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Frequently Asked Questions
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What is chiropractic care?
It's a natural method of health care that focuses on treating the causes of physical problems, rather than just treating the symptoms. Chiropractic is based on a simple but powerful premise. With a normally functioning spine and healthy nerve system, your body is better able to heal itself. That's because your spine is the lifeline of your nervous system. It controls feeling, movement, and all functions of the body.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
It is a small thrust applied to the body (misaligned vertebra) from the hands of a chiropractor.
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works by restoring your body's inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and remove interferences (subluxations, misaligned vertebrae) to your nervous system. With improved spinal function, there is improved nervous system function. The goal of the chiropractor is to remove interference that may be impairing normal health through specific chiropractic adjustments, allowing your body to heal itself. A healthy spine and a healthy lifestyle are your keys to optimal health!
What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?
Doctors of Chiropractic are well educated. Chiropractic education and medical education are similar in many respects and different in others because chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, and medical doctors do not correct vertebral subluxations. After graduating with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) Degree, each candidate passes the demanding four part National Board Examinations. Then, doctors apply to a governmental or professional licensing board and pass a test before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor's education, however, never ends. Most doctors complete regular postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on adjustment techniques and the latest research.
Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Absolutely! In fact, a New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” It is the result of biologically sound, specific adjustments without the use of drugs or surgeries that has given Chiropractic care an excellent safety record. In comparison, 16,000 – 20,000 people in the US die each year from complications (bleeding ulcers and heart attacks) caused by over-the-counter pain relievers. Roughly 7 out of 1000 people will die from “routine” neck or back surgery. Many others suffer long-lasting side effects of scar tissue buildup and structural instability caused by surgery.
Will I see results right away?
This depends on a number of things like the nature and history of the illness. Sometimes, chiropractic results may be achieved very quickly. Other times, it may take weeks to months because of changes that have occurred in the body in response to the subluxation(s).
Will my pain be relieved?
In many instances, taking pressure off the nerve is all that is needed for relief of pain.
Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I'm pregnant?
Anytime is a good time for a better functioning nerve system. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health.
Why do newborns get adjustments?
The birth process, no matter how natural, can affect an infant’s spine. Some studies suggest that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infection or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Newborns also become subluxated in the same physical, emotional or chemical ways an adult does as well. An infant is also examined very carefully to determine if there is a subluxation and, if needed, receives a gentle Gonstead adjustment involving very little pressure.
Do children need chiropractic care?
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for vertebral subluxation. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for the child's spine. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off can be traced to the spine. Health problems that emerge in adulthood could often be prevented by having your children's spine checked by a chiropractor early. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and are healthier than their peers.
What is the difference between what Dr. Matt does and other chiropractors?
The biggest difference is the Gonstead Difference. Dr. Matt uses the Gonstead System of analyzing and adjusting the spine which means that he is very specific in finding your problem areas and in delivering precise adjustments. Learn more about the Gonstead technique here.
Can chiropractic help more than just back pain?
Absolutely. It can help because when you receive a chiropractic adjustment, nerve interference is removed which allows your body to function better. Simply put, it helps your immune system kick in so that your body can heal itself.
Can chiropractic help me?
Chiropractic care will benefit almost everyone in some way, just as dental care will benefit almost everyone in some way. How you respond depends on how long you have dealt with your pain/symptoms, your lifestyle and your compliance to care.
How long until I feel better?
A lot of our patients have reported immediate relief. Others experience slow progress over a period of days or weeks. There are many factors that play a role in your healing process, including the severity or length of your injury. Other factors include proper rest, nutrition, exercise, keeping your appointments and closely following Dr. Matt’s recommendations. The timing of your appointments are carefully determined based on your need for re-adjustment and time for healing. Please let Dr. Matt know how you are doing from visit to visit, he will appreciate your honesty.
How many visits will I need?
Each injury/situation is different and each individual’s healing response is different. We will give each patient an estimate on how long their recovery may take after the initial exam and will have an even better idea after we get to know your spine and how you adjust best in 2-3 visits. This office does not set people up on treatment plans that say to come “3x a week for 6 weeks” for every patient. When beginning Chiropractic care in an acute condition, you may need to be adjusted more often in a short period of time to begin the healing process. Each visit builds on the next, so remain hopeful… we are! Visits will be spaced out based on your individual needs and the rate of improvement. Once your initial complaint has improved or resolved, you may choose to maintain periodic checkups to reduce future episodes and for better overall health or you can come when you want.
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
Often you can have a subluxation and not even know it! They can be present before you have obvious symptoms, like the progression of tooth decay. The best thing for you and your family is to be checked in our office with a thorough examination for the presence and severity of subluxations. If you think something is off it never hurts to come get checked out. If you don't need adjusted you wont be and there will be no charge.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Turning your body or neck in one direction and/or the other or getting some bear hug method may make your joints “pop”, but that sound is not correcting the problem and certainly is not an adjustment! The pressure and gases released during that “pop” may immediately feel like relief, but only a licensed Chiropractor is able to adjust the actual misaligned vertebra that’s really causing the tension. Even Dr. Matt has chiropractic colleagues adjust him! Mainly we don't want to have to fix you because you rotated your spine in a direction it shouldn't go.
Are you going to/Can you "crack" my whole spine?
As a Gonstead Chiropractor, Dr. Matt carefully analyzes your spine to determine what segments need to be adjusted and which should be left alone. With Chiropractic care, more is not better. “Cracking or manipulating” your entire spine is not specific in the least and does not provide the lasting results that carefully adjusting only specific segments does. The goal is to correct the exact cause of the problem and let your body do the rest of the healing.
Do I have a slipped disc?
No. The disc is a cartilage pad between each of your spinal vertebra that aides in your spine’s connection, flexibility, movement, weight bearing & shock absorbing ability. Motion in your spine produces a pumping action to each disc allowing nutrients to enter and waste to be expelled. Because of spinal subluxations or severe trauma a disc can bulge, swell, tear, herniate, thin, dry out or collapse but it can’t actually “slip” out from between the spinal bones it serves. The Gonstead Chiropractor pays special attention to your disc health. Dr. Matt gently corrects the misaligned vertebra and restores it to a proper position in relationship to the disc, allowing the disc to heal.
I’ve had back surgery, can you still help?
Yes. Surgery often leads to instability in your spine above or below the area operated on. Your Gonstead Chiropractor will be very specific to your problem areas and will avoid the surgically altered segments.
I’ve heard that once you get adjusted, you have to keep getting adjusted.
Is that true?
This is only true if you want to utilize the gift of chiropractic as a lifestyle, similar to an exercise, dental, or wellness program in contrast to utilizing it as a “get out of pain” service. People have found that efforts put into wellness and prevention carry you further in life’s experience than dealing with sickness as it arises. By receiving regular chiropractic adjustments, people find that they have more energy and motivation, handle stress better, perform better, sleep better, amongst many other things. Once your initial complaint has improved or resolved, you may choose to maintain periodic checkups to reduce future episodes and for better overall health. Chiropractic is not addictive, however, good health is.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. The doctor evaluates each patient's unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. Each chiropractic adjustment builds on the one before. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience. Each patient's care is uniquely different from every other patient.
What causes the sound during an adjustment?
Actually, adjustments do not always produce a sound. Often, however, adjustments do create the sound of a spinal "release," or "popping" sound. The sound is caused by gas rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. This sound is painless and totally harmless.
Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?
No, however chiropractic care is successful with a very wide variety of health problems not necessarily considered "back" problems because of improved nerve system function. With a normal nerve supply the body's natural healing capacity can improve a variety of health problems.
What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?
Chiropractors base their care on the detection correction, and prevention of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments). We use specific spinal adjustments to correct the spine, to improve nerve system functions and reduce nerve interference. Osteopaths use drugs, surgery, and other traditional medical therapies and only occasionally use manipulative procedures.
Why do chiropractors take x-rays?
Chiropractors take x-rays to reveal the internal structure and alignment of the spine. We are also concerned about underlying disease processes and disorders of the spine such as spinal deterioration, arthritis of the spine, abnormal development, bone spurs, disc disorders, tumors and spinal curvature. X-rays also provide a blueprint for correcting the spine back to optimal health and alignment. To see is to know, not to see is to guess and we will not guess with your health!
Will my child have to continue with chiropractic care for the rest of their life if they start now?
As with any lifestyle choice, its always best to continue for a lifetime. Once people achieve health, it makes sense to maintain it!
If my baby didn't have any birth trauma but was born by Cesarian section, do they need chiropractic care?
Contrary to popular belief, a birth by cesarian section is the most trauma inducing for the mother and baby.
Does my child need chiropracftic care if he is never sick, besides normal childhood illnesses?
Childhood sicknesses are never normal, they are only common. Children aren't supossed to grow up with colic, ear infections and asthma. Chiropractors correct nervous system interference which often eliminates these types of common childhood problems.
Is it dangerous for pregnant women to be adjusted?
Not at all! Obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics are components of the curriculum of every chiropractic college. Additionally, all colleges provide practical experience through their outpatients clinics in the management of pediatric cases.