By Dr. Marc Davis

Do you know somebody with misconceptions about chiropractic?  As is usually the case with misleading information, confusion about chiropractic is based on rumors, not on facts.  

Marc+Davis.jpgHelp dispel the myths by sharing the following facts with friends, family and co-workers.

Myth:  Chiropractic is only good for back problems.

Although doctors of chiropractic, such as Dr. Davis, excel at providing swift, all-natural relief from back pain, chiropractors are much, much more than mere “back doctors.”

Doctors of chiropractic are prevention specialists.   Chiropractors focus on warding off disease and injury, rather than masking symptoms with medication.  By caring for the whole person, chiropractors help patients create winning wellness plans that combine regular chiropractic checkups with exercise recommendations, nutritional counseling, stress reduction programs and other lifestyle adjustments.

Spinal health is the cornerstone of the chiropractic approach to prevention.  Specifically, Dr. Davis works to keep patients’ spines free of vertebral subluxation, areas where movement is restricted or bones (vertebrae) are out of alignment.  This condition is linked with a myriad of ailments such as carpel tunnel syndrome, ear infection, back pain, vertigo, neck pain, headaches, high blood pressure and epilepsy.  Preliminary scientific evidence also suggests that vertebral subluxations may have a negative effect on the immune system (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1992; 15:83-9).

Chiropractors correct vertebral subluxations with gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments.

Myth: Chiropractic adjustments hurt.

New patients are often apprehensive about receiving their first chiropractic adjustment.  Much of this fear comes from knowing that a “cracking” sound results from some adjustments.  However, this sound (known as cavitation) is simply a drop in air pressure within a joint, which occurs when a “stuck” joint becomes “unstuck.”  Cavitation is NOT the sound of bones cracking or rubbing against each other.

Chiropractors are extensively trained to perform adjustments gently and to custom tailor these maneuvers for each individual’s unique body type.  The vast majority of patients experience no discomfort whatsoever from adjustments.  Rather, most patients report that they enjoy the procedure and find it relaxing.

Myth: Once you begin chiropractic care, you must continue it for the rest of your life.

The idea that chiropractic is “addictive” — or that patients must continue care forever to maintain relief from a specific injury — is a common misconception.   This myth is perpetuated by some factions of the health-insurance industry and other groups that focus on “quick fix” approaches like drugs and surgery, which often fail to provide lasting results and have potentially hazardous side effects.  In contrast, doctors of chiropractic concentrate on prevention.

The truth is, most chiropractic patients who seek care for pain relief recover from their symptoms within a short period of time.  In 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed this claim after intensive investigation.  The AHCPR states that: “For patients with acute low-back symptoms without radiculopathy, the scientific evidence suggests spinal manipulation is effective in reducing pain and perhaps speeding recovery within the first month of symptoms.”

True, popping a pill is faster than phoning your chiropractor for an appointment.  But unlike medication, chiropractic produces permanent relief — often in patients who have suffered from chronic pain for years.  That’s why many patients choose to continue periodic checkups, after their symptoms have subsided, to ward off other future ailments.

Focusing on prevention means averting disease before the onset of symptoms.  For example, prevention-oriented individuals visit their dentist regularly to remove plaque before it triggers tooth decay.  Concentrating on prevention also means exercising on a daily basis to prevent the buildup of fat on artery walls, which leads to cardiovascular disease.  In much the same way, patients who seek preventive chiropractic care don’t wait until vertebral subluxations multiply before taking steps to correct them.  These patients aren’t addicted to chiropractic any more than individuals who see their dentist regularly —  or who work out a few hours a week — are addicted to teeth cleanings or exercise.

Myth: Chiropractic is unsafe.

According to a wealth of scientific evidence, chiropractic is an extremely safe health-care option — especially when the alternative (medication or surgery) is considered.  Medication and surgery have staggeringly dismal safety records.  Even the seemingly benign class of over-the-counter medication called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) has disastrous side effects.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 76,000 people are hospitalized each year due to adverse reactions to NSAIDs.  And, an estimated 7,600 will die this year alone as a direct result of NSAIDs.

Myth: Chiropractors are poorly educated.

Think doctors of chiropractic aren’t well educated?  Think again.  Here are the facts:

Prior to applying to chiropractic school, college students must complete the identical “pre-med” curriculum that medical students follow.  This includes courses in physics, chemistry, biology, psychology and liberal arts.  These prerequisite courses take at least two years to complete.

Chiropractic school consists of another four years of full-time study.  The average number of basic science hours is 1,420, including approximately 570 hours of anatomy, 305 hours of physiology, 205 hours of pathology, 150 hours of biochemistry, 120 hours of microbiology and 70 hours of public health (Chiropractic in the United States:  Training, Practice and Research, 1997).

And that’s just the beginning.  Merely completing six years of intense study isn’t enough to become a doctor of chiropractic.  He or she must pass a series of four comprehensive national board examinations and a local jurisprudence examination before obtaining a license to practice.

Myth: Massage therapy produces the same results as chiropractic.

Massage therapy is a highly effective, drug-free approach to relieving strained muscles, increasing circulation, easing stress and inducing deep relaxation.  Preliminary research also suggests that massage therapy boosts the immune system.  Because of these benefits, doctors of chiropractic frequently recommend massage as an adjunctive to chiropractic care.  Many chiropractors even invite massage therapists to join their staff.

Despite its benefits, however, massage therapy is not a substitute for chiropractic care because it does not correct vertebral subluxations.  Unlike chiropractors, massage therapists are not doctors:  They do not have the same extensive training and are not qualified to perform spinal adjustments or diagnose medical disorders.

Myth:  Chiropractic is expensive.

Industry studies reveal that chiropractic costs less than traditional medical care when chiropractors are the first doctors visited (Med Care 1996; 34:191-204).

Researchers at Oakland University focused on patients suffering from one or more of 493 conditions.  Roughly one quarter of the 395,641 patients studied were cared for by doctors of chiropractic.  Findings revealed “patients receiving chiropractic care experienced significantly lower health-care costs.”  Specifically, chiropractic patients saved approximately $1,000 each over a two-year period (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1993; 16:291-9).

Another study looked at 3,062 workers’ compensation claims for low-back pain.  The analysis found that the compensation costs of claims for injuries treated by medical practitioners were 10 times the costs of those handled by chiropractors (J Occup Med 1991; 33:847-52).

Dr. Marc Davis can be reached at 360.823.2225 or at www.davisfamilychiro.com

Did you know that every 80 minutes a patient passes away due to the shortage of available organs for transplant? Camas High Senior, Rachel Grant, found that out recently and decided to teach others about organ donation.

Camas High School requires it seniors to complete a “Senior Project,” which can involve shadowing a professional in a given career field, community service, inventions, and anything that challenges the student.

Rachel Grant

Senior Rachel Grant

Seniors submit projects for approval, and once approved, the senior embarks on his or her given project.

So Grant decided to pursue a project focused on organ donation.

She said she had a few experiences that solidified her choice for a Senior Project.

“I was away from home over the summer and had very little to do, so my mind was clear of deadlines and things to remember,” she said. “I was watching TV and retaining just about everything because of the space available in my mind, when a commercial came on, detailing the facts about organ donation. I was touched by the stories of selfless people who simply said ‘yes’ while at the DMV.”

According to LifeCenter Northwest, each ‘yes’ has the potential to save over eight lives and improve the lives of over 100 people.

“So, my Senior Project is based around organ donation,” Grant continued. “I have done extensive research and talked with people who are living donors. I’ve talked with the majority of the Freshmen English classes at Camas High School, informing them of the facts about organ donation, so they could choose, upon receiving their license, to be or not to be an organ donor. I always thought it was strange that people are asked to make a decision that isn’t taught
in driver’s education or any kind of class taught at school. I want people to be informed and make an educated decision.”

Grant worked for months to plan and execute her project, which culminated in a two-day event on February 13-14 at Camas High School. She provided students with all the facts she had available about organ donation.

She had two large posters on which students signed, indicating that they were organ donors. When the students signed the poster, they were given a treat. Dairy Queen donated 10 ‘Free Treat’ coupons, knowing the importance of her project.

As the event concluded, the posters were full of signatures, and the event exceeded her expectations.

“I’m pleased with the overall success and I felt enlightened to know how many students at Camas High School are organ donors,” said Grant.

Organ Donation Facts*:

Fact: The number of individuals in need of transplants continues to grow but the number of people who register to be a donor is not keeping pace.

Fact:
 Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.

Fact:
 Every 80 minutes a patient passes away due to the shortage of available organs for transplant.

Fact:
 Transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of similar ethnic backgrounds. Ethnic minorities wait twice as long as white Americans for kidney transplants.

Fact:
 Most major religions in
the United States support organ, eye, and tissue donation, seeing it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

Fact:
 If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is saving your life. Organ, eye, and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.

Fact:
 There is no discrimination due to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, occupation, social status, financial status, or any other factor when determining who gives or receives an organ.

Fact:
 An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.

Fact:
 There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ, eye, and tissue donation.

Fact:
 Agreeing to donation for research when registering donation wishes for organ, eye, and tissue donation, does not include whole body donation.

The Numbers:

As of February 14th, 2012, there are 112,995 people on the waiting list for an organ transplant.
There were 12,958 donors in 2011, not nearly as many donors as people waiting for an organ.

*Facts from LifeCenter Northwest and United Network for Organ Sharing

 

Grace Harker
Grace Harker and Paige Jackson sign a posted indicating
they are organ donors. 
Cait Peterson
Cait Peterson is all smiles.

 

Organ Donor Poster
A Camas High School students sign an organ donor poster.
By Dr. Marc Davis, DC

A crucial tenet of chiropractic is that the body works as a whole and should be treated as such, not as a series of isolated parts.  Doctors of chiropractic, like Dr Davis, understand that dysfunction in one area of the body will affect function in other areas.  The relationship between whiplash injury and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a clear example of this premise.

Marc Davis

Dr. Marc Davis

Many people don’t realize that sustaining a whiplash injury can affect more than the neck – and that the injury can be long-lasting.  Any accident, even a minor fender bender, may trigger serious conditions.  Vertebral subluxations are areas in the spine where movement is restricted or vertebrae are slightly out of place.

Whiplash injury frequently causes vertebral subluxations, which can, in turn, lead to temporomandibular (or jaw) issues.  Dr. Davis uses gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments to remove vertebral subluxations.

The Whiplash/TMD Link

Many studies link whiplash injury to temporomandibular joint dysfunction – or a dysfunction in the jaw joint.  One 2008 investigation specifically reviewed whether a whiplash injury can lead to TMD.  In the study, researchers examined 187 patients with whiplash-associated disorders (WAD).

The investigators found that “TMD could be verified in all patients with WAD.  According to these investigations a craniomandibular disorder (CMD) [disorder of the head and face muscles] was regularly found in patients with WAD and relief from suffering can often not be achieved without treatment of the CMD.” (HNO 2008;56:1114-21.)

Another 2004 analysis compared the prevalence of temporomandibular disorders between individuals with chronic WAD and a control group.  Researchers found that 89 percent of the individuals in the WAD group had severe symptoms of TMD, compared with 18 percent in the control group.  The researchers concluded that “the prevalence of TMD was higher among individuals with chronic WAD. …The results indicate that trauma to the neck also affects temporomandibular function.” (Swed Dent J 2004;28:29.)

Another study found that whiplash injuries often lead to impaired jaw function and eating difficulties.  The investigation compared 50 WAD patients with pain and dysfunction in the jaw-face region with 50 healthy age and sex matched controls without any history of neck injury.

The researchers found that before the accident, study participants in both the healthy and the WAD group reported no or few symptoms.  After the accident, the WAD patients complained of pain and dysfunction during mouth opening, biting, chewing, swallowing and yawning.

They also felt fatigue, stiffness and numbness in the jaw-face region.  In addition, a majority also reported avoiding tough food and big pieces of food and taking breaks during meals.

The researchers concluded that “these observations suggest an association between neck injury and disturbed jaw function and therefore impaired eating behavior.  A clinical implication is that examination of jaw function should be recommended as part of the assessment and rehabilitation of WAD patients.” (Swed Dent J 2008;32:171.)

Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

If you suffer a whiplash injury, it’s essential to schedule a chiropractic evaluation right away, even if you don’t have symptoms.  The doctor will examine not only your neck and spine for signs of injury, but also other areas, including the jaw, that could also be affected.  The doctor will work to correct any related problems, and to prevent any from emerging later.

Research shows that chiropractic care is highly effective in alleviating the pain and discomfort of whiplash injury.  According to a report in the Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine, chiropractic is “the only proven effective treatment” for chronic whiplash injury.

Investigators pooled data from telephone interviews of 93 (68 female and 25 male) chiropractic patients with chronic whiplash.  Patients were divided into three groups.  Group one suffered neck pain and restricted range of motion.  Group two demonstrated nervous symptom problems.  Group three reported severe neck pain and an “unusual complex of symptoms,” such as blackouts, visual disturbances, nausea and chest pain.

Each participant received an average of 19 chiropractic adjustments over approximately four months.  Altogether, 74 percent of patients improved following chiropractic care.  Specifically, 72 percent of group one, 94 percent of group two and 27 percent of group three benefited from chiropractic adjustments.  Even better, 24 percent of group one and 38 percent of group two became symptom free following chiropractic care.

Chiropractic Care for TMD

Receiving regular chiropractic care after sustaining a whiplash injury can keep TMD at bay.  But if you suspect you already have TMD, chiropractic can help get to the source of your discomfort and stop it for good.

In fact, research shows that more and more people are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including chiropractic, for relief of TMD.  One recent study examined the use of CAM therapies among 192 patients with TMD.  Nearly two-thirds of the respondents reported using CAM therapies for TMD or a related condition.  In general, respondents who used CAM for their TMD reported being most satisfied with “hands on” CAM therapies, such as chiropractic care (J Orafac Pain 2003;17:224-36).

In another report, a doctor of chiropractic cared for patients suffering from TMD.  Patients were seen three times a week for two weeks and received adjustments to the spine and jaw.  At the end of two weeks, 90 percents of the patients reported significant improvement (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003;26:421-25).

Finally, a case study followed a 30 year-old woman with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.  The patient suffered from nonstop jaw pain for seven years.  The researchers report that “pain radiated from her TMJ into her shoulder and was accompanied by headache, tinnitus, decreased hearing, and feeling of congestion in her right ear.  Symptoms were not reduced by medication or other dental treatments.”

The patient underwent chiropractic care and improved significantly.  During the first five months, her jaw pain decreased; her ability to eat solid foods increased; her headache intensity and frequency diminished; and her ability to open her mouth without pain improved.

After 20 months of chiropractic care, she was symptom-free beyond some fullness of the right cheek.  The researchers concluded that chiropractic care “was beneficial for this patient and merits further study in similar cases” (Altern Ther Health Med 2005;11:70-3.)

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events subscribe to Dr. Davis’ blog “Health Naturally” by going to www.davisfamilychiro.com and clicking on “Blog”.  To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis call (360) 823-2225. Mention “Lacamas Magazine” and “Free Scan” to get a free computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210).

DAVIS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC, PLLC

“For a Lifetime of Standing Tall!”

2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 103

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225

by Dr. Marc Davis, DC
Marc Davis

Dr. Marc Davis

A growing number of seniors are reaping the benefits of chiropractic care.  And, a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that chiropractic is advantageous for older people.

Chiropractors often detect vertebral subluxations- areas of dysfunction among the bones of the spine (vertebrae) – in seniors.  This common malady is linked with an array of conditions, ranging from low-back pain and arthritis to Parkinson’s disease and hearing difficulties.  Doctors of chiropractic, like Dr Davis correct vertebral subluxations with safe, gentle maneuvers know as chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractic More Effective than Medical Care for Seniors with Back Pain

New research indicates that many medical doctors are ‘deficient’ in their knowledge of how to care for patients with low-back pain (Spine 2009;34:1716-21). As part of the analysis, 253 orthopedic surgeons and 145 medical family practitioners completed a questionnaire regarding the management of simple low-back pain (LBP), while attending annual professional meetings.  “Answers were scored based on the national guidelines for management of low back pain.”

The study concludes that “both orthopedic surgeons’ and family physicians’ knowledge of treating LBP is deficient.  Orthopedic surgeons are less aware of current treatment than family practitioners.  Although the importance of publishing guidelines and keeping them up-to-date and relevant for different disciplines in different countries cannot be overstressed, disseminating the knowledge to clinicians is also very important to ensure good practice.” (Spine 2009;34:1716-21.)

Seniors with back pain require care by doctors who are aware of the distinctive spinal issues that affect an aging spine.  Because of their extensive knowledge of the spine, doctors of chiropractic, like Dr. Davis are uniquely positioned to provide seniors with exceptional care.

A just published report, which compared chiropractic care with medical care for older patients with low-back pain, concludes that chiropractic care is more effective (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32:330-43).

The randomized controlled trial included 240 people (105 women and 135 men).  The participants were all at least 55 years old with sub acute or chronic LBP.

The patients were divided into three groups.  Two groups underwent chiropractic care, each with a different type of chiropractic adjusting technique.  A third group underwent minimal conservative medical care, which is the common standard of medical care for seniors with LBP.

The chiropractic intervention included six weeks of care for a total of 12 visits.  Seniors who received either type of chiropractic adjustments enjoyed a statistically significant improvement in function over medically-treated patients.  What’s more, chiropractic care is drug-free, which is particularly beneficial for seniors who may be sensitive to drug interactions and side effects (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32:330-43).

Avoid Unnecessary Medication

During one 12-week study, chiropractors from 32 states and two Canadian provinces collected data on 805 patients over age of 55.  “Pain” was responsible for 72.3 percent of the complaints – with 32.9 percent directly related to back pain.

Results showed a significant drop in the use of pain medication among those who completed the study.  An increase in the use of pain medications, however, was noted among the 20 percent who discontinued chiropractic care prior to the close of the experiment (J Am Geriart Soc 2000;48:534-45).

Growing Numbers of Seniors Seek Chiropractic Care

As baby-boomers reach their senior years, a growing number of older people are discovering chiropractic.  Just how popular is chiropractic care for seniors?  When researchers surveyed 2,055 individuals age 65 or older, they found that 20 percent had visited an alternative care practitioner during the previous year.  Most of these visits were to doctors of chiropractic (J Amer Ger Soc 2000;48:1560-5).

In one analysis, 61.9 percent of those using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) sought chiropractic care.  Results revealed that the “most prevalent motivations for using CAM were pain relief (54.8%), improved quality of life (45.2%) and maintenance of health and fitness (40.5%).” (J Gerontological Nursing 2003;29:20-8)

Lisa Killinger of Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Davenport, Iowa, says that “chiropractors may be well-positioned to play an important role in health promotion, injury and disease revention and on geriatric care teams, due to their practice style and holistic philosophy.” (Clin Geriart Med 2004;20:223-35).

In fact, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research recommends chiropractic adjustment for seniors with acute low-back pain.  In addition, Killinger says the American Geriatric Society Panel Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Pain state that “non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as chiropractic, may be appropriate.”

Stay Sharp

Believe it or not, cognitive decline isn’t an inevitable aspect of aging.  It’s obvious that daily social interaction and mental stimulation, such as reading and solving puzzles, keep the brain sharp.  But did you know that regular chiropractic care may also preserve mental acumen?

Researchers in Auckland, New Zealand, divided 36 participants into two groups: a chiropractic group who received chiropractic adjustments to the upper cervical spine (spine of the neck), and a control group who underwent a sham procedure.  All 36 patients exhibited upper cervical vertebral subluxations at the beginning of the study.

After both procedures, investigators asked participants to identify whether objects appeared normal or as mirror-reversed on a computer screen.  The researchers then measure each participant’s reaction time.  Individuals in the chiropractic group demonstrated a 14.9 percent “significantly greater” improvement in reaction time, while the control group showed a mere 8 percent improvement.

“The results of this study have demonstrated a significant improvement in a complex reaction-time task after an upper cervical adjustment.  These results provide evidence that upper cervical adjustment may affect cortical processing.” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23:246-51).

Motor Skills Matter

Chiropractic may also help seniors maintain their motor skills.  In one study, researchers asked seniors in a specialized test group to use a computer mouse to move their cursors onto a target in the center of a computer screen.  The researchers used a range of widths and target distances to vary the level of difficulty.

“All participants in the experimental group (those receiving chiropractic care) had significantly improved movement times following spinal adjustments compared with only one participant in the control group (those not receiving chiropractic care).”

The results demonstrated significant motor-skill improvement among those receiving chiropractic care, leading researchers to suggest that “spinal adjustments may influence motor behavior.” (J Manipul Physiol Ther 2006;29:257-66)

Live Longer

Searching for the fountain of youth?  Look to your local doctor of chiropractic.  Left unchecked, chronic back pain is proven to shorten one’s lifespan.  Over a five-year period, researchers followed approximately 1,500 seniors aged 70 to 85.  Daily back pain was linked to reduced longevity, quality of life and mobility and increased risks for a coronary heart event (Spine 2007;32:2012-18).

Avert Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, occurring when cartilage in joints wears down over time.  OA most commonly affects joints in hands, hips, knees and spine.

Fortunately, research shows that chiropractic care helps reduce OA symptoms.  One study included 252 OA patients with low-back pain.  Researchers randomly assigned subjects to either a chiropractic group who received chiropractic adjustment plus moist heat or a moist-heat only cohort.  Both groups participated in 20 care sessions, over several weeks.

At sessions one, five, 10, 15 and 20, sufferers rated pain, activities of daily living and range of motion (ROM).  The chiropractic group reported greater and more rapid pain reduction and ROM improvement than the moist heat group.  Those under chiropractic care also enjoyed greater improvements in daily living activities in four of the nine areas measured.  (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006;29:107-14)

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2009.

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. To subscribe to Dr. Davis’ blog “Health Naturally” go to www.davisfamilychiro.com and click on “Blog” for FREE monthly tips and community activities.  To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis call (360) 823-2225. Mention “Lacamas Magazine” and “Free Scan” to get a free computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210).

DAVIS FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC, PLLC

“For a Lifetime of Standing Tall!”

2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 103

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225

 

By Dr. Marc Davis, DC

Anatomy, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, orthopedics, spinal analysis, microbiology, geriatrics, cardiovascular disorders and toxicology.

Dr. Marc Davis

Dr. Marc Davis

These are just a few of the graduate level courses doctors of chiropractic-like Dr Davis – are required to successfully complete before entering into practice.

Requirements for Admission

Along with completing many other requirements before admission to chiropractic school, students must complete several pre-requisite college courses. These courses are the same as those required by medical schools.

This “pre-med” curriculum included courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology and psychology.

Chiropractic School Curriculum

In chiropractic school, Dr Davis received extensive and rigorous training. “Chiropractor colleges require a minimum of four academic years of professional resident study (not less than 4,200 clock hours), including clinical experience under strict supervision, preceded by a minimum of two years of college work with a curriculum concentrated in the biological and basic sciences, and clinical disciplines. The remaining two years emphasize practical or clinical studies dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of disease with approximately half the time spent in college clinics.”

The program of study at all chiropractic schools is divided into Basic and Clinical Sciences. The average total number of basic science contact hours is 1,420, which accounts for 30 percent of the entire chiropractic program. Basic sciences education includes an average of 570 hours of anatomy (40percent of all basic science hours), 305 hours of physiology (21 percent), 205 of pathology (14 percent), 150 hours of biochemistry (11 percent), 120 hours of microbiology (eight percent), and 70 hours of public health (five percent).

On average, 70 percent of the program is composed of clinical education. These schools devote an average of 3,380 contact hours to clinical education: 1,975 hours (58 percent) are spent in chiropractic clinical sciences and the remaining 1,405 hours (42 percent) are spend in clinical clerkships. These contact hours are in lectures, laboratories and clinics.

Evidence-based Practice

Chiropractic schools focus on teaching students to follow evidenced-based practice. This means adopting principles and clinical practices supported by research studies.

According to research, these students have a positive attitude toward evidence-based practice. One recent study pooled survey data from 674 students at 26 chiropractic schools in Australia, Canada, the US, Denmark and New Zealand participated. According to the report, “respondents generally agreed that the use of research evidence in chiropractic was important.” In total, 76% of respondents found it easy to understand research evidence and 81% had some level of confidence assessing the general worth of research articles (Chiropractic Manual Therapy 2011;3:6).

Don’t Let Imitators Fool You

The educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic, like Dr Davis, are specific to the practice. In contrast, the curriculum followed by other healthcare providers who practice spinal manipulation may consist of attending only one weekend-long seminar. This cursory training may fail to provide the essential skills necessary to safely and effectively perform spinal manipulations.

Chiropractors would not attempt to perform heart surgery or remove an appendix. They don’t have the training for such procedures. Medical doctors who offer spinal manipulations as “add on” service to their patients, similarly, may not have the necessary qualifications (unless they also have attended chiropractic school and have a chiropractic license).

Medical doctors aren’t the only ones who offer “chiropractic-like” services without the extensive educational background in chiropractic arts. Physical therapists have gotten on the copycat bandwagon, too. Again, without the proper educational background – including hands-on training – it’s a risky business. That’s why it is vitally important that you, as a patient, understand the educational differences between doctors of chiropractic, medical doctors and physical therapists when it comes to spinal manipulation.

History of Chiropractic Education

The word “chiropractic” is derived from the Greek words “cheir” and “praktkos,” meaning “done by hand.”

“From these simple beginnings, chiropractic became more sophisticated as a formal education program evolved, requirements by the schools were developed, and state and governing laws were established.” (American Chiropractic Association, 1999.)

The field of chiropractic has a long and rich history. “One of the earliest indications of soft tissue manipulation is demonstrated by the ancient Chinese Kong Fou Document written about 2700 B.C., which was brought to the Western World by missionaries.” (American Chiropractic Association, 1999.)

Chiropractic became more recognized in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer gave an ‘adjustment’ to what was felt to be a misplaced vertebra in the upper spine of a deaf janitor. Following the adjustment the janitor’s hearing was restored.

Holistic and Healthy

Chiropractors focus on the body’s muscular, nervous and skeletal systems – particularly the spine.

“Chiropractors believe interference with these systems impairs normal functions and lowers resistance to disease. They also hold that spinal or vertebral dysfunction alters many important body functions by affecting the nervous system, and that skeletal imbalance through joint or articular dysfunction, especially in the spine, can cause pain.” (Occupational Outlook Handbook.)

The inherent ability of the body to heal without the use of drugs or surgery is a foundational element of chiropractic. Drugs, whether over-the-counter or prescription, are the last line of defense – not the first. Doctors of chiropractic prefer holistic healing methods and gentle adjustments of the spine to relieve pain and stimulate health.

Continuing Education

US States, Canadian Provinces, Australian territories and regional governments in other countries have mandatory continuing education requirements to maintain or renew a license to practice chiropractic (Official Directory of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards).

Continuing education keeps chiropractors up-to-date on a wide range of chiropractic issues and principles. It also keeps them on the forefront of the latest research.

Gatekeepers

The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is the agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education for accreditation of programs and institutions offering the doctor of chiropractic a degree.

Countries outside of the U.S. also have regulatory boards which exact high standards from practicing chiropractors.

The CCE and equivalent international institutions seek to insure the quality of chiropractic education by means of accreditation, educational improvement and public information.

The CCE’s rigid standards, adopted by the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, continue to insure the quality of its accredited programs and institutions.

Government organizations in countries throughout the world regulate the practice of chiropractic and grant licenses to chiropractors that meet their respective educational and examination requirements.

“Chiropractors can only practice in the States where they are licensed. Some States have agreements permitting chiropractors licensed in one State to obtain a license in another without further examination, provided that educational, examination , and practice credentials meet State specifications.”

You’re in Good Hands!

Doctors of chiropractic have the educational background and training necessary to assist you in obtaining a healthy and happy life.

By talking with patients and making research and information on a wide variety of topics available, this office is empowering you to learn all you can about your body, how it works, and how to heal it when it doesn’t.

Now that you have this knowledge, put it to good use and schedule an appointment for yourself. And, while you’re at it, schedule an appointment for a loved one as well. Information is power. Use it!

Optimal Health University™ is a professional service of PreventiCare Publishing®. The information and recommendations are appropriate in most instances. They are not, however, a substitute for consultation with a health-care provider such as Dr. Davis. Copyright, 2011.

Dr. Marc Davis adjusts patients at Davis Family Chiropractic, a thriving wellness-oriented office located next to Fred Meyer in Fisher’s Landing. For FREE monthly tips and community events subscribe to Dr. Davis’ blog “Health Naturally” by going to www.davisfamilychiro.com and clicking on “Blog”. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Davis call (360) 823-2225. Mention “Lacamas Magazine” and “Free Scan” to get a free computerized Back and Neck Scan (regularly $210).

 

2415 SE 165TH Avenue, Suite 103

Vancouver, WA 98683

(360) 823-2225

  
Do you get more than two colds or bouts of the flu per year? If so, it may be a sign of a weakened immune system. Follow these six secrets to build your immune system this season.
  1. Exercise–Any exercise is better than no exercise. Think of the ways you can get moving throughout your day, the times when you can stand instead of sit and how you can find enjoyment in being active, regularly.  Did you know that walking is one of the most effective exercises?  Think of walking like an invigorating massage for every cell of your body.
  2. Multi-Vitamin–Preferably one with aloe vera juice.  Studies have shown that the absorption of necessary vitamins C and E is significantly increased when taken in conjunction with an aloe supplement.  I prefer a liquid, organic multi-vitamin that includes aloe vera juice, such as the one we carry at our office. Drop by for a free tasting sample.
  3. Chiropractic Immunity Adjustment–Subluxations are subtle misalignments in the spinal column that put pressure on the exiting spinal nerves that run the organs and systems of the body, such as the immune system. Subluxations may be caused by falls, sleeping funny, bad lifting or bad posture such as prolonged computer/desk work. Subluxations increase the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Stress may tax the body and decrease immunity. Research suggests a link between a specific chiropractic adjustment of the upper cervical spine that may boost white blood cell count up to 300% and give a powerful punch to fight infection. Schedule a time for a free consultation to see if chiropractic is right for you.
  4. Water–Is 8 glasses a day the right amount for you? It turns out that that amount is for someone who is truly dehydrated. For those who stay fairly well hydrated, aim for 4 to 5 glasses a day of filtered water.
  5. Sleep–Most people require 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily.  A good way to measure your sleep needs are to spend a weekend or even better, a week, allowing yourself to wake uninterrupted.  After you’ve caught up on sleep-debt, you may see a pattern in the hours your body wants to spend sleeping.
  6. Managing stress
    –In the office, I teach a FREE Championing Stress class*.  One tip we talk about in the class is pacing.  It may seem obvious, but the task of pacing is often overlooked.  Pacing means that if you know you have a big project coming up such as a wedding or large work/school project, you may want to postpone other non-essential tasks for later. *The next Championing Stress class will be taught 12/12 and includes lunch on me if you RSVP to (360)823-2225 while seats are still available.  Reserve a spot for yourself and a friend.

Dr. Marc Davis
Davis Family Chiropractic

360.823.BACK

www.davisfamilychiro.com