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Chiropractic FAQ

What is chiropractic wellness?

There’s nothing mysterious about chiropractic. It’s a natural method of health care that focuses on the role that the nerves, muscles and bones play in the overall health of the patient. By treating the causes of health problems, rather than just masking symptoms, Chiropractic is based on the simple but powerful premise that, a normally functioning and healthy nerve system allows your body to be better able to heal itself. Chiropractic is safe, effective and natural and is often an alternative to drugs and surgery.


How does chiropractic work?

Chiropractic works to correct acute and chronic spinal joint injuries that change the way the spine interacts with the central nervous system. Such injuries, known as vertebral subluxations, irritate these delicate spinal nerves, causing “Neuroarticular Dysfunction” and may result in a variety of health problems and permanent damage to the spine itself. When under the proper control of a healthy nervous system, cells, tissues, and organs in your body can better resist disease and ill health. Chiropractic goes hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle to promote sound health with less dependence on drugs and surgery.


What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?

Chiropractic education is similar to a medical or osteopathic education. An undergraduate degree stressing biological sciences is a prerequisite. This is followed by 4 years of professional education at one of the 24 chiropractic colleges in the United States. This education has the same emphasis on anatomy and physiology as a medical or osteopathic education. During this period, the student gains a rich clinical experience in one of the many satellite clinics attached to the colleges. The Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) graduates with a high level of competence and confidence. After graduating, the candidates must pass the demanding four part National Board Examinations. Then, the doctors apply to a professional licensing board and pass another, more difficult test, before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor’s education, however, never ends. All states require doctors to complete regular postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest research and treatment techniques.


What is a “chiropractic adjustment?”

Chiropractic adjustment is the term used for the correction of vertebral subluxation (spinal joint problems) to restore normal function. There are a number of different methods or techniques which chiropractors use to adjust dysfunctional joints. These include “high velocity, low amplitude” manipulation which most people associate with chiropractic treatment. At Dean Chiropractic, we use two alternative techniques which have been proven to get better results in a shorter time. The first of these is Activator Method Chiropractic Technique (AMCT). AMCT uses a hand held, spring loaded, rubber tipped instrument to deliver a gentle, rapid tap to make the adjustment. The other technique, Cox Flexion/Distraction Technique, uses a specially designed table to allow the chiropractor to apply a gentle, precise, oscillating traction to decompress spinal discs. Both techniques are well researched, highly effective and especially safe and comfortable.


Do children need chiropractic care?

Similar to requiring regular dental check-ups, children require regular spinal check-ups, to insure the development of healthy spines. Many significant spinal problems can have their origin in the accidents of a normal, active childhood and even in the process of childbirth, itself. There have been a number of studies linking a healthy spine and nervous system with increased immunity. Many parents report fewer missed school days when their children are checked regularly. Chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for a child’s smaller spine.


Is chiropractic safe?

Yes. Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative and natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or drugs with side effects. One can merely compare malpractice rates between chiropractors and other health care professionals, as proof. Chiropractors’ malpractice premiums are a small fraction of those for medical and osteopathic practices.


Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?

Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that up to half of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years after the surgery was performed. They then face the prospect of additional surgery. This, all too common occurrence, is known as “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.” Chiropractic can be highly effective in managing this discouraging condition and may help prevent additional back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is initially utilized, much back surgery can often be avoided altogether. The special techniques used in these cases are entirely safe, even for spines that have undergone fusion and instrumentation.


Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?

No, however, due to improved nerve system function, chiropractic care is successful with a wide variety of health problems, even those that are not necessarily considered “back” problems. With a properly functioning nerve system, the body’s natural healing capacity can improve a variety of health problems.


Is it OK to get chiropractic care if I’m pregnant?

Pregnancy is an especially good time for a better functioning nerve system. As the baby grows, the extra weight puts additional stress on spinal joints. We often receive referrals from OB/GYNs because Chiropractic offers a safe way to relieve back pain in expectant mothers without the need for drugs, and our techniques can be applied without the need for x-rays. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments improve the comfort of their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health.


Why do chiropractors take x-rays?

In our office, x-rays are taken only when clinically necessary. In certain conditions, x-rays can reveal the internal structure and alignment of the spine. We can also learn much about underlying disease processes and disorders of the spine, such as spinal deterioration, arthritis of the spine, abnormal development, bone spurs, disc disorders, tumors and spinal curvature. X-rays can also help us monitor the effectiveness of a particular treatment program by showing positive changes over time.


I have heard that once I start chiropractic care, I’ll have to continue with it for the rest of my life. Is this true?

You may have heard the notion that once you go to a chiropractor you have to keep going back. Before we answer that question, ask yourself how many times you have visited a dentist? Like most people, you’ve probably gone dozens of times. Why? Quite simply, to prevent your teeth from literally rotting out of your head. Once chiropractic care eliminates your pain and rehabilitates the injured tissues we do recommend a minimum schedule of periodic spinal checkups every 3 months, 4 visits a year. Many medical experts are now recognizing that prevention is the key to reducing recurrences of existing health conditions and minimizing new injuries in the future. So the answer is yes, we want you to keep coming back, but only periodically. Periodic chiropractic care minimizes spinal and nerve stresses, reduces recurrences of old injuries, prevents new injuries from developing, minimizes degenerative processes, which enhances overall health and wellness.