Questions About Chiropractic
Click on any of the questions below to find a brief explanation to some frequently asked questions about chiropractic. If you have a question that is not asked or answered below, please feel free to email us directly with your question.
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down your spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion, position or tension in joints or muscles, called a subluxation, can interfere with this vital exchange of neurological information and thus compromise the function of all systems and tissues controlled by the nervous system. Specific adjustments to joints and muscles throughout your body can help improve brain/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
Do I have a slipped disc?
The disc is a soft pulpy "shock absorber." It has a fibrous outer ring which holds in a jelly-like material. A "slipped disc" is a common way to refer to a wide variety of disc problems. However, a disc can't slip because of the way it attaches to the spinal bones above and below it. A disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniated. It can thin. It can dry out. And it can collapse. But it can't slip.
Do I have a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve is rare. It is more likely that an adjacent spinal bone irritates stretches, rubs or chafes a nerve. These subluxations distort the nerve messages sent between the brain and the body. This can produce unhealthy alterations to the organs and tissues connected by the affected nerves.
How do you get subluxations?
There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions such as grief, anger, and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet.
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have.
Can subluxations clear up on their own?
Sometimes. Today's hectic lifestyles are a constant source of subluxations. Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don't resolve, you need to see a doctor of chiropractic.
What's an adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust which helps add motion to specific joints in your body that aren't moving properly. Some methods use the doctor's hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the joints of the body.
Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are "remarkably safe." By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are about 100x safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Will adjustments make my spine too loose?
No. Only the spinal joints that are "locked up" receive adjustments. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.
Can the bones move too much?
Highly unlikely. A chiropractic adjustment is special. It has the right amount of energy, delivered to an exact spot, at a precise angle, at just the right time. The intent is to get a "stuck" spinal joint moving again, helping reduce nerve interference. Years training, practice and experience make chiropractic adjustments specific and safe.
What makes the sound during the adjustment?
Lubricating fluids separate the bones of each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It's much like opening a bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting, but it isn't a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. Each patient's spine and care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine, each of which can move in seven different directions, we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient's care is custom-tailored for their age, condition and health goals.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Some people can make their joints "pop," but that's not an adjustment! Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
How many adjustments will I need?
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits become less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing can take months or even years.
Why do children get adjustments?
Even today's "natural" childbirth methods can affect an infant's spine. Preliminary studies suggested that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more pressure than you'd use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
Yes. Rest assured that your doctor of chiropractic will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved levels. These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
Of course. When developing a care plan, your doctor of chiropractic considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the joints of the body. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and condition.
How long till I feel better?
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Other discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Area you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time, most patients sense enough progress to fully carry out their doctor's recommendations.
How long will I need chiropractic care?
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for their visits feeling great. These visits can help support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best care and your job is to decide how much of it your want.
Will I receive any medication for my pain?
No. Doctors of chiropractic don't dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice or natural remedies to control painful symptoms. When properly used these can have an analgesic effect without the side effects of pain medications.
Will my chiropractor work with my medical doctor?
At Positive Motion Chiropractic, the answer is definitely yes. The goal of any health care professional should be to help you reach your optimal health, and oftentimes the best path to that goal is through multidisciplinary care. Chiropractic is not the answer for everything, just as drugs or surgery should not be considered the answer to everything. If your health practitioners have your best health in mind, they will be open to collaborating with their colleagues across the allied healthcare fields.
In some schools of thought, chiropractic has an uphill battle to fight. However, years of ignorant prejudice and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of chiropractic care. Attitudes are slow to change, but as the public demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical practitioners are referring their patients to our office.
What if chiropractic doesn't work?
If we are unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer you to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our primary goal.