How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic works on the premise that our bodies have the self-borne ability to heal themselves if given the proper conditions. Your entire body is controlled by its nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue. Signals are sent back to the brain to confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion or position of the bones of the spine, called a subluxation, can interfere with these signal to the brain. These subluxations irritate nerves and compromising the function of affected body parts. Specific spinal adjustments can help improve mind/body communications. Health generally returns with improved communication between the nervous system and the body.
What Is A Subluxation?
A subluxation is the improper motion between two vertebrae in the spine, causing swelling of the surrounding connective tissue, spasm of the surrounding supportive muscles which results in spinal nerve root irritation and usually SEVERE PAIN.
What Is the Spine Made Up Of?
The spine is made up of, from top to bottom, 7 Cervical Vertebra (neck), 12 Thoracic Vertebra (mid-back), 5 Lumbar Vertebra (low-back), a Sacrum and a Coccyx. All of these Vertebras are connected to each other via a disc and facet joints. The spinal cord runs behind the disc and in front of the facet joints. There are delicate spinal nerves that leave the spine in-between each of the 24 vertebra mentioned above. These spinal nerves are in pairs at each segment level of the spine and exit the spine on the right and left sides. Attached to the spine are various muscles, tendons and ligaments that help hold the spine together and give it its’ structure. The space where the spinal nerves leave the spine is about the size of a DIME and when the nerves are irritated via subluxation they cause you PAIN and dysfunction in other parts of the body.
Do I Have A Slipped Disc?
The disc is a soft pulpy "shock absorber." It has a fibrous outer ring, which holds in a jelly-like material. A "slipped disc" is a common way to refer to a wide variety of disc problems. However, a disc can't slip because of the way it attaches to the spinal bones above and below it. A disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniate. It can thin. It can dry out. And it can collapse. But it can't slip.
Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve is rare. It is more likely that an adjacent spinal bone irritates, stretches, rubs, or chafes a nerve. These subluxations distort the nerve messages sent between the brain and the body. This can produce unhealthy alterations to the organs and tissues connected by the affected nerves.
How Do You Get Subluxations?
There are three basic causes of subluxations: Physical, Emotional and Chemical. Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions such as grief, anger and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet.
How Do I Know If I Have A Subluxation?
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have.
Can Subluxations Clear Up On Their Own?
Sometimes. Today's hectic lifestyles are a constant source of subluxations. Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don't resolve, you need to see a chiropractic doctor!
What's An Adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren't moving right. Some methods use the doctor's hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine.
Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are "remarkably safe." By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are about 100 times safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Will Adjustments Make My Spine Too Loose?
No. Only the spinal joints that are "locked up" receive adjustments. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.
Can The Bones Move Too Much?
Highly unlikely. A chiropractic adjustment is special. It has the right amount of energy, delivered to an exact spot, at a precise angle, at just the right time. The intent is to get a "stuck" spinal joint moving again, helping reduce nerve interference. Years of training, practice and experience make chiropractic adjustments specific and safe.
What Makes The Sound During The Adjustment?
Lubricating fluids separate the bones of each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It's much like opening a bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting, but isn't a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.
Are All Patients Adjusted The Same Way?
No. Each patient's spine and care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine, each of which can move in seven different directions, we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient’s care is custom fit to his or her age, condition and health goals.
Can I Adjust Myself?
No. Some people can make their joints "pop," but that's not an adjustment! Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
How Many Adjustments Will I Need?
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits taper off as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing can take months or even years.
Why Do Newborns Get Adjustments?
Even today's "natural" childbirth methods can affect an infant's spine. Preliminary studies suggested that colic, unusual crying; poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more pressure than you'd use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
Can Kids Be Adjusted?
Yes! Kids respond great to chiropractic care. The rough and tumble lives of toddlers and younger children often causes subluxations. These subluxations can cause specific problems for kids or contribute to general poor health. Just as when adjusting newborns, the adjustments are gentle and specific.
Once kids are a little older and often involved in organized sports, subluxations of the spine can cause pain and inhibit performance.
Can I Have Chiropractic Care After Back Surgery?
Yes. Rest assured that your chiropractic doctor would avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
Can Patients With Osteoporosis Get Chiropractic Care?
Of course. When developing a care plan, your chiropractic doctor considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and condition.
How Long Until I'll Feel Better?
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time, most patients sense enough progress to fully carry out their doctor's recommendations.
How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for their visits feeling great. These visits can help support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best care and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
Will I Receive Any Medication For My Pain?
No. Chiropractic doctors don't dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic effect without the side effects of pain medications.
Why Don't Medical Practitioners And Chiropractic Doctors Get Along?
That's changing. Years of prejudice and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of chiropractic care. Attitudes are slow to change. However, as the public demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical practitioners are referring their patients to our office.
What If My Policy Doesn't Cover Chiropractic?
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet, each of us is free to place a different value on our health. It's convenient when an insurance company or third party helps to pay the bill. But be careful! Don't allow the profit motive of a huge corporation to make the decision for you. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone. Most insurance companies provide coverage for chiropractic care. We will be glad to verify your coverage and will even file your insurance for you. We try to make your life easier!
Will I Ever Be Normal Again?
Patient results vary. Many report improved spinal curves and the total resumption of their normal lifestyle. Those who neglected or delayed seeking care often see slower progress. After improvement, many patients discover that periodic chiropractic checkups can help avoid a relapse.
What If Chiropractic Doesn't Work?
Sometimes, based upon your history and our examination we determine chiropractic care is not the best treatment for you or we may be unable to correct the cause of your problem after a course of treatment. In either case, your health is our primary goal. Our years of experience have allowed us to develop good relationships with many specialists in our area. If we aren’t the right type of doctor for you, we will immediately refer you to a specialist best trained to attend to your condition.