Chiropractic Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a medical profession that focuses on treating people of any age who have a disorder of the musculoskeletal and/or nervous system. Using a variety of non-surgical, hands-on approaches, chiropractors perform adjustments (spinal manipulations) to the spine or other parts of the body. The goal is to correct alignment problems, alleviate pain (usually back pain, neck pain, and headaches), and to support the healing process. But your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.
What typically happens during an adjustment?
A Chiropractic Adjustment is a hands-on approach used to manipulate joints in the body to decrease pain and restore or increase joint function. Spinal manipulation should not cause increased discomfort (although it’s typical to feel some mild soreness up to a couple of days after treatment).
Is Chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.
Can I adjust myself?
Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific spinal joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a popping sound, like the sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more unsteady. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs! The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a doctor of chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out services of another colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.
Is it bad to "crack" your neck or back?
Yes. The desire to “crack” or “pop” the neck or back is caused by tension from a jammed or fixed vertebrae, which causes another part of the spine to compensate by moving too much and “popping” or clicking a lot. You may experience temporary relief, but soon the urge will reappear because the tension hasn’t been properly corrected, and you could end up doing more damage than good. The jammed part/tension should be adjusted by a Chiropractor so that the rest of the spinal column will be in balance.
Is Chiropractic treatment appropriate for kids?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.
At what age should Chiropractic Care begin?
Newborns have received spinal adjustments especially after difficult traumatic births. There are case histories of infants close to death who were adjusted in hospitals with seemingly miraculous recoveries.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
The doctor evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience. Some patients, who complain of headaches, may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern. Patients notice that their chiropractic care is delivered with confidence and precision. Each visit builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient.