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Common Chiropractic Questions & Answers

How do I get a Subluxation?

There are three basic causes of vertebral subluxation.  Physical stress on the spine and nervous system may include slips and falls, motor accidents, repetitive motion, and improper sleeping.  Chemical stress includes smoking, alcohol abuse, not drinking enough water, improper diet, or the overuse of drugs or medications.  Finally, emotional stress is a major cause of subluxation due to its effect on the hormonal and muscular systems of the body.  Regardless of the cause, these subluxations need to be detected and removed.

Can I tell if I have a subluxation?

Actually, you can have a subluxation and not even know it.  Like the early stages of tooth decay, a subluxation can be present long before any symptoms emerge.  Through exam techniques, postural analysis, our chiropractors can determine whether or not a subluxation is present.

What is an adjustment?

Adjustments help to reposition the bones that are out of proper alignment, or subluxated.  There are various techniques of adjusting the spine, such a Diversified, Activator, S.O.T, Drop Table adjustments and many more.  Depending on a patient’s age, condition, and complaints, any of these techniques may be used.  The adjustment helps to remove any interference to the nervous system, which then improves spinal function and overall health.  Adjustments are safe for all ages and are completely natural.  We focus on the biomechanical function of your body.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Yes.  Chiropractic has an excellent safety record.  A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.”  It is chiropractic’s conservative and natural approach that makes it so safe and helps millions of satisfied patients avoid harmful drugs or unnecessary surgery.

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

No.  Each patient is evaluated and the chiropractor will tailor the adjustments based on a patient’s issues.  Just like fingerprints, no two spines are exactly the same.  The chiropractor will use a patient’s age, weight, occupation, stress level, sleep quality, and of course, spinal condition, to determine which type of adjusting should be used.  They will do a very detailed exam and if needed will recommend x-rays to help determine what the problem is or how you need to be adjusted.

What makes the sound during adjustments?

Actually, adjustments do not always produce a sound.  However, some techniques do create a “popping” sound.  This audible release is the result of gas shifting in the joint; similar to the noise created by”cracking” your knuckles.  This sound is painless and causes no harm.

Will I receive any medication for my pain?

Because chiropractors rely on the natural healing powers of the body, medication is not commonly used.  Typically, chiropractors use ice, moist heat and massage to help control pain or muscle spasm.  These methods can have an analgesic affect without the unwanted side effects of many medications.  If needed the chiropractor has the option to refer you back to your PCP, or to other healthcare professionals.

Why do chiropractors use x-rays?

In order to properly diagnose a patient’s condition, x-rays are often recommended.  X-rays are used to check vertebral alignment, disc degeneration, proper curvature, scoliosis, and other serious pathology.  With the advancement of high-speed film and limited exposure, the amount of radiation used is far outweighed by the useful information gained by actually seeing a patient’s spine or bones.

Is chiropractic care addictive?

Chiropractic is no more addictive than exercise, proper diet, or brushing your teeth.  Chiropractors recommend getting your spine checked for subluxation periodically throughout your lifetime. Patients under long-term care report an overall sense of health and well being far beyand diet and exercise alone.

Can patients with arthritis receive chiropractic care?

Patients who suffer from various forms of arthritis may get significant results from chiropractic.   Depending on the patient, results may vary.  By keeping joints moving freely, the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis may be minimized.   Studies show, that those who enjoy chiropractic from a younger age reduce their risk of osteoarthritis later in life.

Can a person with previous back surgery see a chiropractor?

Research shows that up to one-half of those who have spinal surgery report a relapse of their original symptoms within months or years.  This common occurrence is known as “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”, and usually results in the necessity of additional procedures.  Chiropractic care may prevent repetitive surgeries, or better yet, if used initially, may help avoid surgery in the first place.

Do Children need chiropractic care?

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for vertebral subluxation.  And as often as children fall when they are young toddlers, can often lead to nerve interference in the spine.  Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for the child’s spine.  Many childhood health complaints can be tracked back to nerve interference somewhere in the spine.  Having the spine checked throughout childhood could prevent health problems that emerge in adulthood.

Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I’m pregnant?

Pregnant women frequently get amazing results from chiropractic.  Because of the inability to take medication for pain, the natural approaches of chiropractic are the logical choice for pregnant women.  Gentle chiropractic adjustments can alleviate low back and lumbar pain; and post-delivery chiropractic care, helps to put the pelvic and hip bones back in proper alignment.

Do I have a slipped disc?

Discs are known as the “shock absorbers” of the spine and are made up of a fibrous outer ring and a jelly-like center.  Commonly, a variety of disc problems throughout the spine may be referred to as a “slipped disc”.  A disc cannot actually slip because of the way it attaches into the bones above and below.  Discs can tear, decay, bulge, or dehydrate, all of which can be serious problems.  However, discs cannot slip.

Do I have a pinched nerve?

A  pinched nerve is a rare occurrence.  The pain you are experiencing is an adjacent bone out of proper alignment, causing irritation, slight compression, or stretching of a nerve.  These misalignments, called vertebral subluxations, can distort  the impulses being sent between the brain and the body.  Any interference to these nerve signals can produce disorders in the tissues and organs.

If I already exercise and get massage, do I still need chiropractic?

Because the nervous system controls everything in your body, it is vital that it functions without interference.  Massage can relax muscles and improve circulation, but if the nerves that run the muscles are irritated, the muscles will tighten up again.  Chiropractic addresses the cause (irritated nerves), not the resultant muscle tightness/spasm, neck pain and low back pain.  Chiropractic adjustments in combination with massage, will bring about a faster resolution.

Is chiropractic care expensive?

Many studies in recent years show that for many conditions, chiropractic is the most cost-effective option available.  Studies also show that people who utilize regular chiropractic care spend much less on all health care expenses, because they are healthier and have less illness and injury.  It was reported in a review of data from over 2,000,000 users of chiropractic care in the U.S., “users tend to have substantially lower health care costs, and chiropractic care reduces the use of both physicians and hospital care”.  It is truly an “investment” that brings great returns.  Come in for a consult and we’ll have our insurance person check on your benefits before you get an exam.

Do you have to keep going for the rest of your life?

Of course not!  Chiropractic care has long term benefits that most people choose to enjoy for the rest of their lives, much for the same reason that people eat right, brush their teeth, go to the dentist, or take vitamins for the rest of their lives….because it’s good for you!  However, how long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is completely up to you.  You can choose to discontinue chiropractic care just like you can choose to never brush your teeth again.  It just depends on your personal health goals.  We try to get you to do more rehab at home and make changes in your lifestyle, so you’re not dependent on us to keep you healthy…