The bones of the body are supported by muscles and ligaments that surround each joint. When a muscle or ligament is injured or irritated, it can cause joint problems, pain and poor function. A Chiropractor will aim to restore proper function in your joints in order to help heal the muscles, ligaments and other structures around them.
What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is a gentle, specific force applied to a joint in a precise direction to correct a bio-mechanical problem. The doctor uses his/her hands to deliver a quick, accurate thrust in order to:
Improve joint motion
Decrease muscle spasm
Provide pain relief
Does it hurt to get adjusted?
No. Chiropractic adjustments are not painful at all. In fact, it is quite the opposite. An adjustment relieves a lot of pressure and feels very comfortable. Your brain can also releases chemical substances (endorphins) that give you an immediate sense of relief and relaxation. Proper alignment of the spine will allow you to think, sleep, exercise, function and simply help deal with life's tumultuous events.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Yes. Scientific research in peer reviewed medical journals all provide evidence that chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. Of the millions of people receiving chiropractic adjustments, each year, only a handful will even make a complaint.
What causes the sound made during a chiropractic adjustment?
That sound is not your spine "cracking" or "popping" like most people think. That sound is created by gas (in this case, nitrogen) rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the "pop" sound you hear when the cork is taken out of a champagne bottle. Not all chiropractic adjusting techniques produce this noise. In fact, some adjusting techniques use little force and thus produce no noise at all.
Is it bad to "crack" your back or neck a lot?
This question is frequently asked because people associate the "cracking" or "popping" of one's back or neck with a chiropractic adjustment. The two are not the same thing. If a person has a desire to "crack" his/her neck or back it is often because one area of their spine is fixated or jammed causing another area to move too much and "pop", sometimes by itself. It's the fixated or jammed area that needs to be specifically adjusted by a chiropractor so that the other parts of the spine will not be hypermobile and noisy. When you "crack" your back you may be relieving the tension for a little while, but it will generally come back. That is because you are not adjusting the fixated segment. Any person who makes a habit out of "cracking" or "popping" their back or neck needs to go to a Doctor of Chiropractic to have their spine checked.
Once you see a chiropractor, do you have to go for the rest of your life?
No. If you initially come to the clinic, it may take several visits for your body to respond to chiropractic care. After that time, patients who are have healthy diets, exercise regularly, and perform recommended stretches are often able to go for long periods of time without any chiropractic care. When the same symptoms start lingering, it is recommended that you return to your chiropractor before the problem returns again. Catching early signs of discomfort often means that very few treatments are required to restore your body.
Some people who perform repetitive actions during their work or leisure activities may find that maintenance care can help with stiffness, aches and pains from their daily activities. I leave the frequency of maintenance care at the discretion of the patient, who is generally able to recognize the signs that they should be adjusted.
Is chiropractic care safe for children?
Yes. It is just as safe for a child or baby to be adjusted by a chiropractor as it is for an adult. Chiropractic techniques are adapted and use less pressure on a child’s body. As children grow up and become more adventurous, walking, running, jumping, twisting, bumping and falling can cause joint fixations. Chiropractic care can offer a child a more responsive body, more comfortable growth spurts, and overall increased performance as she/he passes through their windows of development.
Do I need a referral from my family doctor to see a chiropractor?
No. As chiropractors are considered primary health care professionals, patients are able to consult them directly. In some cases, chiropractors do refer patients to medical doctors and receive referrals from medical doctors.