“Doc, I’m sure that getting a spinal adjustment might help get me out of pain now, but aren’t they addicting? I mean, if I start getting my back popped, won’t I start having to get adjusted all the time, just to feel okay?”
This is one of the most common questions chiropractors get asked by new patients that are just starting under care and those of who have had no formal chiropractic education. This notion is often the perception about chiropractic to those who have never before actually visited a chiropractor, and know nothing about it, but, there is in fact, way more to it than just feeling ok! Here’s why.
It is true that spinal adjustments just plain feel good when you have them done. Assuming you have a skilled practitioner who knows what they’re doing, and they’ve chosen the right adjustment technique for your particular condition, getting adjusted (“getting your back popped”) can give you an immediate and impressive feeling of release, relaxation and even pain relief. Your mind is not playing tricks on you; there is a scientific and physiological explanation in that there is an immediate release of endorphins that takes place when the adjustment happens that gives people that much raved about “feel good” feeling! However, that feeling may only tend to last temporarily, (maybe a few hours or even a day or two) before you find yourself feeling those usual aches and pains again.
Here in lies the problem for those patients that are not educated any further about the real purpose of chiropractic care and all the many benefits that are associated with your health because of it. When people believe that chiropractic care is designed just as a “make you feel better” kind of care, they get the idea that chiropractic is designed only for pain relief, when in actuality pain relief is only a “beneficial side effect” of the adjustment. These patients want that “feel good” feeling again and their pain to subside, so they go back for another “addictive” adjustment.
Before long people may start to conclude that these “addictive” adjustments don’t seem to last very long. It is to their understanding that they get some temporary relief from them each time, but the symptoms often come right back, questioning whether or not they are getting any better, or if the adjustments are only simply creating the need for even MORE adjustments. Will the symptoms ever go away for good they often ask?! If patients were not properly educated from the beginning about the true intention and purpose of chiropractic, or at the time it just didn’t “click”, now is a good time to make sure that these patients really understand what chiropractic is all about… HOW WE FUNCTION, NOT HOW WE FEEL!
Adjustments are very good at helping stiff joints move better AND ultimately and most importantly at removing nerve interference (subluxation) so that your body can function at its best. This is in fact the primary goal of the chiropractic adjustment, and is what should ultimately be most important to our patients. Patients deserve to understand that when you FUNCTION better, you will benefit and FEEL better as well, but FUNCTION should be your driving force to continue your care! In order to FEEL better, we need to FUNCTION better!