How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic is a highly skilled, safe and effective treatment.
It is a hands-on treatment that treats the patient by addressing
the cause of a problem, not the symptoms.
How do we get joint restrictions?
Sometimes the cause is physical. Physical causes include
accidents, repetitive motions, improper lifting, slips and
falls. Other causes of these restrictions include stress,
tension or postural strains we place on our body every day.
You may have tightness and restrictions accumulating and not
even realize until you are suddenly in a lot of pain.
What is an adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust that
helps add motion to spinal joints that are not moving correctly.
Some chiropractors use manual adjustments, others may use
instruments, a special table or the force of gravity. There
are many ways to adjust the spine.
Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Yes! Many studies have found that adjustments are not only
remarkably safe, but can help to avoid drugs and risky surgery.
Statistics show that adjustments are many times safer than
taking over-the-counter pain medications. Your chiropractor
can assess you thoroughly and let you know if chiropractic
care is right for you.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. Each patient’s spine and plan of management is
unique. Each patient’s care is custom tailored for his
or her age, condition and health. The number of adjustments
varies with each patient and his or her individual health
goals. Many patients sense progress within the first couple
weeks of frequent visits. Visits will become less frequent
as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing
can take months or even years. Many factors can affect the
healing process: How long have you had the problem? Are you
following your treatment plan? Are you getting proper rest,
exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke?
Can’t I just adjust myself?
No. Some people can make their joints “pop” but
that is not an adjustment. Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing
a joint that is already too mobile to begin with due to weakened
associated muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific
movements that take years to master. Even your chiropractor
must consult a colleague in order to benefit from chiropractic
Will chiropractic adjustments make my spine too loose?
No. Only the spinal joints that are locked up, or restricted,
will receive adjustments. This will also help relax and heal
the associated muscles and ligaments.
Will the bones move too much?
Highly unlikely. Chiropractic adjustments are delivered with
the right amount of energy to the exact spot, at the right
angle at the right time with the goal of restoring motion
to a “stuck” joint. Years of training, practice
and experience make chiropractic adjustments specific and
What makes the sound during the adjustment?
Lubricating fluid surrounds the bones of each spinal joint.
Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and
fluid in the joint shifts. It is like opening a bottle of
champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting,
but it isn’t necessary for the therapeutic benefit of
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
regular visits despite having no pain. These visits can help
support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve
new problems before they become serious.
Do I have a slipped disc?
Between each pair of spinal vertebrae is a disc. The fibrous
outer ring holds in a jelly-like material. This soft center
serves as a “ball bearing” for the movement of
the joints. Because of the attachments of the disc to the
bone above and below it, a disc can’t actually “slip”;
however, a disc can bulge. It can also tear, herniate, thin,
dry out and can collapse…but not slip.
Do I have a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve is rare. It is far more likely that an adjacent
bone of the spine stretches, rubs or irritates a nerve. This
can lead to symptoms in the areas innervated by the nerve,
such as when irritation of the nerve in the neck causes pain
or tingling down the arm.
Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
Yes. Rest assured, your doctor of chiropractic will avoid
the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often
causes instability above and below the involved level. 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 chiropractic
doctor considers the unique circumstances of each patient.
There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected
will be best suited to your age, size, and condition.
What if my policy doesn’t cover chiropractic?
Your health affects everything you do. It is your most valuable
possession. But it is up to each of us the value we place
on our health. It is convenient when an insurance company
helps to pay the bill, but we should not allow that to make
the decision about OUR health.
As chiropractors are concerned for your overall well-being,
most treatment is accompanied by exercise, diet and other
healthy living suggestions to help keep your body strong and
healthy. If your chiropractor is unable to find or correct
the cause of your specific problem, you will be referred to
other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is
your chiropractor’s primary goal. If you have any additional
questions, please talk to your chiropractor.