Finding a chiropractor can be challenging whether you’ve had chiropractic care before or not. Our doctors hear regular stories of new patients who have visited other chiropractors and received a very different style of care than they received at the Chiropractic Center of Erie or Chiropractic Center of Longmont. Unfortunately, this is common across the country and the two different chiropractic philosophies result in drastic differences in results and value. We wanted to write this article to showcase the two types of chiropractors and their differences. Our experts will show you how to spot the differences yourself as well.
SOME BASIC DIFFERENCES WITHIN CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT
Pain Relief Only Chiropractors
Pain relief chiropractors focus their efforts primarily on symptom relief for neck, shoulder, and back pain. Their primary goal is to relieve pain in the afflicted area and release the patient from care. These chiropractors structure their treatment plans around what insurance will likely pay for and how often the patient should visit based on their level of pain. Typically, insurance companies are designed to pay for symptom relief and don’t always cover structural corrections that lead to the symptoms in the first place.
While this symptom-focused approach to chiropractic care may seem beneficial at first, patients must consider the long-term effects of relieving symptoms without solving underlying structural problems. A spine that is out of alignment causes degeneration of the spinal joints. The longer these joints are left to degenerate the more likely patients will experience higher levels of pain and require more frequent visits to the chiropractor or doctor to find relief. While your body will continue to function through day-to-day activity with only minor irritation, it will be more susceptible to further damage and more pain over time.
Consider this analogy – If you visit the orthodontist and want to straighten out crooked teeth, you don’t expect the doctor to accomplish this in one or two days. You need to slowly move the misaligned teeth into alignment over time and let the soft tissues accept their new position so they don’t pull the alignment out again. Even if you wear braces for 2 years and then remove them, you will need to wear a retainer to remind the soft tissues to stay in alignment or the teeth will pull crooked again.
In the same way, a chiropractor that treats only symptoms will have a hard time convincing the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stay put and not pull the alignment out again. An adjustment will make a person feel better many times over but lacks in teaching the body to hold the right position.
Structural chiropractors differ greatly from pain relief chiropractors. They focus on correcting subluxations in order to allow the body to maximize its own healing ability. By correcting these structural issues and alignments in the spine with a focus also on the soft tissues and time, the soft tissues will hold more efficiently and the nervous system operates more effectively. This means that your body’s healing powers are greatly improved. While structural chiropractors also strive to provide symptom relief to patients, they go steps beyond. Structural chiropractors often recommend continuing treatment after the initial symptoms disappear. While this might not make sense at first, refer back to the orthodontist example above and notice that structural care can result in less wear and tear in the spinal and other joints as time goes on.
Regular maintenance visits to a structural chiropractor might sound cost-prohibitive at first, but patients must consider the cost of chiropractic vs medical care. Seeing a chiropractor for regular maintenance visits for the duration of your life will keep your body healing naturally and functioning better for longer. Research indicates that the quality of life is improved in nearly every area for every person under regular chiropractic care. In fact, many patients under regular chiropractic care find it to be as critical to their health and well-being as eating healthy, drinking water, and exercising.
HOW TO SPOT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO TYPES OF CHIROPRACTORS
The easiest way to spot the difference between chiropractors is to ask about the treatment plan. Structural chiropractors will normally suggest a treatment plan to resolve your symptoms and mention fixing the underlying structural concerns that caused the symptoms to appear. Symptomatic chiropractors will likely suggest scheduling an appointment based on your pain level and insurance recommendations.
The Chiropractic Center of Erie and Chiropractic Center of Longmont treat the body holistically with our award-winning treatment process to help your body achieve and maintain optimal performance! We firmly believe in treating the underlying issues that cause the symptoms so that your body can heal itself more effectively. We also regularly recommend maintenance visits to ensure that your spine stays healthy for the duration of your life. That puts us firmly in the structural chiropractor category. Contact us to schedule your appointment today and don’t forget we also offer massages! Our doctors, massage therapists, and staff are dedicated to ensuring you receive the holistic treatment you need! If you’d like to learn more about chiropractic care in Longmont or Erie or have questions about what to expect during your first chiropractor visit in Erie or Longmont, call our office today at 303-828-3000 or 303-772-1950!