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 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.
Does it hurt to get adjusted?
No. Chiropractic adjustments are not painful at all. In fact, it is quite the opposite. An adjustment relieves a lot of pressure and feels very comfortable. Your brain also releases chemical substances (endorphins) that give you an immediate sense of relief and relaxation. I am confident that once you begin chiropractic care, you will begin to look forward to it in the future as problems arise. Having a spine in proper alignment will allow you to think, sleep, exercise, function and simply help deal with life's tumultuous events.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Yes. Scientific research in peer reviewed medical Journals all provide evidence that chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. You only need to compare the malpractice premiums paid by chiropractors to those paid by medical doctors. Doctors of Chiropractic pay only a small fraction (approx. 1/20) of the price medical doctors pay in malpractice premiums. 250,000 people will die this year as a result of bad medicine, making this the third leading cause of death in the United States of America (The Journal of The American Medical Association, JAMA; Vol.284, July 26, 2000). Of the millions of people receiving chiropractic adjustments, each year, only a handful will even make a complaint.
Should I continue chiropractic care if I don't have any symptoms and I feel better?
Yes. Just because your symptoms disappear, does not mean the problem is gone. The best way for me to describe this is with an analogy. Imagine a car with all the engine oil drained out. There would be no symptoms as long as you did not try to drive it. If you did, the engine would seize, overheat, and most likely crack the block. A lot of times you may feel fine, but try to perform slightly more than a sedentary lifestyle...
You have most likely heard someone complain of a significant injury that was attributed to very little trauma. The most common might be: I just bent over to pick up the newspaper and my back totally locked up on me. I can guarantee you that the root of that problem was much deeper than a 1 lb newspaper.
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. Any person who makes a habit out of "cracking" or "popping" their back or neck needs to go to a Doctor of Chiropractic to have their spine checked. 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.
Is chiropractic care safe for my children?
Yes. It is just as safe for a child or baby to be adjusted by a chiropractor as it is for an adult. An infant has a very soft and undeveloped spine that can suffer trauma during delivery. It is estimated that as much as 80lbs of pulling pressure can be exerted to remove a baby from the birth canal. Then, as children grow up and become more adventurous, the numbers of injuries to their spines become countless. The repeated falls as children learn to walk, the running, jumping, twisting, bumping and falling all over the place while playing in the yard or on an athletic field will often cause your child to become subluxated or fixated. Most of the time, a child's symptom is not pain but rather an organ or visceral dysfunction. This is usually diagnosed later on in life as the symptoms progress and become less tolerable. Chiropractic care offers your child a more responsive body, more comfortable growth spurts, and overall increased performance as she/he passes through their windows of development.