What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic was founded in 1895. It is based on the scientific fact that the nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system of the body. The brain and the spinal cord are protected by bones, specifically the skull and vertebra. When the vertebra lose their normal position or move improperly, they irritate the nervous system. This irritation can effect the nerves which supply the tissues and organs causing a lack of function. This lack of function is called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
Chiropractors locate and correct the areas of the spine not functioning properly. The correction is done through a procedure called an adjustment. The word adjustment describes a specific movement that is directed with specific force. This gentle force allows the vertebra to return to a more normal position and movement.
Doctors of Chiropractic go through a four year graduate program after completing medical school prerequisites. They receive thousands of hours of scientific education in anatomy and the function of the human body. The training also teaches Chiropractors the skill to use just the right amount of pressure at the proper time. This process makes Chiropractic an art.
The philosophy of Chiropractic states that the body has an inborn ability to heal itself. By correcting Vertebral Subluxations through the adjustment, the nervous system can work properly to allow the body to heal. The doctor doesn't "heal" your body, only you can heal your body. Most medications, for example aspirin and other pain relievers, don't correct your problem, they just cover up your symptoms.
Therefore, Chiropractic is not just a science, but also an art and philosophy. Chiropractors look to correct the cause of your problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is the term used to explain the chiropractic treatment. It is known in the medical community as spinal manipulation, although the chiropractic adjustment is performed specifically by chiropractors with at least four years of extensive experience in this type of treatment.
Does the adjustment hurt?
The adjustment is a painless procedure. If a person is already in pain any movement of course can be uncomfortable, but the adjustments are designed to ultimately reduce and eliminate the pain.
What is a "subluxation"?
A subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that house and protect the spinal cord. Any misalignment puts unnecessary pressure on the nerve system and damages the nerve supply to different parts of the body. Vertebral subluxations that are left undetected and unadjusted for many years can lead to symptoms of pain, diseases, and an unhealthy expression of life.
How do I know when I am subluxated?
It's not easy to know when you are subluxated, although a pain of some kind can be a clue. Abnormal posture including one shoulder higher than the other, hips not level or a head forward past the shoulders can also be indicative of a subluxation. Often, the nerves that are negatively affected because of the misalignment in the spine do not carry pain signals. This means that you can suffer from subluxations for years without any painful warning signs. However, allowing subluxations to exist in your body can negatively impact the functions of the organs in your body, which leads to a deterioration of your health. A chiropractor can detect the subluxations with their highly trained hands, and correct them effectively.
How did I get subluxated?
A person can become subluxated in a wide variety of ways. Simple things like improper sleeping, sitting, and standing can contribute to subluxations. Often, people develop their first subluxation during birth when the doctors use force of up to 60 to 100 pounds to aid the delivery. Normal childhood activities such as spills from the bike, sledding, playing ball, and any other activity that results in a jarring fall, all result in subluxations in children. Because subluxations don't often cause pain, people do not know they are there and thus do not get them fixed until after major damage has been done, at which point the pain usually begins.
Will this cure my back/neck pain or headaches?
While correcting subluxations usually brings you relief from pain, the aim of the chiropractor is to not merely fix painful backs and necks, but to enable the body to express itself to the fullest, without any interference from subluxations. Correcting subluxations opens up a whole new world of wellness and health care because the body is able to function as it was designed. Without any nerve blockages due to subluxations, the body can boost its immune system and much more effectively fight disease and illness. Relief from back pain, neck pain and headaches, which are the most common symptoms that bring people into a chiropractor's office, might come about from the adjustments, but there are no guarantees. However, living with subluxations is like trying to ride a bike with one hand, you are only half as effective as you would be if you had the full use of both hands. Allowing subluxations to exist in your body, even if they are not causing you pain, means you have a reduced nervous system function and a lower level of wellness and health.
What is that cracking sound?
That "cracking" sound is air, gas and fluid escaping from the joint. It is the same thing that happens when you crack your knuckles. The patient’s bones do NOT crack.
When can I expect to feel better?
Different patients have different healing times. Some experience relief within 1-2 weeks; others notice changes before the end of the first month. Healing is dependent on the length of time a patient has had the subluxations and the severity of their problem.
Do I have to keep coming back forever?
No! In our office we have three types of care: relief care, corrective care and maintenance care. Pain usually subsides in the first 4-6 weeks. However, correcting the cause of a problem takes longer. You have the option of discontinuing care when the pain subsides, when you complete the corrective procedure, or you can continue with what we call maintenance care. It is completely up to you
. The purpose of maintenance care is to keep your spine healthy and to avoid a reoccurrence of a spinal-related problem. Just as you go to the dentist for regular checkups, having your spine checked by the doctor is as important, if not more so. But the choice is always yours.
Will chiropractic improve my posture?
Most patients have seen their posture improve as a result of chiropractic care.
How long will each appointment take?
After the first four visits, each appointment generally takes between 5 and 15 minutes, depending upon what you need done on each visit.
Do I have to have x-rays?
The doctor will determine if films are necessary during the examination and then will discuss this with you.
If I bring my own, fairly recent x-rays, do I have to take new ones?
If you have them, please DO bring them, as they will help the doctor with his examination. If the doctor determines at the end of the examination that new films are necessary, he will advise you and discuss why he feels they are necessary.
Will chiropractic straighten my spine?
It depends on what is causing the spine to NOT be straight. If the cause is a lot of arthritis and degeneration, it is unlikely that the spine can be straightened. If the cause is related to muscle tightness, there is a much greater chance that the spine can be straightened.
Does chiropractic cure cancer or other diseases?
Chiropractic treats the misalignments of the spine and the interferences in the nervous system caused by the misalignments. Chiropractic does not cure cancer or any other diseases. The chiropractic adjustment can help relieve the pain associated with different diseases. There are a number of different health conditions which have been helped through chiropractic care. As a result of chiropractic care, many patients experience improvement due to the body's innate ability to heal itself.
Is chiropractic good for children or elderly people?
Chiropractic is good for all patients, because chiropractic care centers on the spine. Different techniques are used for children and the elderly due to their spine's delicate nature. Children need chiropractic care so they do not develop the problems we see in most adults, like nerve compression and arthritis. It is especially important to have children checked by the doctor after they have had a fall. Chiropractic care can help the elderly from developing more serious complications from their longstanding spinal and nerve related conditions. Personally I have treated babies a few days old to patients 102 years old.
Will my insurance cover chiropractic?
About 80% of insurance plans cover chiropractic. We will verify your benefits when you come to our office for the first visit.
How long does a chiropractor go to school?
After completing the same prerequisites for medical school, chiropractors attend chiropractic college for four years.
Why are there so many techniques used in chiropractic?
Chiropractors use many different techniques to treat specific areas of the body. As with medicine, each technique provides the patient with various, specific benefits – depending on the patient, some may be more appropriate than others. The doctor will choose techniques that are most effective and comfortable for each individual patient.
Can I come in whenever I feel like it and not stick to a regular schedule?
The doctor will recommend a treatment plan for you which will best benefit your health. For you to obtain the best results from chiropractic care, it is important that you stick to the schedule the doctor recommends.
Can I just drop in without a scheduled appointment?
Yes! The doctor is available to see a patient in an emergency, otherwise, the patient should follow the schedule that the doctor has prescribed.
Does the doctor get adjusted?
Yes. As a practitioner of chiropractic, the doctor is also a patient of chiropractic.