How much chiropractic care do I need?
After we’ve done a thorough exam and taken x-rays, we’ve determined the cause of your problem and how to fix it. This prompts one of the most common questions in our office: “How much care do I need?”
First of all, our job is to work for you and recommend and deliver the care we think is best for you. In the end, you are the boss when it comes to your healthcare, and you decide what is best for you.
With that said, as far as what we recommend for care, it depends on the cause of your pain. If it’s a simple muscle spasm, you will experience pain relief early on in as little as one or two adjustments. If it’s severe degeneration in your spine or a herniated disc that’s causing your pain, it will take several adjustments for the pain to steadily improve.
While we wish every patient could get better in one visit, sometimes this is not the case. Often times, patients are in our office because they are in severe pain. Often times, it has been years of an untreated condition that has led up to this point. For cases such as this, it might take several visits in a short period of time to get the most pain relief possible. This is important as well because, while it might be several visits, it potentially could prevent a risky and expensive spinal surgery down the road.
With that said, we’d like to make a point here that pain is your body’s way of letting you know something isn’t right. The sooner you get in, the better your outcome. If it all possible, don’t let the pain get severe before seeking care.
This leads us to our final point and that is the importance of regular chiropractic care. Once your pain has subsided, it is good to get adjusted every week or two or even just once a month. This is not only great for your overall health but it also prevents the pain from coming back. Most patients look forward to their adjustment because of how good it makes them feel and the fact that it helps them get through the week or month feeling great.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
One of the most common conditions we treat is neck pain, back pain, and headaches. In fact, much of the research on chiropractic supports the benefits of chiropractic care for these conditions. However, we also successfully treat extremity pain: shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, knee, hip, hands and feet. Whether it’s plantar fasciitis, sciatica or frozen shoulder, a hands on approach might be what you need to help your pain.
And, that is the exact definition of the name “chiropractic”. It literally translates to “done by hand”. The techniques we use involve the use of our hands to make corrections or adjustments to your spine so that your nervous system functions better.
Keep in mind as well that the nervous system controls all function throughout the body. Chiropractic adjustments help restore balance to the nervous system and can therefore help with non-musculoskeletal conditions such as anxiety, depression, indigestion, asthma, allergies, immune system dysfunction and many other conditions.
What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care?
Here is a brief list of the benefits of chiropractic care:
- Improved Posture
- Fewer Headaches
- Less Stress
- More energy
- Back Pain relief
- Fewer Colds
- Better Coordination
- More Restful Sleep
Is chiropractic safe?
Chiropractic is very safe and effective. Some patients do feel a little sore after their first visit, but we equate this to doing a new workout for the first time and how you’re usually sore the next day. Within 24 hours, the soreness subsides and you start to feel better.
As far as the risks, research show that chiropractic is safer than taking over the counter NSAIDS for the same musculoskeletal pain.
Is chiropractic safe for my children or my parents?
We want to stress that it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you have a spine and nervous system, you can benefit from chiropractic care. This includes children, athletes, adults and even geriatric patients. We can modify our technique to make chiropractic safe and effective for the patient no matter the age.
In fact, children are more susceptible to subluxations/misalignments in their spine due to being so active. They experience “minor” trauma to their spines throughout their days whether on the playground, in sports, or in any other physical activity. On top of this, a lot of them are looking down at their computers and phones all day which puts stress on their neck. This makes it important that they not only get adjusted but also learn corrective exercises for posture so they don’t have neck and back pain at too young of an age.
The adjustments to children are often equivalent to the pressure you’d put on a tomato without actually breaking the skin. That’s the amount of force for someone as young as 2-3 and then the pressure of the adjustment increases as they age.
As far as the geriatric population, the adjustment becomes more and more gentle as the patient gets older. Even if the patient has osteoporosis, they can still receive adjustments. We have several patients with osteoporosis and we use a very light, very gentle adjustment but also incorporate the same soft tissue work that we use on all our patients which is some stretching and general mobilization of the joints in the spine and extremities.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Because chiropractic is hands-on, every chiropractor’s style and approach/technique is unique to the chiropractor. In our case, we often utilize x-ray to identify subluxations/misalignment in your spine so that you get the specific adjustment that you need. There are 33 individual vertebrae in your spinal column so adjusting the correct one is very important for your health and function. X-rays remove any “guessing” when it comes to your health and allows us to get you better faster.
As far as our adjustment style, we use a hand contact on the vertebrae that needs to be adjusted and deliver a smooth, quick force into the direction the vertebrae needs. This allows that particular vertebrae to start to move better, giving you better range of motion and improved nervous system function.
What causes the popping sound with an adjustment?
The “popping” sound heard with an adjustment is the result of gas bubbles being released. This is similar to the sound made when “popping” your knuckles. There is minimal, if any, discomfort associated with the sound and the adjustment. In fact, many patients often experience immediate relief, feel like they can breathe better and feel like they can move better.
Once I start going, do I have to always keep going?
This is a common myth in chiropractic. Some patients, at first, fear coming in because they hear you have to always get adjusted once you start getting adjusted. This is completely false. Getting adjusted improves your nervous system function and relieves your pain. It is this reason that patients chose to keep coming back because it makes them feel better. Like we said previously, you are the boss in your healthcare, and you decide what is best for you.
What type of education and training do chiropractors receive?
Many people don’t realize the extent and depth of a chiropractic education. This is why they’re shocked when they hear that the educational requirements are among the most stringent of any health care profession.
In fact, personally, I had to receive a four year, pre-medical undergraduate degree with classes in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and other lab work just to meet the pre-requisites for chiropractic college.
Once accepted into Cleveland Chiropractic College, the requirements for graduation were extremely demanding/challenging but definitely worth it because I absolutely love being a chiropractor. Some of the courses I took at Cleveland included courses in: orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis, laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition and rehabilitation. The chiropractic program is a 4-5 year program with a trimester format.
In addition, the radiology department at Cleveland Chiropractic College had some of the best radiologists around. They helped prepare me to take and read x-rays, and I cannot thank them enough for all that they did for us.
On top of this, all my other chiropractic friends and I had to go through a 2 year clinical internship where each of us developed our clinical skills and various chiropractic adjustment techniques. By the time we graduated as Doctors of Chiropractic and completed our internships, we had completed over 200 adjustments, 50 lab/blood work, and 50 x-rays as well as having passed four board exams.