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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chiropractic care safe?
Absolutely. Compared to other health care procedures, which include medication and surgery, chiropractic is by far the safest. It is estimated that 140,000 people in the USA die each year from drug-related reactions and nearly 100,000 people die as result of medical errors. Insurance companies who evaluate the risks of all professions, and charge a premium based on the risk the profession poses. Chiropractors have by far the lowest insurance premium of most health care providers. Even though thousands of chiropractic adjustments are made each year, only a few complaints are registered.
What is an "adjustment"?
A gentle, specifically placed thrust which moves the spine bone (vertebrae) into their proper position. The chiropractor usually delivers the adjustment by hand, but occasionally uses other instruments. The purpose of the adjustment is to correct a spinal subluxation (pinched nerve).
What is a subluxation?
Subluxation refers to a spinal bone (vertebrae) that is not in its right position or not moving in its normal range of motion. Misaligned vertebrae can irritate nerves and blood vessels, which in turn affects the way your brain communicates with your body via the spinal column. Subluxations are the cause of many pains and dysfunctions in muscles and organs. The body’s natural ability to heal itself is greatly improved with the subluxation removed.
Does the adjustment hurt?
Most chiropractic adjustments are not only painless, they actually feel great and relieving. In cases of a recent injury, inflamed tissue may react to adjustments and cause some discomfort. Application of ice after the adjustment usually soothes any irritation.
What causes the "cracking" sound during an adjustment?
The sound is no reason to be concerned. The sound is not coming from the bones themselves. It’s coming from a lubricant called synovial fluid that’s found in every joint. That fluid contains dissolved gases. During the adjustment the joints are slightly separated to move into proper position. This releases the built-up pressure on the fluid and gasses and creates a "pop" similar to the release of pressure when the cork comes off a bottle of Champagne. Not all patients "pop" and not all adjusting techniques produce the noise, which means an adjustment can be proper and effective, even if you do not hear any noise.
Will repeated chiropractic adjustment lead to arthritis?
There is no evidence to suggest that motion of the spine or other chiropractic care can lead to arthritis. On the contrary, chiropractors often care for people with arthritis by maintaining joint health. Motion is life when it comes to joint health.
Is it safe to crack my own neck or back?
This question is often posed to chiropractors and concern has been raised over its safety. While people might have the right idea by trying to relieve pressure on the joints, the "cracking" or "popping" of one's back or neck is not the same as a chiropractic adjustment. The problem usually keeps coming back, which should be a clear indication that there has been no real adjustment. The cause of the spinal tension, the fixated or jammed vertebrae, has not been corrected. Even a chiropractor cannot adjust him/herself. You should not try to do it yourself, either.
Is there a minimum or maximum age for a person to receive chiropractic care?
There is no age excluded from chiropractic care. Even babies can have subluxations, due to the rigors of birth. In Denmark, for example, Chiropractic Doctors are part of the birthing team. Children's subluxations should be treated early, as they interfere with nerves that control developing muscles and organs. Abnormal stresses on a rapidly developing spine and other bones and joints can cause them to develop abnormally. Your chiropractor can detect these problems while they're easy to correct.
Can chiropractors refer patients to other specialists?
Chiropractors are part of a network of health-care professionals. Like other doctors, they will make referrals for patients when necessary. Chiropractors are trained to recognize risk factors and signs of disease that are outside their scope of practice and they will not hesitate to make a referral when it’s in a patient's best interest.
Can chiropractors prescribe medication or perform surgery?
Chiropractors believe in the bodies ability to heal itself and for that reason they don’t prescribe medication or perform invasive procedures. They focus on providing your body with the right elements for self-restoration by restoring free-flowing communication between the brain and all parts of your body via the nervous system.
Should chiropractic care continue even after I feel fine?
Chiropractors are trained to detect problem areas in your spine before they develop into problem conditions or symptoms. Just because symptoms disappear, does not mean your subluxations are corrected. Regular adjustments help to maintain or support a healthy spine and nervous system. Maintenance or wellness spinal care programs, which may include advice on posture, nutrition and exercise, can effectively prevent pain. However, how you choose to use chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. Because your spine directly influences the function of your nervous system, it is vital to keep is free of any nerve interference because abnormal pressure can cause spinal decay which may permanently damage the nerves and spinal cord. Nearly everyone flosses and brushes their teeth even though their teeth don’t hurt. Spinal adjustments are like flossing the spine. Lifetime care of the spine should be a priority!