FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine called a “subluxation” can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments can help improve mind/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
How do you get subluxations?
There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions, such as grief, anger and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet.
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Some people can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. Each patient’s spine and care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine (that can each move in seven different directions!) we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient’s care is custom tailored for their age, condition and health goals.
How many adjustments will I need?
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Every individual responds differently to care. Many patients sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits become less often as your spine stabilizes. Many factors can affect the healing process. Those who have neglected or delayed seeking care often see slower progress. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Are you in otherwise good condition?
How long will I need chiropractic care?
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for their visits feeling great. These visits can help support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best care and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
An audible popping or cracking sound heard with an adjustment is perfectly normal and is simply the sound of gas bubbles being released in the joint fluid as they are compressed. This is exactly the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint that results in gas bubbles being released. It’s much like opening a bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The presence or intensity of the sound can vary from person to person, or even treatment, and is not indicative of an effective treatment.
Does the adjustment hurt?
The adjustment is a painless procedure. If a person is already in pain any movement of course can be uncomfortable, but the adjustments are designed to ultimately reduce and eliminate the pain.
Why do newborns get adjustments?
Even today’s “natural” childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine. Preliminary studies suggested that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
Is chiropractic care expensive?
Doctors of chiropractic provide effective, low-cost health care for a wide range of conditions.
Studies conducted according to the highest scientific standards and published by organizations not affiliated in any way with chiropractic institutions or associations continue to show the clinical appropriateness and effectiveness of chiropractic care. One of the most recent, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, stated emphatically that:
“On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain…There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low back pain was transferred from physician to chiropractors.
What if my policy doesn’t cover chiropractic?
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet, each of us is free to place a different value on our health. It’s convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill. But be careful! Don’t allow the profit motive of a huge corporation to make the decision for you. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.
Does chiropractic care require a referral from a medical physician?
No, a patient does not need referral by an MD before visiting a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are primary health care providers, and are so defined in federal and state regulations.
What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?
Chiropractors base their care on the detection, correction, and prevention of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments causing nerve interference). We use specific spinal adjustments to correct the spine, to improve nerve system functions and reduce nerve interference. Osteopaths use drugs, surgery, and other traditional medical therapies and only occasionally use manipulative procedures.
Do I have a slipped disc?
The disc is a soft pulpy “shock absorber.” It has a fibrous outer ring which holds in a jelly-like material. A “slipped disc” is a common way to refer to a wide variety of disc problems. However, a disc can’t slip because of the way it attaches to the spinal bone above and below it. But a disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniate. It can thin. It can dry out. And it can collapse. But it can’t slip.
Do I have a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve is rare. It is more likely that an adjacent spinal bone irritates, stretches, rubs or chafes a nerve. These “subluxations” distort the nerve messages sent between the brain and the body. This can produce unhealthy alterations to the organs and tissues connected by the affected nerves.
Will adjustments make my spine loose?
No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” receive adjustments delivered with the right amount of energy, to an exact spot, at a precise angle, at just the right time. The intent is to get a “stuck” spinal joint moving again, helping reduce nerve interference. Years of training, practice and experience make chiropractic adjustments specific and safe.
Can I still get chiropractic care after back surgery?
Yes. Rest assured that your chiropractic doctor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
What if I have osteoporosis?
When developing a care plan, your chiropractic doctor considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and health.
Will I receive any medication?
No. Chiropractic doctors don’t dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic effect without the side effects of pain medications.