Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?
No, a patient does not need referral by an MD before visiting a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are first contact physicians, and are so defined in federal and state regulations. Following a consultation and examination, the doctor of chiropractic will arrive at a diagnosis under chiropractic care, or refer the patient to the appropriate health care provider.
Can you explain the philosophy behind chiropractic?
Doctors of chiropractic believe in a holistic (“total person”) approach to healing, which typifies the new and changing attitude towards health. It is based on the concept of treating the cause versus treating the disease
How does the doctor of chiropractic help?
The doctor of chiropractic, through a procedure called an adjustment, helps restore misaligned vertebrae to a more normal position, thus allowing the nerves to properly communicate with the rest of the body and let the body heal itself – safely and naturally.
Am I too old for chiropractic care?
More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over medication and 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 patient 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 result. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.
Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Yes, chiropractic treatment is safe and effective. While any form of health treatment contains a degree of inherent risk, there is little danger in chiropractic care when administered by a licensed practitioner. To assure competency, all states require that DCs be board-qualified, licensed, and regulated according to stringent criteria. Statistics show that patient risk is substantially lower for chiropractic because the use of prescription drugs and surgery are not used.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractor typically uses his/her hands to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint function. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.
How long will I have this back pain?
This depends on many variables. Age, smoker, drinker, diet, stress level, activity level, length of time the pain has been present and attitude. In most cases, a significant positive change should be seen within 2-4 weeks.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment of a joint may result in release of a gas bubble between the joints that makes a popping sound – it’s 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. There is no pain involved.
If you use chiropractic do you have to use it for the rest of your life?
No, but the reality is you should. We change our oil in our car every 3,000 miles. Is that more important than checking your body’s nervous system on a regular basis?
Does the adjustment hurt?
The adjustment can sometimes cause some minor discomfort, but it is not usually considered painful. Most of this discomfort will go away after the adjustment is performed several times. That is why several adjustments may be necessary before relief is seen. The discomfort that you may feel is very often related to how long you waited before you sought treatment for your pain or illness. The sooner we can start the adjustments after onset, the less discomfort you will feel and the fewer treatments you will need for your continued good health.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
The majority of all insured American workers have coverage for chiropractic services in their health care plans. For example, the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management offers chiropractic coverage for federal employees in both the Mail Handlers and BCBS benefit plans. In addition, there is a chiropractic benefit in Federal Workers’ Compensation, and chiropractic care is available to members of the armed forces at more than 40 military bases, and is available at nearly 30 veterans’ medical facilities.
Do chiropractors only treat back conditions?
No, we prefer to look at the individual as a whole person. In many cases, for example, we find situations arising from the feet that alter ones ankles, knees, hips and spine