Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Expect on My First Visit?
Going to the Chiropractor is a new experience for many of us. Maybe we've heard through a friend or have done some research online. Your first visit to this office will really be about getting to know the chiropractor and discussing your history, current condition and goals.
As with any doctor's visit, you'll start by finishing some new patient paperwork. Upon meeting with the doctor, you'll discuss your concerns and expectations as well as have the chance to ask any questions you may have. We will perform a physical examination including range of motion, determining muscular anomalies while ruling out any other, more serious conditions outside of the chiropractic scope of practice. Once this is complete, we'll take a look at the overall results of our conversation and the exams. Together, we'll come up with a plan of action which will begin when you are completely satisfied and ready to move forward.
If I start, Will I have to Go for the rest of My Life?
Absolutely not! Just like in every profession, there are bad eggs and Chiropractic is no exception. Simply put, our goals are your goals. The sooner you achieve your goals pain-free, we are all set! Typically, for acute conditions, we achieve our desired result in 4-6 visits. We give you the tools to help yourself through this process at home with diet and exercise instructions. Ideally, you will leave this office not only pain-free but a healthier overall person.
How Did Chiropractic Start?
Chiropractic dates back to the time of Hippocrates. He believed that if the spine was misaligned, it greatly contributed to the health of an individual.
The modern day school of chiropractic dates back to 1895, when Dr. Daniel Palmer adjusted a man that had lost his hearing 17 years prior. The story goes that prior to losing his hearing the man had heard something pop in his back. Upon the adjustment of the man's misaligned vertebrae his hearing greatly improved.
While the medical community criticized this new technique for healing the body, the people who followed in these footsteps found an amazing new way of dealing with illness and disease. Dr. Palmer's theories are still discussed in the chiropractic industry today. Without this man's input into medicine in a time where he was greatly discredited, the millions of people today who enjoy the life changing benefits may never have had this opportunity. There is still a school named after Dr. Daniel Palmer as well as over 20 schools and thousands of chiropractic students across the country.
How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic is based on the idea of mobilizing hypomobile joints or "subluxations". These hypomobile joints are joints that do not move fully or functionally and ultimately have a detrimental effect on surrounding nerves. These surrounding nerves, specifically of the spine, innervate muscles as well as organs; so, if your nerves are impinged or irritated, the muscles and organs innervated will undoubtedly be compromised.
Simply put: Joints affect Nerve, Nerves affect Muscle/Organ. Chiropractors are trained to identify and remove joints that are not moving properly and the body takes care of the rest.
If you've ever been in a car accident, played a sport, fell down or just bumped into something too hard, it's very possible that your body is in a state of compromise. In this state, naturally, we will have a lack of movement or mobility in a specific area. It is important to note that there are many potential mechanical or structural causes for this biomechanical compromise, there are also chemical reasons. For instance, if you smoke or have a poor (inflammatory) diet, the chemical issues in your body can eventually cause postural compromise and biomechanical issues to ensue.
Allowing a chiropractor to get you back on track both structurally and chemically will bring your body back to the proper state it should be in to perform at its peak.
What is Arthritis or Spinal Degeneration?
The first stage of spinal degeneration is when there is a minor loss of normal spine balance and spinal curvature. The surrounding features of the spine such as nerves, discs and joints begin to age quicker and are continually more stressed. This stage of the degeneration process rarely is accompanied with any major pain. At this point, there is a good chance that with the proper care, you can return to normal.
In the second stage of spinal degeneration, there is a often narrowing of the discs and potentially deformation in the bones. Your posture is often beginning to degenerate as well at this point. As the spinal canal, or opening begins to narrow, there are often significant aches and pains associated. Fatigue and stress are more common at this stage. There is a good chance of improvement at this stage with the proper care.
In the third stage of spinal degeneration, there is significant physical and mental involvement due to the level of issues here. There is most likely nerve damage as well as deformation of the bones and discs. There would be a significant loss of energy and height at this point. Some reversal is possible.
In the fourth stage of spinal degeneration, most damage is permanent including scar tissue, nerve damage and deformation. At this point, the condition is irreversible. Management of pain and discomfort is the best option here.
While chiropractors cannot reverse the degenerative or arthritic changes that have occurred, they can stop the progression through the above degenerative phases and, perhaps more importantly, eliminate the pain associated so that you are able to get into your activities of daily living pain-free.
What are Some Helpful Tips For when I'm at home?
Posture, Posture, Posture.
Keep your chin up and shoulders back.
Make sure that you have a comfortable, supportive chair. This is an investment, like a mattress. If you have a desk job, try to get up every 20 minutes to stretch, set a timer on your phone if you have to.
The detriments of sitting are outlined nicely in an article titled: "Sitting is the New Smoking".
Be in a supportive position at all times: ideally on your back or side, do not use too many pillows as this decreases the natural "c-shaped" curve (lordosis) of the neck.
Even at light, seemingly innocuous weights: bend at the knees, chest up/butt down, lift with your legs.
Talking on the Telephone:
A speaker or headset is a must. Holding the phone between your neck and shoulder for any length of time is a recipe for injury.
Make sure that you are adequately loose with static stretches and exercises followed by a "dynamic warm-up" for 5-10 minutes before heavy activity.