What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorder of the musculoskeletal systems and nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. It is used to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, and pain in the joints of the arms, legs and headaches.
Chiropractors provide a conservative, drug free, manual approach to health care that include patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.
What is spinal manipulation/adjustment?
The most common treatment is spinal manipulation, this helps restore mobility by manually applying a gentle, controlled force into joints that have restricted motion. The joints may have become less mobile due to tissue injury, bad posture or muscle weakness caused by muscle imbalances.
Are there any side effects?
Spinal manipulation of the joint and soft tissue restores mobility and alleviates pain and muscle tightness and allows tissues to heal. After manipulation, patients may experience soreness which lasts for 12- 48 hours.
Once I start going to a chiropractor, do I have to go for the rest of my life?
No you do not have to come to my office for the rest of your life. During your first visit I will take a history and then address your complaint. I set up a trial of care for your specific complaint and when that time is up if you are making improvement then you don’t have to continue coming back. If later down the road you have a flare up you can return for treatment. If you are getting worse or there is no change in your complaint then I will refer you to another health care professional that can treat your complaint.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.
Will you adjust me even if I don’t need to be adjusted?
No, I will not adjust you if you do not need to be adjusted. There are other treatments that can be used if needed and include muscle stretching, rehab exercises, nutritional counseling, focused soft tissue work.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands--or an instrument--to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient's pain. 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.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others. Chiropractic care is also available to active-duty members of the armed forces at more than 60 military bases and is available to veterans at 36 major veterans medical facilities.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects.
The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension.
Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, recent evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously, or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare – about 1 case in 5.85 million manipulations.
If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.
It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain -- prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) -- as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.
have you heard of "msm" helping with back pain?
The studies are inconclusive. Some studies show that there is some benefit (in cases of knee pain), and in some cases the evidence for MSM is not as clear. One thing that I always keep in mind is that each and every person is biochemically different. One person can take MSM and get great results and someone else may not notice a difference. We respond to things differently, but if you are looking just at the studies: the results are inconclusive and some may even say it doesn't work.
Have a Question? Ask it Here.
1 - Notification of when your question has been answered. (Optional)