It requires filling out a form about your medical history, which the chiropractor will use in their assessment. This assessment will include questions about the pain or discomfort you are experiencing, as well as physical examination that includes the back, neck, testing of muscle strength, reflexes, and range of motion. During the examination the chiropractor will most likely ask questions about pain or discomfort in particular areas.
Once the examination is done, he or she will draw up a treatment plan that includes physical manipulation, general health recommendations, and the ultimate goals of the treatment.
5. HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SEE A CHIROPRACTOR?
In the Netherlands, the initial consultation at a chiropractor is about 45 to 60 minutes long. After that, sessions of 5 to 20 minutes are common, depending on the patient’s individual condition. How often you should see a chiropractor also depends on your situation. If you just want to make sure that everything is fine (prevention) and properly adjusted, once every month should suffice. However, if you are being treated by the chiropractor for the first time or when you are in pain, frequency can range anything from twice to three times a week to once every couple of weeks for a certain period of time.
6. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEE A CHIROPRACTOR?
To visit a chiropractor in Amsterdam usually in the range of between €50 and €60, while a first consultation is usually in the region of €80 to €90. The great news is that some, if not all, of these fees are usually partly covered by your additional Dutch health insurance. Chiropractic care is always a good investment in your health.