Q: What is Chiropractic?
A: Along with medicine and osteopathy, chiropractic is one of the western world’s three major healing professions. chiropractors specialize in the bio-mechanical causes of disease including vertebral subluxations, misalignments, derangements and fixations of the human frame – especially of the spine.
Q: How often should I see my Chiropractor?
A: How often you visit your chiropractor depends on you and your lifestyle. Most people become chiropractic patients because they have a particular symptom or complaint. Solving that problem may take a number of visits close together. This again depends on each individual person and his or her particular ailment. Once the symptoms are resolved, your chiropractor may have you come in for maintenance and preventive care. This is similar to going to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Occasionally, some people may need to have maintenance adjustments as often as once a week. Others may need to go as little as twice a year. Most people fall somewhere in the middle, about once every month, or every other month. Your doctor of chiropractic is trained to make that decision based on his findings from your history and exam.
Q: What is a subluxation?
A: You have more than 200 bones in your body. Whenever two bones come together at a joint, there can be movement. Since joints in your spine are so close to your spinal cord and nerve roots, too much or too little joint motion can have serious effects. If spinal bones get “stuck” and do not move right, they can irritate or chafe delicate nerves. If a joint moves too much, spinal bones can press against adjacent nerve tissue. This can interfere with the nerve impulses transmitted over your nervous system that helps keep your brain in touch with your body. The result is the vertebral subluxation complex, or more simply, a subluxation.
Q: What is that “Cracking or Popping” noise?
A: Your joints contain fluid that helps keep them healthy and lubricated (like oil in a car). This “synovial fluid” contains gas (like carbonation in soft drinks). When an adjustment is made you may hear a noise. This is know as an “audible release” and is simply the release of gas in the joint much like when you open a can of soda.
Q: What causes subluxations?
A:There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Stress, anger and fear are examples of emotional causes of subluxations. Alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet can be chemical causes.
Q: What are the effects of subluxations on the body?
A: Spinal subluxations alter normal nerve impulses and thereby cause pain and may lead to disease conditions, not only in the back, but elsewhere in the body. The nerve impulses travel along the nerves and exit the spine heading toward all of the internal organs to help control their function and different parts of the musculoskeletal system.
Q: What is a “Chiropractic Adjustment”?
A: Chiropractic Adjustment is the art of introducing a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a vertebra that is subluxed. The chiropractor identifies the location of the subluxation, determines the exact direction and the best way to correct the positioning. The adjustment itself is a movement of the spine that is done either by hand, with a computerized instrument in a very quick movement, or the movement of the table its self. The adjustment assists moving the vertebra back into the normal alignment which restores proper motion to a joint and relieves nerve pressure. There are approximately 40 different ways to analyze and adjust the spine, so the actual adjustment will vary from chiropractor to chiropractor.
Q: Can I correct a subluxation myself?
A: It is virtually impossible to adjust yourself since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force applied in a specific direction to a specific spinal joint. One method some people use to try to correct a misalignment is to “pop” their spine themselves by twisting or turning. Although this movement may cause the bones to move and often “pop”, it is not specific enough to solve a problem, and is often counterproductive because it makes the unstable areas of the spine more mobile and therefore less stable. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs and can cause further discomfort and spinal damage if done incorrectly.
Q: Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
A: Chiropractic is a natural approach to better health and has an excellent safety record. Before starting any kind of treatment, the chiropractor explains the procedures and reveals any potential risks involved in taking treatment, delaying treatment or not taking treatment at all.