Frequently Asked Questions
Chiropractic has a philosophy on healing and health which differs from the traditional medical view. Chiropractors approach health in a holistic manner. In other words, chiropractors evaluate the entire person as a whole when assessing and treating a patient’s health ailment or disease, rather than focusing solely on a symptom or specific area of the body.
Chiropractors know that the body is able to maintain and heal itself in most cases. We also know that true health is not achieved through the ingestion of chemicals or the cutting away of diseased tissues. Instead, health is something that comes from within and is inherent to our body.
The chiropractic doctor understands that circumstances occur which may require medical intervention, but ultimately, it is the body that conducts and manages the process of healing and not the doctor or externally applied forces.
When the chiropractic doctor corrects spinal abnormalities and eliminates spinal and nerve irritation and interference, pain is alleviated and the body’s inborn healing capabilities are set into motion.
Q: What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is the science, art, and philosophy of locating and correcting vertebral subluxations through gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments, thus allowing your body to function at its optimum potential.
Q: What are SUBLUXATIONS?
A subluxation is a misalignment of one or more of the twenty-four vertebrae (spinal bones). Subluxations can interfere with your nervous system, which impairs your body’s ability to heal itself and function at its optimum level.
Q: Is chiropractic effective?
Yes. Chiropractic care is safe and effective. Scientific evidence proving that chiropractic care works is overwhelming. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have shown again and again that chiropractic care is safe and effective for treating low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the spine. Based on these scientific studies, the consensus is that chiropractic care is the treatment of choice for most spinal problems. The extent to which a person can benefit from care varies depending on their problem and how long it has existed.
Q: Do many people see chiropractors?
The non-surgical, drug-free healing nature of chiropractic provides benefit to the health of millions of other people worldwide each year. Most chiropractic patients experience real relief and improved general well being, and continue to make regular visits a part of their healthy lifestyle choice.
Q: Why should I see a Chiropractor?
From professional athletes to homemakers, engineers to electricians, young people to seniors, chiropractic care has been the answer to optimum health. Many people see a chiropractor for back, neck or other joint problems. Still others find that regular visits to their chiropractor keep them in peak condition.
Regularly a dentist checks our teeth, an optometrist checks our eyes and a doctor checks our blood pressure and heart. Yet, we take the spine – a crucial component of our body – for granted. Call your family’s chiropractor today because regular checkups of your spine can help you maintain better health.
Q: Does an adjustment hurt?
No, not usually. Many patients experience quick and sometimes immediate relief. However, the adjustment can sometimes cause minor discomfort, but it is not usually painful. Most of the discomfort will go away after the adjustment is performed several times. It is true that several adjustments may be necessary before total relief is experienced and certainly necessary if the problem is to be corrected.
The discomfort one might experience is often related to how long one waits before seeking care for their health problem or illness. The sooner we begin care after onset, the less discomfort one might experience and the fewer adjustments one might need to completely heal.
Q: Is it true that once you go to the chiropractor, you have to go for the rest of your life?
No. Your health is your responsibility. As doctors, our responsibility is to teach, to educate you about health and chiropractic so that you can make the choice that is right for you. The choice to go to a chiropractor for a long time or for the rest of your life is your choice as is physical exercise.
This said, you should understand that chiropractic offers three types of care:
- Acute or relief care – the objective of this type of care is simply to relieve your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your condition, this may take just a few visits or it may take several visits over weeks or even months.
- Corrective or stabilization care – the objective of this type of care is to stabilize the spine and nervous system by correcting the vertebral subluxation complex. This type of care seeks to optimize the structure and function of the spine in order to minimize interference to the nervous system (i.e. spinal cord and spinal nerves). This type of care may take months or even years depending on the condition of the spine and nervous system.
- Maintenance or wellness care – the objective of this type of care is to maintain the correction achieved during corrective care. After all, once you have regained your health, doesn’t it make sense to insure it in the future?
Your body was created to be healthy. The power to express that health resides within. Without nervous system interference, your body will express itself at an optimal level. This is the gift of lifetime chiropractic care. It is certainly our choice and we are healthier for it.
Regardless of which type of care is right for you, we will support you in that decision.
Q: Should a chiropractor take x-rays before beginning any manipulations or are x-rays not always necessary?
There are several reasons to take x-rays before a chiropractor works on a patient, especially if they are doing manual adjustments of the spine. The primary reason to take an x-ray is to rule out pathology. Many types of diseases and cancers will cause back pain and may be detected on an x-ray.
I also think it’s important to see what condition the spine is in before you put a manual force into the spine. Certain spinal problems such as severe degenerative arthritis or spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of a vertebra relative to the ones above and/or below it) may not be detected without an x-ray. This may alter the doctor’s decision as to what type of adjusting technique he may use in that area of your spine.
One other reason that a chiropractor may take an x-ray is because of the adjusting technique he is using. Some techniques base how they are going to adjust the spine by specific analysis of the x-rays that they have taken to determine which direction and the magnitude that the vertebrae are misaligned. In my office, all patients have x-rays taken before we start their chiropractic care. We usually do not x-ray children under the age of 5 unless there are specific indications that warrant an x-ray (i.e. injury).
Q: What is the average length of chiropractic school?
Most chiropractors go to undergraduate school for 3-4 years depending on the requirements of the school and the state that the person plans on practicing. Some doctors have a Bachelor of Science degree when they enter chiropractic school and take the same courses that you would take in a Pre-Med program.
Then Chiropractic College is generally 5 years of school that can be completed in 3 1/2 years depending on the Chiropractic College. Most students go year round and do not take summers off. This is the most cost effective way of doing it. The sooner that you get into practice the sooner you can begin paying off the student loans.
The total time spent in school (undergraduate plus Chiropractic College) before earning a D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic degree ranges from 6.5 – 9 years.
Q: Do chiropractors prescribe drugs or surgical procedures?
Chiropractors don’t prescribe drugs, and do not perform surgeries. The doctor focuses on drug-free, non-invasive procedures for restoring proper function as a way of pain relief and bring optimal health.
Q: Will my insurance cover chiropractic care?
Most chiropractic care is covered by your insurance company, who recognize the value of chiropractic care. The Journal for Managed Care published stated that chiropractic care was more cost effective than conventional medical therapies in treating low back pain. No matter who is at fault in an auto accident, the responsible insurance company almost certainly will cover 100 % of the cost of chiropractic care. We will defer payment for you treatment until after the insurance company settles your case. Our services are also covered by Workers Compensation Insurance, for those who are injured on the job. Many studies have shown that most on the job injuries, especially those related to lower back injuries, respond quicker with chiropractic care than with any other type of treatment. If you’re not sure whether your insurance company will cover treatment by our office, we will be happy to call them for you. Either call our office to make an appointment for your free consultation, or send us an email using the form below.
Q: After some neck and back discomfort a few weeks back I sought DC care. X-rays and 4 adjustments later I feel better but still have some occasional discomfort. Now my chiropractor says I need 24 more adjustments over 8 weeks, and then we’ll formulate a long-term treatment plan. Does this sound reasonable?
Most patients are interested in short term pain relief. Most chiropractors are interested in long term health. Most patients are much better in 2-4 weeks. Most chiropractors feel that it takes much longer to establish good long term spinal health.
Since insurance companies only pay for short term acute care, leaving patients financially responsible for long term health care. Each patient has to make a decision about how much time and money they are willing to invest in their long term health. Ask your chiropractor to discuss the limits of your insurance coverage and the cost/benefit issues related to long term health care.
Q: What if I don’t have insurance or if my insurance company offers little, or no chiropractic coverage?
Our office proves very affordable, no-interest payment plans that are very low cost and affordable. Following your free consultation, we will provide you a written plan that describes in detail how much our treatment will cost, and how long it will take; it will also describe the various payment options available to you. If you’re not happy with the plan that we present, you will be under no further obligation whatsoever.
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