Frequently Asked Questions
Q. If I go to a chiropractor do I have to go forever? I have a friend who went to a chiropractor a year ago and she is still going.
No, you do not have to go forever. My goal is to identify the cause of your pain, treat that problem so that you will get relief as fast as possible, and then release you from care. Then we will give you advice on how to minimize a re-occurrence. Some patients will feel better after one or two visits, while others may need weeks or months of care. We call this type of care “treat and release”. The reason that some people seem to go to the chiropractor “forever” is that they have chosen to include this type of care as part of their health care. Just like you wouldn’t stop exercising once you got into shape, your friend who goes back even after the pain is gone may be choosing to be proactive and to get checked periodically rather than waiting until she gets hurt again. Or, she may have a degenerative problem that can’t be fixed, that can only be managed. Once we do a comprehensive exam we can give you an estimate of how many visits you may need, but the choice is always yours…some people like to take it visit by visit, others want to be more involved in their care and come in for instruction on stretching and exercise so that they can do their physical therapy at home or the gym to help themselves get better and stay better.
Q. Isn’t a chiropractor just for back pain? A friend of mine suggested that I go for my tennis elbow…
Actually, that was a great suggestion by your friend. Chiropractors are experts in treating nerve, muscle and joint problems. Now, that includes back pain and neck pain. But it also includes shoulder, elbow, knee, and foot pain as well. The typical approach to treating tennis elbow is to take anti-inflammatory medication and wear a brace on the elbow. While the pill and the brace may dull the pain so you can play, it may also be making your problem worse because you are creating more damage to the elbow. Chiropractic care of a tennis elbow may include adjustments to the arm or wrist to ensure normal motion of the joints, therapy to the muscles and tendons to increase healing time, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises to keep the problem from returning. Remember, anti-inflammatory medications are first-aid, they should not be used for weeks and months at a time, just read the label, it says it right there.
Q. Do chiropractic adjustments hurt? Why does it make a popping noise?
An adjustment is a quick, push or thrust on a joint which restores normal motion to that joint. It usually is painless although it can make a “popping” sound which can be surprising. The noise is coming from compressed gases that are dissolved in the fluid inside the joint. When the joint is moved quickly with the adjustment the gases escape…it’s like when you open a can of soda, the compressed gases escape and make a noise.
Q. Do you take x-rays? Why?
X-rays are used in many types of medicine and in chiropractic care in order to see the condition of the spine as well as to rule out any medical problems that may require a referral to another doctor. In my practice I may take x-rays as part of my evaluation. This will help me to determine the proper course of treatment and help me to answer questions you may have regarding the type and length of treatment you may need.
Q. My husband doesn’t believe in chiropractic, but I still want to try it. What can I tell him?
Chiropractic is not a “belief system” you do not have to believe in it in order for it to work. Chiropractic works because it is based on scientific facts. The nervous system controls every cell, organ, muscle and system in your body. It is the computer that runs the body. When spinal joint motion becomes restricted it affects the ability of the nerves to communicate from the brain to the body. Often this breakdown in communication does not cause pain, but it will cause a problem in strength or function. Eventually though the body will produce pain as a signal that something is wrong. Restoring proper motion to the spinal joints allows nerve function to return to normal and allows the body to heal itself naturally.
Q. Is there scientific proof that chiropractic works?
Yes, there are plenty of research studies showing the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments for low back pain, headaches and migraines, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as a host of other conditions. The notion that chiropractic is not “scientifically proven” is just not true. In fact, Dr. David Eddy, M.D., PhD, a medical economist, reports that only 15% of medical procedures have been scientifically verified and that the remaining 85% of common medical procedures have no “scientific basis.” The proof is in the results…See for yourself what our patients have to say in our testimonials.
Q. Can adjustments make your ligaments and joints too loose?
No. A properly administered adjustment by a chiropractor is directed at only the restricted joint or joints. Often times a lack of mobility in one joint will lead to a chain reaction where joints above or below the restriction will attempt to compensate by moving too much. A chiropractor will not adjust those areas, instead as the restricted joint is mobilized, the compensations heal, the muscles around the joints will strengthen, and normal movement will be restored. Unfortunately when people who are not trained as chiropractors try to “pop” a joint,or someone “self-adjusts” they are often moving the compensation, rather than the problem, thus making the instability worse. It is best to be evaluated by a licensed chiropractor in order to receive the safest and most effective care.
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