Chiropractic FAQ’s

Chiropractic FAQ’s

How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works by restoring your body’s inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and remove interferences (fixated or misaligned vertebrae) to your nervous system. With improved spinal function, there is improved nervous system function. The goal of the chiropractor is to remove interference that may be impairing normal health through specific chiropractic adjustments, allowing your body to heal itself. A healthy spine and a healthy lifestyle are your keys to optimal health!

What is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is “locked up,” or not moving properly. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to eliminate interference to the nervous system, improving spinal function and overall health. An adjustment is a specifically directed force, normally by hand designed to ‘unlock’ the affected vertebral / extremity joints, returning normal motion and alignment to the spine. There are a variety of different methods used in Chiropractic to analyze and adjust the spine. Our doctor will choose the most effective technique for a person as well taking into consideration the physical build of the patient, the age or any other health matters. Additionally the doctor will make sure the adjustment is as comfortable as possible.

How is a Chiropractic adjustment performed?
First, the patient is positioned in a way that isolates the involved joint or joints from the others. Then the doctor used his hands to apply a gentle thrust of the joint. This moves the joint surfaces and commonly, but not always, results in a popping sound.

What is the noise heard with a Chiropractic adjustment?
During manipulation, joint surfaces are separated. As this happens, movement of fluid and a release of gas occur within the joint. The “cracking” noise frequently heard during manipulation is similar to gas being released from a carbonated beverage. This noise is merely an incidental event that occurs during an adjustment, it is NOT what makes the treatment effective. Restoration of joint mobility and alignment is the goal of an adjustment, not the noise.

Why is thrust necessary?
Imagine a door that only opens half way because of a stuck hinge. It still can be used, but it is more troublesome than a door that fully opens. The joints in your spine and throughout your body can be thought of in the same way. When a proper thrust is applied to a “stuck” joint, its full motion is restored, and associated muscle tension is decreased.

Are Chiropractic Adjustments safe?
When performed by an expert, manipulation is safe and effective. Our doctors are well trained, experienced and licensed to perform manipulation. They are able to recognize patients who should not receive manipulation, and to minimize the risk of injury to all patients on an individual basis.

Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. Our doctors evaluate each patient’s unique spinal problem and develop an individual course of care. Each chiropractic adjustment builds on the one before. The resulting recommendations are based upon their years of training and experience. Each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient.

Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?
No, however chiropractic care is successful with a very wide variety of health problems not necessarily considered “back” problems because of improved nerve system function. With a normal nerve supply the body’s natural healing capacity can improve a variety of health problems.

What causes Joint Dysfunction / Joint Fixation(s)?
The stresses and strains of everyday living such as housework, gardening, desk work, lifting, or even sleeping on the couch, can cause spinal problems. So can falls, accidents (especially car accidents), sports activities and injuries. In children, joint dysfunction(s) can initially occur during the birth process, learning to walk, in play and from everyday childhood activities.

Can I tell if I have a joint that is fixated or not functioning properly?
Not always. Joint dysfunction is like a dental cavity–you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. That’s why periodic spinal checkups are so important. Although it may be possible to know you have a dysfunctional joint, it is rarely possible to be sure you don’t. Regular spinal checkups are always a good idea, and they promote good health from the inside out.

What are some warning signs of Joint Dysfunction?
Symptoms such as headaches, back pain, neck stiffness, pain in your shoulders, arms or legs, numbness in your hands or feet, fatigue, or nervousness are the most common signs of joint dysfunction. But, like a tooth cavity, most people will have a dysfunctional joint long before they notice any symptoms.

Can I adjust myself?
No. When our doctors make an adjustment, it increases motion in a “locked” or “stuck” joint. When most people “crack” their own back or neck, they affect joints that are already gliding or moving properly, not the joints that are “stuck.” Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable spine even more unstable, and can sometimes be dangerous. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!

“Does” cracking” knuckles lead to arthritis?
There have been many studies published to demonstrate that “cracking” your own knuckles does not cause, but actually reduces the risk of arthritis! This is because “cracking” the knuckles helps circulate the “joint oil” (synovial fluid) which helps to nourish the joints and keep them healthy.

Is chiropractic care addictive?
No. If only it were, there would be more healthy people around and chiropractors would not get patients who last saw a chiropractor a few years ago when their back went out. It is possible to get used to feeling more balanced, less stressed, and more energetic as a result or regular chiropractic care. The patient has a greater awareness of what healthy and mobile feels like for possibly the first time in their lives and then notices what feeling unbalanced is like again through our daily activities of slouching and improper techniques. Chiropractic is not addictive, however, good health is.

Are adjustments painful?
In most cases adjustments produce no discomfort. Many times the patient will actually feel better right away, experiencing decreased pain and increased motion. Occasionally, you may feel mild discomfort, which is due to the body adapting itself to its new neurological and biomechanical state.

What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?
Chiropractic education and medical education are similar in many respects as they are both considered “Portal of Entry” providers (meaning you can see a Doctor of Chiropractic or Medical Doctor without a referral). They are different in that chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, and medical doctors do not correct dysfunctional joints. A chiropractic degree is earned by completing a four year, 4800-hour program consisting of diagnosis, anatomy, physiology, neurology, psychology, geriatrics, pediatrics, chiropractic technique, radiology, biochemistry, nutrition, bio-mechanics, rehabilitation, physical therapy, physical examination, and a clinical internship. Upon graduation a chiropractor earns the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.). Each candidate must then pass the very demanding two part Canadian Board Examination. Then, doctors apply to a provincial licensing board and pass their required testing before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor’s education, however, never ends. Chiropractic doctors must complete regular postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest research and adjustment techniques.

Why are continued checkups necessary for chiropractic?
Chiropractic is an advocate for preventative health care. It is much more effective and less expensive to identify and correct joint dysfunctions early, before they become a major problem. Unfortunately, joint dysfunctions may go undetected until they become symptomatic, and by then the injury has already become a problem. This is the same reason we visit the dentist and or brush routinely.