Frequently Asked Questions
Chiropractic is a drug free, hands-on approach to healing. The practice
of Chiropractic is based on the theory that all disease results
from a disruption of the function of the nerves. Every tissue, organ,
and gland in your body receives nerve impulses from your brain to
control their function. The principal source of interference is
thought to be subluxation (or displacement) of vertebrae of the
spine. Doctors of Chiropractic believe that the disease process
is initiated by this interference. The Chiropractor seeks to relieve
the pressure on the nerves and thereby remove the cause of some
specific ailment. The method of treatment is by adjustment of the
subluxated vertebrae. If left undetected or untreated, nerve interference
leads to degeneration of the nerves and subsequently the communication
process, which eventually leads to disease in the target organs.
What is a Subluxation?
A subluxation is a misalignment of a bone or an alteration of joint
function. This misalignment leads to mechanical stress that in turn
causes unnecessary pressure on the small nerves that pass through
each spinal segment. This interferes with the nerve supply to corresponding
parts of the body and initiates the disease process. Vertebral subluxations
that are left undetected and/or untreated can lead to symptoms of
pain and disease. Symptoms are however late warning signals and
they usually occur long after the initial subluxation has occurred.
A subluxation is like a dental cavity, you may have it for a long
time before symptoms appear. Thats why periodic spinal checkups
are so important.
How do I get a subluxation?
You can become subluxated in a number of ways. Any physical, chemical,
or emotional stress can cause subluxations. For example, things
like poor posture while sleeping, sitting, and standing can contribute
to subluxations. It is not uncommon to develop your first subluxation
during childbirth. This can be due to the large amounts of pressure
which are applied to the babys head, neck, and shoulders during
delivery. In addition, normal childhood activities such as spills
from bike ridding, sledding, playing ball, and any other activity
that results in a jarring fall, can also result in subluxations.
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
The only way to determine if you have a subluxation is to be evaluated
by a Chiropractor. Your chiropractor will use numerous tests and
procedures to determine which, if any, of you have any subluxations.
There are numerous signs and symptoms that are associated with subluxations
that you can watch for. The most common symptoms of nerve interference
are headaches, pain, muscle spasms, numbness or tingling, lack of
muscle strength or coordination, fatigue, and poor overall health.
If the subluxation is causing interference with the nerves that
communicate with your internal organs or glands, the symptoms will
correspond with that organ. Such internal complaints can include
indigestion, asthma, heart palpitations, constipation, diarrhea,
and menstrual irregularities. Keep in mind that symptoms occur late
in the subluxation process and therefore, if you are symptom free,
that doesnt mean youre subluxation free!
What is an adjustment and what does it do for me?
Doctors of Chiropractic are the only health care professionals trained
to deliver chiropractic adjustments. Many years of study and practice
are necessary to acquire the skills of providing an effective and
Chiropractic adjustments represent the cornerstone of the chiropractic
treatment. The term adjustment refers to the process in which the
Doctor of Chiropractic skillfully applies a quick but gentle controlled
force into a subluxated joint. Depending on the technique that your
chiropractor uses, the adjustment may be delivered using the hands
or through the use of a specialized mechanical tool. The goal of
the chiropractic adjustment is to restore normal joint function
and thereby allows for the removal of any nerve interference that
Does an adjustment hurt?
Adjustments usually do not hurt. However, if your subluxation has
been present for a while and you are experiencing muscle spasms
associated with the subluxation, then the adjustment can cause some
mild soreness. In some instances after your initial adjustment,
you may experience some mild soreness. This is completely normal
and due to the fact that the subluxation has been removed. Its
like removing a splinter, the splinter is gone, but you still experience
a bit of discomfort until the surrounding tissue has had time to
What is the cracking sound?
A British research team may have solved this mystery. They took
video fluoroscopy (x-ray movies) of people cracking
their knuckles. It was reported that the cracking sound
was caused by gas rushing into fill the partial vacuum created when
the joints were slightly separated.
Once I go to a Chiropractor, do I have to keep going back forever?
Your length of treatment will vary depending on the injury and the
length of time the condition has been present. Different people
require different levels of care depending upon many factors. Some
people require more intensive care than others. When you injury
yourself, your muscles and ligaments adapt to that new, altered
position. Although one visit to the Chiropractor can start the healing
process, your body might need additional treatments to bring you
back to your pre-injury status. It is also possible to get used
to feeling more balanced, less stressed, and more energetic as a
result of periodic chiropractic care. You may become more aware
when your body is out of adjustment. In addition, most
Doctors of Chiropractic promote a preventative type of lifestyle,
which has been constructed by adversaries to mean that chiropractic
care requires a lifetime of commitment. Actually, recommending that
patients return for periodic spinal care is no different than what
dentists recommend to their patients in order to prevent cavities
and gum disease. Just as it would be unreasonable to believe that
visiting a dentist once per lifetime would ensure permanently healthy
teeth and gums its equally as impractical to think that visiting
a chiropractor a few times will ensure a lifelong healthy spine.
Your body undergoes daily bombardment of stresses originating from
bad postural habits, sub optimal work environments, psychological
stress, and hectic lifestyles. For these reasons, after the resolution
of acute problems you have the option to receive periodic spinal
checkups, which will act to minimize the likelihood of future recurrences
or development of new problems.
What conditions benefit from chiropractic care?
Although chiropractic is used most frequently to relieve low back
pain, studies have found it to be effective for a variety of conditions,
such as headaches, including migraines, neck and shoulder pain,
carpal tunnel like syndrome, childhood ear infections, and infantile
just to name a few.
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