Frequently Asked Questions

Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism.  These important functions are controlled and coordinated by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body.

The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain.  The moving bones of the spine, the vertebrae, protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots.  When the vertebrae move out of their normal position and put abnormal pressure on the spinal cord and/or the spinal nerves, interfering with the transmission of the messages, mental impulses, being transmitted from the brain through the spinal cord and spinal nerves, it can result in malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. Doctors of chiropractic call this condition a Vertebral Subluxation.  

Chiropractic is the science of locating, analyzing, and correcting the Vertebral Subluxation.

Chiropractic Technique is any method of locating, analyzing, and adjusting a Vertebral Subluxation that is taught by an accredited chiropractic college or taught through continuing education that is approved by a State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Our bodies are self-healing, self-regulating organisms controlled by our central nervous systems.  Millions of messages and mental impulses are transmitted from the brain, down the spinal cord and out through the spinal nerves to every organ and tissue cell in the body.  Signals are then sent back to the brain to confirm if the body is working properly.  Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine, the vertebrae, can put pressure on the spinal nerves and interfere with the transmission of mental impulses between the brain and the body.  This is called a vertebral subluxation, and it can interfere with this vital exchange of information between the brain and the organs and tissue cells of the body. Specific chiropractic adjustments can help improve mind/body communications and lead to normal expression of body functions. 

Yes, for example 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 chiropractic exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited.

There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical stress could include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions, and improper lifting. Mental stress, such as grief, anger and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical stress could include things like alcohol and drugs, pollution, and poor diet.

You can have vertebral subluxations and not know it.  Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, vertebral subluxation can be present before symptomatic warning signs appear.  The results of a thorough chiropractic examination can show the location and severity of any vertebral subluxations you may have.

A specific Chiropractic adjustment involves the introduction of a specific force into the spine that initiates the correction of any Vertebral Subluxations that are present. Some methods use the doctor’s hands or an instrument. There can also be special table that utilizes the force of gravity to aid in the adjustment.  There are many ways to adjust the spine.

Doctors of Chiropractic are well educated.  The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques, and related subjects.  This demanding curriculum prepares chiropractic doctors to locate, analyze, and correct Vertebral Subluxations.

To graduate with the Doctor of Chiropractic degree, each candidate must pass multiple National Board Examinations.  Then, doctors apply to a state governmental or professional licensing board to pass tests before being granted the privilege to practice.

A chiropractic education never ends. Doctors of chiropractic must complete postgraduate instruction for license renewal and most chiropractors stay current on the latest scientific research.

The disc is a soft pulpy “shock absorber.”  It has a fibrous outer ring which holds in a jell-like material.  A “slipped disc” is a common way to refer to a wide variety of disc problems.  However, a disc can’t actually slip because of the way it is attached to the vertebrae.  A disc can bulge, it can tear, it can herniate, it can become thin, it dries out, or it can collapse, but it can’t slip.

A pinched nerve does happen, but it is more likely that an adjacent vertebra irritates, stretches, rubs, or chafes a nerve.  When this occurs, it distorts the mental impulse being transmitted between the brain and the body.  This can produce an unhealthy expression of function by the organs and tissues connected to the affected nerves.

No.  Each person’s spine and care plan is unique.  With 24 moving bones in the spine, each of which can move in multiple different directions, we see a wide variety of spinal patterns.  Each person’s care is custom-tailored for their age, condition, and goals.

No.  Some people can make their joints “pop”, but that’s not a specific chiropractic adjustment!  Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments.  Chiropractic adjustments are specific and take years to master.  Even a Doctor of Chiropractic must consult a colleague to benefit from a specific chiropractic adjustment.

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for a Vertebral Subluxation.  Learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can be the cause of a vertebral subluxation.  Regular chiropractic checkups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen late in adults.  Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child’s spine.  Most parents report that their children enjoy their adjustments and seem healthier than other children.

Even today’s “natural” childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine.  Preliminary studies suggest that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress and vertebral subluxation.  Pediatric adjustments are gentle.  Knowing exactly when and where to adjust an infant’s spine, the doctor of chiropractic applies no more pressure than you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato.

Absolutely not! Vertebral Subluxations can happen at any time of a person’s life. When Vertebral Subluxations are present, there exists a decrease in communication and function within the body. Everyone, including seniors, can benefit from improved spinal function and normal transmission of mental impulses over the nervous system. That is what chiropractic offers!

Sometimes.  Today’s hectic lifestyles are a constant source of vertebral subluxations.  Our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night.  When vertebral subluxations don’t resolve, you need to see a chiropractor! That is why we recommend periodic chiropractic check-ups.

Yes.  Rest assured that your chiropractor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine.  Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level.  These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.

Of course.  When developing a care plan, your chiropractor considers the unique circumstances of each person.  There are many ways to deliver a specific chiropractic adjustment.  The method selected will be best suited to your age, size, and condition.

Some people experience almost instant relief.  Others discover it can take several weeks or months.  Many factors can affect your progress.  How long have you had the 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 people sense enough progress to fully carry out their doctor’s recommendations. Healing, however, is an “inside” job and the chiropractor has no control over the time that healing requires. Bottom line, the chiropractor helps remove the vertebral subluxations that exist in your spine. This will improve the communication between your body and brain and will allow for better control and coordination of all bodily functions.

That is totally up to you. You can go just long enough to reduce the subluxations in your spine and after you feel better stop going. However, many people see the benefit of periodic check-ups to make sure that those previous subluxations are not returning, and no new subluxations have occurred. Most chiropractors themselves get checked on a regular basis!