Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a profession founded on the premise that the relationship between structure and function of the human body is significant to optimal health. In particular, the relationship between the spinal column and nervous system contributes to many disease processes. Chiropractic is the second largest of the three primary health care provider segments in the United States. Chiropractic physicians offer a natural, drugless, non-surgical approach to healthcare.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Chiropractic physicians care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches, particularly with their highly-skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues because our body structure affects our overall function. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
What should I expect when seeking chiropractic care?
The Chiropractic physician will perform a comprehensive examination of your complaints or functional performance and make recommendations specifically designed to your current status. If a referral or additional exam procedures, like x-rays, are warranted, appropriate arrangements will be made. After the initial exam, a series of visits will be planned based upon the anticipated prognosis for your case. The chiropractic physician will explain the protocol designed for you, including the anticipated frequency and duration of treatments.
What treatments can I expect to be used?
The most frequent treatments used by chiropractic physicians are manipulations, also known as adjustments. These are quick movements designed to restore joint mobility and function. The movements may be associated with a “cracking” noise referred to as cavitation. This is believed to be a result of gasses being released from the joint space. Your chiropractor may also use soft tissue mobilization and exercise to offset the repetitive motions and postures that become part of daily activities. In some cases, where significant pain and/or inflammation is present, your chiropractor may also use passive modalities like electrotherapy, ultrasound, ice, or heat. If you have any questions about what will be used or why, please ask your chiropractic physician for more information.
How should I dress for my visits?
While it is not necessary for all treatments, you may find it will be more comfortable and efficient to consider wearing athletic attire during your visits. If the chiropractic physician is performing soft tissue mobilization treatments, it may be helpful to wear something that will expose the area treated in a modest manner. Bulky or dangling jewelry can also get in the way. Athletic attire is helpful if you are performing exercises as a part of your treatment regimen.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic adjustments have an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic treatment are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.