Questions and Answers
The care you need from people you trust.
How do you get Subluxations?
There are three basic causes of vertebral subluxation. Physical stresses on the spine and nervous system may include slips and falls, motor vehicle accidents, repetitive motion, improper mechanical stresses/ bad posture 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?
Only chiropractors have the specific training to detect subluxations. Using special techniques like x-ray, surface electromyography, thermal scanning, and postural analysis, chiropractors can determine whether or not subluxations are present.
What is an adjustment?
Adjustments are used by chiropractors to reposition the bones that are out of proper alignment, improper motion or subluxated There are various techniques of adjusting the vertebrae. Depending on the patient’s age, condition, and the doctor’s training and experience, any of these techniques may be used.
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. Chiropractors have training in many different adjusting techniques and will custom tailor the adjustments based upon the patients' subluxations. Just like fingerprints, no two spines are exactly the same. Some factors that may determine which type of adjusting technique your chiropractor will use include the patient's age, weight, occupation, stress level, sleep quality, and, of course, spinal condition.
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 recuperative powers of the body, medication is not commonly used with chiropractic care. Typically, chiropractors use ice or moist heat to help control pain or muscle spasm. When properly applied, these methods can have an analgesic affect without the unwanted side effects of many medications. Chiropractors and medical doctors now enjoy strong working relationships. In severe cases, referrals may be made to other health care professionals if services outside of the scope of chiropractic are needed.
Why do chiropractors take x-rays?
In order to properly diagnose a patient’s condition, x-rays are commonly taken. These x-rays are used to check vertebral alignment, disc degeneration, proper curvature, scoliosis, and other serious pathology. Many chiropractors use x-rays to document a patient’s progress as well. 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 the patient’s spine.
Is chiropractic care addictive?
Chiropractic is no more addictive than exercise, proper diet, or brushing your teeth. Chiropractors recommend getting your spine checked for subluxations periodically throughout your lifetime because it is healthy for you to do so. Patients under long-term chiropractic care report an overall sense of health and well being far beyond diet and exercise alone.
Can patients with arthritis receive chiropractic care?
Patients who suffer from the various forms of arthritis may get significant results from chiropractic. Depending on the patient, results may vary. However, by keeping the spinal joints moving freely, the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis can be minimized. If your doctor deems it necessary, a referral to another health care provider may be suggested. Additionally, 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.
Why do newborns get adjustments?
Even today’s "natural" childbirth methods can cause spinal trauma. Studies suggest that infantile colic, poor appetite, ear infections, or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle, safe, and offer a drugless alternative that many parents prefer. Pediatricians commonly refer to chiropractors for a natural approach for infant health problems.
Do children need chiropractic care?
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for vertebral subluxation. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for the child’s spine. Many childhood health complaints can be traced back to nerve interference somewhere in the spine.
Having the spine checked throughout childhood could prevent health problems that emerge in adulthood. Parents often prefer chiropractic care for their children because of its safe, non-invasive nature.
Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I'm pregnant?
Pregnant women frequently get amazing results from chiropractic. Chiropractors are trained in special techniques for adjusting pregnant women. Because of the inability to take medication for pain, the natural approaches of chiropractic are the logical choice for pregnant women. More and more, obstetricians are referring to chiropractors due to the effectiveness of spinal adjustments for pain relief. Also, techniques designed to naturally turn a breech baby are safe and effective. Lastly, women under chiropractic care have a significantly faster delivery than those who are not.
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. Most likely, the pain you are experiencing is an adjacent spinal 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?
Chiropractic addresses the function of the nervous system and the structure of the spine. 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.
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 less on all health care expenses because they are healthier and have less illness and injury. In 1992, the Journal of American Health Policy reported that after a review of data from over 2,000,000 users of chiropractic care in the U.S. , "chiropractic users tend to have substantially lower total health care costs" and "chiropractic care reduces the use of both physician and hospital care." Chiropractic care is truly an "investment" that brings great returns.
If I crack my own neck or back, am I giving myself an adjustment?
People often equate the popping of one's neck or back with an adjustment. This is a common mistake. If a person feels the need to "crack" their own back or neck, this usually indicates that they have other areas of their spine that are misaligned which causes spinal tension. When a person "pops or cracks" their back or neck, they are moving the vertebrae that are already moving too much! You cannot adjust yourself. Even chiropractors must go to another chiropractor to be adjusted because it is the fixated or misaligned vertebrae that must be adjusted, and not the ones that are already moving too much.
Once you start going to a chiropractor, 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, exercise regularly, go to the dentist 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 not to exercise regularly or not to routinely eat healthy or see the dentist regularily. It just depends on your personal health goals. Low back pain is number one cause of disability world wide and neck pain is number 4 cause of disability world wide. That is why we feel routine chiropractic care makes sense.