Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a drug free, hands-on approach to healing. The practice of Chiropractic is based on the theory that all disease results from a disruption of the function of the nerves. Every tissue, organ, and gland in your body receives nerve impulses from your brain to control their function. The principal source of interference is thought to be subluxation (or displacement) of vertebrae of the spine. Doctors of Chiropractic believe that the disease process is initiated by this interference. The Chiropractor seeks to relieve the pressure on the nerves and thereby remove the cause of some specific ailment. The method of treatment is by adjustment of the subluxated vertebrae. If left undetected or untreated, nerve interference leads to degeneration of the nerves and subsequently the communication process, which eventually leads to disease in the target organs.

What is a Subluxation?

A subluxation is a misalignment of a bone or an alteration of joint function. This misalignment leads to mechanical stress that in turn causes unnecessary pressure on the small nerves that pass through each spinal segment. This interferes with the nerve supply to corresponding parts of the body and initiates the disease process. Vertebral subluxations that are left undetected and/or untreated can lead to symptoms of pain and disease. Symptoms are however late warning signals and they usually occur long after the initial subluxation has occurred. A subluxation 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.

How do I get a subluxation?

You can become subluxated in a number of ways. Any physical, chemical, or emotional stress can cause subluxations. For example, things like poor posture while sleeping, sitting, and standing can contribute to subluxations. It is not uncommon to develop your first subluxation during childbirth. This can be due to the large amounts of pressure which are applied to the baby’s head, neck, and shoulders during delivery. In addition, normal childhood activities such as spills from bike ridding, sledding, playing ball, and any other activity that results in a jarring fall, can also result in subluxations.

How do I know if I have a subluxation?

The only way to determine if you have a subluxation is to be evaluated by a Chiropractor. Your chiropractor will use numerous tests and procedures to determine which, if any, of you have any subluxations.
There are numerous signs and symptoms that are associated with subluxations that you can watch for. The most common symptoms of nerve interference are headaches, pain, muscle spasms, numbness or tingling, lack of muscle strength or coordination, fatigue, and poor overall health. If the subluxation is causing interference with the nerves that communicate with your internal organs or glands, the symptoms will correspond with that organ. Such internal complaints can include indigestion, asthma, heart palpitations, constipation, diarrhea, and menstrual irregularities. Keep in mind that symptoms occur late in the subluxation process and therefore, if you are symptom free, that doesn’t mean you’re subluxation free!

What is an adjustment and what does it do for me?

Doctors of Chiropractic are the only health care professionals trained to deliver chiropractic adjustments. Many years of study and practice are necessary to acquire the skills of providing an effective and safe adjustment.
Chiropractic adjustments represent the cornerstone of the chiropractic treatment. The term adjustment refers to the process in which the Doctor of Chiropractic skillfully applies a quick but gentle controlled force into a subluxated joint. Depending on the technique that your chiropractor uses, the adjustment may be delivered using the hands or through the use of a specialized mechanical tool. The goal of the chiropractic adjustment is to restore normal joint function and thereby allows for the removal of any nerve interference that is present.

Does an adjustment hurt?

Adjustments usually do not hurt. However, if your subluxation has been present for a while and you are experiencing muscle spasms associated with the subluxation, then the adjustment can cause some mild soreness. In some instances after your initial adjustment, you may experience some mild soreness. This is completely normal and due to the fact that the subluxation has been removed. It’s like removing a splinter, the splinter is gone, but you still experience a bit of discomfort until the surrounding tissue has had time to heal.

What is the ‘cracking sound’?

A British research team may have solved this mystery. They took video fluoroscopy (x-ray movies) of people ‘cracking’ their knuckles. It was reported that the ‘cracking’ sound was caused by gas rushing into fill the partial vacuum created when the joints were slightly separated.

Once I go to a Chiropractor, do I have to keep going back forever?

Your length of treatment will vary depending on the injury and the length of time the condition has been present. Different people require different levels of care depending upon many factors. Some people require more intensive care than others. When you injury yourself, your muscles and ligaments adapt to that new, altered position. Although one visit to the Chiropractor can start the healing process, your body might need additional treatments to bring you back to your pre-injury status. It is also possible to get used to feeling more balanced, less stressed, and more energetic as a result of periodic chiropractic care. You may become more aware when your body is ‘out’ of adjustment. In addition, most Doctors of Chiropractic promote a preventative type of lifestyle, which has been constructed by adversaries to mean that chiropractic care requires a lifetime of commitment. Actually, recommending that patients return for periodic spinal care is no different than what dentists recommend to their patients in order to prevent cavities and gum disease. Just as it would be unreasonable to believe that visiting a dentist once per lifetime would ensure permanently healthy teeth and gums it’s equally as impractical to think that visiting a chiropractor a few times will ensure a lifelong healthy spine. Your body undergoes daily bombardment of stresses originating from bad postural habits, sub optimal work environments, psychological stress, and hectic lifestyles. For these reasons, after the resolution of acute problems you have the option to receive periodic spinal checkups, which will act to minimize the likelihood of future recurrences or development of new problems.

What conditions benefit from chiropractic care?

Although chiropractic is used most frequently to relieve low back pain, studies have found it to be effective for a variety of conditions, such as headaches, including migraines, neck and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel like syndrome, childhood ear infections, and infantile colic…just to name a few.
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