Q. What Is Chiropractic treatment?Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ & system of your body. Your nervous system consists of your brain, spinal cord, and millions of nerves. While your brain in protected by the skull, your spinal cord is protected by the 24 moving bones of the spine. Many everyday activities can cause these spinal bones to lose their position or motion. This can result in nervous system dysfunction and ultimately, ill-heath. The chiropractic approach to better health is to detect, reduce, and help prevent nervous system dysfunction.
Q. What 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, a thorough orthopedic, neurological, and chiropractic examination is performed. X-rays may be taken to uncover structural and functional problems associated with the spinal columns. These examinations help identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system dysfunction.
The findings of these examinations are explained and a plan of chiropractic adjustments may be recommended. Progress is monitored with periodic examinations.
Q. What Type Of Education Do Chiropractic Doctors ReceiveToday's Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated.
The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, 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 the demanding National Board Examination. Then, doctors apply to a governmental or professional licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the license to practice.
A chiropractic education never ends. Most doctors complete postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest scientific research
Q. What Is An Adjustment?A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, "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 purpose of this safe and natural procedure is 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 specially 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.
Q. Are 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 in 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.
Q. Can I Adjust Myself?Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific spinal joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself.
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 area of the spine even more unsteady. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!
The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.
Q. Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?Many patients consult a chiropractic doctor because they think they have a pinched nerve. Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function caused from physical trauma, emotional tensions, or chemical toxins can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots.
While commonly associated with the spine, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually rare. Researchers suggest that only 10% to 15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue! This can result in numbness, burning, or a "pins and needles" feeling. More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesion).
This is caused when nerve tissue is rubbed, scraped, stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or irritated by malfunctioning spinal joints.
Q. Do I Have A Slipped Disc?Technically, a disc can't "slip."
The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between spinal bones. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. A soft, jellylike center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot "slip." However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to wear, bulge, herniated, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, as the soft center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problems.
Q. Is Chiropractic Safe?In the words of the New Zealand government's inquiry, chiropractic is "remarkably safe."
Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures of 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.
Q. Can I Speed the Healing Process?While there aren't many shortcuts to speed your body's natural healing process, there's a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance of a quick recovery.
Learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retrain the muscles that support your spine.
Proper rest is an important aspect of the healing process, too. Get the appropriate amount of rest your body needs and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
During the healing process, proper nutrition is more important than ever. Make sure you eat balanced meals, and if you're overweight, now would be a good time to slim down and reduce unnecessary stresses to your spine.
Perhaps most important of all, keep your appointments and follow your chiropractic doctor's recommendations for optimum results.
Q. Why Do Children Need Chiropractic Care?Since significant trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
Later, learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the unseen damage to the child's spine is the unique domain of a chiropractic doctor.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as "growing pains" can often be traced to the spine. 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.
Q. How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These longstanding problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.
Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a scheduled of preventive visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.
Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of "crisis management" is usually more costly and time-consuming, our office stands ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals.
How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.