Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is a chiropractor exactly?
- Chiropractors work with the joints, muscles, and nerves of the body especially the spine to relieve joint restriction and nerve interference, restore normal range of motion and body function all to allow the body to heal itself. Chiropractors have a doctor of chiropractic degree but are separate from the medical community in that we treat the body through a non-invasive form of care. We do not perform surgeries, we do not give injections, and we cannot prescribe medications.
- What kind of education/training does a Chiropractor receive?
- The doctor of chiropractic degree is completed in 3 ½ years and composed of more than 4,300 contact hours. In the beginning, a foundation of basic sciences includes courses in biochemistry, anatomy, embryology, histology, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, pathology, and physiology which are integrated with chiropractic principles and philosophy.
- Chiropractors spend three years mastering the art of chiropractic adjustments based on the most effective and proven techniques which are consistent with biomechanical and biophysiological principles. Courses in physiological therapeutics (P.T.), nutrition counseling, exercise training, rehabilitation and mobilization procedures are taught as well.
- Clinical Skills courses along with specialized system-based courses like clinical pathology develop the ability to obtain a medical history, perform a physical examination, and diagnose health conditions.
- Courses in health promotion and wellness allow doctors of chiropractic to educate patients regarding healthy living practices, and encouraging a holistic view of both mental and physical well-being. Specialized training to treat specific populations includes diagnosing and treating pregnant patients, infants and children, women and the elderly.
- An education in diagnostic imaging (x-ray) provides the skills and knowledge to take and interpret diagnostic imaging appropriately in chiropractic practice.
- Clinical training consists of working in private practice settings and in community service learning environments. Final chiropractic training includes a 12-month public clinic internship and preceptorship. Time is spent within a variety of clinical settings, including local medical practices to facilitate interdisciplinary practices and work in cooperation with all other health care providers.
- Business and professional foundation courses are provided throughout the entire education process to ensure a doctor of chiropractic will successfully operate a professional health care practice.
- What is an adjustment and what does it do?
- An adjustment is the mobilization of a fixed or improperly moving joint to restore normal joint motion and function. Our spinal column houses and protects the spinal cord of which there are nerves exiting the spine at every level. These nerves control every function of the body and are the main line of communication between the brain and all cells of the body. When the joints of your spine are not functioning normally, they inhibit or alter the nerve signal which can cause many symptoms to arise including decrease range of motion, muscle spasm/tightness, pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, reflux, and constipation/diarrhea to name a few.
- What causes the sound during adjustments ?
- The "crack, pop, or click" sounds that may be heard during an adjustment are caused when a small separation in the joints occurs, releasing gas from the joint capsule. This is known as a “cavitation”. This sound does not occur with every adjustment and does not indicate the quality or effectiveness of an adjustment. There are many techniques used to adjust the joints of the body and some do not produce a sound at all.
- What causes my back to go out?
- There are 3 main factors influencing spinal motion. The first is due to physical trauma such as a fall or accident in which a physical force shifts the vertebrae out of their normal position. The second is emotional such as increased stress in one’s life. The bones of the body cannot move without muscle. When one becomes stressed, muscle tension increases restricting normal joint motion. The third is chemical and relates to what we put into our bodies or what we are exposed to, i.e. smoking, working around chemical, or a poor diet. What we consume or inhale can create internal health problems by altering physiology and increasing muscle tension which restricts vertebral motion.
- Once I see a chiropractor, will I have to keep going?
- It is our goal to return you to your normal state of health. We want to help you reach your health goals. The amount of time it takes to reach this state is unique for everyone especially if the problem has been present for a long period of time. Pre-existing conditions like diabetes or obesity, job duties with repetitive movements or posture, and various stressors, are all factors that influence healing time. Once normalcy is achieved, you have the option to become proactive with your care and prevent more severe reoccurrences. The amount of time between treatments is based on your health goals and the doctor’s recommendations.
- Should I see a chiropractor even if I don't have pain?
- In the case of something as small as a cavity to something as large as cancer, by the time you have pain or noticeable symptoms, it’s too late. The spine is no different. Misalignments of the spine may be present without pain causing your body to compensate or adapt. This compensation/adaptation over time will lead to more noticeable symptoms. By being proactive instead of reactive, one can avoid pain altogether. After all, isn’t the best way to stay healthy to prevent problems from occurring in the first place?
- Can I visit a chiropractor if I am pregnant?
- Without a doubt! Your body will go through dramatic changes during pregnancy and chiropractic care will help you adapt more normally and efficiently. This will reduce symptoms such as low back pain, pelvic pain, and sciatica due to changes in size and altered gait patterns. As the baby develops and pushes out from within, rib pain can become more common. Other symptoms include neck and shoulder pain, headaches, knee, ankle, and foot pain. The adjustments will improve range of motion, function, and nerve supply to the mother’s body providing a better environment to support the baby's development. Women who are adjusted during pregnancy tend to have a more positive experience with labor and delivery. Certain chiropractic techniques can even help with breach presentations allowing the baby to turn naturally.
- Can children be adjusted?
- Yes, yes, and yes! Children may not be able to directly tell you something is wrong, but noticeable changes in their behavior, daily routine, attitude, etc. can be noticed. This can be a direct result of spinal misalignments. These changes can come as early as the birth process, i.e. the use forceps or vacuum deliveries. As a child grows, they will fall numerous times leaning to crawl, stand, walk, and run. Babies can be adjusted as early as day 1! Techniques used with infants and children are not the same as with adults, light pressure with very minimal force is used.
- Can chiropractic care help with my athletic perfromance?
- Absolutely. As an athlete, you want to be able to perform at the highest level possible, giving you an edge over your opponent. You want your body running on all cylinders without any glitches and minimize the chances of injury. If you’re plagued by joint dysfunction or spinal misalignments, you will most certainly suffer from decreased range of motion, flexibility, and altered nervous signals or miscommunication between your brain and your body. How do you think your performance will be? Will you be as fast or sharp in competition? There is a reason every professional sports team uses chiropractic care! If you eliminate the joint dysfunction, you will increase your speed, muscular performance, range of motion and flexibility.
- How is chiropractic care and the immune system related?
- Chiropractic care reduces nervous interference (the communication between the brain and the rest of the body), allowing the body to devote more energy to the immune system which increases the body’s ability to fight off infections of all kinds.