Frequently asked questions
There are thousands of scientific studies proving chiropractic's safety and effectiveness. Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative and natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. In fact, chiropractic adjustments are safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers, and even aspirin. Check Chiro.org for more details.
Periodic chiropractic check-ups, like brushing and flossing your teeth, exercising regularly, and eating wholesome foods is part of a healthy lifestyle. But how long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.
Most private insurance plans cover chiropractic services to some extent and direct billing is now available for some insurance providers. We can help you with this. Just ask which insurace coverage is currently available.
Chiropractors restore proper motion to joints that are not moving properly.
Your Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated. After undergraduate studies, today's chiropractic doctor completes an additional four-year curriculum of over 4,500 classroom hours of health sciences.
The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, bio mechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques and related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nerve system dysfunction.
Before beginning chiropractic school, chiropractic students complete 3 years of undergraduate education to obtain the necessary prerequisites.
A chiropractic student then completes 4 years of graduate school to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
Each candidate must then pass Federal and Provincial board examinations in order to receive a license to practice chiropractic.
It takes about 7 years of post-secondary schooling to learn how to be a chiropractor.
Most chiropractors continue to educate themselves by taking postgraduate courses and staying current by reading the latest scientific research.
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, 'locked up,' or not moving properly. After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches. An adjustment adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. Adjustments are a safe and natural procedure that improves spinal function, improves nerve system function, and improves health. There are hundreds of ways to adjust the spine. The doctor's hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow constant pressure.
Many patients consult a doctor of chiropractic because they think they have a pinched nerve. While commonly associated with the spine, a pinched nerve is actually rare. Research suggests that only 10%-15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on a nerve. Typically a 'pinched nerve' will result in numbness, burning, or a 'pins and needles' feeling. When a bone pushes on a nerve, this is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Several other possibilities exist that cause numbness and/or a burning sensation. Nerves are more commonly stretched or irritated, which will produce a numbness feeling.
If you have numbness, see your chiropractor for a detailed and thorough examination.
No, it is not possible for discs to slip. However, if damaged, they can leak or rupture.
The disc is a pad-like tissue located between two vertebrae which acts as shock absorber for the spine. The center of the disc is made of a fluid, soft, 'jelly-like' substance. When discs are damaged, tears can occur through which the soft center can leak out and push on the nerves. This is known as a ruptured or herniated disc and is extremely painful.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problems. In fact chiropractic adjustments are safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers, and even aspirin.
No, chiropractic care is customized to each patient's age, condition, and spinal problem. Your chiropractor will determine the best way to adjust your spine after completing a detailed examination. Many chiropractors will adjust your entire spine, even though you don't have pain in that area. Pain is a poor indicator of problems as many problems refer pain into other areas. Some patients who complain of headaches, may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck.
Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is impossible to adjust oneself; and also dangerous. Spinal adjusting is not for amateurs. Spinal adjusting may look easy when done by an experienced chiropractor, but it has taken several years to master -- just as a gymnast makes walking on a balance beam easy. Turning and twisting your back and neck may create a 'popping' sound, however this usually causes an unstable area of the spine to be even more unsteady. The goal of the adjustment is to get joints moving that are not moving normally, twisting your back will cause unstable joints to become more unstable. The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic.
There's a lot you can do to improve your chances for a quick recovery. Learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retrain the muscles that support the spine. Proper rest is important to the healing process, too. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Proper nutrition during the healing process is more important than ever. Make sure you eat balanced meals, and if you're overweight, now would be a good time to slim down and reduce unnecessary stresses to your spine. Perhaps most important of all, keep your appointments and follow your chiropractic doctor's recommendations for optimum results.
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborn checked for the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems that cannot be seen. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as 'growing pains' can often be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic check-ups can identify these problems and help avoid many health complaints seen later in adults. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children. Chiropractic has been shown to be helpful with scoliosis and many other so-called 'normal' childhood health problems.
More people in their later years are consulting chiropractic doctors because it can help improve mobility and maintain vitality regardless of one's age. Safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity due to concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs. 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. The effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more obvious as we get older.
Judging your health based on how you feel can be dangerous. Everyone has different pain thresholds and different 'standards' of what they feel like. For example, most people feel fine just before they have a heart attack. True health is based on much more than simply being 'symptom free.'
Chiropractors base health on how you, your spine, and your nerve system are functioning. When your spine and nerve system are not working at 100%, you can still function. However, when your spine and nerve system are working at 100%, you are able to function on a much higher level and experience more of life.
People continue to seek wellness care from chiropractors when they demand more from their bodies. People who want to not only be symptom free, but also function at a peak level, get regular adjustments as part of their healthy lifestyle.
Chiropractic adjustments restore proper motion to joints that haven't been moving properly, possibly, for years. In the beginning, regular and frequent adjustments are needed to help your body learn 'healthy spinal movements.'
Your muscles, joints and nerves have an amazing memory, and getting your body to learn how to move properly takes time. For example, try changing your posture and you will quickly catch yourself slouching without realizing it. Spinal joints are the same. In the beginning, spinal joints will go back to their 'stuck' position shortly after being adjusted. So you may only experience short term relief between adjustments.
When your joints remain subluxation free, that is the time to reduce the frequency of care as your body is learning to keep your spinal joints moving properly. It is also important to follow your chiropractor's advice regarding changing sleeping positions, posture, work setup, etc. to help minimize the stresses on your spine and ensure fast healing.
How often and for how long you get adjusted is up to you. Both depend on your goals; if you're looking for pain relief or if you want to have an optimal and truly healthy body.
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