FAQ’s

How Does Chiropractic Work?

Chiropractic is based on the fact that your body is essentially a self-regulating and self-healing organism with dynamic function that is controlled by the nervous system. This means that in most cases, your body does everything it can to maintain its own existence and health. The nervous system is in charge of the communication back and forth between the brain and all of the rest of your body organs, tissues and even free floating cells. It is when the nervous system is interfered with that we have problems. Chiropractors work with the spine because improper motion or position of the spinal bones can do just that. This is sometimes referred to as spinal dysfunction. Chiropractors look for and attempt to correct or minimize this dysfunction, restoring the proper motion and function to the spine, which therefore helps the communication system to work without interference. This often allows your body to return to a state of health!

What Is An Adjustment?

Quite simply, an adjustment is the method that a Chiropractor uses to improve function. It is usually accomplished through a light and quick thrust to a specific area of your spine to restore the right position and increase the range of motion of the joint between two spinal bones. This allows the nervous system to communicate more effectively, without interference. There are several different ways to adjust the spine, including specific instruments and tables to assist the doctor.

How Many Adjustments Will I Need?

This depends not only on your unique condition, but what your ultimate goal is. In our office, we like to not only get our patients out of pain, but we want to get as much correction to their spine as possible. A highly functional spine (and therefore nervous system) can help you reach your peak health potential. If Chiropractic care were just about controlling your symptoms, we would be no more effective than pain medication in helping to restore health.

Do I Have A Disc Injury?

Discs are the cartilage-like spacers in between the spinal bones. They are sort of like a jelly donut, having a more solid outer ring and jelly-like center. The jelly, called the nucleus pulposus, is under a high amount of pressure, and acts like a ball bearing to allow movement of your spinal bones. The discs are actually attached very tightly to the bones, so despite common notions, they cannot “slip.” However, the outer layers can weaken, tear or open up, allowing the jelly to ooze out or herniate, sometimes putting pressure or irritation on the delicate spinal nerves nearby. Often, the body recognizes this as an injury, and floods the area with inflammation and puts the muscles into spasm to protect from further injury. In most cases, it is this soft-tissue injury response that actually causes the pain. In some cases, estimated at about 1%, the disc is actually pushing on the nerve, and may require surgery. Your doctor will perform all the necessary orthopedic tests and possible diagnostic imaging to rule this condition out if he suspects a problem. Most times, even if there is a disc herniation, Chiropractic care is an effective option. Studies show that conservative care such as chiropractic is just as successful as surgery in most cases in controlling symptoms while your body heals the injury.

Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?

Most times, nerves are being irritated rather than actually pinched. Although it is possible to have direct pinching of the nerve by either disc or bone material, usually a misalignment of the spinal bones has triggered the body to respond with its injury protection mechanism of spasm and inflammation. It is more often these reactions that will cause signs of nerve irritation. Remember, nerves aren’t always responsible for sending pain signals back to the brain, so therefore you may have a nerve-irritating spinal dysfunction and not even know it!

How Do You Get Spinal Dysfunction?

Spinal dysfunction can occur without you knowing it. In several instances, there is a physical reason, whether it is due to an injury, poor posture, car accident or illness. Other times, when our emotions are at peaks and valleys, this can also lead to spinal dysfunction. Additionally, chemicals such as smoke, pollution, alcohol, drugs and poor dietary choices can cause spinal dysfunction. You must remember that the body is very dynamic, and it does not work like a car. While the radiator may have nothing to do with your tires, your body works together all the time. The way you walk can affect the spine, and therefore may cause headaches or other symptoms, just for one example.

How Do I Know If I Have Spinal Dysfunction?

Several cases of spinal dysfunction will lead to symptoms like headache, back pain, neck pain or numbness and tingling in the arms or legs. Other times, they will give you symptoms you wouldn’t normally associate with the spine, like dizziness, nausea, decreased immune function, ear infections and fatigue. Last but not least, you may get no symptoms at all from spinal dysfunction! It may sit and eventually manifest itself into degenerative change while you have no idea anything is going on. It is this reason that regular check-ups with a chiropractor should play a vital role in your continued health care.

Can Spinal Misalignments Clear Up On Their Own?

In some cases, probably most cases, minor misalignments occur and take care of themselves on a daily basis. However, sometimes they are stubborn, and get stuck. The bones of the spine become immobile in a bad position. This is sensed by the body in most cases, and the body treats it like an injury, making it move even less. It is these stubborn misalignments that are the most important to have corrected by a chiropractor. Keep in mind, sometimes you will not get a symptom from spinal dysfunction. It is very common for a Chiropractor to hear, “I didn’t even know that hurt until you touched it!”

Why Do Kids Need Adjustments?

This depends not only on your unique condition, but what your ultimate goal is. In our office, we like to not only get our patients out of pain, but we want to get as much correction to their spine as possible. A highly functional spine (and therefore nervous system) can help you reach your peak health potential. If Chiropractic care were just about controlling your symptoms, we would be no more effective than pain medication in helping to restore health.

How Long Until I’ll Feel Better?

This answer varies among patients. Most people start to see relief from their symptoms within a few visits. In our office, the doctor will explain the estimated amount of time it will take for you to get rid of most of your symptoms. You must also understand that without the corrective and stabilization portion of care, the symptoms are much more likely to reoccur.

How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?

Again, this answer depends on the individual patient. A fifteen year old who injured his back playing football will likely need a shorter course of care than a seventy year old who has had low back pain for twenty years and visits the office after two unsuccessful surgeries. We like to encourage wellness care after your course of corrective care. Just like you see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Chiropractic works similarly. However, you can always get dentures. It is impossible to replace your spine!

What If My Insurance Policy Doesn’t Cover Chiropractic?

While several insurances do cover chiropractic, most have limited coverage. Insurance is for catastrophes, and is only meant to be a supplement. While we accept almost all insurances, including Workers’ Compensation, there are times when insurance will not cover your care, or stop covering prior to your full recovery. Rest assured that the doctor will work out a financial plan in these situations that will make Chiropractic care extremely affordable with your budget. For more information, see our “Insurance Info” section.