What is chiropractic?
- Chiropractic focuses on restoring proper function to the spine by removing misalignments and fixations, called subluxations. Misalignments can reduce the ability of the body to adapt to its environment by altering regular transmission of nerve impulses, preventing that portion of your body from responding normally.
What is an adjustment?
- An adjustment is performed by your chiropractor by using a specific force in a precise direction, which is applied to a joint that is fixated, locked up, or not moving properly. The adjustment adds motion to the joint, which helps the bones return to their normal position and motion. The adjustment helps to relieve pressure off of sensory receptors within the joint which may be causing pain.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
- Chiropractors see a wide variety of patients with numerous health conditions. Chiropractors are especially well known for their treatment of neck pain, back pain, and headaches. They also see patients with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions as well, which involve muscle, ligaments, and joint conditions. These musculoskeletal conditions can be caused by sports injuries, auto accidents, or everyday life. Chiropractors can also counsel patients on diet and nutrition, exercise, and occupational and lifestyle modifications.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
- Chiropractic has been recognized as one of the safest drug-free therapies for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Although chiropractic is widely reguarded as safe, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse affects.
- The major concern with chiropractic treatment is the possibility of causing a stoke. The best evidence suggests that there are about 1 to 3 cases to every 100,000 patients with upper cervical adjustments. The type of stoke suffered is a rare form, called vertebral artery dissection. This type of injury often takes place in patients who already have pre-existing arterial disease. These arterial dissections have been associated with everyday activities like turning the head while driving, swimming, or having your hair shampoo'd at the salon. These conditions often present themselves in the form of neck pain or a headache which leads them to seek chiropractic care, so it is unknown if the patient is already suffering from the onset of a stroke or as the result of the adjustment.
- Your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam prior to the adjustment if there is any warning signs which predispose a patient to this condition, such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, circulatory problems, tobacco use and smoking, or a previous stroke or TIA.
Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
- Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are physically active and experience many types of falls and injuries during every day activities and while performing in sports. Injuries such as these may cause pain symptoms such as back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness, or discomfort. The care that children receive is adapted to their size and spinal structure, and the adjustment is very gentle.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
- Yes, many health insurance plans include chiropractic care for reimbursement. This included the major insurance companies like Medicare, Medicade, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Workers' Compensation, and other major medical plans. See the Insurance tab.
What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
- Doctors of Chiropractic are educated as primary contact providers which focus on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractors are required to complete undergraduate college education. Following undergrad, they must complete 10 trimesters of professional studies at an accredited Chiropractic College. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, and nutrition.
Why is there a "popping" sound when a joint is adjusted?
- The "popping" sound you hear with a typical adjustment is similar to the sound you hear when you "crack" your knuckles. The sound is produced by small gas bubbles which build up within the joint. These small bubbles can cause a restriction in the motion of the joint, when there is a large enough pressure to release the gas it causes the bubble to burst and release the air, which you hear a "pop".
Can I receive chiropractic care after back surgery?
- Yes, after the bones and soft tissues have healed. During spinal surgery, typically there is a procedure performed which alters the mechanics of the spine. Following this procedure, your chiropractor will monitor the biomechanics of the spine and determine what is necessary. Your chiropractor will not adjust any areas of your spine which have been surgically altered, but will pay particular attention to the areas above and below the area. When two segments of your spine are fused together, it puts added pressure on the joints above and below the fusion. These joints have to overcompensate for the lack of motion, this can irritate the joints and cause pain above and below the surgical site.
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