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Frequently Asked Questions About Seeing a Chiropractor

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Do you need pain relief? Find answers to some of our patients’ most frequently asked questions about seeing a chiropractor.

Chiropractic care is shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of pain conditions, whether used as a first-line treatment or as part of a holistic pain management plan.

What is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a health care professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular problems, with a particular focus on spine therapy via manual adjustment and/or manipulation.

However, as medical professionals, chiropractors go far beyond that. Chiropractors are highly trained doctors who put the patient first in their approach to medicine. They integrate practices that can improve both physical and mental health.

Chiropractors work in conjunction with, rather than in opposition to, conventional medical treatments. Chiropractors, as well as the rest of your pain management team, search for therapies that may be accomplished through the use of minimal or no artificial intervention, such as operations or medications. Chiropractors, along with other chiropractic subdisciplines such as neurology and orthopedics, embrace a belief in the body’s healing capabilities and an effort to maintain equilibrium. This entails first looking at the structural foundation of the body, the skeleton, to confirm that it is properly aligned and operating before proceeding with chronic pain treatment.

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractic care is a form of health care that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of problems with the joints, particularly those of the spine. This industry is concerned with the treatment of chronic pain and other related problems. Manual therapy, including spinal manipulation and other joint and soft tissue manipulation, as well as corrective exercises, is emphasized. Health and lifestyle counseling are also provided.

Are chiropractors doctors?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are highly specialized medical doctors who go through rigorous education that includes a series of four board examinations as well as state compliance.

Approximately 77,000 DCs work in the United States, and another 10,000 are studying for chiropractic degrees at 18 accredited colleges across the nation. Chiropractors require at least 4,200 hours of classroom study, laboratory work, and internships to obtain their degrees, which is roughly equal to the amount of time required for an allopathic doctor (MD) or osteopath (DO).

However, there are distinctions between chiropractors and physicians. One of these is the use of medicines.

How can chiropractic treatment benefit you?

Chiropractic treatment can help with pain and discomfort, as well as getting you back to normal activity and preventing future occurrences. Chiropractic therapy’s main objective is to promote health and wellbeing.

• Natural pain relief
• Effective, affordable, and safe
• High degree of patient satisfaction
• Treats the problem, not just the symptoms
• Reduce future recurrence
• Assist the body’s natural healing process
• Shortens recovery time
• Stay healthy and active for longer
• Enjoy your normal activities
• Learn how to help yourself

What are the aims of chiropractic care?

The goals of treatment, which your chiropractor will establish with you based on his knowledge and therapies, are determined by the skills of your chiropractor and the treatments he or she employs.

• Reduce and improve pain and inflammation
• Promote natural tissue healing
• Balance the nervous system
• Release and realign joints
• Improve flexibility and muscle strength
• Support organ function and good nutrition
• Refine body movement and posture
• Assist with exercise regimes and ergonomics
• Promote a healthier mental, physical, and emotional life
• Improve balance and coordination
• Optimize cranial function
• Correct and improve breathing patterns

What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractic treatment emphasizes on the correction of spinal posture. There are two distinct methodologies utilized in chiropractic therapy. Chiropractors who use the Palmer method of chiropractic believe that all types of illnesses, from the common cold to back discomfort, can be treated with chiropractic care. Other chiropractors feel that chiropractic treatment is just one component of a comprehensive health plan that also includes diet and exercise.

The most well-known chiropractic treatment is spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) or a chiropractic adjustment, which is also known as manual therapy. Doctors apply controlled force in a precise manner to restore mobility in the joints during this sort of work. During a chiropractic adjustment, the patient may hear a popping sound as the spine is adjusted, but this is not an indication of distress. This popping noise is caused by little bubbles of air trapped in the joints, similar to when cracking the knuckles.

Chiropractic treatment is hands-on and drug-free, but it’s also extremely complicated. Doctors will take a thorough health history, including family history and information on the current injury if applicable. After taking a health history and answering any queries the patient may have, physicians may recommend X-rays or an MRI to confirm that chiropractic therapy is necessary. If a patient’s strength or reflexive response is lost, a chiropractor may recommend that they see a spine surgeon before beginning therapy. After the preceding procedures are completed, treatment can begin.

What does a chiropractor treat?

Chiropractors treat a broad variety of conditions. They begin by evaluating the patient based on factors such as family history, activity level, nature of the pain or injury, and how the body is responding to any previous injuries in conjunction with the level of support needed by the patient.
Chiropractors manage a wide range of ailments with a low-risk, conservative approach, including:

• Low-risk injuries and ailments
• Back, neck, and head pain (over 90 percent of problems treated)
• Low back pain/injuries
• Upper back pain/injuries
• Headaches
• Neck pain
• Whiplash-associated disorders (WAD)
• Pain in the extremities
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, such as tendonitis or bursitis
• Sports injuries
• Work- or auto-related injuries
• Non-musculoskeletal complaints such as stress and chronic fatigue, allergies, sinusitis, TMJ dysfunction/pain, stomach disorders, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibromyalgia, and other types of pain.

How do I know if I need to see a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are great for treating a variety of issues that individuals have tried everything and still haven’t gotten relief from. If you’ve had a significant accident, need surgery, or are suffering from a life-threatening disease, you’ll want medical attention. You may benefit from chiropractic treatment if you’ve received the medical all-clear but continue to feel pain.

You may also want to see a chiropractor if you’re looking for preventative care, treatment of an acute injury, or relief from an existing condition that doesn’t respond to typical over-the-counter medication or exercises.

We feel that receiving chiropractic therapy to ensure your spinal joints are functioning properly is an important aspect of health. Chiropractic treatment, like a healthy diet and exercise, may help you live a healthy life. Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, needs good mobility, cognitive function, and nutritional health. We think that regular chiropractic exams may assist identify and address issues before they have a more serious impact, whether you have a specific concern or not. Why not get a regular chiropractic check-up in order to keep your spine healthy? You have routine dental check-ups, so why not visit a chiropractor on a regular basis to look after your spine?

What happens during a chiropractic treatment?

The chiropractor will want to learn about your health history and current problem during your first appointment. Your lifestyle at home and at work, as well as your level of physical activity, may have an impact on your health. Don’t be shocked if you’re asked questions regarding these areas.
The chiropractor will generally employ his or her hands for most treatments, although he or she may also utilize other procedures like ice, specialized adjusting devices, and individualized exercise programs.

Muscle-testing and neurological exercises are used as well. Your chiropractor can also offer you advice and information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, getting enough exercise, and making sensible adjustments to your life.
Chiropractic treatment begins with a complete chiropractic exam that will include assessment of the spine and nervous system, observation of the patient while he or she is walking and/or doing a task, examination of X-rays, and a muscle test. The patient’s history provides the context for this information.

After consulting with you on your problem, your chiropractor will perform some type of spinal or body manipulation designed to reestablish motion or reduce articular restriction within the spine and other joints. This may include gentle pressure, passive movement, or sustained position. The chiropractor may mobilize the joints by manually applying pressure to them in a series of rhythmic thrusts that are specifically designed to free muscular tension and improve spinal mobility.

After treatment, your chiropractor will advise you on proper body mechanics for performing your job and/or recreational activities. You may need to do exercises before and/or after the treatment, and you will likely be more active in stretching and maintaining a healthy spine.

Most people feel better after chiropractic care, although for some, it can take a while to experience the results of their adjustments. Chiropractors emphasize that they treat causes and not symptoms—meaning that they don’t just treat your pain, they help you get to the root of the problem, so it doesn’t come back.

How do chiropractors relieve pain from injuries or accidents?
Accidents and injuries are perhaps the first things that come to mind when people think about chiropractic care. Because discomfort from an accident may take months to appear, it is critical for the chiropractic patient interview to rule out potential causes.

Since accidents are very traumatic, it is common for “injuries” to be mistaken for other disorders that may have no obvious connection with the accident at all. For example, pain in your shoulder may seem like an injury related to a fall, but it may have been caused by a pinched nerve in the back. Furthermore, symptoms from an accident or injury may develop months afterward and can be difficult to diagnose as a result.

For this reason, chiropractors will conduct a thorough patient interview before any diagnosis is made. This helps chiropractors determine if symptoms are related to an accident or injury. After diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe therapeutic exercises, medication, physical therapy, or chiropractic adjustments.

How can chiropractors treat pain from musculoskeletal issues?
Chiropractic treatment can help to diminish or eliminate the discomfort caused by subluxation, a condition in which vertebrae are misaligned. For individuals who seek chiropractic care, this is a typical cause of pain and inflammation.

One of the primary reasons for this misalignment is also one of the simplest to correct: sitting. Workers in the United States sit for the most part of their day these days, and people’s lifestyles have become more sedentary. The spine collapses into itself or onto itself when combined with poor posture and lack of core strength, resulting in discomfort. Even sitting upright appears difficult, and this can lead people to the chiropractor for relief. This subluxation affects many other symptoms that can be alleviated with chiropractic therapy.

When computer use is combined with subluxation, it may also induce tarsal or carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractic treatment might be able to cure both issues. Symptoms of carpal tunnel include numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers, as well as stiffness and “locked” joints in the wrists and fingers.

Does chiropractic care work?

In short, yes. Chiropractic therapy for pain is a non-invasive treatment option for any of the aforementioned injuries. There have been several research studies indicating that chiropractic care is an effective approach to treat a variety of pain problems.

Chiropractors treat neck and back pain more effectively than any other medical specialty. Both conditions are often relieved by chiropractic therapy, particularly when combined with other treatments.

 According to one study, chiropractic adjustments offered improved results for neck pain over physical therapy, medications, and surgery alone. This study’s size and research methodology are noteworthy. Another study compared successful therapies for a year and discovered that chiropractic treatment was more effective than physiotherapy or general practitioner care.

There are several diverse studies that demonstrate that chiropractic care works for lower back discomfort, which is the most prevalent type of pain treated by chiropractors. According to research, chiropractic care outperformed traditional treatments for lower back pain alone when it came to decreasing pain and improving function among military veterans.

Additional research found that chiropractic treatment for pain gave 90 percent pain relief in four weeks, significantly better than conventional medical therapy (56%).

Are chiropractors safe?

Chiropractic care is quite safe, effective, and non-invasive. In fact, recent research has revealed that individuals suffering from back discomfort are more likely to experience severe adverse effects (including gastrointestinal bleeding) when taking OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.

According to the Mayo Clinic: “Chiropractic adjustment is safe when it’s performed by someone trained and licensed to deliver chiropractic care.” It’s critical to find a chiropractor that is adequately trained and has excellent credentials.

There has been some debate regarding the high-velocity neck manipulation technique and its link to a specific form of stroke, but studies have since demonstrated that this stroke is more frequently linked to an activity that occurred before the patient visited a chiropractic office. Vertebral artery injury as a result of high-velocity neck manipulation is practically unheard of, occurring in only one patient out of every 5.85 million treatments. However, because of this, chiropractic care for individuals with an increased danger of stroke or severe osteoporosis is usually advised against.

Are there chiropractic adjustment side effects?

Traditional, more invasive therapies such as surgery might have significant long-term negative consequences. The side effects, if any, of chiropractic care are frequently a little soreness that goes away after a day or two. Minor soreness at the treatment site is typical. Following an adjustment, some people may experience a temporary headache or tiredness.

Although chiropractic care is considered a conservative form of healthcare, it strives to give treatments such as chiropractic therapy and other exercises or procedures that have few or no negative side effects for patients. Then the healthcare team can evaluate their success in treating pain. If little change is seen, then and only then will a doctor specializing in conservative care start to utilize alternate treatments.

What does a chiropractor for lower back pain do?

The most prevalent sort of back discomfort in the United States is lower back pain. There is no single known cause of lower-back discomfort. Lumbar spinal compression is one of the most common uses for chiropractic treatment. Compression commonly occurs due to chronic poor posture resulting in a C-shaped lumbar spinal curve known as lordosis, which can become quite painful.

Spinal stenosis, a medical term that refers to the narrowing of the spinal column due to age-related gravity, injury, or disease, is another cause of lower back discomfort. It’s caused by the constriction of the spinal column as a result of aging-related gravity, trauma, or sickness. Nerves in the spine may be pinched, causing pain and numbness.

Lower back pain and spinal stenosis are treated through chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractors focus on lengthening the spine and creating space between the vertebrae to relieve any pain and pressure on the nerves. Chiropractic treatment for compression of the lumbar spine in conjunction with physical activity can aid in the natural inward curve of the lower back’s return.

In some cases, a vertebral disc may have slipped out of position or been ruptured as a result of trauma or from degenerative changes in the spine. A chiropractor for lower back pain may use spinal manipulation to move a herniated disc back into place.

What does a chiropractor for neck pain do?

The cervical vertebrae are quite fragile. As we spend our days staring down at computers and phones, these bones are frequently overburdened with our head-forward posture. Every inch our head juts forward of our shoulders places eight pounds more stress on the cervical spine. Neck fractures and compression can cause excruciating agony.

Chiropractic care for neck pain may also be used to educate patients about what proper posture feels and looks like, thereby preventing future injury.

What does a chiropractor for sciatica do?

Sciatica is not a pain diagnosis but rather a set of symptoms lumped together by this name. The sciatic nerves are compressed in the lower back and cause sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from the lumbar spine down through the buttocks, hips, and lower legs.

Sharp, shooting, or burning sciatic pain is common. Other symptoms include weakness and paresthesia (pins and needles or a tingling sensation). Chiropractic treatment for sciatic pain might help the spine lengthen and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

How many chiropractic sessions do you need?

The answer to this question is dependent mostly on the patient’s situation and pain problem. A good chiropractor will do everything they can within their power to help improve or eliminate the pain and suffering for their patients as quickly as possible with as few treatments as necessary. They may also provide advice on how to prevent future issues by assessing lifestyle habits, ergonomics, posture, orthotics, and/or nutrition.

Ask your chiropractor for an estimate of the treatment plan during your first visit. A competent chiropractor will work with you to ensure that you receive the care you require without incurring additional costs as a result of unnecessary visits.

How much does a chiropractor cost?

The cost of care is a crucial component of pain therapies, especially when they are long-term. According to an analysis of data, patients who sought chiropractic care instead of allopathic medicine had 40% less paid-for expenses. Often, chiropractors are more affordable and more effective when utilized as a first step in the healing process.

A recent study of 719 individuals who first contacted a Swiss telemedical service via phone found that consulting with a chiropractic doctor first is just as beneficial as more traditional therapies while saving them money. A questionnaire was administered to spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients who phoned the telemedical service for assistance. Of the participants in the study, 403 visited regular medical practitioners and 316 visited chiropractors. Patients who first consulted a medical doctor had significantly higher medical costs and substantially less pain relief than those who went to a chiropractic clinic.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is the overall term for a chiropractor’s use of force to manipulate the spine and eliminate subluxation. It is also known as spinal manipulation, manual manipulation, or chiropractic manipulation. Chiropractic adjustments usually entail a rapid thrust that can help restore normal joint movement, relieve pain, and improve or restore joint function. There are a wide range of treatments available, ranging from very mild to strong, depending on each individual’s requirements and comfort. Your chiropractor might utilize his hands, an instrument, or a special table in order to treat you.

What is the direct thrust technique?

The most common approach for chiropractors is to apply high-velocity force with their hands to realign the spine. A chiropractor will utilize their hands in this approach and apply high-velocity force to one side of your spine (i.e., they’ll move your neck quickly to one side). Some people may claim they are going to have their “back cracked,” but this is what they mean. This technique releases the bones or joints that are out of alignment and limit movement, therefore increasing range of motion.

How does a chiropractor use articulatory techniques to relieve pain?

The doctor uses low-velocity force to mimic the natural range of motion by repeatedly moving the joint throughout its full range of motion. They may stand at your feet and rotate your ankles in circles to improve range of movement over time by appropriately handling the joint.

What is the functional technique?

The objective of this chiropractic technique is to help the restricted joint relax by applying direct pressure to it. The doctor will continue applying that degree of pressure until the joint resistance diminishes.

How do chiropractors use muscle energy to relieve pain?

This is an isometric method in which the patient gets to participate more. The patient is urged to resist or apply pressure in the opposite direction of the chiropractor for a few seconds and then let go. This is done throughout the full range of motion at each joint until the joint becomes free again.

What is a myofascial release?

The fascia covers all of the body’s muscles and is only a few millimeters thick. Myofascial release promotes this tissue to stretch and break down. Chiropractors focus on areas of muscle that are under strain and tension, applying pressure until the tension releases.

What is the indirect positional technique?

This approach involves keeping the joint in a neutral position to relax surrounding tendons and muscles, after which force is used to obtain a full range of motion.

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

The majority of our clients receive spinal manipulation by the hand of their doctor. However, due to a variety of reasons such as age, osteoporosis, trauma, etc., the patient may require a lighter touch, in which case we will utilize an activator or impulse tool.

Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

Yes, children can benefit from seeing a chiropractor. It’s not unusual for kids to have some degree of back pain. Children may come to see us for neck or back discomfort as a result of activities. We also adjust children’s necks and backs so that their nervous systems remain strong. This can aid the child’s immune system in fighting allergies and colds.

Children also benefit from chiropractic care to ensure healthy posture and alignment for their growing spines.

Chiropractic can be beneficial at any age, including during pregnancy. A balanced body will provide the right environment for your child.

Prenatal chiropractic care is important because it can help reduce back pain, speed up recovery for childbirth, and reduce the risk of other complications like breathing difficulties for baby. And moms taking care of their backs during pregnancy means easier labor too!

We also believe that prevention is worth a pound of cure; parents shouldn’t wait until kids are totally misaligned to bring them in for chiropractic care. A parent should bring their child in for an adjustment if he or she is sitting with rounded shoulders, walking on tiptoes, not walking by 1 year-old, or exhibiting other misaligned habits.

It’s important to find a chiropractor that knows how to treat children and can fit into your family’s schedule. Scheduling should be convenient for the whole family.

Can Chiropractors Prescribe Medication?

Chiropractors are unable to prescribe medicines, but many of our patients do not require medication in order to see results. They frequently come to us after trying traditional therapies that conceal their symptoms rather than addressing the core cause. We want to assist your body in recovering, not just providing brief pain alleviation or discomfort relief.

What Happens If Chiropractic Care Doesn't Help?

We occasionally have patients who do not respond well to chiropractic treatment. When this happens, we send them to other specialists for help. Physical therapy, therapeutic injections, and micro-vas therapy are some examples of therapies that patients may seek outside of our office. This generally helps people live comfortably with their pain, but we also connect patients with doctors who have more aggressive therapies, including surgery. We always work on the conservative side before doing more invasive procedures.