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Chiropractic

What’s an adjustment?

A gentle chiropractic maneuver to assist your body to correct misaligned vertebrae or joints. You may hear a “pop” noise that you would similarly hear when you crack your knuckles.  The “pop” is pressure being released in the capsule around the joint that is filled with nitrogen gas.

Does insurance cover Chiropractic Services?

A large majority of insurance companies and most of their policies cover all our sevices.

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.  Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Doctors of chiropractic may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate.  Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the health care team

What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?

Doctors of chiropractic are educated as primary-contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.

The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.

Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures.

In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Is chiropractic safe?

Chiropractic is very safe. It avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.

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Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal 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 or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.

Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, recent evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously, or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare – about 1 case in 5.85 million manipulations.

If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.

It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) — as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.

Can I adjust myself?

You should never adjust yourself! This can lead to nerve, muscle or joint injuries. It can also cause hypermobility or “over flexible” joints which can lead to chronic pain.

Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?

Yes. We have cared for numerous patients who have had various types of spinal surgeries with good results. It’s an unfortunate fact that half of those who have spinal surgery discover a return of their original problems months or years later. This all too-common occurrence is known as “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.” Chiropractic can often help avoid repeated operations.

Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I’m pregnant?

There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine care for most chiropractors.

What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?

Osteopathy and chiropractic share a common philosophy about the importance of the integrity of the spine in ensuring good health. Schools for obtaining a DO or a DC degree both require 4 years of post graduate study. Before studying for either profession, undergraduate education is required. The American Chiropractic Association states that the average classroom and clinical hours for a DC degree is 4,820 verses 4,670 hours for the average medical or osteopathic degree.  Chiropractors take a natural approach to treating the cause of your symptoms naturally, helping your body to adapt and to function better, not reliant on medications or invasive surgeries. Different from Chiropractors, Osteopaths can prescribe medicine and perform surgery similar to Medical Doctors.

What conditions do chiropractors treat?

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions.  DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches…particularly with their highly skilled  manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints.  These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury.  The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.

How do I select a doctor of chiropractic?

One of the best ways to select a doctor of chiropractic (DC) is by getting a referral from a friend, family member, colleague, or another health care provider.

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Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.  Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuro-musculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?

If your insurance is a PPO you do not need a referral from your MD. If you have an HMO you would need to first get a referral to the specific chiropractic office you are seeking services from.

Are chiropractors allowed to practice in hospitals or use medical outpatient facilities?

Chiropractors are being recognized to admit and treat patients in hospitals and to use outpatient clinical facilities (such as labs, x-rays, etc.) for their non-hospitalized patients.  Hospital privileges were first granted in 1983.

Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?

Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others. Chiropractic care is also available to active-duty members of the armed forces at more than 60 military bases and is available to veterans at 36 major veterans medical facilities.

How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?

Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands–or an instrument–to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?

The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary.  Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to lasChiropractic works by restoring your inborn ability to be healthy. By restoring spinal function with Chiropractic adjustments, nerve interference by misaligned vertebrae is removed, allowing optimal nervous system function and normal health.

Today’s Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated with an education curriculum similar to medical school. Special emphasis is placed on anatomy, neurology, biomechanics, nutrition, x-ray, physiology, diagnosis and spinal adjusting. Post graduate education totals 7 years and demanding national and state boards must be passed.

In the words of the New Zealand government’s inquiry, Chiropractic care is “…remarkably safe.” It is safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers – even aspirin. All ages from babies to the elderly enjoy safe, effective care.

Research from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, England, Denmark, and Canada have validated Chiropractic. Recently, the “Manga Report” produced at the University of Ottawa has validated Chiropractic for it’s safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness for low back pain. On going research is now validating Chiropractic and headaches, asthma, whiplash and pre-menstrual syndromes, to name a few.

Do Children Need Chiropractic Care?

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.

A recent study by Nilsson in Denmark reports that children under Chiropractic care are healthier than other children, miss less school, are more attentive and have less need for drugs. Children with conditions such as earaches, colic, bed-wetting, scoliosis, “growing pains”, torticollis and asthma respond wonderfully to Chiropractic.

How Long Will I need Chiropractic Care?

There are 3 types of care in Chiropractic: initial care to remove symptoms; corrective care to correct the cause of the underlying muscle weakness, soft tissue damage and degenerative changes; and wellness care. Similar to brushing your teeth, tuning up your car, or regularly visiting a dentist, wellness care is important for maintaining optimal health, saving money and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. How long you decide to benefit from Chiropractic is always up to you.

Absolutely not – a Doctor of Chiropractic is a primary contact physician. This means you do not need a referral. If yours is not a Chiropractic case, a responsible Chiropractor will refer you to the appropriate health care provider.

Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?

Yes! Chiropractic care primarily focuses on treating musculoskeletal issues, but can also help your body maintain its flexibility and functionality. If you are injured at work, in a motor vehicle accident, have sports injuries, or an achy back and neck Chiropractic is a natural approach that can help.