Cons of Chiropractic Care
For many back-pain sufferers, traditional treatment is usually confined to physical therapy and pain medication, but just as many patients are turning to chiropractic care as an alternate treatment and a means to avoid surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, chiropractic medicine “is based on the concept that restricted movement in the spine may lead to pain and reduced function.” Chiropractors often use spinal adjustment to treat restricted spinal mobility or decompression machines to help impaired disc heal. But is it worth trying?
No clear evidence that chiropractic care works
The Mayo Clinic, one of the United States’ leading not-for-profit medical and research practices, has reported that clinical trials indicate chiropractic treatment is as safe and effective as conventional treatments, “but that may not be saying much. Low back pain typically improves within a matter of weeks, even for people who seek no treatment at all.” Time is typically the best way for an injured back to heal, so either conventional treatment or a chiropractor might simply make patients feel more comfortable until that healing happens. The American Chiropractic Association has also released studies indicating that chiropractic treatment is safe for most adults, but no concrete studies have proven that chiropractic care can actually cure back problems.
Not covered by many insurance plans
While more and more traditional doctors are referring their patients to chiropractors for additional treatment options, that doesn’t mean chiropractic care is covered by all medical insurance policies. Since most chiropractors recommend regular adjustments and visits, this means the bills can quickly add up. The average cost of a chiropractic visit is $100 without insurance, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Furthermore, decompression machines are typically not covered by insurance plans, so the average out-of-pocket cost for a patient is $4,000 for a treatment that offers no guarantee.
Not everyone is a good candidate for chiropractic care
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, people with certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, gout, bone cancer, or bone or joint fractures might risk further damage if they attempt treatment by spinal manipulation.
Is the discomfort worth it?
Most people who visit a chiropractor complain of discomfort immediately following the treatment. However, this discomfort usually goes away within a day’s time. In very rare cases, patients have sued chiropractors for malpractice, claiming their condition grew worse with each treatment, but the American Chiropractic Association’s website says the number of such lawsuits has declined in recent years.
An inconvenient treatment
Most patients are advised by their chiropractor to have between two to five adjustments each week. For people already suffering from back pain, having to travel to a doctor’s office so frequently can add to their disability and pain.