You are certainly entitled to ask your MD’s opinion on chiropractic, but be aware that some
general practitioners may still have limited knowledge on chiropractic manipulative therapies. Chiropractors are trained
to recognize disorders beyond a chiropractic scope of practice and when to refer a patient to the appropriate medical specialist.
Once I am adjusted by a Doctor of Chiropractic, do I have to keep seeing a chiropractor forever?
NO! We care for problems in one of 3 phases of care. Patients always choose the level of
care they desire.
1. AcuteCare Goal - Relieve Pain.
Most patients show improvement
within the first 2 to 5 visits. Initial treatment usually works best when a person is seen frequently for a short period of
2. RehabCare Goal — Correct Bio-Mechanical Problems
Chiropractors restore pain-free
motion and improve strength with continued joint mobilization, muscle therapy and posture exercises. Learning new body motion
patterns helps change how you move so you can feel good and be well.
3. WellnessCare Goal - Prevention &
Regular therapy and intelligent LifeHabits help people keep moving, stay active and maximize their
What is the typical chiropractic treatment?
First, the cause of your problem is determined with a complete examination including physical, orthopedic, neurological,
and chiropractic tests. X-rays are taken if necessary.
The doctor will then explain your problem, tell
you whether or not he/she feels chiropractic care is indicated, and an appropriate treatment plan will be recommended.
Then, gentle manipulation (or adjustments) to spinal or extremity joints are performed. Physio-therapy such
as Ultrasound, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, Cryotherapy, Hydrocollator, and/or Intersegmental mobilization may also be used.
In addition, massage can stretch tight muscles and personalized postural exercises retrain poor patterns of body motion.
I was in a car accident. Should I see a chiropractor?
If you are involved in an auto accident it is important to be evaluated to determine if there is a soft tissue injury.
Chiropractors focus on proper function of posture and the spine, nerves, muscles and ligaments, so the first thing evaluated
is evidence of serious trauma such as fractures, etc. Because the symptoms from a soft tissue injury may not show up
until 3-7 days after the trauma, a thorough chiropractic examination is very important. Pain changes how a body moves, therefore
after the initial pain improves, the body may adapt to moving differently. Pain medication and muscle relaxers can mask
the pain, but unless normal motion is restored, body motion will be unbalanced. Left untreated, the body adapts to the unbalanced
pattern of motion, creating a chronic problem.
insurance cover chiropractic? Is chiropractic care expensive?
Costs vary and generally depend on the number of treatments required to effectively treat your condition.
Many insurance policies cover chiropractic services. Coverage varies from policy to policy. Also, most doctors of chiropractic
offer affordable payment plans. A number of studies have shown that chiropractic care is extremely cost effective when
compared to other "medical" forms of care for similar conditions. According to the 1993 Manga Report,
"There would be highly significant cost savings if more management
of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors. Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health
care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only."
What do chiropractors learn in school?
Many people are surprised
to learn that chiropractors extensive education requirements include over 4000 hours of anatomy, pathology and clinical skills.
Prior to attending a chiropractic college, two to three undergraduate years with an emphasis in biological sciences is required.
A typical Chiropractic college requires a minimum of four to five academic years of professional resident study involving
not less than 4000 hours.
ANATOMY: Myology, Osteology, Histology,
Embryology, Spinal Anatomy, Spachnology, Genesiology/Angiology, Central Nervous System Special Senses, Arthology, Human Dissection,
And Topographical Anatomy.
PRACTICAL PATIENT CARE: Clinic I, II, III, IV, Emergency procedures, Jurisprudence, Research.
DIAGNOSIS: Physical Diagnostic methods, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Clinical Human Behavior, Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal
Exams/Management, Geriatrics/Dermatology, Visceral Disorders.
PATHOLOGY: Microbiology, General Pathology I, II, Public
Health, Hemotology, Neuro-Musculo Skeletal I, II, Cardiovascular/Pulmonary, Gastrointestinal/Genitourinary.
PHYSIOLOGY: General, Cellular Cardiovascular/Pulmonary, Endocrinology, Digestion/Nutrition, Renal, Physiology Lab.
Biochemistry I, II, Chemistry Lab, Toxicology. X-RAY Introduction, X-Ray Physics, X-Ray Positioning, Diagnostic Radiology,
Pathology I, II.
TECHNIQUE: Biomechanics, Palpation, Specialized, Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Pelvic, Principals and
The courses listed above represent a summary.
What do physical therapists learn
Therapist has completed an accredited four-to-six-year college program or if educated in a foreign country has met the educational
requirements in physical therapy, including studies in biology, basic medical sciences, and clinical experience. Studies focus
on the evaluation and treatment of the heart, lungs, muscles, bones, and the nervous system. In addition, physical therapists
have passed the national physical therapy examination and an examination on the laws and regulations governing the practice
of physical therapy.
is a disc?
The spine, or backbone, is made of the vertebrae separated by the discs
(IVD’s, or intervertebral discs). A disc is a round pillow of cartilage between the vertebrae. The disc has a
leathery outside and jelly in the center. It is the part of the spinal joint which cushions the motion between each pair of
What is the difference between a slipped disc,
a herniated disc or a bulging disc?
They are all the same thing. A herniated,
slipped or bulging disc is like a bubble in the sidewall of a car tire. The jelly in the center of the disc pushes the weakened
part of the disc outwards creating a bulge. This bulge can press on a nerve or other delicate spinal structures.
Will I be able to resume normal activity after a disc herniation?
Most likely yes. Recovery time is often directly related to the amount of effort a
patient puts into recovery and rehab. Sticking with your treatment plan and doing your home exercise helps you move,
feel and be well faster.
Does medication help low back pain?
Occasionally, yes. Frequently, the relief is only temporary. Unless the cause of the
injury is treated, the masking effects of the anti-inflammatory medication provide short term relief at the cost of continued
tissue damage and adaptive patterns of motion.
help my golf swing?
Chiropractic is effective in releasing tension from the low back,
neck, shoulders, hips, groin and legs, areas which frequently trouble golfers. An unbalanced swing causes reduced clubhead
speed. Unlocking body motion to improve flexibility and then
improving body balance teaches golfers to move with more
fluid movement. Increasing flexibility and range of motion reduces the chance of injury, maximizes performance and makes golf
Can I golf with a bad back?
You can reduce spinal stress by decreasing back swing and follow through. By reducing the “X-factor”
in their swing(the opposite twisting motion between the hips and shoulders) most golfers can reduce spinal stress. Golfers
using special techniques can learn to utilize gravity to achieve the same if not more power through their swing.
Find a golf instructor who will work with you to make changes in your golf swing and motion patterns.
Can chiropractic relieve back spasms?
like a fever is the result of an infection and not the cause of the illness, back spasms are a symptom, not the cause of a
back problem. The spasm is caused by irritation of nerves controlling the spinal joints and discs. These are the same
nerves which control muscle contraction in the back. If the nerves are irritated, they produce pain and reflex spasm. A spasm
is the body's way of stopping motion to protect an injured joint. The body can sustain a spinal injury from one
big trauma (such as an auto accident) or by the buildup of many small traumas (such as long term unbalanced posture from working
on a computer, lifting, or other activity). Restoring normal motion and allowing the body to first heal, and then move
differently, is the most effective treatment.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatic is pain in the back which runs down the back of the leg. It is caused from irritation
of the sciatic nerve itself or from pinching of the spinal nerves which form the sciatic nerve. Chiropractic care is
a logical conservative approach to this condition. Reducing the irritation of the nerve by realigning the vertebrae helps
many sciatic patients. Surgery is recommended when necessary, but can usually be prevented.
What can help prevent back and other joint problems?
Focused motion exercises consisting
of coordinated muscle strengthening exercises and preventive stretching exercises before activity can keep motion balanced,
reducing abnormal joint and muscle stress and strain.
How will chiropractic care help arthritis?
Osteoarthritis/DJD is a mechanical irritation of the joint, usually due to unbalanced motion. The joint responds
to the unbalanced and stressed motion with formation of bone spurs on the edges of the bone. Maintaining proper motion through
a joint can reduce this mechanical damage.
Osteoarthritis is different than rheumatoid arthritis, which
is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that attacks the synovium of the joint.
have carpal tunnel syndrome. Should I see a Chiropractor?
Carpal tunnel syndrome
(CTS) usually begins with occasional hand and wrist numbness. Most people ignore CTS when it is in its early stages. Over
time, the numbness persists and turns into pain and hand weakness. People at risk for CTS include computer operators
and anyone who performs a repetitive hand motion frequently. Early detection and treatment is important. Since different
people have different pain thresholds, it’s best to be screened by a trained professional. A doctor of chiropractic
can help determine if a problem is on its way to carpal tunnel syndrome, or a temporary, mild ache from overuse.
My neck and shoulders are constantly tight. Can chiropractic help?
Long term overload of the balancing
muscles of the neck and back causes chronic tight muscles, as well as pulling against vertebra of the neck causing nerve irritation,
headaches, and other painful stress related symptoms. Chiropractic helps reduce and relieve stress caused by poor posture,
continuous standing or sitting, or muscle tension from mental exertion.
An MRI shows I have
a disc problem. Do I need surgery?
Over half of normal adults with no symptoms will have a disc problem
show on their MRI. Although each case is different, most problems respond well to conservative therapies such as chiropractic
and massage. It’s your body. View surgery as a LAST resort.
Here’s what the experts say:
*Up to 90% of all spinal MRIs can be read
as abnormal say experts even in the complete absence of symptoms. Similarly, many abnormalities seen on CT & Xray films
have no clinical manifestations. D'Espiro, N (contributing editor). Patient Care 1998;
*About 30% of a-symptomatic subjects show abnormalities in the lumbar spine by myelogram,
CT & MRI. There is a large percent of symptomatic patients with severe complaints in whom testing fails to reveal any
structural lesion. Haldeman, DC, PhD, MD. Spine 1990;15(7):718-723.
x-ray studies, alarming abnormalities are found in pain-free people. Even the best imaging tests fail to identify simple muscle
spasm or injured ligament probably responsible for pain in a substantial percent of back pain patients. Deyo
RA, MD, MPH. Low back pain. Scientific American 1998; August:4853.
*The vast majority
of people with back and neck pain have muscular pain from scarring & trauma to the muscles. Muscular pain doesn't
image. It doesn't show up on a CT scan. Muscle will image on MRI, but painful muscle doesn't look different from non-painful
muscle. So surgeons are sort of taught to look through that to look at bony anatomy & neuroanatomy (e.g. the discs) Weinstein
J, MD. Spine Letter 1997; 4(9): 46. Haddox, MD, president elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)
Short-term and regular chiropractic care
have a number of benefits including: