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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to go on seeing a chiropractor for life? 


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 Come I’ve Never Heard of Subluxations?

Maybe you’ve never heard of subluxations. That’s OK. There probably was a time when you’d never heard of AIDS or Alzheimer’s.

How do I know if I have a subluxation?

You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before any warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of any subluxations you may have.

Can subluxations clear up on their own?

Sometimes. Today’s hectic lifestyles are a constant source of subluxations. Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these minor problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don’t resolve, you need a chiropractic doctor!

Can children get subluxations?

Many first subluxations occur from the birth process. Even “modern” childbirth methods can put tremendous pressure on an infant’s spine. Poor appetite, unexplained crying and sleeplessness can be signs of spinal subluxations.

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.

What makes the sound?

Lubricating fluids separate the bones of each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It’s much like opening a soda can or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting, but isn’t a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.

Can I adjust myself?

No. Some patients can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! Even your chiropractic doctor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.

Do I have a slipped disc?

Between each pair of spinal bones is a disc. Its fibrous outer ring holds in a jelly-like material. This soft center serves as a “ball bearing” for joint movement. Because of the way a disc attaches to the spinal bones above and below it, it can’t actually “slip.” However, 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.

How does chiropractic care help disc problems?

The purpose of chiropractic care is to locate and correct areas of the spine that interfere with the proper nervous system control of your body. Because the intervertebral discs are so close to the spinal cord and nerve roots, disc involvement is quite common in chiropractic cases. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper motion and position of malfunctioning spinal bones, reducing nervous system involvement. If caught before permanent damage occurs, disc tissue can return to a more normal size and shape. 

Aren’t disc problems simply part of the normal aging process?

No. However, many disc problems are the result of years of neglect. Many spinal problems are non-symptomatic until the advanced stages of degeneration. Many elderly patients who have maintained their spines throughout their lives continue to enjoy excellent spinal health and function.

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.

What’s an adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren’t moving right. Some methods use the doctor’s hands, an instrument, a special table, or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Will adjustments make my spine too loose?

No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” receive adjustments. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.

Can the bone move too much?

No.  A chiropractic adjustment is special. It has the right amount of energy, delivered 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. 

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.

Can I have 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.

Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?

Of course. 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.

How many adjustments will I need?

The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits become less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing can take months or even years.

Am I too old for chiropractic care?

More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctor’s, especially in their late years.  With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.

Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite.  Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.

The adjusting technique used by your doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results.

As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.

How do you get sciatica?

It’s easy to trace some spinal problems to an event, such as a car accident. Yet, sciatica is often the result of cumulative damage. Years of bad posture, poor muscle tone, excess weight or countless other causes set the stage. Then, something simple like bending over to tie your shoes can trigger an episode.

Can anything else cause sciatica?

Spinal decay can be another culprit. Instead of disc thinning that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve roots, arthritic bone spurs can intrude into the space normally reserved for the nerve.

Can chiropractic cure sciatica?

Actually, chiropractic doesn’t cure anything! Only your body can do that. The chiropractic approach to sciatica (and other health problems) is to help restore the way your spine works, reducing nerve irritation and revitalizing your own healing ability.

How long will I need chiropractic care for sciatica?

Most sciatica patients are delighted with the results they get after weeks or months of care. Naturally, this varies from patient to patient. After a relapse or two, many discover that years of neglect have produced spinal instabilities that never fully heal. These patients elect to continue with periodic chiropractic checkups. It’s up to you.

Can scoliosis be prevented?

Scoliosis is tragic. It causes both physical pain and emotional suffering. This sideways bending of the spine shows up as abnormal posture and then finally, deformity. If allowed to advance, it can interfere with the lungs, heart and many other vital organs.
There is hope.

Scoliosis affects boys and more frequently and girls between the ages of 8 to 18. The cause varies. Some are born with this spinal deviation (congenital). Others get it from assuming a distorted head or hip position (habitual). Sadly, in many cases the cause is still unknown.

In the beginning, when easiest to correct, there are rarely symptoms. However, an alert parent may notice that a high shoulder or low hip makes clothing fit poorly. Back and leg pains may develop but are often overlooked as merely “growing pains.” Neglect is the biggest danger.

If allowed to run its course, scoliosis can steadily worsen. Early detection is critical. Severe cases can involve surgery. This procedure attaches steel rods to force the spine to straighten.

Chiropractic care has helped many young women avoid the unhappy effects of scoliosis. The procedure is simple.

First, a thorough examination helps detect scoliosis in its early stage. Then, corrective action can begin at once. The primary course of care is a program of specific chiropractic adjustments. These help improve the function and structure of the spine. Muscles strengthen. Posture can improve.

Chiropractic care has helped countless young women reclaim their health, posture and their self-esteem.

Isn’t a certain amount of sideways curvature normal?

Any type of sideways curvature is abnormal. From the back, the spine should appear straight. When scoliosis is present, there are usually two curves: a primary curve in one direction and a compensatory curve in the opposite direction.

What’s the best time for a scoliosis examination?

As with the case of many health problems, early detection can improve the likelihood of correction. Wise parents consult our office soon after the birth of their child. Then they follow up with periodic chiropractic checkups throughout their child’s developing years.

Why do mothers-to-be rave about chiropractic?

At first glance, most people don’t see the connection between chiropractic care and pregnancy. However, there are four stages in which having an optimally working nervous system and structural support help both mother and child.

1) Pre-Conception

Chiropractic care prior to conception promotes a more regular menstrual cycle and optimal uterine function. It prepares the body to be strong, supple and as balanced as possible to carry the pregnancy. Many couples who thought they were infertile have been helped by restoring proper nerve supply to reproductive organs.

2) Pregnancy

Regular chiropractic care during pregnancy helps maintain balance, alignment and flexibility. When the growing baby is comfortable it can assume the optimal birthing position.

3) Labor and Birth.

Mothers who get adjusted seem to require less high-tech intervention. Most report shorter, less traumatic births. With proper nerve supply, well-timed contractions help move the baby more easily through the birth canal.

4) Post Delivery

Even natural births can stress a baby’s spine. Breastfeeding problems can arise if the baby is unable to comfortably turn its head. Have a chiropractic checkup for your newborn as soon as possible.

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.

Will adjustments hurt my baby?

This is a common concern among parents who mistakenly think that their child will receive adjustments like the ones they receive. Adjusting techniques are modified for each person’s size and unique spinal problem, and an infant’s spine rarely has the long-standing muscle tightness seen in adults. This makes a child’s chiropractic adjustments gentle, comfortable and effective. 

Will my medical doctor approve?

Consulting another health care expert is always helpful in the decision-making process. We work closely with other practitioners who keep up with the latest research and understand the value of this natural, drug-free approach to better health.

Will I have to have X-rays?

X-rays provide information that will assist your doctor in planning your treatment. X-rays can reveal fractures, spinal misalignments, joint and bone disease, and other facts regarding your health status.

X-rays or radiographs are not always necessary. Your doctor will decide if your specific case warrants their use. 

If taken, your doctor will typically review your x-rays during your report of findings. Your x-rays will become a very valuable part of your health records.

What causes headaches?

The most common causes are physical trauma, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies or chemical toxins. Sometimes there may be a combination of these and other factors. Our examination process helps identify the most likely cause.

Can you make my headaches go away?

There are many types and causes of headaches. Regardless of the cause, if you have a headache, you want it to end. Fast!

This has produced a huge market for medications that cover up the symptoms of headaches. Powerful drugs can numb your nervous system so the pain doesn’t register. While these approaches may be convenient, they can cause adverse effects and kidney or liver damage. Worse, they don’t correct the underlying cause of the headache.

A cause of headaches can be from spinal bones in the neck that aren’t supporting your head properly. They’re not moving right. This can affect nerves, muscles and even the blood supply to your head.

Chiropractic doctors locate areas of the spine that aren’t moving properly. They notice if improper spinal curves are present. They look at your posture and your ability to turn and bend. These and many other examinations can help determine if you are likely to benefit from chiropractic care.

If you’re a good chiropractic candidate, your care will consist of a schedule of chiropractic adjustments. These help normalize spinal function, help restore essential spinal curves, improve circulation and reduce nerve irritation. Many patients report fewer and less severe headaches.

While we can’t guarantee results, our office has a high success rate with patients who get headaches.

How long will it take for my headache to improve?

Some patients enjoy results quickly. Others notice a slow decline in their symptoms after several weeks or longer of chiropractic care. It’s impossible to predict. If you’ve had chronic headaches for many years, improvement can take time.

What if I don’t have a headache when I come in?

Chiropractic isn’t an aspirin! Repeated visits, even when you’re feeling better, can help retrain and strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Just as it takes more than one or two workouts at the gym to get in shape, it takes time for your spine to heal.

But my headaches are migraines?

Migraine headaches are usually severe and sharp, throbbing in nature, and generally affect one side of the head. Tension headaches tend to occur frequently, last a long time and are characterized by a dull, steady pain that feels like a band of pressure around the neck. But despite these differences they are closely related. Chiropractic care has been proven to be extremely effective in treating migraine and tension headaches as well as neck pain and stiffness.

What if chiropractic doesn’t work for my headaches?

Headaches may be common, but they’re not normal. Every headache has a cause. If we’re unable to find and correct the cause of your headaches, we can refer to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our only goal.

What causes neck pain?

Your neck is the most vulnerable part of your spine. Not only does it support your 10 to 12 pound head, maintain a gentle forward curve, and permit head rotation, but it must also allow the free flow of nerve impulses to the head, face, hands and the rest of your body. Besides discomfort and annoyance, chronic neck pain is a sign that something is wrong.

Will I have to have neck adjustments?

If your problem is the result of abnormal motion or position of spinal bones in the neck, cervical adjustments can be effective. There are many ways to adjust the neck, and your chiropractor has become an experienced master. Years of practice make these spinal adjustments safe and effective. Much safer than common aspirin or muscle relaxers!

Can you stop the pain in my wrist?

The chiropractic approach that works so well with the spine can be applied to other joints of the body. Virtually every articulation of your skeletal system is susceptible to fixations that can impair function and range of motion. Trauma, micro-traumas, vibrations and repetitive motions can produce joint problems throughout the body. Chiropractic care can help.

Should I be wearing a wrist brace?

A brace is often prescribed to help protect the wrist and reduce mobility. While it may alleviate certain symptoms, it virtually ignores the malfunctioning joints causing the problem. The chiropractic approach is to help restore proper motion to affected joints and strengthen supporting muscles and soft tissues. While this may require some type of ongoing supportive care, many patients are able to resume their activities without bracing.

How do postural distortions get started?

Your posture is a window into the condition of our nervous system. It reveals how we adapt to stress. Common examples include uncorrected physical stresses from the birth process, childhood sports injuries, automobile accidents and even unresolved emotional pressures. Our body assumes a defensive, protective posture.

What are the early signs of postural problems?

During our examination we look for the head tilting to one side, forward head carriage, a lowered shoulder or a hip that has improperly rotated. We also look at the way you walk, unusual shoe wear or a leg that appears contracted. We encourage parents to have their children evaluated so these same issues don’t become engrained patterns early on.

Is arthritis and posture related?

Arthritis or spinal decay can result from an abnormal, long-standing adaptation to gravity. The body deposits calcium on malfunctioning joint surfaces in an attempt to shore up or “splint” the joints. Bone spurs, and eventually fusion, can result.

How can stress affect my spine?

Think of your spinal cord as a guitar string. The greater the tension, the higher the note. Your nervous system has “tone” as well. With each stressor, your body tightens up, like bracing yourself for a tight curve on a roller coaster. The weakest joints of your spine are forced out of their normal position. Like the shrill notes from an over-tightened string, your body loses its capacity to express its fullest potential and ill health can result.

Can chiropractic care solve all my stress?

Of course not. Much of the emotional stress we experience is largely self-induced. Imagine how much pain and suffering result from attaching inappropriate meanings to events in our lives. Or the constant burden we experience by not forgiving others. Stress is a natural part of life. Chiropractic care can’t eliminate stress, but it can help increase your capacity to accommodate it.

Can you help me with whiplash?

You’re in your car, relaxed, waiting at a stoplight. Suddenly you hear a screeching of tires behind you and the harsh sound of metal hitting metal. Before you can brace yourself, you feel your car moving forward from some unseen force! You’ve been rear-ended.

What happens in these few seconds can have tragic consequences. And what you do about it in the next hours, days and weeks can forever affect your health.

Upon impact, your body pushes deeply into your seat. Your head, momentarily isolated by your neck, delays its reaction while your body quickly reaches the limits of your seat.

Then, your body instantly changes directions, moving forward to the limits of your seat belt. Now, your head starts moving backward in the opposite direction! Unrestrained by a seat belt your head is jerked back and then forward beyond its normal limits. Everything seems to be happening in slow motion, yet you are unable to stop your head from whipping backward and then forward.

How long until I’ll feel better?

Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time most patients sense enough progress to fully complete their doctor’s recommendations.

Are there actually different kinds of chiropractic care?

Just as there are different reasons for visiting a chiropractor, there are different types of care. Which approach you take depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Some patients simply want relief from pain. Others are looking for a way to stay healthy. In either case, chiropractic care works.

Why does my chiropractor want to see me again? I’m feeling terrific.

Just when you thought you’d be saying goodbye to your chiropractor he’s suggesting a maintenance care program. However, it’s important for you to know that your chiropractor is committed to your long term health and well-being. Are you feeling confused? Read on, we’ll explain. Maintenance care is important and it will benefit you, your spine and especially your overall health.

Remember, how you feel does not always reflect how healthy you really are. As a spinal health expert your chiropractor realizes it is easier to prevent spinal problems than to correct them. That’s why a maintenance care program consisting of regularly scheduled chiropractic spinal examinations is being recommended to you.

My problems aren’t going to come back, are they?

With proper follow-up chiropractic care your spine will continue to get stronger, but without it, chances are your old problems (and the pain that comes with them) will resurface. Ongoing spinal check-ups and treatments by your chiropractic doctor can not only prevent the return of old problems, they may also stop new problems from developing.

So a healthy spine means a healthy body?

By following a chiropractic maintenance program you’ll be rewarded with a strong, healthy spine and a renewed sense of well-being.

Your chiropractor and you. It’s a team that makes good sense.

What if I need surgery?

Chiropractors believe and emphasize that the first response in most illnesses and injuries should be conservative care. However, chiropractors are also trained to recognize when an injury is outside of their scope of practice and will refer patients to the appropriate medical specialist if necessary.

Doesn’t it cost a fortune?

No. Many of the pain-killers and drugs you buy to treat pain and illness cost more than chiropractic care. Yet chiropractic care treats more than the symptoms of poor health, it treats the underlying cause. It also helps to restore and maintain good health – without using any drugs.

What if my insurance company doesn’t cover chiropractic?

Each of us has the freedom to place a different value on our health. Ultimately, good health is about personal responsibility. While an insurance company or other third party may be helpful, be careful. Don’t allow a profit-motivated company to make decisions about what you do with your health. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.

You can also click here to learn more about insurance and chiropractic.

Is it necessary to go on seeing a chiropractor for life?

That all depends on your health goals. For many people, regular chiropractic adjustments are just part of a healthy lifestyle which includes adequate exercise, good nutrition, and a positive mental attitude. It’s a combination you can’t beat. Ask your chiropractor for more information about how to achieve optimal health and start living your life to the fullest.

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