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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

What conditions do chiropractors treat?

Chiropractors care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. Chiropractors are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches, particularly with their highly skilled chiropractic adjustments. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. Chiropractors also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.

Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from a medical doctor (MD)?

A referral is usually not needed to see a chiropractor. Chiropractors are primary healthcare professionals and therefore do not require a referral.

Is chiropractic treatment safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.

Chiropractors are well trained professionals who provide patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, even if that requires referral to a medical specialist.

Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.

Am I too old for chiropractic care?

More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.

Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite. Many patients report improvements with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.

The adjusting technique used by your chiropractor will be modified for maximum comfort and results. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.

Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.

What type of education and training do chiropractors have?

Chiropractors are educated as primary-contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for chiropractors are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.

The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Chiropractors are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.

Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures.

How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?

Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the chiropractor’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractor typically uses his or her hands--or an instrument--to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient's pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?

The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.

What the difference between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?

In understanding the difference between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy, we recommend referring to the definition of each practice. Chiropractic is a health care discipline based on the scientific premise that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. The practice of Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine, and pelvis) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. Physiotherapy uses a variety of techniques to help your muscles and joints work to their full potential. It can help repair damage by speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and stiffness.

Each individual is different and must make their own choice about the most appropriate method of care for them. We believe Chiropractic, with its central focus on the spine, nervous system and their impact on entire body provides a health care option that can help manage pain as well as assist in achieving optimal well-being.

When should I see a chiropractor?

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function.

Can chiropractic care cure other ailments besides back pain?

Chiropractic care cannot “cure” every ailment, but there is some evidence to indicate that adjustments may have a beneficial effect on a variety of conditions. Adjustment may alleviate some of the secondary or referred pain, arising from the response of the musculoskeletal structures to the primary cause.

Does chiropractic care require X-rays?

X-rays can play an important role in diagnosis and are taken when a need has been determined after taking a patient case history and conducting a physical examination. Chiropractors receive education in radiology covering a full range of topics from protection to X-ray interpretation and diagnosis.