What is the Chiropractic Philosophy?
The chiropractic perspective on health and disease emphasizes two fundamental concepts: 1) the structure and condition of the body influences how the body functions and its ability to heal itself; and 2) the mind-body relationship is instrumental in maintaining health and in the healing processes.
Although chiropractic shares much with other health professions, its emphasis and application of philosophy distinguishes it from modern medicine. Chiropractic philosophy gravitates toward a holistic ("total person") approach to healing which combines elements of the mind, body and spirit and maintains that health depends on obedience to natural laws, and that deviation from such laws can result in illness.
What is an adjustment?
A gentle, specific "thrust" delivered by hand or instrument. The purpose of the adjustment is to correct a vertebra, or any other bone, which has slipped from its normal position and is causing nerve pressure and/or lack of motion and carefully and skillfully moves that vertebra or backbone into its position.
What is the noise I hear during an adjustment?
When your vertebrae are adjusted, tiny pockets of gas are released from the joints, making a "popping" noise. It's the same sound you hear when you pop your knuckles. Not all patients hear this noise. It's not a sign that the adjustment is working or not working.
Are Adjustments Painful?
Most spinal adjustments are not painful at all and, as a matter of fact, patients feel very good and often free pain almost immediately. Adjustments are also very safe with no harmful or dangerous side effects.
Can I adjust myself?
No. This is dangerous. Chiropractic adjustments need to be performed by a skilled professional.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Yes. Statistics prove that chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. You only need to compare the malpractice premiums paid by chiropractors to those paid by medical doctors. Doctors of Chiropractic pay only a small fraction (approx. 1/20) of the price medical doctors pay in malpractice premiums. 250,000 people will die this year as a result of bad medicine, making this the third leading cause of death in the United States of America (The Journal of The American Medical Association, JAMA; Vol.284, July 26, 2000). Of the millions of people receiving chiropractic adjustments, each year, only a handful will even make a complaint.
Can other types of professionals also perform adjustments?
Yes. Some osteopaths (DOs) perform these techniques (but this is rare these days). However, Chiropractors perform 95% of all adjustments in the world. Be careful of physical therapists, massage therapists, or "healers" who make similar claims but do not have the credentials, qualifications, and experience of a chiropractor.
What types of conditions do chiropractors use adjustments for?
Chiropractic adjustments (a precise method of restoring proper movement) are very useful in correcting:
Pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, chest, abdomen, hips, legs, feet.
- Certain types of headaches.
- Injuries and trauma to the body such as whiplash.
- Leg pain and nerve disorders.
- Sports injuries and most muscular skeletal injuries such as tennis elbow, strained muscles, and sprained joints and ligaments.
- Bursitis and Tendonitis (conditions involving inflammation of soft tissues).
- Repetitive strain disorders such as carpal tunnel.
- Fibromyalgia (chronic muscle pain and stiffness).
I have had surgery. Can I still get adjusted?
Generally, yes. Ask your chiropractor. Accommodations can be made for most types of surgery including breast reduction/enlargement and spinal fusions.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
The majority of all insured American workers have coverage for chiropractic services in their health care plans. For example, the federal government's Office of Personnel Management offers chiropractic coverage for federal employees in both the Mail Handlers and BCBS benefit plans. In addition, there is a chiropractic benefit in Federal Workers' Compensation, and chiropractic care is available to members of the armed forces at more than 40 military bases, and is available at nearly 30 veterans' medical facilities.
What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding - four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.
In total, the chiropractic curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Should I use heat or ice?
An injury causes swelling. Ice reduces swelling. Use ice within 72 hours of an injury and any time for pain control. Use a bag of frozen peas or other vegetables if you don't have an ice pack. Always put a towel between the ice and your skin. Heat increases blood flow and aids in healing. Use heat on an injury that is older than 72 hours. Always use moist heat (heat a wet towel in the microwave) for an injury, sore muscle, etc.
WARNING! Never use heat for more than 10 minutes at a time.
What can I do for pain when I have thrown my back out or am having muscle spasms?
Alternate heat and ice. Use heat for 10 minutes, nothing for 15 minutes, then ice for 20 minutes. It is safe to use the ice/heat alternative several times a day or night.
NEVER sleep on a heating pad or use any kind of heat therapy while you sleep. It may feel good, but will ultimately make the condition worse.
Muscle spasms and throwing your back out are symptoms that something is wrong. Even if they eventually go away, you should still see your chiropractor. Your medical doctor (MD) or the emergency room can only give you muscle relaxers and pain relievers. Those just cover up the pain. Whatever is causing the pain is still there to rear its ugly head down the road, maybe even years down the road.
What kind of mattress do you recommend?
Whatever kind you sleep well on. I generally recommend a medium firm mattress, something that gives good, firm support yet allows your hips and shoulders to sink in slightly. Most companies offer trials now. Try one in your home for 90 days. Just make sure that the "money back guarantee" is "money back" and not a store credit or exchange.
10 Healthy Back Tips
1.Exercise Regularly- This doesn't have to be anything overly strenuous. Something as simple as a daily walk can make a huge difference.
2.Eat A Healthy Diet- Proper nutrients allow the body to repair itself easier
3.Maintain Good Posture- Are you sitting up straight as you read this?
4.Stretch Your Spine Before And After Sports- This will also help to loosen up the surrounding muscles
5.Don't Overload Your Backpack Or Purse- Remember to carry it over both shoulders to balance the load (if possible).
6.Stretch Your Legs And Back After Each Hour Of Sitting- Whether in a car or at a desk, stretching regularly will help to keep you from tightening up or injuring yourself further.
7.Never Cradle The Phone Between Your Neck And Shoulder
8.Sleep On Your back Or Side, Not On Your Stomach- This helps to keep your spine in line and reduces the risk of hurting your neck while you sleep
9.Invest In A Good Chair, Pillow And Mattress- When you think about the amount of time you use these things each day, it's worth it.
10.Have Regular Spinal Check-Ups- It's much easier to prevent a problem than to correct one.