8 things

8 Things You Must Know About Going To A Chiropractor In Amarillo

After a little over 20 years spent as a chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, I believe there are a number of misconceptions about Chiropractic, and going to a chiropractor in general, that need to be addressed. Some misconceptions toward going to a chiropractor have been perpetuated by the American Medical Association several years ago whilst in a battle with the Chiropractic profession. A battle that the Chiropractic profession eventually prevailed in, by the way. Nonetheless, the rumors, accusations, and insinuations about going to a chiropractor persist to this very day on various levels. With this in mind, I thought it may be a good idea to discuss some of the more common misconceptions that I experience in my daily routine here in the office and online.

1. Why are people commonly going to a chiropractor? 

People are going to a chiropractor for a lot of different reasons but the most common reasons we see here in our Amarillo chiropractic office are conditions like neck pain, back pain, low back pain, migraines & headaches, and more simple joint pains. Chiropractors also treat more specific conditions like disc bulges and disc herniations. facet issues, muscle spasms, biomechanical irregularities, foot issues, rib pain, and things of that nature. In Texas, our chiropractic scope of practice describes our practice as follows: uses objective or subjective means to diagnose, analyze, examine, or evaluate the biomechanical condition of the spine and musculoskeletal system of the human body. It does not include the treatment of conditions outside of what I have described.

2. Does Going To The Chiropractor Hurt? 

Chiropractors are all different in the way they treat patients. Just as some physical therapists or medical doctors may be more gruff and rough, so will some chiropractors be more rough and gruff. It may make a lot of sense to thoroughly check online reviews at Facebook, Yelp, and Google to see what other patients are saying. If the chiropractor has several reviews that are positive, there is a good chance that he or she does not normally beat their patients up too bad. When you are hurting, any sort of treatment may be irritating to the condition. However, in general, Chiropractic is gentle, non-painful, and should be something you look forward to. It is normal, sometimes, for people to get a little sore the day after your first one or two treatments. This is not the norm but is to be expected when people change their body’s routine. Your body needs some time to adjust o the change.

3. Is it true that once you go to a chiropractor, you have to go for the rest of your life? 

NOT AT ALL!! Where do people get this idea? Treatment should have a beginning and it should have an end. Plain and simple. There is a schedule option for people that are feeling great and wish to maintain that level of comfort. This schedule is called “preventative,” or “maintenance,” or “wellness” care. Under a plan like this, patients visit their chiropractor once every month or two to keep things working well and functioning the way they should. Most people can make a lot of sense out of 6 visits a year to stay “good.” Especially if they’re active at the gym, in sports, manual labor, or something like Crossfit. The hope is that patients feel so good that they WANT to be somewhat regular going further after the initial recovery.

4. Is it expensive to go to the chiropractor? 

Expense is subjective. A person that doesn’t own a car and has to take the bus thinks a $12 movie ticket is expensive. A person that has their own personal driver will spend on $12 on the most ridiculous things. With that being said, when you compare Chiropractic care to their counterparts in the medical field and the physical therapy field, it is VERY inexpensive. In fact, there is research to prove it. In all of the many research papers performed comparing chiropractic to medical care or to physical therapy, Chiropractic was proved to be consistently MORE EFFECTIVE and consistently LESS EXPENSIVE. Over and over. In addition, almost all insurance plans cover chiropractic care so, for those people, chiropractic is not more expensive than visits to their primary practitioner. It just costs your co-pay, etc.

5. Is a chiropractor a doctor? 

Of course! Chiropractors are Doctors of Chiropractic. Our medical counterparts are Medical Doctors and Doctors of Osteopathy. In addition, there are Doctors of Dentistry, Optometry, etc. So, yes, chiropractors are most certainly doctors and have the education under their belts to carry the title.

6. What kind of education does a chiropractor have? 

There is such a misconception on this one. Chiropractors have 4 years of undergraduate education just like any other doctor. Then, chiropractors go to Chiropractic college. Depending on the college, we go to school another 3-4 years. Chiropractors take all of the basic sciences that are taught in medical school. We take scary-sounding classes like Physiology, Microbiology, Pathology, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Neurology, Bone Pathology, Radiology, Orthopedics, and every sort of Anatomy class you can think of. Chiropractic college also consists of a Clinical Internship as well. In a research paper from 2005, the researchers compared chiropractic students’ knowledge to that of medical students. They found that chiropractic students scored above the medical students on the musculoskeletal part of the testing. You can see in the image how our student hours stack up. In just one semester in college, we carried 33 semester hours. It was intense!!

7. Is there any risk in going to a chiropractor? 

Did you know there’s a risk in taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen? How about this: 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. The point is that there are risks with each and every treatment available. The risk in going to a chiropractor is actually EXTREMELY low. Chiropractic is the third largest doctoral group in the United States yet chiropractors’ malpractice insurance is extremely low when compared to their medical counterparts. That is in part due to the fact that we don’t perform incisive procedures but it’s also because, in general, we are safe and simply do not hurt people. Some in the medical field will tell you that chiropractors cause stroke but that issue has been researched exhaustively. It simply is not true. There are many research papers available on this topic but here are three that come to mind immediately:

  • 2015 – Kosloff et. al. published in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies. They state the following: We found no significant association between exposure to chiropractic care and the risk of vertebral artery stroke. We conclude that manipulation is an unlikely cause of vertebral artery stroke. The positive association between primary doctor visits and vertebral artery stroke is most likely due to patient decisions to seek care for the symptoms (headache and neck pain) of arterial dissection.
  • 2015 – Whedon et. al. studied the risk of chiropractic in older patients. Here’s what they found: Among Medicare B beneficiaries aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain, the incidence of vertebrobasilar stroke was too low to allow further analysis. Chiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
  • 2008 – This one was a big one – Cassidy et al did a comprehensive study with 9 years of compiled information. NINE years! vertebral artery stroke is a very rare event in the population. The increased risks of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic and PCP visits is likely due to patients with headache and neck pain from VBA dissection seeking care before their stroke. We found no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated chiropractic care compared to primary care.

8. Is Chiropractic something that you have to just have faith in? 

We have patients all of the time that say, “I really believe in Chiropractics.” Let me just say that “chiropractics” is not something you need to believe in. Chiropractic care is well-established and well-researched regardless of what you may have heard over the years. In fact, it is so well-researched and regarded that the American College of Physicians in February of 2017 published new treatment guidelines recommending Chiropractic as a first-line treatment for both acute and chronic low back pain. Shortly thereafter in April of 2017, the American Medical Association published research in favor of chiropractic adjustments for the treatment of acute and chronic low back pain. That’s outstanding! In addition, there is a significant body of research supporting chiropractic care for all of the conditions mentioned above in the first question listed.

If you would like to discover more chiropractic research, start by visiting my evidence-based chiropractic blog at http://www.amarillochiropractor.com/blog or start listening to our evidence-based podcast titled Chiropractic Forward. You can visit Chiropractic Forward at http://www.chiropracticforward.com or find it on iTunes Podcasts at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2   That is the place where we have expert guests join me and we talk all about research and how Chiropractic continues to move forward every year!

See….going to a chiropractor just makes more sense.



Dr. Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM is a Fellowship-trained Neuromusculoskeletal specialist and chiropractor in Amarillo, TX. As an Amarillo chiropractor, Dr. Williams treats chronic pain, disc pain, low back pain, neck pain, whiplash injuries, and more. Dr. Williams is also the host of The Chiropractic Forward Podcast. Through the podcast, Dr. Williams teaches fellow chiropractors and advocates weekly for evidence-based, patient-centered practice through current and relevant research. If you have any questions for Dr. Williams, feel free to email at [email protected]


Learn more about Dr. Williams and his practice at https://www.amarillochiropractor.com. Dr. Williams's full-time Amarillo chiropractic practice is Creek Stone Integrated Care at 3501 SW 45th St., Ste. T, Amarillo, TX 79109


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