Most patients see a chiropractor because they have a symptom that they don't want anymore. Gonstead chiropractic aims to help people find what is causing their symptom, and allow for complete rehabilitation and healing. For those who only desire instantaneous symptom relief, morphine will beat Gonstead chiropractic 99% of the time. For those who want to overcome their problem, a Gonstead office is a good place to go.
The healing process always takes time. Depending upon the individual, the time required will vary. Children typically respond very quickly, while adults with longstanding problems will need more time. Your healing will depend upon your unique case, history, age, health and attitude.
Chiropractic care can be divided into 3 phases:
- Intensive Care: A chronic (long-standing) or acute (recent) subluxation(s) has led to damage which is likely causing symptoms of pain and malfunction. This may be the first of one of may episodes. Frequent visits are recommended to gain relief from your most obvious symptoms.
- Corrective Care: This stage marks the time for a decision. The symptoms have settled. Do you discontinue care and risk a complete relaps with another round of the intensive care or continue with correcting the problem and increasing the structural stability of your spine?
- Wellness Care: Your spine now shows a state of increased stability, strength and flexibility. This stage involves periodic spinal checkups to maintain your new, improved level of health. Life-style changes will be suggested.
Continuing through all phases ensures you will gain the maximum benefit Gonstead chiropractic has to offer.
Gonstead doctors strive to offer the best in chiropractic care, and make it affordable for even those without insurance benefits. In my own practice about 70% of the patients I take care of have no insurance coverage and manage to pay out of pocket. How? For one, as Gonstead doctors, we typically get quick results and end up seeing our patients fewer times than many other chiropractors.
We also minimize expensive testing procedures and physical therapeutics that tend to drive up costs, and do little to affect patient results. Because so many people now have limited or no insurance coverage for chiropractic, we understand the importance of keeping costs down.
Your health is your most valuable possession. By choosing a doctor who is the lowest bidder you may be dealing with someone trying to serve two masters (first your insurance company and secondly, you). As one patient put it,
"When I chose an in-network doctor I felt like I was bringing a coupon to McDonald's, but at your office I feel I am dining at a steakhouse!"
Stating science and philosophy is great, but how can efficacy be proven? Results. The wealth of evidence concerning the effectiveness of chiropractic can fill volumes. Listed are research results of some of the more comprehensive studies conducted.
- Chiropractic care is greatly superior to medical treatment in terms of scientific validity, safety, cost effectiveness and patient satisfaction. Manga Report, University of Ottawa
- After 12 months, the chiropractic treatment group showed greater improvement in the primary complaint as well as in physical function, with fewer visits.- Koes Clinical Trial - comparing the effectiveness of chiropractic with physical therapy for persistent back and neck complaints.
- 90% of chiropractic patients felt their care was effective. -1991 Gallup poll
- Chiropractic users tend to have substantially lower health care costs... and a reduction in the need for both physician and hospital visits. 1992 review of data from over 2 million chiropractic users, Journal of American Health Policy
- Spinal manipulation of the vertebral column in infants with infantile colic, constitutes an effective treatment of the condition. 94% of the cases were helped. 1989 study Babies don't "believe" in chiropractic, but it still works for them.
- Over 2 million chiropractic adjustments are given to satisfied patients every day.
What Society Thinks Effective
Typically the same individuals that claim chiropractic is quackery hold the medical establishment with the highest regard because of their "scientific" approach to health care. But just how effective are medical treatments for spinal problems?
Back Surgery - Studies reveal that a substantial number of patients fail to return to normal activity following low back surgery. Successful outcome (measured as relief of at least 50% of pain) 2 years after surgery was seen in only 34% of patients. Interestingly, another study monitored the results of individuals who were recommended for low back surgery, but decided against the procedure. After 3 years, 68% of these people had shown improvement.
It's Your Choice
You have the facts. The choice is yours. Your health is yours and yours alone. You can choose to benefit with the millions who have already chosen chiropractic as an effective, natural, safe and cost-effective means of health care, or you can choose to miss out.
Only about 15% of medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence... partly because many treatments have never been assessed at all. - David Eddy, professor of health policy and management at Duke University.
Whenever the topic of chiropractic comes up, someone will usually express a fear of having their neck "cracked". "I hear they cause strokes, " one chides in. Then images are conjured up of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a tight commando uniform sneaking up behind an unsuspecting enemy and snap! with one swift twist, his victim is rendered lifeless. Others think of a medical doctor shaking his finger stating that having your neck popped could result in dire consequences.
It (chiropractic) is amazing, and that is what is unbelievable for people. I have seen first-hand how it works. - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Exploring the Myth
Recent exposés in the popular media have led to the popular notion that chiropractic adjustments cause strokes. Such information has been greatly exaggerated. Interestingly, many of these reported cases did not involve doctors of chiropractic, but rather, those delivering the manipulation were medical doctors, physical therapists, naturopaths, osteopaths, spouses, a barber, and even an unlicensed masseur at a local health club. When a highly specialized and specific procedure, such as a chiropractic adjustment, is delivered by the inexperienced, someone is bound to be harmed. Researchers have shown the incidence of stroke following an adjustment when done by a doctor of chiropractic is almost non-existent. Interestingly, data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the incidence of stroke in the general population at any given moment is double that of a stroke occurring following manipulation. This would seem to indicate that one would run a higher risk of stroke if they were not adjusted.
There is a host of studies validating the safety of chiropractic adjustments. One of the most thorough concluded, Chiropractic care is greatly superior to medical treatment in terms of scientific validity, safety, cost effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. (The Ontario Ministry of Health, 1993). If chiropractic were truly dangerous then malpractice insurance companies who are in business to make a profit would not charge the average doctor of chiropractic half of what they charge medical internists. Medical doctors pay as much as $200,000 a year in malpractice premiums which is 80 times what the average doctor of chiropractic pays.
The Real Dangers
Here is a list of risks involved with widely accepted treatments for neck problems:
- Medication - 140,000 die annually from side effects
- Aspirin - 1 in 7000 daily users suffer a stroke as a result
- Chymopapain injection - 1 death in every 1400
- Neck surgery - 1 paralysis in every 15,000
- Chiropractic adjustment - 1 injury approx. every 3,400,000
What is the "cracking" sound?
The sounds associated with most adjustments are not bones snapping, cartilage cracking, or any other harmful process. The sound you may hear during an adjustment is an abrupt liberation of gas from the fluid inside a joint. The movement, which occurs with an adjustment, causes a gas bubble of predominantly carbon dioxide to collapse causing a pop much like air rapidly escaping from bubble wrap.
What a doctor of chiropractic really does?
A doctor of chiropractic is not concerned with "cracking" your neck. What the doctor is concerned with is correcting a health threatening and potentially devastating condition called Vertebral Subluxation. Vertebral Subluxation refers to a spinal bone losing its normal position and motion which causes irritation to the nearby delicate nerve tissue. When a doctor of chiropractic properly adjusts the spine, normal joint and nerve function can be restored, and the body can heal safely and naturally.
"You (the doctor) have more chance of dying from the effort of giving the adjustment than your patient from receiving it." - Chapan-Smith D. Chiropractic Report
"I would never see a chiropractor. They're a bunch of quacks!" "You have to believe in chiropractic for it to work, and I don't believe in it!"
Maybe you have heard these statements or even claimed them yourself. Chiropractic has had many negative reports over the past century popularized by both the media and medical community. A ruling on February 7, 1990 in the Wilks vs. AMA case found the AMA guilty of conspiring with other health care organizers in a lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott designed to restrict cooperation between medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic in order to eliminate the chiropractic profession as a competitor in the U.S. Health Care system. Such actions have led to a stubborn belief for many that chiropractic is quackery.
"We must now realize that the world is not full of cripples produced by chiropractors. Chiropractors do not make people worse, they make an awful lot better." WJS Melvin M.D., President of the Ontario Medical Association
The Chiropractic Premise
Every cell of the body is controlled by the nervous system. In 1895, chiropractic was founded based on this very fact. Any of the 24 movable bones of the spine when subluxated or misaligned can have an irritating effect on adjacent, delicate nerve tissue. A compromised nervous system leads to a reduced level of health. A chiropractic research study demonstrated this fact when a subluxation (or misalignment) was produced in a rat at the T10-11 spinal bones. There were significant reductions in blood pressure concomitant with a decrease in renal (kidney) nerve activity. Chiropractic care helps to restore and maintain the integrity of the nervous system by reducing irritation caused by an aberrant spine.