Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a hands-on, holistic, alternative health care approach to better health and increased livelihood through diet, exercise and (of course) manipulation of the spine and extremities. We are considered to be the neuromusculoskeletal (nerve-muscle-skeleton) professionals. Chiropractic is a lifestyle of health care.

How can Chiropractic help me?

Chiropractic can help you by working with you and your other healthcare professionals (M.D., and D.O.) by maintaining your spine in proper alignment. Every organ in the body is under some sort of neurological (nerve) control, so doesn’t it make sense that if nerve impulses do not get to the organ its function will be compromised!

Not all nerve impulses have a stimulatory effect on organs; some nerve impulses inhibit the organs they influence. For example, the Vagus Nerve has an inhibitory effect on the heart causing the heart to slow its rate when it receives these signals. The same Vagus Nerve, however, on the stomach and digestive tract stimulates these organs into increasing their activity. Through manipulation of the spine, the Chiropractor helps place the spine in proper alignment to prevent a malfunction of nerve impulses to other organs and tissues.

What is an adjustment?

The adjustment (also known as manipulation) is a high velocity, low amplitude thrust given into a specific joint in order to provide a therapeutic result. This is not to say, however, that all manipulations are the same. Just as Chiropractors are different individually, so are our many techniques. A particular technique that I might use and feel comfortable with may feel odd or uncomfortable to another Chiropractor and vice versa.

Does the adjustment hurt?

The adjustment can sometimes cause some minor discomfort, but it is not usually considered painful. Most of this discomfort will go away after the adjustment is performed several times. That is why several adjustments may be necessary before total relief is seen. Lets face the truth, you wouldn’t expect to take just one of the twenty pills of any prescription to get relief, you shouldn’t expect only one adjustment to do the same. Just as you were given twenty pills to relieve the symptoms of your illness, you may have to have four, five or even more adjustments to do the same!

The discomfort that you may feel is very often related to how long you waited before you sought treatment for your pain or illness. The sooner we can start the adjustments after onset, the less discomfort you will feel and the fewer treatments you will need for your continued good health.

Is Chiropractic adjustment dangerous?

I will ask you this question, is medicine dangerous? There are fewer documented cases of injuries each year from adjustment per year than from mis-prescribed drugs, drug overdose, bad drug combinations and treatments in the medical profession. Sure we sometimes see (and all too often) a newspaper article in which a person was injured by a chiropractic-like manipulation. If you read further into the story you will probably see that it was a friend of the individual or the individual that delivered the injury and not a trained Chiropractor. We as Chiropractic students practice and perform hundreds to thousands of adjustments before we ever deliver them to a patient in need. We practice and critique each other while in school in order to ensure we are more than capable of performing them on you, the patient.

The most often notable symptom of the adjustment is a cavitation (a pop or click sound) which is often heard and or felt by the patient as a result of the adjustment. This cavitation is the result of rapid release of air bubbles within the joint that have been under pressure, much like the opening of a carbonated soda can. The cavitation occurs more often than not, but it does not have to occur for the adjustment to be effective.
Do you mean that Chiropractors do not prescribe any pills?

No, we do, at times; our patients take recommend pills. The pills we recommend, however, are high quality vitamins, minerals and other supplements that our body needs in order to maintain proper health. At times we may prescribe herbs such as Echinacea, feverfew, garlic, milk thistle and others to aid the body in its attempt to cure and heal itself. We do not condemn the use of all pills, we just prefer to go to the primary source of all medicines – Mother Nature – for our help.

I heard that Chiropractic was a correspondence course, is this true?

I have heard the same comment also and it is totally NOT TRUE. Just like medical school, Chiropractic College requires certain prerequisites to enter. In college I studied along and right beside many individuals who entered Medical, Osteopathic, Optometry and Dental school while I entered Chiropractic College. We as Chiropractors have taken the same prerequisite courses as the other health care professionals in our pursuit to help you achieve better health. The only difference is once we enter Chiropractic our goal is different. We still take many of the classes that other health care professionals in Chiropractic College, but we also spend time in the specialized study of Chiropractic.

The decision to study Chiropractic, for most students, is determined by the fact that they want to be more involved in hands on approach with their patients than other health care professionals. Let’s face the facts, how often do you go to see the M.D. and he places his or her hands on you or palpates joints for pain or tenderness or checks for joint motion? How often does he ask a few questions and then prescribes a magic pill to cure your illness? Are you satisfied with that treatment?

If the answers to the above questions are seldom, always, and no (in order), then give Chiropractic a try! You may find you are more satisfied with your decision to see the Chiropractor first next time you need professional help.

How does chiropractic adjustment work?

This is a very complicated question to answer from the physiological view. To keep things as simple as possible, we Chiropractors explain the principle as a garden hose. Consider the hose to be a nerve and the water flowing through the hose as nerve impulses. When the hose is laid out straight without any kinks, water is allowed to flow freely and uninhibited through the hose. If on the other hand we kink or park a car on the hose, water flow is reduced or even stops flowing through the hose. If this condition persists long enough, eventually, the hose will become damaged (pain).
By performing the adjustment early on, we remove the kink, allow for free water flow and begin to make plans to save the hose from further damage. This in turn allows us many more years of valuable use to others and ourselves.