The human body is a self-healing organism controlled by the nervous system. The body follows “instructions” sent by the brain. These “instructions” are sent through the spinal cord and then distributed to every organ, tissue and cell in your body. When vertebrae become misaligned they can interfere with the nerve communication and can lead to irritated nerves and compromised function of organs and tissues. Chiropractors look for and attempt to correct these interferences in the spinal column so that the body can effectively communicate and heal itself.
What is a subluxation and how do I know if I have one?
A subluxation refers to the improper position of the vertebrae that creates pressure or irritates the spinal nerves. You can have a subluxation without knowing its there. Subluxations can be present long before warning signs even appear. Common symptoms of a subluxation are headaches, neck or back pain, and tingling or numbness in the extremities. However, symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue, ear infections, a decreased immune system and more can indicate subluxations in the spine. A thorough exam by a Chiropractor can tell you the location and severity of the subluxation.
How do subluxations occur?
There are three general causes of subluxations. Physical causes can include accidents, slips and falls, improper body mechanics, poor posture, and repetitive motions. Chemical causes can include alcohol, drugs, smoking, pollution and poor diet. Finally, subluxations can be caused by emotions such as anger, fear and grief.
Can subluxations clear up on their own?
Occasionally subluxations can go away on their own. Minor subluxations can occur and take care of themselves on a daily basis just from the body bending and stretching throughout the day and during the night while you sleep. The body is a self-healing organism and will try to correct the problem. However, the bones of the spine can become stuck and immobile and the body will not be able to correct the problem on its own. At this point a chiropractor is needed to correct the problem so that your body can function properly. Keep in mind that often symptoms are not present right away when a subluxation occurs and once symptoms do finally present themselves the severity of the subluxation is often increased. This is why regular maintenance visits are strongly recommended to keep your body at peak performance.
How safe is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic adjustments are very safe and the rate of injury from an adjustment is extremely low. In fact, chiropractors have been safely and successfully treating patients since 1895. Alternative options, such as medications and surgery, pose many risks and complications, whereas chiropractic offers a natural approach to the same variety of conditions.
Are adjustments safe for children?
There is no patient too young or too old to receive chiropractic care! Even newborns can benefit from chiropractic care due to the physical stress caused by routine labor. Conditions such as colic can also be treated through chiropractic care! The physical demands of growth and development alone can cause damage and misalignment to the spine, not to mention all the damage that can be caused as children learn to walk and explore their world. As the child gets older, their activities become more physically demanding, for example, learning to ride a bike, playing sports and other activities. Remember, subluxations can be present without symptoms. This is why it is important to schedule routine visits for children as they progress through development.
I had an adjustment and it didn't make a sound, did it work?
That “crack” that people often think of with a spinal adjustment is produced when the gas and fluids within the joint shifts. While the sound is noticeable it does not provide a measure of the quality and value of the adjustment. The majority of the adjustments do not produce an audible sound but rest assured, they are still producing results!
How long will I need care?
The length of your treatment depends on two things: your specific condition and your health goal.
Every person has a unique treatment plan because not only are the injuries/conditions not the same from person to person but also the bodies response varies as well. A person’s body even with the same diagnosis as another patient may take a different length of time to respond to the treatment and therefore take either a shorter or longer time to heal. It is important to keep appointments because each adjustment builds on the previous one and therefore following the plan of care that your doctor of chiropractic recommends is very important to your recovery.
Your ultimate health goal is very important as well. On the road to recovery there will come a time when the relief phase of care ends and you need to make a decision. You can continue with maintenance care and keep your spine healthy and prevent major relapses or you can discontinue care. Be careful, without regular “tune-ups” the body can easily relapse. Remember, its easier to stay healthy then to get healthy!
Can I adjust myself?
No. Proper adjustments are very specific and precise and need to be performed by a trained chiropractor. Some people attest to “cracking” their back themselves or by a friend or relative. While they may feel some type of short relief this is due to the body sending natural pain killers to the location that “cracked”. Worse, you can damage if not done properly. Only chiropractors can provide the specific force and direction to move the vertebrae. Even chiropractors do not adjust themselves; they visit other doctors of chiropractic on a regular basis to keep their body functioning properly.
I recently had a back/neck surgery, can I still receive Chiropractic care?
Yes. While the direct site of surgery will be avoided, it is important to seek chiropractic care after a surgery. The discs above and below the surgical site will often become instable and are subject to degeneration due to the increased pressure on these areas. Your chiropractor will focus on these areas to ensure the best possible motion is obtained in these spinal levels.
Will I receive medications from the Chiropractor?
No. Doctors of Chiropractic only use natural methods and can show you how to control pain safely, without using medications that can have serious side effects. For example ice, when properly applied, can have the same effect as pain medications. If your chiropractor feels that it is necessary for you to be on a pain medication, he will refer you your primary care or another physician who can help.
I saw a Chiropractor before and had a bad experience or it didn’t work, should I try again?
Absolutely! If you have a bad experience at a barber/salon, do you never have your hair cut again? No, you find another person who you can work with to get the results that you’re looking for. At some point everyone has a negative experience at a bank, grocery store or a dental or medical office, but we still continue to receive these services because they are necessary part of our life. The same theory applies to chiropractic. While you may not choose to go back to that same location, there is a doctor of chiropractic out there who can help you achieve your health goals.
As well, if you tried chiropractic care before and it didn’t help you should first examine your treatment. Did you follow the recommended treatment plan? Were there outside aggravations or issues that prevented you from healing? Did you fully commit to taking care of yourself? If you strongly feel that there were no other issues that may have prevented or interfered with your treatment consider trying another chiropractor. As with any doctor, skills and abilities vary, but don’t give up on chiropractic. It works! We know it does and let us prove it to you!