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If you have any other questions you would like addressed before seeking chiropractic care, don’t hesitate to contact our office by phone or email on our CONTACT page of website.

What is chiropractic?
What makes chiropractors different?
Do adjustments affect other bodily functions?
Does chiropractic cure colds?
What causes poor spinal health?
What is the primary method of treatment in chiropractic?
Do adjustments hurt?
Are adjustments safe?
What is that popping sound?
Why do I have to keep coming back?
How many adjusting techniques exist?
What other treatments are performed in the office?
I’m in a lot of pain, my doctor told me to cancel my appointments, why?
I don’t feel any pain, why do I need treatment?
What is the purpose of maintenance care?


Q:  What is Chiropractic?
A:  By definition, chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is based upon the understanding that good health depends in part upon a normally functioning nervous system, especially the spine and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body. 

It is effective treatment through the use of the hands.  Chiropractic stresses that many  disease processes begin with the body’s inability to suddenly  adapt to changes in its environment.  It looks to address these problems and diseases not by the use of chemicals and drugs, but by locating and adjusting the musculoskeletal processes of the body that are not functioning properly.

Non-chiropractic -  goose bumps are the body’s attempt to adapt to its environment.  The hairs raise up to raise your temperature.

Chiropractic - a car gets rear-ended in an accident resulting in a whiplash injury.  The vertebrae become unstable, the muscles and ligaments stretch out and create instability.  The body builds up fluid around the vertebrae to hold them in place, and the muscles spasm to keep those vertebrae in place.  This is the body’s attempt to respond to a new sudden environment.  But it’s wrong.  Chiropractic creates a more stable environment for the spine by using hands and adjustments.

Contrary to popular belief, chiropractors are not back doctors, they are nerve specialists.  The back is the house of the nervous system.  They pay particular attention to the spine because the spine is the house to the master source, the nervous system.

Take for example when lightning hits a power source, and all the lights in a town go out.  The power company does not knock on everyone’s door, they go back to the power plant and fix the problem.  That’s why chiropractors go back to the source.

Something we commonly hear, “My physical therapist told me to stop going to the chiropractor and to address the muscle spasm.”  However, it’s like messing with the switch at someone’s house, it’s not going to fix the problem.  You have to go back to the source.


Q:  I know chiropractors don’t prescribe drugs and medicine, but what else makes them different?
A:  The exam of the spine to evaluate its structure and function sets chiropractors apart from other physicians.  The spinal column is a series of movable bones that begins at the base of the skull and goes all the way down.  There are 31 pairs of nerves that exit the spine.  There are 2 components of the nervous system, the peripheral and autonomic nerves.  Think of autonomic as automatic.  It tells your heart to beat and your lungs to breathe.  In order to move your hand to pick up a hammer, you have to think about it.  Your brain definitely sends a signal to that part of your body.  This is your peripheral nervous system at work. 


Q:  Ever since I’ve been seeing the doctors, I’ve got great bowel movements.  Do you think it’s related? 
A:  Yes, absolutely it is related and that’s great!  The reason is that the doctor has been treating that area of your midback that controls the function of your stomach acid and controls the movement of body wastes through your intestines.  In fact, there are many problems other than back and neck pain that are effectively treated through chiropractic care.  Some processes take time to heal.


Q:  Does chiropractic cure colds? 
A:  Your immune system is your body’s natural process of getting rid of toxins in your body.  By receiving chiropractic care, the body’s white blood cells, which are the “soldiers” of the immune system, are boosted by 47% with just one adjustment.  Your body is then able to move those lymphatic fluids faster and can in effect get rid of your cold two or three days faster than if you just left it alone.


Q:  What causes poor spinal health?
A:  Accidents, falls, stress, tension, over-exertion, and many other factors can result in misalignments in the spinal column called a subluxation.  These misalignments cause irritation to the spinal nerves and spinal nerve roots.  These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body.  Chiropractic teaches that reducing irritation to spinal nerves can cause the body to operate more efficiently and more comfortably.


Q:  What is the primary method of treatment in chiropractic?
A:  The adjustment, the manual manipulation of the spine is the treatment.  It is a specific manipulation of vertebrae, which have abnormal movement patterns or which fail to move altogether.  Once the doctor has identified a problem with certain vertebrae, he or she will begin care by way of adjustments to those vertebrae and around the vertebrae.  Particular attention will be paid to those areas where there are significant misalignments or where there is a locking of the vertebrae.  The adjustment is usually given by hand or by a specific instrument.  Pressure is applied to that area in order to restore proper alignment and range of motion to that vertebrae.


Q:  Do adjustments hurt?
A:  Under normal circumstances adjustments will not hurt.  You may experience a temporary discomfort as the doctor applies pressure to those vertebrae or surrounding areas, but it should only last a few seconds.


Q:  Are adjustments safe? 
A:  Absolutely!  Adjustments are extremely safe.  The risk factor of a chiropractic adjustment having a major adverse reaction is in excess of 1,000,000: 1.  Compare this risk to medication ads, where ¼ of the ad explains the benefits and reactions of the meds and the other ¾ lists all of the possible side effects, adverse reactions, and medication contraindications.   Side effects include 300:1 may experience gastric problems and 500:1 may experience any variety of things.  It is much safer for your health and well-being to receive a chiropractic adjustment.


Q:  What is that popping sound?
A:  It is nitrogen gas that is trapped in-between the vertebral spaces, the joints, that is being released as the vertebrae are being manipulated.  It is the body’s attempt to adapt to the environment.  What has happened with two vertebrae is that one has been knocked out of place.  As a result, a situation has taken place where the disc is not able to function the way it’s supposed to by keeping the space filled between the vertebrae.  The body fills the space with air to keep the vertebral space high enough to allow the nerves to exit to the body.  It is the body’s natural reaction, but an abnormal result because that air actually acts as another means of compressing the nerves.  So when the air is released, the nerves are able to function more properly.  If enough of that nitrogen gas is present, it will give immediate relief as it releases pressure in-between those joints.


Q:  Why do I have to come over and over again?  Why do I have to come for multiple adjustments?
A:  When a misalignment exists, the body’s natural reaction is to compensate and protect itself by changes in muscles and ligaments and buildup of tissue fluid around the misalignment.  Adjustments need to be performed gradually and with precision in order to allow the vertebrae and everything around the vertebrae to memorize its correct positioning…something we term “muscle memory.”  When two vertebrae are in the correct position, our muscles memorize that position.  Upon trauma to the spine we often develop a muscle spasm.  It’s the muscle’s attempt to compensate by relearning it’s new position.  Over time the muscle relearns its new position and the spasm goes away.  However, pain is not the indication of the problem.  With the vertebrae and muscles in an incorrect position, it will create undo stress on the discs creating wear and tear on the spine.  Your spine cannot be replaced.  Proper range of motion can be restored however, eliminating undo stress on your discs.

An example…you go the gym to workout and you feel great!  The next morning you wake up and experience some muscular pain.   What’s happening is your body is telling you it doesn’t like this new memory, it liked it the way it was before, nice and soft and weak.  It needs time to relearn the new muscle pattern.  Orthodontics is the same way.  Braces are  used to straighten the teeth.  They don’t straighten right away do they?  Eventually do they straighten?  Yes, but even when they look straight with the braces on you can’t remove them yet because the bones (your teeth) need time to memorize their new positioning.  They need time to stabilize.


Q:  How many adjusting techniques are there?
A:  Lots!  Over 100 adjusting techniques are out there!  Although many techniques are different, they have very similar or equivalent results, and they are all good techniques.  Our clinic has doctors who are graduates of Palmer College of Chiropractic.  They utilize Diversified, Gonstead, Thompson drops, Flexion/Distraction, and Activator methods.


Q:  Besides adjustments, what other treatments can patients receive in chiropractic offices?
A:  There are two schools of thought in chiropractic.  The “straights” and the “mixers”.  Straight chiropractors believe that the chiropractic adjustment is and should be the only method of treatment for a patient.  They believe the other adjunctive therapies are there to help speed up the healing process, but they really have no therapeutic value. 

The mixers have a more diversified practice including, but not limited to active rehab, passive therapies, nutrition, and dietary counseling.  Passive therapies are used on those patients where the pain, weakness, and restriction of motion limits them from performing activities on their own.  The machine has to do the work for them.  Once the patient has gained enough strength, pain has gone away or has become tolerable, and range of motion has increased, he or she is able to move on to active rehab, which speeds up the healing process.


Q:  I’m hurting so bad last night I called my medical doctor he told me to go the ER and get pain medication. He told me not to go to the chiropractor. I’m canceling all my appointments.
A:  Occasionally that will happen.  There are two reasons you may feel this way.

1) adjustments are performed in some cases to remove pressure off nerves.  What happens when you fall asleep on your arm and you wake up and the nerves are starting to wake-up in your arm from being numb?  It doesn’t really hurt until you shake it out it feels tingly, with pins and needles, and very uncomfortable when the blood flows back to your arm.  Similarly, but more traumatic is a car accident when the driver is pinned by the steering wheel at the chest.  The driver doesn’t experience any pain until the pressure of the steering wheel is removed and the blood flows back to the chest and the nerves begin to fire. 

2) Sore muscles.  The vertebrae move back to proper alignment and the muscles pull against it because they remember being in the other position so they begin to spasm.  The spasm causes more pain.


Q:  I don’t feel any pain, why do I need treatment?
A:  It is the goal of every doctor to first eliminate any pain and discomfort.  The next goal is to stabilize the spine.  Once out of pain, the spine must be stabilized and function restored.  It is just as an important part of treatment as getting out of pain.


Q:  What is the purpose of supportive or maintenance care?
A:  Many factors contribute to spinal problems.  As mentioned before, these factors include but are not limited to falls, accidents, slips, overexertion, stress, poor posture, repetitive motions, stress at work, sports, improper bending, lifting, etc.  The best way to explain maintenance care is to compare it to a dentist.  You go to the dentist, and maybe you  have two cavities that need to be filled.  He fills the cavities and then he tells you to what?  Go away, and best of luck to you?  No way.  He tells you to come back in six months to make sure you don’t have anymore cavities, and to prevent any cavities from happening.  Prevention is the same in chiropractic.  The doctors are not in any more control of you leaving the office and experiencing any of the aforementioned factors that may contribute to a spinal misalignment as a dentist is of you going out and eating a piece of candy.  The key to prevention is getting your spine checked out to address any of those problems while they are small.