- What is Chiropractic?
- How does Chiropractic work?
- How can Chiropractic help?
- What is an "adjustment'?
- Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?
- What is a "Subluxation"?
- Why would a vertebra move out of place?
- Does this happen all of a sudden, or does it take a long time to develop a Subluxation?
- Does a subluxation in one part of the spine affect another part of the spine?
- Is chiropractic safe?
- How are doctors of chiropractic educated?
- What can I expect on my first visit?
- Why do I need an x-ray?
- What conditions are treated with chiropractic?
- Is Chiropractic care expensive? Will my insurance cover it?
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a natural, noninvasive method of health care with the proven ability to relieve back pain, increase vitality, and promote well being. For over a century, doctors of chiropractic have successfully helped individuals recover from spine-related health problems. As a result, chiropractic has earned its place as the largest drugless and non-surgical health care profession in the United States.
How does Chiropractic work?
The doctor of chiropractic is trained in a variety of specialized techniques to re-position the vertebrae to their proper alignment. Chiropractic treatment is very similar to orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist moves bony tissue (teeth) into a new position by gradually adjusting and tightening the braces, allowing the surrounding soft tissue (the gums) to gradually adjust to the new position of the teeth and hold them there. The chiropractor also moves bony tissue (vertebrae) to their correct position, repeating the treatment to allow the surrounding supporting soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) to gradually adjust to the new (and correct) position of the vertebrae, so that they remain in their proper position.
How can Chiropractic help?
The Doctor of Chiropractic considers the body as a whole, and understands the importance of a healthy spinal column, free from subluxation. The education of the Doctor of Chiropractic, besides the training in the basic medical sciences, is concentrated heavily on the taking and evaluation of x-rays for the purpose of diagnosing and treating subluxations and related conditions. Through non-invasive, gentle and effective techniques, the chiropractor will position the vertebrae to their proper alignment, to clear the way for the normal functioning of the body's organs and tissues and for the body to maintain its own health, as it was meant to do. This is why an increasing number of pain sufferers are turning to chiropractic for fast, effective and reliable care.
What is an "adjustment'?
The term "adjustment" describes a chiropractic treatment. The doctor of chiropractic, either manually or with a specialized instrument, moves the bony segment of the spine which protects the spinal cord (called a vertebra), back to its proper position, when it has moved out of place.
Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?
Chiropractic treatment is, by nature, non-invasive. There are no needles, IV's, surgeries, or any other invasive procedures performed in a chiropractic treatment. Because the doctors are well versed in many different chiropractic techniques, they call upon their knowledge and skill to choose the treatment which will be the most gentle and effective for your condition.
What is a "Subluxation"?
The control center of the body is the brain and its extension, the spinal cord. Every organ of the body is controlled by the brain and the nerves which extend out of the spinal cord. Because the brain and spinal cord are so important to the functioning of the body, they are housed in special protective structures. The brain is protected by the skull, and the spinal cord is protected by the spinal column. The spinal column is composed of 26 moveable segments, of which 24 are vertebrae (a single one is called a vertebra). These vertebrae are moveable, so that we are able to bend and twist. Between each vertebra is (a gelatinous-filled fibrous cartilage) cushion, called a disc. The vertebrae are supported in position by means of muscles and ligaments. In addition, there are three normal curves in the spinal structure: at the neck, at the mid-back, and at the low back. These normal curves provide the body with extra support, and acts as a shock-absorber. When the body suffers a trauma or stress, either emotional or physical, the ligaments may stretch, or the muscles may tense up and go into spasm, pulling on the spinal cord segments, or vertebrae, and cause them to move out of place. When the vertebrae are moved out of place, they will exert pressure on that area of the spinal cord. Just as a garden hose will not allow a normal amount of water to flow through if it is being stepped on, a compressed or irritated nerve will not enervate the organ of the body which it controls with the same intensity as a nerve which is free from interference. A severely compromised spinal structure may also exert so much pressure on the disc that the disc ruptures or herniates. The condition of a vertebra which is compressed, either slightly or more severely in the manner described above, is called a "Subluxation".
Why would a vertebra move out of place?
There are many ways in which a vertebra may move out of place. The pressures exerted on the body at birth can sometimes cause the vertebrae to move out of their proper position. A fall, an auto accident or other trauma very often causes the vertebrae to move out of position, causing irritation of the spinal nerve which, in turn, causes pain. Stress, emotional factors, nutritional factors, poor posture, repetitive motions, and many of the activities of daily life often cause the vertebrae of the spinal column to move out of their proper place.
Does this happen all of a sudden, or does it take a long time to develop a Subluxation?
Under normal conditions, the body can withstand minor traumas, such as a fall, tripping, or even a minor auto accident. However, when there have been years of poor posture, wear-and-tear on the spinal structure, prolonged stress, or poor nutrition, even a seemingly minor incident will produce a Subluxation. In cases of severe trauma, where there is tearing of muscle fibers and stretching of the ligaments, more serious Subluxations will occur which cause muscle spasms and pain.
Does a subluxation in one part of the spine affect another part of the spine?
Yes. The vertebrae of the spinal column function as a unit. When one section of the spinal column suffers a subluxation, the effect will usually be felt in other sections of the spinal column as well.
Is chiropractic safe?
Yes. Its non-surgical, drug-free approach to health care places chiropractic among the safest of all health care professions. Chiropractic takes nothing out of the body and puts nothing in it. As a result, chiropractors enjoy one of the lowest malpractice rates of all health care professionals.
How are doctors of chiropractic educated?
Like all primary health care providers, doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive education and training before becoming licensing professionals. Students begin by fulfilling undergraduate degree requirements, with a strong emphasis on the core sciences such as chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and physics. The professional program leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree is very demanding. Chiropractic students continue the study of sciences, including pathology and biochemistry, at a highly detailed level. Their education continues into the advanced clinical sciences including orthopedics, neurology, examination procedures, differential diagnosis, and x-ray interpretation. During this entire process aspiring doctors of chiropractic gain knowledge of the philosophy and the practice of health care and chiropractic.
Doctors of chiropractic refine their technical adjusting skills in technique classes. During clinical internships student doctors perfect these skills. Finally, all doctors of chiropractic must pass the rigorous national board exams and state exams before entering the field.
What can I expect on my first visit?
Your initial visit will begin with a consultation. Your doctor will take a case history and ask about your present condition. Next, the doctor will perform a full orthopedic, physical, neurological, and chiropractic examination to evaluate the nature of this problem. This examination generally includes a series of basic physical tests, as well as specialized chiropractic evaluations of spinal movement, posture, and muscle strength. If indicated, your doctor may recommend x-rays or diagnostic tests to obtain further information about the mechanics of your spine and the details of your condition. After completing the analysis, your doctor will explain your problem to you and map out an appropriate plan of action with you. If necessary, you may be referred to another health care specialist for further evaluation and treatment. Doctors of Chiropractic work with a variety of health care professionals in the best interest of their patients. Your doctor will discuss your care plan with you, taking into consideration your health habits, stress, and activity levels. Over the course of your care, your doctor will monitor your individual response and may also recommend changes to your lifestyle, work environment, dietary, and exercise patterns.
Why do I need an x-ray?
Just as a dentist would never work on a tooth without an x-ray to show what lies beneath the surface, the chiropractor may need to take an x-ray of the vertebrae before performing an adjustment, because the vertebrae are also not visible from outside the body. With an x-ray the doctor will be able to rule out serious pathology, and study your case in order to decide upon an effective course of treatment. Your x-rays will be shown to you and explained in detail, so that you will be fully informed about your care. Our x-ray unit is state-of-the-art, designed to minimize exposure to x-rays, while giving a clear, good quality x-ray of your spine.
What conditions are treated with chiropractic?
Chiropractic treatment is effective for many conditions. Any condition related to the spine, such as neck pain, mid- or low-back pain respond very well to chiropractic treatment. Other musculo-skeletal conditions, such as shoulder pain or joint pain also respond very well to chiropractic care. Headaches and migraines are very effectively treated with chiropractic, since chiropractic treatment increases blood flow to the brain and releases tension, which typically cause many types of headaches and migraines. Other conditions which respond well to chiropractic treatment include bedwetting in children, ear infections in children, menstrual issues, asthma, digestive problems, and other systemic conditions. Your doctor of chiropractic will best be able to evaluate your condition to determine if your condition falls under the scope of chiropractic. If your condition does not fall under the scope of chiropractic, your chiropractor will be able to refer you to the appropriate health care provider.
Is Chiropractic care expensive? Will my insurance cover it?
Chiropractic has demonstrated itself to be one of the most cost effective forms of care in all of the health care market. As with any product or service, fees vary by provider and location.
Many health care plans provide coverage for chiropractic care. Check with your benefits manager to find out what coverage you may have with your health plan. Also, talk with your prospective doctor to learn about payment options. Many patients pay directly for care, as they discover chiropractic to be extremely cost effective and affordable.