Frequently Asked Questions

 
DO I HAVE A SLIPPED DISC?
 
Separating each spinal bone is a special type of tissue called a disc. Its fibrous outer ring contains a jelly-like material. This soft center serves as a "ball bearing" for joint movement. Because of the way in which discs attach to the vertebrae above and below, it can't actually "slip." However, a disc can bulge, tear, herniate, thin, prolapse and dry out.

 
DO I HAVE A PINCHED NERVE?
 
A pinched nerve is actually rare. It's more likely that a spinal bone wil irritate, stretch, rub or chafe a nearby nerve root. These "subluxations" may distort the critical nerve messages sent from and to the brain. This may produce unhealthy alterations in the ways affected organs and tissues are able to function.

 
HOW DO I GET SUBLUXATIONS?
 
Subluxations are usually the result of physical, emotional or chemical stresses. Physical stresses might include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions or improper lifting. Emotional stress, such as greif, anger or depression, may produce subluxations. Alcohol, drugs or preservatives are common examples of chemical stress.

 
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE SUBLUXATIONS?
 
You can have subluxations and not know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or even cancer, subluxations can be present without obvious symptoms. The results of a thorough examinatin can reveal the location and severity of any subluxations you may have.

 
CAN CHILDREN GET SUBLUXATIONS?
 
Yes. Learning to walk, riding a bike or playing sports can cause subluxations that are often passed off as mere "growing pains." Chiropractic care detects and helps correct these spinal distortions, providing a clearer path toward proper development. Ignored, these problems may worsen until they become more difficult to correct as an adult.

 
CAN SUBLUXATIONS CLEAR UP ON THEIR OWN?
 
Sometimes. Today's hectic lives can be constant sources of subluxations. Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these minor problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don't resolve, you need to see us for a chiropractic adjustment!

 
WHAT DOES AN ADJUSTMENT FEEL LIKE?
 
Adjustments feel good! Many patients report a sense of well-being and a calming sense of ease. Repeated adjustments are often necessary, and if adjustments weren't comfortable, patients wouldn't return. Chiropractors excel at making spinal adjustments comforatble and effective.

 
COULD ADJUSTMENTS MAKE MY SPINE TOO LOOSE?
 
No. Generally, only the spinal joints that are stuck and "locked up" receive adjustments. The spinal joints that have had to compensate, becomeing unstable, are passed over so weakened muscles and ligaments can heal and strengthen.

 
CAN THE BONES BE MOVED TOO MUCH?
 
Unlikely. A chiropractic adjustment is special. It has the right amount of energy, delivered to the right place at the right time. The intent is to get a "stuck" spinal joint moving again, helping to reduce nerve interference. Years of training, practice and experience make chiropractic adjustments specific and effective.

 
ARE CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS SAFE?
 
Yes. A New Zealand government inquiry found that chiropractic adjustments are "remarkably safe." A thorough examination helps identify the rare individual for whom chiropractic care might not be suited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are about 100 times safer than taking a common, over-the-counter pain reliever.

 
CAN I ADJUST MYSELF?
 
 
No. Some people may be able to make their joints "pop," but that's not an adjustment! Worse, damage may occur by habitually stressing the joints, muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even chiropractors must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.

 
WHAT MAKES THE "POPPING" SOUND?
 
Special fluids lubricate each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound as the gas and fluids in the joint shift; like releasing the pressure in a bottle of champagne. The sound, if it occurs, is fascinating, but itsn't a guide to the quality or effectiveness of an adjustment.

 
ARE ALL PATIENTS ADJUSTED THE SAME WAY?
 
No. Each patient's spine is unique, and each patient's care plan is different. With 24 spinal bones (that can each move in seven different directions), we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Everyone's care is tailored for his or her age, condition and health goals.

 
HOW MANY ADJUSTMENTS WILL IT TAKE?
 
The number and frequency of adjustments vary from patient to patient. Most patients see some progress within a week or two. As supporting muscles and ligaments heal, visits may become less frequent. More difficult, longstanding cases may require regular visits over many months or years to make lasting changes

 
CAN PATIENTS WITH OSTEOPROSIS ENJOY CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
 
Of course. When developing a care plan, chiropractors consider your unique circumstances. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected is best suited to accommodate your age, size and any health issues you may have.

 
CAN I HAVE CHIROPRACTIC CARE AFTER SURGERY?
 
Yes. Naturally, your chiropractor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery has been known to cause instability above or below the involved area. More than likely, this will be the focus of your chiropractic care.

 
IS IT SAFE FOR PREGNANT PATIENTS TO HAVE CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
Yes. Pregnancy may be one of the best times to benefit from chiropractic care. While it's always best to have properly working nervous system, it's especially helpful during pregnancy. Adjusting methods are modified to a mother's size, weight, and condition. During this time of weight gain and hormonal changes, many mothers seek chiropractic care because it is drug free. Many report shorter and easier births.

 
WHY WOULD A NEWBORN GET CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT?
Even today's "natural" childbirth methods can stress an infant's spine. Colic, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits may be signs of spinal distress from the birth process. Adjustments for babies are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the amount of pressure applied is no more than you'd use to test the ripeness of a tomato.

 
FOR 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 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 we can, and your job is to decide how much of it you want.

 
HOW LONG WILL MY RECOVERY LAST?
 
Results vary. Many report long-term changes, including renewed energy and vitality. Naturally, those who have neglected their health or who have delayed taking action may not see lasting changes. Many discover the value of ongoing chiropractic checkups to help avoid a relapse.

 
WHAT IF CHIROPRACTIC DOES'T WORK?
 
If we're unable to find and reduce the underlying cause of your particular health problem, we'll refer you to other trustworthy specialists who may be able to help. Your health and satisfaction are our only goal.

References:

1) Patient Media; www.chiropatient.com
 
2) Anrig Howe, C., D.C., Plaugher, G., D.C., Pediatric Chiropractic, Williams and Wilkins, 1998.
 
3) Barge, F. H., Life Without Fear, Bawden Brothers Printing, Inc., 1990.
 
4) Brennan, P.C., Ph.D., et al, Enhanced Phagocytic Cell Respiratory Burst Induced by Spinal Manipulation: Potential Role of Substance P. Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapy, 14(7):399-408, 1991.
 
5) Franklin, G.M., Outcome of Lumbar Fusion in Washington State Workers’ Compensation, Spine, 19(l7):1897-903, 1994.
 
6) Gatterman, M., M.A., D.C., Foundations of Chiropractic: Subluxation. Mosby-Year Books, 1995.
 
7) Gray, H., Grays Anatomy, The Anatomical Basis of Medicine and Surgery, 38th edition, edited by Peter L. Williams, D.Sc., M.A., M.B., B.Chir., F.R.C.S., Churchill Livingston, New York/London, 1995.
 
8) Haldeman, S., D.C., M.D., Principles and Practice of Chiropractic, Appleton-Lange, 1991.
 
9) Kirkaldy-Willis, M.D., Managing Low Back Pain, 4th Edition. Churchill Livingstone, l999:131-5.
 
10) Leach, R., The Chiropractic Theories, Principles and Clinical Applications, 3rd edition, Williams and Wilkins, 1994.
 
11) Lewitt, K., MUDr., Doc., Dsc., Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Motor System, Butterworth, 1999.
 
12) Manelfe, C., M.D., Imaging of the Spine and Spinal Cord, Raven Press, 1992:272-5.
 
13) Manga, P., Ph.D., Angus, D., M.A., Papadopaulos, C., M.H.A., Swan, W., The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain, (funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health) August 1993: 104.
 
14) Meade, T.W., Dyer, S., et al. Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomized Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment, British Medical Journal, 300:431-437, 1990.
 
15) Memmler, R., M. D., Structure and Function of the Human Body, 6th edition, Lippincott, 1996:109.
 
16) New Zealand Report, Report of the Commission of Inquiry. Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand, 1979.
 
17) Penna, M. Pregnancy and Chiropractic Care. American Chiropractic Association Journal of Chiropractic, Nov 1989.
 
18) Towbin, A., M.D., Latent Spinal Cord and Brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 11(1):54-68, 1969.
 
19) Vernon LF, Spinal Manipulation as a Valid Treatment for Low Back Pain, Delaware Medical Journal 68(3):175-8 March 1996.