What is chiropractic?
The Latin definition is broken down into two words. The first half chiro - meaning hand, and the second practic - referring to practice or work. Chiropractic is really the combination of science-based medicine, art, & philosophy. Locating & correcting vertebral subluxations through gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments thus allowing your body to function at it's optimum potential.
What is an adjustment?
A high velocity, low amplitude adjustmnet (HVLA) is an impulse delivered by the hand of a skilled physician trained to correct a biomechanical problem. This is a gentle, specific procedure in the most conservative of approaches.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of back pain, neck pain, joint pain of the arms or legs, headaches, and other neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.1
In addition to being a safe form of treatment, spinal manipulation is incredibly effective, getting patients back on their feet faster than traditional medical care. A March 2004 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care is more effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in patients who have experienced symptoms for one year or less. Similarly, a study published in the July 15, 2003, edition of the medical journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications. Moreover, a 2012 study in Spine found that only 1.5 percent of workers with back injuries whose first point of treatment was a doctor of chiropractic required surgery, compared to the 42.7 percent of workers whose first contact was a surgeon. 2
What causes the sound made during a chiropractic adjustment?
That sound is not your spine "cracking" or "popping" like most people think. That sound is created by gas (in this case, nitrogen) rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the "pop" sound you hear when the cork is taken out of a champagne bottle. Not all chiropractic adjusting techniques produce this noise. In fact, some adjusting techniques use little force and thus produce no noise at all.
Will my pain go away on it's own?
Maybe. Scientific research shows that 80% of pain will resolve over time (average 4-6 weeks). The catch is that it will return within the first six months. Not only does it perpetuate a cycle, it gets worse with each subsequent episode.
What is a subluxation?
A subluxation is a partial dislocation, or a dislocation that has been reduced, or a misalignment of one or more of your spinal vertebrae. Any of these can cause interference to your peripheral nervous system and affect your body's natural ability to heal itself.
Is it bad to "crack" your back or neck a lot?
This question is frequently asked because people associate the "cracking" or "popping" of one's back or neck with a chiropractic adjustment. The two are not the same thing. If a person has a desire to "crack" his/her neck or back it is often because one area of their spine is fixated or jammed causing another area to move too much and "pop", sometimes by itself. It's the fixated or jammed area that needs to be specifically adjusted by a chiropractor so that the other parts of the spine will not be hypermobile and noisy. When you "crack" your back you may be relieving the tension for a little while. Do you notice how it keeps coming back? That is because you are not giving yourself a specific chiropractic adjustment. The cause of the spinal tension, the fixated or jammed (subluxated) vertebrae, has not been corrected. Even a chiropractor cannot adjust him/herself.
Once you see a chiropractor, do you have to go for the rest of your life?
No. The extent to which you choose to benefit from your chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. Each & everyone of us is solely responsible for the quality of our health & well-being. However, we do strongly encourage you to seek help before there is a major problem. There are always warning signs, and a chiropractor can help teach you how to recognize them.