Frequently Asked Questions
From the Ilinois Chiropractic Association, www.ilchiro.org
Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments can help improve mind/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
Chiropractic is a science, an art, and a philosophy. It’s a scientific fact that your brain and nervous system control every cell of your body. Research confirms that interferences to the controlling role of the nervous system change the way the body works. This is most common along the spine. Objective tests help locate these areas along the spine. Specific adjustments help reduce the interferences. Results prove that chiropractic is safe, simple, and scientific.
Chiropractic doesn’t cure anything. Nor is it a treatment for disease. Your body does the curing. The only thing that the best doctors can do is to remove any interferences that may be preventing your body from healing itself. That’s why chiropractors are interested in the nervous system. Your nervous system controls how your body works. With a better nerve supply, your own inborn healing abilities are unleashed and all kinds of things are possible.
There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions, and improper lifting. Emotions, such as grief, anger, and fear can cause of subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution, and poor diet.
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of any subluxations you may have.
Yes. As children explore their world they discover their limits, producing aches and pains. Learning to walk, riding a bike, or playing sports can cause subluxations passed off as “growing pains.” Chiropractic care can help detect early signs of scoliosis and reduce subluxations that can interfere with proper development. Ignored, these problems can worsen until they become more difficult to correct as an adult.
Most patients report a sense of well-being or a feeling of calmness. Since repeated adjustments are necessary, if adjustments weren’t comfortable, patients wouldn’t return. Chiropractic doctors excel at making spinal adjustments comfortable and effective.
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are about 100 times safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” receive adjustments. The occasional spinal joints that move too much, are allowed to passed over so weakened muscles and ligaments can stabilize and heal.
Lubricating fluids separate the bones of each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It’s much like opening a soda can or swishing mouthwash in your mouth. The sound is interesting, but isn’t a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.
No. Each patient’s spine is unique, and each patient’s care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine (that can each move in seven different directions!) we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient’s care is custom tailored for their age, condition, and health goals.
There are hundreds of ways to adjust the spine. From this vast choice, each chiropractic doctor masters several approaches best suited to their clinical objectives, philosophy, or specialty. The delivery of these techniques is truly an art. Regardless of the method used, chiropractic enjoys a high level of success and patient satisfaction.
No. Some people can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense some progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits are less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing can take months or even years.
Yes. Pregnancy may be one of the best times to receive chiropractic care! While it’s always good to have an optimally functioning nervous system, it’s especially helpful now. Both mother and baby can benefit. Adjusting methods are adapted to a mother’s size, weight, and condition. During this period of weight gain and hormonal changes, many mothers seek chiropractic care. Some report shorter and easier births.
Even today’s “natural” childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine. Colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections, or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato is involved.
Yes. Rest assured that your chiropractic doctor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. This will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
Of course. When developing a care plan, your chiropractic doctor considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size, and condition.
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise, and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time most patients sense enough progress to justify completing their doctor’s recommendations..
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for their visits feeling great. These visits can help support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best care we can, and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
No. Chiropractic doctors don’t dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control any painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic effect without the side effects associated with pain medications.
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet, each of us is free to place a different value on our health. It’s convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill. But be careful! Don’t allow the profit motives of a huge corporation to make the decision for you. If you sincerely want you health back, we can help. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.
If we’re unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health and satisfaction are our only goal.