Frequently asked questions

1What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
2How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic helps to remove postural imbalances and structural misalignments that can accumulate in our bodies over time. Chiropractic works by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy. For your body to remain healthy, your nervous system must function well. For your nervous system to function well it must be free of interference. By restoring spinal function with Chiropractic adjustments, nerve interference by misaligned vertebrae is removed, thus allowing optimal nervous system function and improved health.
3What Do Chiropractic Doctors Do?
Helping to restore proper spinal biomechanics and improved nervous system function begins with a case history. This gives the doctor a background about your health, such as surgeries, accidents, the onset of your condition, and other details affecting your current health.
After reviewing your history and discussing your specific problem, thorough orthopedic, neurologic, and Chiropractic examination are performed. X-rays may be taken to uncover structural or functional problems associated with the spinal column. These examinations help identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system deficit.
The findings of these examinations are explained and a plan of Chiropractic adjustments will be recommended. Progress is monitored with periodic examinations and follow-up reports.
4What is an Adjustment?
A Chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixed, "locked up", or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The results of this safe and natural procedure are improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health.
There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually, the doctor's hands or a specifically designed instrument delivers a brief and highly accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow and constant pressure.
After years of training and clinical experience, each Chiropractic Doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.
5Are All Patients Adjusted the Same Way?
The Doctor evaluates each patient's unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience.
Some patients who complain of headaches may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern.
Patients notice that their Chiropractic care is delivered with confidence and precision. Each visit builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar, each patient"s care is uniquely different from every other patient.
6Is Chiropractic Care Safe?
In the words of the New Zealand government inquiry Chiropractic care is "remarkably safe."
Chiropractic has an excellent safety record that is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.
A thorough case history and examination help reveal areas of the spine that may be causing nervous system malfunction. This information will be used to determine the best course of care for each patient.
Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.
7Why Do Children Need Chiropractic?
Significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, so many parents have their newborns checked for vertebral subluxations.
Later, learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems. Often a bandage and a hug can help a skinned knee, there can often be unseen effect to the child's spine that a Doctor of Chiropractic can discover.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as "growing pains" can often be traced to the spine. Chiropractic has been shown to be helpful with scoliosis and other so-called "normal" childhood health problems. Regular Chiropractic checkups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults.
Naturally, Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child's spine. Most parents report that their children enjoy their Chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children.
8Do you have a Pinched Nerve?
Many patient's consult a Chiropractic doctor because they think that they have a pinched nerve.
Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function caused from physical trauma, emotional tension or other irritants can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerves.
While it is commonly associated with the spine, a pinched nerve ( compressed lesion) is actually rare. Research shows that only 10-15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue. This can cause numbness, tingling, burning or a "pins and needles" feeling.
More frequently, nerves are irritated. This is caused when nerve tissue is rubbed, scraped, or stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or irritated by a malfunction or mis-position of the spinal bones.
9Do I Have a Slipped Disc?
Technically, the disc can't "slip". The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage material situated between spinal bones. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. A soft "jelly-like" center is surrounded by firm outer layers of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs allow for normal turning and bending.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below, a disc cannot "slip". Instead, trauma or injury to the spine cause discs to tear, bulge, herniate, and in the worst case, rupture. If the soft center leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord, this can be quite painful.
Of course, results cannot be guaranteed, but many patients have avoided surgery or pain medication dependency by choosing Chiropractic care fort their disc-related health problems.
10How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?
Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimal spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle spasm, weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.
Most patients find that periodic Chiropractic checkups help keep them feeling much better. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be at their very best, find that a schedule of preventative visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.
Some patients seek out Chiropractic care only when their pain or discomfort becomes unbearable. This style of "crisis management" is usually more costly and time-consuming. However, our office is ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals.
How long you decide to benefit from Chiropractic care is always up to you.
11Am I Too Old for Chiropractic Care?
More and more people are consulting Chiropractic Doctors, especially in their later years. With the growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe and natural Chiropractic care is gaining popularity.
Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.
The adjusting technique used by your Doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results.
As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of Chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.
12What Type of Education Do Chiropractors Get?
Today's Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated.
The science of Chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, nutrition, biomechanics, X-rays, spinal adjusting techniques, and related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares Chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction.
To graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, each candidate passes demanding National Board Examinations. Then doctors apply to governmental or professional licensing boards and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice.
A Chiropractic education never ends. Doctors must complete continuing postgraduate education instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the current Chiropractic and scientific research and results. Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. 1

Back Pain Facts & Statistics

1A few interesting facts about back pain:
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.3
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.4
2What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.
3Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today's growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.5
In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.6
4Tips to Prevent Back Pain
  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
  • Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
  • Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
  • Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.