This form of chiropractic is the most common and often mislabeled as “corrective”. Traditional chiropractic care focuses on changing symptoms. You know the care you are receiving is traditional if the measure for improvement is subjective. This means that upon re-exam the main concern is how you feel. Therapy used with traditional chiropractic also focuses on subjective changes only. For example, most traditional chiropractic therapy includes STIM, Ultrasound, ice, heat, roller table “traction”, general exercises. All of these therapies have not objective means to determine if they are helping. The only indicator for success in a change in symptoms because that is the only thing they are intended to change with use.
This is a much more thorough form of chiropractic care. Effective and reproducible structural chiropractic care is supported by publishing research. All of the therapies and exercises prescribed with structural chiropractic are done so with the goal of making measurable changes on the re-exam x-rays. Symptoms are still very important in structural care. Specifically, the goal of this type of care is to correct the cause of the symptoms and reduce the likelihood of them reoccurring. This is done by reshaping the spine towards the researched ideal model.
Comparatively the shape of the spine with tradition chiropractic is often noted during the initial exam but treatment is not intended to change it. This is clear by the fact that most traditional chiropractors do not take x-rays to compare the shape of the spine during a reevaluation. The reason for this is because no changes in the spine are expected because the goal of treatment is not to change the spines shape.
Typical orthodox medicine, like traditional chiropractic, is focused on symptoms only. However, with medicine changes in symptoms are accomplished via drugs and surgery. These methods have the potential to work well quickly. Medicine is great in emergency situations because the risk of using these treatments is outweighed due to the severity of the emergency. The potential for side effects and damage from the drugs and surgery used in treatment increases with chronic use. This is why medicine should be avoided for problems from poor lifestyle or chronic disease.
Repeatedly treating the symptoms of a chronic problem does not improve health. This form of treatment only serves to help the patient ignore the problem. This can often lead to a future emergency. Prolonged drug use also has risks of creating more problems from repeatedly poisoning yourself. No drug or surgery improves the health of the body. They only prolong death and change symptoms. This is not a bad thing unless you are under the impression that drugs and surgery equate to better health.
Physical therapy thrives in post-operative care. It is a common recommendation for patients who decided to get surgery for neuromuscular issues. It is similar to traditional chiropractic in that it focuses on drug-free treatment of symptoms. The big difference is that a physical therapist is not allowed to order or take x-rays. This is why they are so similar to traditional chiropractors who either don’t take x-rays or only take x-rays at the beginning of care. Physical therapists are allowed to use a chiropractic adjustment (depending on the state), however, their training is minimal at best. The training a physical therapist gets in performing chiropractic adjustments is typically a weekend course. Not compared to vs. hundreds of hours of post-graduate training, internship and regular continue the education that chiropractors have in adjusting.
Regular massage is a good way to help reduce stress and improve blood flow to the muscles. It is important to understand that massage should never be considered for the correction of any health problem, even muscular. Massage therapists are not capable of diagnosing the cause of your symptoms. They are capable of doing one thing; massage. There is a common misconception that massage and chiropractic are the same or even similar. This is completely false. They are as similar as a hair stylist and an MD. The hair stylist may have some education in chemistry to better understand the chemicals he/she uses in your hair. That is the limit to their chemistry education. You do not want to hire them diagnose, treat or prescribe you drugs.
Both yoga students and yoga instructor commonly misunderstand the scope of this exercise. Regular exercise and stretching are fantastic. They improve blood and oxygen flow to the body and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, and other problems. HOWEVER, it would be a dangerous mistake if you went to your yoga teacher for a heart attack. The same is true for a muscular or neuromuscular symptom like back pain, neck pain, POOR POSTURE. Yoga has the potential to improve your posture although, unlike heart disease, it can also make your posture worse.
Obviously, yoga instructors are not doctors of medicine or chiropractic. No one would expect them to treat a heart attack even though yoga can improve cardiovascular health with very little cardiovascular risk. When considering your spinal health, yoga can help but it can also be dangerous and worsen your posture and spinal shape. It is even possible to rupture a disc doing yoga because many of the poses can further damage a weakened spine. Just like with a heart attack you may have been at risk for these types of injury even if you have no symptoms. If you have poor posture then you are MUCH MORE LIKELY to damage your spine or herniate a disc doing yoga or any activity. People with already damaged spines are at a higher risk of injury and should never start a yoga program with the expectation of improving muscular or neuromuscular symptoms.
|Traditional Chiropractic||Corrective Chiropractic||Medicine||Physical Therapy||Massage||Yoga|
|Reliably Reduce Symptoms||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||N|
|Reliably Improves Spinal Function (biomechanics)||Y/N||Y||N||N||N||N|
|Improves Symptoms||M||Y||Y/N (SIDE EFFECTS)||M||M||M|
|Treats Immediate Life-Threatening Conditions||N||N||Y||N||N||N|
|Fixes the CAUSES of Neuromuscular Symptoms||N||Y||N||N||N||N|
|Uses Objective X-ray Imaging to Determine CHANGE||N||Y||N||N||N||N|
|Treats Disc Bulge/Herniation||N||Y||Y||N||N||N|
|Corrects Cause of Disc Bulge/Herniation||N||Y||N||N||N||N|
|MORE likely to have Future Disc Bulge/Herniation||M||N||Y||M||Y||M|
|Reproducible Improvement of Chronic Pain||N||Y||N||N||N||N|
|Reproducible Improvement of Acute Pain||Y||Y||M||Y||M||M|