- What is a chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a licensed healthcare practitioner who utilizes the science and art of chiropractic. Chiropractic is a Greek word that literally means "done by hand." It is the third largest division within the modern healthcare system. It is established in over 100 countries since being founded in 1895. A chiropractor must complete undergraduate training and then 4 years of graduate training that includes extensive hands on education and parallels present day traditional medical education. Once completed, a chiropractor must pass National and State licensing exams. Some doctors of chiropractic (D.C.) wish to continue their training and may specialize in orthopedics, family practice, or neurology just to name a few. Chiropractic uses non-invasive, conservative treatments to restore the health of the body to as near normal as possible and therefore, as a profession, elects not to include drugs or surgery in their treatment of patients. Chiropractors today use traditional treatments such as manual therapy (adjustments) or gentle soft tissue mobilization along with modern scientific research and methodologies. Understanding that not all ailments can be treated without drugs or surgery but also understanding the limits of these, chiropractors do refer to other healthcare specialists.
- What are adjustments and are they safe?
An actual spinal adjustment or "cracking" as some people call it occurs when an outward force is applied to a joint that then becomes slightly gapped momentarily allowing the joint surfaces to open and at times cause a popping noise from synovial joint gasses being released. This noise is the audible release and need not be heard to have had a successful adjustment. It sounds a lot like someone who cracks their knuckles. Contrary to old wive's tales, cracking does not cause arthritis and the research to date shows no detrimental effect to a joint from spinal adjustments.
- Should I tell my medical doctor I am seeing a chiropractor?
If you feel comfortable discussing your complete healthcare regimen with your medical doctor please do tell them. We look forward to any opportunity to collaborate your care with any other healthcare practitioner. Upon your approval we will gladly forward a copy of your initial evaluation to your doctor. Communication among our specialties is the key to your comprehensive care.
- Does insurance pay for chiropractic?
Yes, many health insurance companies reimburse a portion of your chiropractic care. We will gladly confirm your benefits with your insurance company and explain these benefits to you before your first office visit.
- Is it true that once you see a chiropractor you will always need to keep going?
No. Actually our office prides itself on rendering treatment in the shortest amount of time possible to return your body to its normal function. How much time depends on many factors, what your individual goals are, how long your problem has been present, your overall health status including any underlying conditions, and the severity of your injuries. Some patients wish to seek only immediate pain relief while others wish to have periodic adjustments to maintain feeling good. It is always your decision as to the type of care you wish to receive. Remaining in active care that includes the initial pain relief or continuing on to rehabilitation or even further into supportive care. There are no set numbers of treatments. Each individual and their progress will determine the amount of treatments needed and will always include the patient's desires.
- Should I use ice or heat?
The general rule of ice versus heat is, ice is used to reduce pain and swelling and temporarily reduce blood flow to the treated area. Heat is used to promote muscle relaxation and temporarily increase blood flow to the treated area.
Cold or hot packs should be used for 15-20 minutes with at least 1 hour in between applications. If any treatment increases your symptoms, stop immediately and call your doctor. Do not use cold or heat over an area that is desensitized such as an area that was previously frostbitten. Never sleep with cold or hot packs on, you can get burned by either type.
Ice should be used whenever there is an acute injury and pain and swelling is present. This is the most often form utilizied since most of our patients injuries are acute in nature. Heat can be used when the injury has no swelling. For example pain and stiffness associated with chronic arthritis.
Topical ointments such as Biofreeze or Capsacin do not take the place of ice or heat. They do offer some patients temporary relief but do not elicit the same physiological benefits of ice and hot packs.