Based on questions we have received from patients, we have compiled this FAQ page in order to address the most common questions that we get regarding Chiropractic . We have given short answers to help in getting your questions addressed.
Chiropractic is a health care approach that focuses on the relationship between the body's structure?mainly the spine and extremities and its functioning. Although practitioners may use a variety of treatment approaches, they primarily perform adjustments to the spine or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems and supporting the body's natural ability to heal itself.
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, shoulders, knees, hips, ankles, feet and even headaches.
Actually, not all adjusting techniques produce the sound associated with "popping knuckles." Some create no sound at all, some a little or a lot. Many techniques, however, do create the sound of a joint "release."
What causes it?
The mystery may have been solved by a British research team. It is gas that is in the synovial sac and "pops" after a pressure change around the joint space.
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.
The answer is No.
Doctors of Chiropractic are portal of entry health care providers and you may see a Doctor of Chiropractic without a referral.
We may refer you to a Medical Doctor or Specialist as the situation warrants, sometimes this includes co-treatment plans (both MD and DC are treating you).
According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, "The DC can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider, as are MDs and DOs. The doctor of chiropractic is a gatekeeper to the health care system and an independent practitioner who provides primary care services. The DC's office is a direct access portal of entry to the full scope of service."
Chiropractic is a non-surgical and drugless approach to health care. If your condition is not one that would require emergency type care there is no reason why chiropractic should not be considered first for musculoskeletal conditions of back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, shoulders, knees, hips, ankles, feet and even headaches.
Chiropractic Management and Manipulative Therapy for MRI Documented Cervical Disk Herniation
FROM: J Manulative Physiol Therapy 1994 Mar-Apr;17(3):177-85.
OBJECTIVE: This case study reports on three cases of patients with documented cervical disk herniations, who responded to chiropractic management and manipulative therapy.
CLINICAL FEATURES: Three patients complaining of neck pain with radiation of pain and tingling into the upper extremities had positive magnetic resonance imaging scans consistent with cervical disk herniations. They also had positive neurophysiologic testing with positive thermography scans and electrodiagnostic studies.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patients were prescribed a treatment regimen consisting of chiropractic management including bracing, physiotherapy, cervical manipulative procedures, traction and exercises. The patients responded well to care as evidence by posttreatment MRI, electrodiagnostic studies, clinical exam findings and thermography scan findings.
CONCLUSION: Patients with and without nerve root compression secondary to cervical disk herniation can and do respond well to chiropractic care. Chiropractic management of this condition can and should be employed prior to more invasive treatment.
As many as a million Americans suffer from sciatica. The condition is characterized by an often agonizing pain in the buttocks or leg or weakness in a leg.
This pain is sometimes caused when a ruptured disk impinges on the root of the sciatic nerve, which runs down the back of the leg. And an estimated 300,000 Americans a year have surgery to relieve the symptoms.
Patients are often told that if they delay surgery they may risk permanent nerve damage, perhaps a weakened leg or even losing bowel or bladder control. But nothing like that occurred in this two-year study comparing surgery with waiting in nearly 2,000 patients.
The study, published in JAMA, conducted a large trial and found that surgery appeared to relieve pain more quickly but that most people with sciatica recovered eventually and that there was no harm in waiting. People with ruptured disks in their lower backs usually recover whether or not they have surgery, researchers are reporting today. The study, a large trial, found that surgery appeared to relieve pain more quickly but that most people recovered eventually and that there was no harm in waiting.
Patients who had surgery often reported immediate relief. But by three to six months, patients in both groups reported marked improvement.
After two years, about 70 percent of the patients in the two groups said they had a major improvement in their symptoms. No one who waited had serious consequences, and no one who had surgery had a disastrous result. With the new results, it is clear that the risk of waiting is, if not extraordinarily small, at least off the radar screen.
The researchers are also conducting a separate analysis on the cost effectiveness of surgery compared with waiting. Although that analysis has not been published, Dr. Anna N. A. Tosteson of Dartmouth, an author of the study, said that Medicare paid a total of $5,425 for the operation and that private insurers might pay three to four times that.
Click on the authors of this study for the full abstract at the Journal of American Medicine.
Safety of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Lumbar Disk Herniations: A Systematic Review and Risk Assessment
FROM: J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2004 Mar-Apr;27(3):197-210..
Drew Oliphant, DC
OBJECTIVE: To provide a qualitative systematic review of the risk of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk herniations (LDH) and to estimate the risk of spinal manipulation causing a severe adverse reaction in a patient presenting with LDH.
DATA SOURCES: Relevant case reports, review articles, surveys, and investigations regarding treatment of lumbar disk herniations with spinal manipulation and adverse effects and associated risks were found with a search of the literature.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Prospective/retrospective studies and review papers were graded according to quality, and results and conclusions were tabulated. From the data published, an estimate of the risk of spinal manipulation causing a clinically worsened disk herniation or cauda equina syndrome (CES) in patients presenting with LDH was calculated. This was compared with estimates of the safety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and surgery in the treatment of LDH.
RESULTS: An estimate of the risk of spinal manipulation causing a clinically worsened disk herniation or CES in a patient presenting with LDH is calculated from published data to be less than 1 in 3.7 million.
CONCLUSIONS: The apparent safety of spinal manipulation, especially when compared with other "medically accepted" treatments for LDH, should stimulate its use in the conservative treatment plan of LDH.
During the initial visit, chiropractors typically take a health history and perform a physical examination, with a special emphasis on the spine. Other examinations or tests such as x-rays may also be indicated. If chiropractic treatment is considered appropriate, a treatment plan will be developed.
During follow-up visits, practitioners may perform one or more of the many different types of adjustments used in chiropractic care. Given mainly to the spine, a chiropractic adjustment (sometimes referred to as a manipulation) involves using the hands or a device to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, moving it beyond its passive range of motion. The goal is to increase the range and quality of motion in the area being treated and to aid in restoring health. Other hands-on therapies such as mobilization (movement of a joint within its usual range of motion) also may be used.
Chiropractors may combine the use of spinal adjustments with several other treatments and approaches such as: