UNDERSTANDING CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Common questions asked about chiropractic care.
What is chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care is a health care profession based on interactions of the spine and nervous system, as well as the surrounding muscles and the effect they have on organs, tissues and systems that branch from the spinal cord.
Are chiropractors doctors?
Yes. Doctors of Chiropractic. Our specialty is the spinal column and nerves. We are not medical doctors, but go through a similar education process to become licensed in the field of chiropractic care. In fact, educational requirements for chiropractors are among the most stringent of any health care profession. The difference between medical doctors and chiropractic education is that we do not study pharmaceuticals and do not focus on pathologies.
What types of conditions do chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors treat your whole body and allow it to heal on its own. Most patients originally come to see us for back pain, neck pain, sports injuries or headaches. We also treat sports injuries and other disorders involving muscles, ligaments and joints. During care most patients discover benefits of chiropractic care beyond pain and discomfort and help with general health and wellness.
What happens with a chiropractic adjustment?
Adjustments are specific, controlled joint movements to a spinal joint that is not moving properly or stuck.
When joints are stuck, they prevent nerves from functioning properly leading to not only pain but other symptoms as well. Anywhere that nerve goes can be affected. If your body is not functioning well, you are not functioning well so making sure your body is moving freely helps overall health.
Do adjustments hurt?
Rarely. Minimal force and gentle pressure are applied when adjusting the spine. We are guiding the joint to move the way it should and train it to stay that way.
After adjustments, most patients feel relief and experience better movement and posture. Soreness may occur after the first or second adjustment but is normally described as feeling like they worked out.
Like most things in life, drinking plenty of water, heat and engaging in light stretching after your first visit helps to heal and keep your spine and tissues feeling relaxed.
Are adjustments safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available. Spinal adjustments are extremely safe when performed by a licensed chiropractor.
What is that "popping" sound when getting adjusted?
The noises you hear resembling popping sounds are your joints releasing tiny pockets of air along with the friction occurring during the adjustment.
A chiropractic adjustment does not affect the bones of either side of a joint; it affects the connective tissue that holds the joint together.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No, though the technique may seem the same. You are analyzed with each visit and treated accordingly. Everyone is different and will be treated as such.
Will a chiropractic adjustment completely remove pain?
Pain is your body’s alarm telling you something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Pain if left untreated can become chronic and lead to other symptoms as well.
Chiropractic care has been shown to ease and even eliminate pain for many patients quickly. Afterward the function of your body needs to be trained so whatever caused your pain is eliminated.
Can I see a chiropractor if I am pregnant?
Of course! Our office specializes in the Webster Technique which allows helps improve the pregnancy experience, make delivery easier and even help with breech position.
Is back pain common?
More than 80 percent of people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. When your back is not working properly moving your head, arms and legs can be unbearable. So much that it is one of the most reported reasons people miss work and is the second most frequent reason patients visit a doctor.
Will I be required to remove my clothing at my appointment?
Some procedures may require you to remove some pieces of clothing, however most do not. I always recommend bringing or wearing shorts and a tank top if I need to address parts of the body that are hard to get access to. If I need to check your calves, hips or shoulders, it is hard if you have clothing that makes it unable to reach.
Can I learn to adjust myself?
Quite frankly, no. We as chiropractors are trained to adjust in a very specific location and direction. It is hard to be able to find that specific angle on yourself. We see other chiropractors to get adjusted as well.
Do I need a referral from a Medical Doctor for Chiropractic care?
Most PPO insurances allow you to go to whomever you choose and without a referral. Just to be safe, it is always recommended to check with your insurance carrier before visiting a chiropractor to understand your benefits.
How do I find a good chiropractor?
Referrals are the best way but reading through a website can tell you a lot about how a chiropractor works. Do they use tools? Are they gentle? What are their services? All of these are normally listed on the website.
Is chiropractic care addictive?
No more than exercise, brushing your teeth and eating a proper diet. Chiropractors recommend checking in to make sure joints are not subluxated (misaligned) because it is healthy for your whole body overall. Just like taking your care in for check ups, your body needs them too.
How do subluxations happen?
The number one reason is STRESS. This comes in three forms:
1. Emotional: Family, work, traffic, finances are some examples of how if any of these are stressed and not relieved, they will cause problems in your body. This is why when pregnant we try and keep stress down to make sure the mom and baby stay healthy. It is also why we keep stress down to keep our blood pressure down. Emotional stress leads to physical stress.
2. Physical: Injuries, car accidents, repetitive actions, bad posture all lead to long term stress on your body leading to pain and other symptoms.
3. Chemical: smoking, alcohol, dehydration, junk food, medications all have consequences on our body. Sometimes people can get away with it for a while but in time, it catches up to you. This is why even if you do have some bad habits, chiropractic can help alleviate the stress and help it function as optimally as it can.
All three of these stressors cause subluxations in the body and need to be discovered and released.
Can I tell if I have a subluxation or joint not moving properly?
Sometimes but most times there are no symptoms until it has been subluxed or not moving correctly for a long period of time.
Just like when getting a cavity, you don’t feel it until it grows and emerges. It is the same with a subluxation of the spine. Teeth and bones and so are the vertebrae in your spine.
Only chiropractors have the specific training to detect subluxations. Using special techniques like electromyography, thermal scanning, heart rate variability, postural analysis, orthopedic testing or other specialties; chiropractors can determine whether or not subluxations are present.
When you come in to see Dr. Amie Gregory, DC, CCEP in our San Francisco or San Carlos, CA office, she will make sure to do appropriate testing to find out what may be causing subluxations and symptoms in your body. She will then tailor a plan for you so you get fast and lasting results.
Contact us today!