Chiropractic Care: Get The Facts!
I encourage you to read through the below Frequently Asked Questions. If a topic isn’t clear, or I missed something entirely, please leave me a comment at the bottom of the page, and I’ll respond accordingly.
- What is chiropractic care?
- Is chiropractic care safe?
- What is the difference between a Chiropractor and a M.D.?
- Why do Chiropractors look to the spine for health problems?
- What happens to the spine to cause health problems?
- Do you feel you have tried everything and nothing has helped?
- Do spinal adjustments hurt?
- What type of education do Doctors of Chiropractic receive?
- Can I tell if I have a subluxation?
- Is it okay to see a chiropractor if I’m pregnant?
- Do children need chiropractic care?
- Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?
- Can a person who has had back surgery see a Chiropractor?
There’s nothing mysterious about chiropractic care. 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. (top)
Yes. 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. (top)
The biggest difference between Doctors of Chiropractic and Medical Doctors is how they approach the patient’s health problem. As a Chiropractor, I look for the cause of the problem. Once the cause is found, then I work on correcting it. The medical approach, in many instances, is simply to eliminate the patient’s symptom by using a drug.
Eliminating a patient’s symptom however, does nothing to eliminate the cause of the symptom. In other words, it merely masks the problem. An example of this would be… the oil light in your car. If it comes on while you are driving, what do you do?
The medical approach, in this instance, would be to cover the oil light with a piece of tape. Now that you can no longer see the light, is everything okay? Of course not, soon your engine will lock up. Most people would not dream putting a piece of tape over their car’s oil light. In reality, however, there is absolutely no difference in doing that, than taking an aspirin for a headache or an antacid for stomach pain. The saddest part of all of this is… the “cause” of the health problem is never addressed, only the symptom. Consequently, the problem goes unchecked and progressively gets worse.
As a Chiropractic physician, I take a more holistic approach. There are usually many factors that cause people to become ill or develop pain. All of these factors need to be assessed. I always tell my patients symptoms are a good thing. Symptoms tell us something is wrong and we need to make changes. To simply mask them with a drug is a mistake. Just like putting a piece of tape over the oil light in your car.
As a Chiropractor, I seek to correct the “cause” not just eliminate a “symptom”. Once “cause” of the individual’s problem is corrected the symptom disappears. (top)
Since its beginning, Chiropractic has been based on the scientific fact that the nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. Be it, wiggling your toe, digesting a meal, fighting off an infection or hitting a golf ball. It’s your nervous system that coordinates and makes all this possible. Clearly, the nervous system is the master system of the body. Because of this, it is vitally important to our health. (top)
To understand this better let’s review some of the components that make up the spine and nervous system.
Let’s begin with the brain, which is the “computer” that drives your body and nervous system. It is such an important organ; it is surrounded by your skull for protection. Your brain constantly monitors the environment and coordinates all the functions of your body. It generates life sustaining nerve impulses that travel to all the areas of your body via your spinal cord.
Think of the spinal cord as the “superhighway” of the nervous system. It extends down from the base of the brain and is protected by 24 moving bones we call vertebra. Between each of the vertebra are the discs which act as “shock absorbers” to the spine and when healthy allow normal bending and turning.
At times, however, for a variety of reasons, these bones can lose their normal motion and relationship with one another. When this happens, the spinal joints become swollen and areas of the nervous system can become irritated causing pain, muscle spasms and a variety of health problems.
Some examples of this would be: A person with a misalignment in there neck– may experience headaches, arm pain or numbness. A misalignment in their middle back– may cause mid back pain or stomach problems. A misalignment in their lower back– may cause intestinal problems or pain down their leg.
My job as a Chiropractor is to locate these misalignments or what we call “Vertebral Subluxations” and correct them. Once corrected, over time, normal nerve flow returns and the patient’s health and vitality is restored. (top)
I often tell patients, if it’s a Chiropractic problem, there is really only one way to fix it, Chiropractic Care. A large percentage of my practice is made up of people coming to me as a last resort. Some are hoping to avoid spinal surgery; others have grown tired of taking multiple medications that cause stomach upset or leave them feeling like a zombie unable to function.
Here’s the good news, I’m confident that the majority of these people can greatly benefit from Chiropractic Care. Sadly, most of these people have lost faith that they will ever feel better. What they don’t realize is that their body wants to be well. It’s a fact, our bodies are healing machines. When you cut yourself, do you run to the drug store to buy a scab? Absolutely not! One forms automatically. This is a wonderful example of the body’s innate wisdom in action. That same innate wisdom, “if unimpeded by spinal misalignments” will help those who have never been helped before. Remember, everything has not been tried, until you try Chiropractic. (top)
While it might seem logical to assume that if a joint hurts, moving bones would cause more pain, the reverse is often true. An adjustment is often like removing a heavy weight that has fallen on your toes. When the weight is removed there is often a feeling of instant relief. Most patients find the actual adjustment to be quite pleasant. Often there is an invigorating “aliveness” that is felt as the function and integrity of the spine is returned to a more normal state. (top)
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 doctors complete regular postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest research and adjustment techniques. (top)
Not always. 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. 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. (top)
Anytime is a good time for a better functioning nervous 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 patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health. (top)
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. 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. (top)
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. (top)
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 known 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. (top)