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Common Questions

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 (learn more about subluxations). The purpose of this safe and usually painless procedure is to eliminate interference to the nervous system, improve spinal function and overall health. In addition to eliminating pain, gentle spinal adjustments can improve all your body’s functions, immunity, digestion, muscle strength, endurance, joint health, etc..

What is a subluxation?

A subluxation is the condition that all chiropractors treat. It is a devastating problem that can effect overall body health with or without pain.  For a detailed explanation, please visit our “What is a Subluxation” page.

How does chiropractic work?

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. Specific chiropractic adjustments can allow your body to heal itself. A healthy spine and a healthy lifestyle are your keys to optimal health!

Is chiropractic safe? 

Yes. Chiropractic is a conservative and natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures, surgery and drugs. Numerous studies have proven the outstanding safety record of chiropractic care. Unlike the dangerous side effects associated with drugs and the inherent dangers of surgical procedures, chiropractic care has very little down side.

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 completing college undergraduate prerequisites. Chiropractors attend a four year chiropractic college. 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 another 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 health research and adjustment techniques.

Can I tell if I have a subluxation?

Not always, you may have a subluxation for a long time before symptoms appear. That’s why periodic spinal checkups are so important. Headaches, back or neck pain associated with a subluxation can be a warning of a deeper problem. Although most subluxations initially cause little or no pain at all, they can cause interference to your nervous system and lead to serious health problems. This is why everyone should be checked for subluxations by a chiropractor.

Do children need chiropractic care?  

Yes. 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. Since children are growing and developing so fast subluxations that are not corrected can “grow in” and cause permanent damage to their developing spine and nervous system. 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. Recurrent ear infections, asthma, digestive problems, and headaches are just a few examples of childhood problems that have been shown to respond well to chiropractic care.      

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

No. The doctor evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problems, previous health history, lifestyle habits, examination and possibly further diagnostic testing to develop 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. Before any chiropractic adjustments are made your chiropractor will explain in detail what’s causing your problem, what treatment he recommends, how long he expects it to take and how much it will cost.

What causes the sound during an adjustment? 

Actually, adjustments do not always produce a sound. Often, however, adjustments do create the sound of a spinal “release”, or “audible”. The sound is caused by gas rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. Similar to the way a suction cup might make a noise when it is pulled off of the refrigerator. This sound is painless and totally harmless.

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! If you see your children trying to manipulate their own spine this is usually a sign that they have subluxations and they should be evaluated by a chiropractor as soon as possible.

Will I have to keep coming forever?  Is chiropractic care addictive?

No. 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.

Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor? 

Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that up to half of those who had spinal surgery discover they are worse after surgery or their original symptoms return months or years later. They then face the prospect of additional dangerous surgery or drugs. 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.

Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?

No. However, it is successful with a very wide variety of health problems not necessarily considered “back” problems. Chiropractic improves nervous system function through adjustments. With a normal nerve supply the body’s natural healing capacity can improve a variety of health problems. Remember, chiropractic is based on the fact that every cell, tissue and organ in the body is controlled by the nervous system. Even in cases where the body cannot completely heal, the patient is always better off without the devastating affects of subluxations.       

Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I’m pregnant?  

Yes. It is an especially important time for your nervous system to be functioning at its optimum level. 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 patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health.  Additionally, we offer the Webster technique which is a Chiropractic protocol for encouraging optimal fetal positioning and a better labor and delivery experience for mother and baby.

What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath? 

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. Osteopaths use drugs, surgery, and other traditional medical therapies and only use manipulative procedures to increase joint flexibility.

Why do chiropractors take x-rays?

Chiropractors sometimes 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.