Chiropractic FAQ

Chiropractic FAQ

Our therapists will gladly answer any questions that you might have, but we also know that sometimes people like to do a little research before they come in to see us! If you don’t find the information you’re looking for here, please feel free to contact us or to ask us during your next visit.

For questions specific to chiropractic care for children, see our Pediatric Chiropractic FAQ.

What forms do I need?

If you are a new patient, you can download the necessary forms before your first visit. If you are an existing patient, your chiropractor might request that you fill in a re-evaluation form if you have a new compliant or are coming for a chiropractic reevaluation.

Is Chiropractic effective?

Yes. Chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to treating common musculoskeletal conditions and complications arising from treatment are rare. Scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of chiropractic care for a variety of conditions is overwhelming. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have repeatedly shown that chiropractic care is safe and effective for treating low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the musculoskeletal system.

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 care.

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 safe.

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 the adjustment.

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.

How can I tell if I am at risk for back pain?

There isn’t a definitive list of risks that expose you to back pain. But, there are things that you can do to minimize the stress on your back.  Take this quiz to find out your risk for back pain: What’s your risk for back pain?

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.