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  Common Questions & Answers


Q: What is chiropractic care?
There's nothing mysterious about chiropractic. It's a natural method of health care that focuses on correcting the causes of physical problems, rather than just treating the symptoms. Chiropractic is based on a simple but powerful premise. With a normally functioning spine and healthy nerve system, your body is better able to heal itself. That's because your spine is the lifeline of your nervous system. It controls feeling, movement, and all function through your body.

Q: How does chiropractic work?
A: Chiropractic works by restoring your body's inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all
the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and remove interferences (subluxations, misaligned vertebrae) to your nervous system. With improved spinal function, there
is improved nervous system function. The goal of the chiropractor is to remove interference that may be impairing normal health through specific chiropractic adjustments, allowing your body to heal itself. A healthy spine and a healthy lifestyle are your keys to optimal health!


Q:Why does my spine keep “going out”?

A: Spines do not go “in and out”, and chiropractors don’t put bones “in”. Otherwise your doctor would be able to take an x-ray of your spine after the adjustment and show you its fixed. The fact is, adjustments decompress joint pressure, signal nerve receptors to override pain, and change the nerve muscle memory on how muscles contract and relax. The feeling of “going out” is based on the joint pressure, disc or nerve compression that occurs when muscles are pulling harder on one side than another due to the habits of nerve muscle memory. Once nerve muscle memory is changed, the spine stabilizes and doesn’t feel like it’s “going out”.


Q: What is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is subluxated, "locked up,"
or not moving properly. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to eliminate interference to the nervous system, improving spinal function and overall health. "Gentle spinal adjustments boosts your body's immunity."


Q: If I’m fixed why do I still need adjustments?

A: Everyone has “postural listings” or “habits”. Even though spinal alignment may be corrected, periodic adjustments must be done to maintain the spinal alignment throughout a lifetime. Computers, prolonged sitting, driving, injuries and poor ergonomics all contribute to recurrent subluxations from the body’s adaptation to these habits. Moving parts require maintenance. If you maintain your car, your teeth and your lawnmower, you should maintain your spinal alignment for life.


Q:Is chiropractic care addictive?
No. If only it were, there would be more healthy people around and chiropractors would not get patients who last saw a chiropractor a few years ago when their back went out. It is possible to get used to feeling more balanced, less stressed, and more energetic as a result or regular chiropractic care. Chiropractic is not addictive, however, good health is.


Q:How does your spine “hold” once its fixed?

A: There has been a change in nerve muscle memory in a corrected spine. Just like body building, learning gymnastics, or playing piano once a level is achieved maintenance is all that is needed.


Q: Why should I fix my spine if I have no symptoms?

A: Spinal subluxations cause nerve interference to whatever part of the body the nerve supplies ( heart, lungs, digestive system, muscles, joints ect.) Like most health problems subluxations are usually silent for a long time. After enough damage occurs to the disc, joint or body part the nerve supplies a symptom occurs. Correction and prevention of spinal subluxations should be a part of everyones health care before symptoms arise.


Q: Should my kids get their spines checked/ Do children need chiropractic care?

A: Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns immediately checked for vertebral subluxation. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for the child's spine. Most problems start in childhood, especially postural problems. Past postural habits, falls, and hereditary postures can effect a child’s spine. Correcting spinal alignment is usually easy, cost effective, and will save your child a world of problems and pain in the future. Many childhood problems like bedwetting, headaches, colic, learning disabilities, asthma, allergies, scoliosis and digestive problems are helped with chiropractic. In addition, kids don’t only look like parents from the outside they have their nose, hair color, heart problems, allergies, and spinal misalignment. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off can be traced to the spine. Health problems that emerge in adulthood could often be prevented by having your children's spine checked by a chiropractor early. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and are healthier than their peers.


Q:Why do you need to get adjusted so often?

A: It takes time to correct imbalance just like it takes time to straighten teeth, lose weight, or build muscle from weight training. All require repetition and consistency. Repetition causes the body to adapt. When the spine is subluxated, muscles become imbalanced and begin to memorize the abnormal position. With repetitive spinal adjustments, and exercises, the nerve muscle memory is changed to restore the spine and posture to its normal alignment.


Q:Why can’t I just do exercises to correct my spine?

A: There are two types of nerve receptors that trigger nerves to fire to control posture, fast and slow. Spinal exercises trigger the slow ones and adjustments trigger the fast ones. Both must be stimulated for optimum spinal correction.


Q:What are the best types of exercises for spinal correction?

A: Isometric. Postural muscles respond differently than phasic muscles. When injured phasic muscles go flaccid where postural muscles spasm. In turn phasic muscles strengthen with isotomic exercises. This is why you can see a body builder with symmetrical phasic muscles, but be grossly misaligned in their spine.


Q:What kind of problems can subluxations (spinal misalignments) cause?

A: Most people adhere to vitalistic views of holistic health care. However, when it comes to the spine and posture they get trapped in the mechanistic belief that their structure only has to do with physical aches and pains in muscles and joints. The truth is research shows that your structure governs your function. If the spine is subluxated nerve interference occurs. Nerves carry messages from the brain to control everything! If nerve interference occurs to any part of the body due to spinal subluxation (misalignment) that part won’t function optimally. Patients with subluxations can get allergies, digestive problems, heart trouble, breathing disorders, and many more conditions we typically associate with medical problems. Wherever there is nerve interference there is a problem.


Q:How can I tell if I’m subluxated?

A: Not always. A subluxation is like a dental cavity--you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. Subluxations and postural distortions are silent and don’t cause immediate symptoms. The first indicators are postural imbalances. Check yourself and your kids for unlevaling of the skull, shoulders and hips. Look for a high ear, shoulder or belt position. Next, check for FHP (Forward Head Posture), rounded shoulders, and slumping posture.  Even though postural problems are indicators, subluxations can be silent and insidious needing a chiropractor to detect them. That's why periodic spinal checkups are so important. Although it may be possible to know you have a subluxation, it is rarely possible to be sure you don't. Regular spinal checkups are always a good idea, and they promote good health from the inside out.


Q:Are some people more susceptible to subluxations than others?
A: Although anyone can get subluxated, as in all health problems, people who don’t practice good health habits will be more susceptible to subluxation. Eating right, regular exercise, relaxing emotions, and maintaining proper posture and spinal alignment with regular chiropractic adjustments will insure your most optimum potential for health.


Q:Can subluxations cause cancer?

A: Although the exact cause of cancer is unknown, numerous things have been linked to cancer. Unnatural, processed foods, preservatives, food dyes, pollution, chemicals, negative emotions and even chronic pain syndromes have been linked to cancer. Removing any interference to the body including nerve interference from subluxation allows it to function at optimum health potential. Studies have shown spinal adjustments improves nerve function so chiropractic should be part of every patients health care team.


Q:What will happen if I don’t fix my subluxations?

A: Like a wheel out of alignment in a car, studies show there will be progressive wear and tear to the disc, joints and nerves which results in loss of function to the body.


Q:Can animals get subluxated?

A: Yes. Humans are more susceptible to subluxations and postural imbalance because we are two legged. However, four legged animals, even though they are more equally balanced with gravity, can get subluxated too. Subluxations in animals are usually do to trauma. Many chiropractors work on animals, including horses. In fact, several major universities have chiropractic in their veterinary programs. Subluxations have the same bad effect in animals ad they do in humans. They disrupt optimum function.


Q:At what age should you start getting adjusted?

A: As soon as subluxation is detected. Although infants do not have the spinal patterns of adults they can get subluxated in the birth process, and according to a German medical study, even in utero. The most common subluxation in infants and small children are in the upper cervical and pelvis area.


Q: Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I'm pregnant?
Anytime is a good time for a better functioning nerve system. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patients size, weight, age, and condition of health.

Q:  Are adjustments safe?

A:  Yes. In most cases adjustments are very safe. However, like any other health care procedure, unforeseen complications can occur but are rare. The most common side effects are mild soreness like starting a new exercise. Even this only occurs in a small percentage of people. The key to maximizing safety in any health care procedure is a through exam performed by a licensed chiropractor. Caution should be exercised if the chiropractor rushes into adjustive procedures without through examinations. Make sure your chiropractor has a system of patient education, does a good history examination, necessary tests, and reviews the findings with you in an understandable way. There should be a course of action and a monitoring system laid out to you, and if any contradictions or potential risks exist they should be explained. This will help insure the safety of your adjustment program. Additionally, Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative and natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. As proof, one merely has to compare malpractice rates between chiropractors and other health care professionals. Chiropractors' malpractice premiums are a small fraction of those for medical doctors.


Q:  Do adjustments hurt?

A:  Generally no. There may be mild discomfort at the beginning due to the initial movement, stretching of tissue are brief and adhesions. It is similar to starting a new exercise. Most people feel much better right away. If you do feel pain from your adjustment, discuss this with your chiropractor immediately.


Q: Can MD’s adjust your spine?

A:  No. Adjusting your spine is an art and needs to be left in the hands of trained and qualified doctors of chiropractic. MD’s are not trained or qualified to adjust you or give opinions and chiropractic adjustments.


Q: What is the difference between a DC (doctor of chiropractic, a PT (physical therapist) and a DO (osteopath)?

A:  PT’s are trained for joint and muscular rehabilitation they employ stretching and strengthening but cannot do adjustments .DO’s are similar to MD’s but can do some manipulations. These manipulations are primarily done for joint mobilization and reducing pain not for corrective posture and spinal adjustment. Although DO’s are aware of the great benefit of spinal manipulations for overall health and wellness  and have done a significant  body of research on it, less than 1% of DO’s do manipulations at all. Osteopaths use drugs, surgery, and other traditional medical therapies and only use manipulative procedures to increase joint flexibility. Chiropractors base their care on the detection, correction, and prevention of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments). We use specific spinal adjustments to correct the spine, to improve nerve system functions and reduce nerve interference. more information


Q: What is the popping sound/What causes the sound during an adjustment?

A:  Actually, adjustments do not always produce a sound. Often, however, adjustments do create the sound of a spinal "release", or "popping" sound. The sound is caused by gas rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated...similar to opening a can of soda pop.  This sound is painless and totally harmless.


Q: Does adjusting your spine or knuckles cause arthritis?

A:  No, This is an old wives tale in fact the opposite is true. Adjusting the joints increases mobilization and promotes health in the case of the spine adjustments are done to restore spinal alignment to working of the disk, joints and nerves. It is when joints are out of alignment that they wear out, similar to a misaligned car wheel.  In fact studies have shown that spinal adjustments and stretching can actually promote disc restoration in some cases. This is because discs have no blood supply and require movement to get rid of waste products and imbibe fluid and nutrients. It is trauma and misalignment that causes discs to break down and joints to develop degeneration and arthritis. 


Q: Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. The doctor evaluates each patient's unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. Each chiropractic adjustment builds on the one before. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience. Each patient's care is uniquely different from every other patient.

Q: Can I still exercise during my adjusting program?

A:  In most cases yes. However, depending on the extent of your sublimations and posture misalignment the doctor may have you abstain from certain high input activities that may adversely affect your spine.


Q: Is a good work-out the same as getting adjusted?
No. Exercise is an important part of good health, yet without normal spinal function a physical workout merely puts additional wear and tear on improperly
functioning spinal joints.


Q: Why can’t a chiropractor just put me in place with one adjustment?

A:  Adjustments don’t put bones in place or set bones, like setting a fracture. Spinal misalignment (subluxations) occur an imbalance of nerve muscle control. When trauma or repetitive posturing occurs recharging receptors. (nerve receptors that control posture) are triggered to signal muscles to pull a certain direction. Over time the posture receptors develop memory.  Once the chiropractor identifies the abnormal posture patterns and spinal misalignments, adjustments and exercises can be done to trigger the muscles to realign the spine and posture. Repetition and consistency are necessary to make spine and posture corrections just like working out in the gym. The more consistent inputs the better the body can adapt.


Q: Can I adjust myself?
No. Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately. 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 spine even more unstable, and can sometimes be dangerous. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!


Q:  Can chiropractic help a herniated disc?

A:  Absolutely, a herniated disc usually refers to a bulge in the annulus or the fibrous lining of the disc. The worst cases occur in chronic subluxations misalignment of the spine repetitive stress irritation vibration and trauma. When the spine is out of alignment there is undo pressure and the disc which causes this inner jelly like fluid to push to one side. This stresses the disc fibers over time until the pressure of the inner jelly like fluid causes a bulge, similar  to bubbles in a weak tire. This bulge puts pressure on the nerve or spinal cord causing pain causing pain, numbness, weakness and dysfunction.  Chiropractic  gets excellent results reducing the bulge and  restoring alignment of the vertebrae to establish  future disc and spinal stability. In most cases chiropractic saves people from having surgery. However in some cases the muscles puncture or tare  causing their inner jelly like fluid to leak or part of the muscles could fragment causing  free floating tissue. In these s surgery would be recommended. However chiropractic adjustments would still be needed to restore spinal alignment   post surgically to minimize the problem from returning.


Q:When will the pain go away?

A:  Pain is a perception that comes from the damaged tissue  hitting a threshold. As your spine  alignment is restored tissues repair  and function returns. Pain relief is not directly related to the amount of spinal alignment but the amount of tissue repair that has occurred. This is why its hard to predict when pain will come or go. Pain could stay away with just a few adjustments , but a lot of work needs to be done  to restore the spine to its normal alignment. On the other hand, spinal alignment could be close to optimum yet pain may still be present. Unfortunately a misaligned spine will eventually cause pain or dysfunction to the body.


Q: Can I tell if I have spinal problems by looking  at my posture ? Does poor posture reflect spinal misalignment?

A: Most definitely. In most causes your posture reflects your spinal alignment. Tilts of the skull, shoulders , hips, forward head posture rounded shoulders and even knock knees  and foot imbalance all indicate possible spinal misalignment. However, although posture  may appear normal sublimations could be present so a chiropractor should be  on everyone’s health care team to check for spinal imbalance.


Q: What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?
Doctors of Chiropractic are well-educated. Chiropractic education and medical education are similar in many respects and different in others because chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, and medical doctors do not correct vertebral subluxations. After graduating with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) Degree, each candidate passes the demanding four-part National Board Examinations. Then, doctors apply to a governmental or professional licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor's education, however, never ends. Most chiropractors complete regular postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest research and adjustment techniques.

Q: Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?
A: Yes. It's an unfortunate fact that up to half of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years later. They then face the prospect of additional surgery. This too common occurrence is know as "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome." Chiropractic may help prevent repeated back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is initially utilized back surgery can often be avoided in the first place.

Q: Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?
A: No, however chiropractic care is successful with a very wide variety of health problems not necessarily considered "back" problems because of improved nerve system function. With a normal nerve supply the body's natural healing capacity can improve a variety of health problems.

Q: Why do chiropractors take x-rays?
Chiropractors take x-rays to reveal the internal structure and alignment of the spine. We are also concerned about underlying disease processes and disorders of the spine such as spinal deterioration, arthritis of the spine, abnormal development, bone spurs, disc disorders, tumors and spinal curvature. X-rays also provide a blueprint for correcting the spine back to optimal health and alignment.


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