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Information Articles: Patient Information

Chiropractic FAQs

Saturday, January 1, 2005   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Patient Media
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How does chiropractic work?
Isn’t it just a "placebo effect’?"
Is chiropractic scientific?
How can the spine affect your health?
What can chiropractic cure?
Do I have a slipped disc?
Do I have a pinched nerve?
How do you get subluxations?
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
Can children get subluxations?
Can subluxations clear up on their own?
What does an adjustment feel like?
Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Will adjustments make my spine too loose?
Can the bones move too much?
What makes the sound during the adjustment?
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
What’s the best adjusting technique?
Can I adjust myself?
How many adjustments will I need?
Is it safe for pregnant patients to have chiropractic care?
Why do newborns get chiropractic adjustments?
Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
How long until I’ll feel better?
How long will I need chiropractic care?
Will I receive any medication for my pain?
Why don’t medical practitioners and chiropractic doctors get along?
What if my policy doesn’t cover chiropractic?
Will I ever be normal again?
What if chiropractic doesn’t work?


Q: How does chiropractic work?
A: Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments can help improve mind/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.



Q: Isn’t it just a "placebo effect’?"
A: Placebos depend on the power of suggestion. Harnessing the power of the mind can enhance the healing process. Yet, many benefit from chiropractic care in which the power of suggestion isn’t possible, such as newborns, infants, and even family pets.



Q: Is chiropractic scientific?
A: Chiropractic is a science, an art, and a philosophy. It’s a scientific fact that your brain and nervous system control every cell of your body. Research confirms that interferences to the controlling role of the nervous system change the way the body works. This is most common along the spine. Objective tests help locate these areas along the spine. Specific adjustments help reduce the interferences. Results prove that chiropractic is safe, simple, and scientific.



Q: How can the spine affect your health?
A: The spine houses the "information super highway" of your spinal cord. Pairs of nerve roots branch off from between each spinal joint. These nerves link your brain with every cell and tissue of your body. These delicate nerves are vulnerable because they are in such close proximity to the moving bones of the spine. A loss of proper motion or position of spinal bones can compromise this vital communication. Chiropractic care locates these areas, and reduces their effect on the nervous system with specific spinal adjustments.



Q: What can chiropractic cure?
A: Chiropractic doesn’t cure anything. Nor is it a treatment for disease. Your body does the curing. The only thing that the best doctors can do is to remove any interferences that may be preventing your body from healing itself. That’s why chiropractic doctors are interested in the nervous system. Your nervous system controls how your body works. With a better nerve supply, your own inborn healing abilities are unleashed and all kinds of things are possible.



Q: Do I have a slipped disc?
A: The disc is a soft pulpy "shock absorber." It has a fibrous outer ring which holds in a soft, 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 they attach to the spinal bone above and below it. But 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.



Q: Do I have a pinched nerve?
A: A pinched nerve is rare. It is more likely that an adjacent spinal bone irritates, stretches, rubs, or chaffs 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.



Q: How do you get subluxations?
A: There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions, and improper lifting. Emotions, such as grief, anger, and fear can cause of subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution, and poor diet.



Q: How do I know if I have a subluxation?
A: 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 any subluxations you may have.



Q: Can children get subluxations?
A: Yes. As children explore their world they discover their limits, producing aches and pains. Learning to walk, riding a bike, or playing sports can cause subluxations passed off as "growing pains." Chiropractic care can help detect early signs of scoliosis and reduce subluxations that can interfere with proper development. Ignored, these problems can worsen until they become more difficult to correct as an adult.



Q: Can subluxations clear up on their own?
A: Sometimes. Today’s hectic lifestyles are a constant source 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 a chiropractic doctor for an adjustment!



Q: What does an adjustment feel like?
A: Most patients report a sense of well-being or a feeling of calmness. Since repeated adjustments are necessary, if adjustments weren’t comfortable, patients wouldn’t return. Chiropractic doctors excel at making spinal adjustments comfortable and effective.



Q: Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
A: 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.



Q: Will adjustments make my spine too loose?
A: No. Only the spinal joints that are "locked up" receive adjustments. The occasional spinal joints that move too much, are allowed to passed over so weakened muscles and ligaments can stabilize and heal.



Q: Can the bones move too much?
A: 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.



Q: What makes the sound during the adjustment?
A: 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 soda can or swishing mouthwash in your mouth. The sound is interesting, but isn’t a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.



Q: Are all patients adjusted the same way?
A: No. Each patient’s spine is unique, and each patient’s care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine (that can each move in seven different directions!) we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient’s care is custom tailored for their age, condition, and health goals.



Q: What’s the best adjusting technique?
A: There are hundreds of ways to adjust the spine. From this vast choice, each chiropractic doctor masters several approaches best suited to their clinical objectives, philosophy, or specialty. The delivery of these techniques is truly an art. Regardless of the method used, chiropractic enjoys a high level of success and patient satisfaction.



Q: Can I adjust myself?
A: 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.



Q: How many adjustments will I need?
A: The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense some progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits are less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing can take months or even years.



Q: Is it safe for pregnant patients to have chiropractic care?
A: Yes. Pregnancy may be one of the best times to receive chiropractic care! While it’s always good to have an optimally functioning nervous system, it’s especially helpful now. Both mother and baby can benefit. Adjusting methods are adapted to a mother’s size, weight, and condition. During this period of weight gain and hormonal changes, many mothers seek chiropractic care. Some report shorter and easier births.



Q: Why do newborns get chiropractic adjustments?
A: Even today’s "natural" childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine. 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, no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato is involved.



Q: Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
A: Yes. Rest assured that your chiropractic doctor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. This will be the focus of your chiropractic care.



Q: Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
A: 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.



Q: How long until I’ll feel better?
A: 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 justify completing their doctor’s recommendations.



Q: How long will I need chiropractic care?
A: 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 we can, and your job is to decide how much of it you want.



Q: Will I receive any medication for my pain?
A: No. Chiropractic doctors don’t dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control any painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic effect without the side effects associated with pain medications.



Q: Why don’t medical practitioners and chiropractic doctors get along?
A: 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 chiropractic doctors.



Q: What if my policy doesn’t cover chiropractic?
A: 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 pay the bill. But be careful! Don’t allow the profit motives of a huge corporation to make the decision for you. If you sincerely want you health back, we can help. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.



Q: Will I ever be normal again?
A: Patient results vary. Many report restored spinal curves and the total resumption of their life. Those who neglect or delay seeking care often see slower progress. Even after improvement, many patients discover that periodic chiropractic checkups can help avoid a relapse.



Q: What if chiropractic doesn’t work?
A: If we’re unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health and satisfaction are our only goal.



© 1999 Patient Media, Inc.
(800) 486-2337




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