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  Chiropractic is the nation's 3rd largest primary health care profession, surpassed in numbers only by practitioners of medicine and dentistry. There are approximately 50,000 chiropractors in North America with many more throughout the world.  
  FAQ's  
 

Recent studies indicate that upwards of 15% of the U.S. population has consulted a chiropractor.

What is chiropractic care?
Who should visit a chiropractor?
What happens in a chiropractor's office
What is a subluxation?
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
How much training does a chiropractor receive?
What happens on my first visit?
What do I do if I am in an accident?
Can chiropractic help improve athletic performance?
Can a long-term running program be bad for me?
Can chiropractic help?
Is chiropractic care safe?
What can a chiropractor do for me if I'm having leg or knee pain?
Why is my neck so stiff when I wake up in the morning, and sore by the end of the day?
How long will it take?

What is Chiropractic Care?

There's nothing mysterious about chiropractic. Chiropractic is a natural, preventative, and non-invasive form of health care that is based on the principle that the body has the inherent ability to heal without the use of drugs or surgery. This fundamental approach to wellness mirrors a new and changing attitude toward health care in the United States and around the world. Since an individual's health is either directly or indirectly controlled by the nervous system, interference within this system impairs normal function and lowers resistance to disease.

Your chiropractor's education includes a minimum of six years of training in the sciences and health care, leading to a doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree. He or she is well qualified to evaluate your condition and provide you with dedicated care. In a nationwide Gallup study, nine of ten chiropractic patients felt their treatment was effective. Your chiropractor works to restore your health and guides you in a personalized approach to overall wellness -- through spinal care, exercise, good nutrition, and stress management.

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Who should visit a Chiropractor?

Researchers tell us that over 80% of the general population will suffer from one of the great variety of vertebrogenic disorders for certain periods of their life. Vertebrogenic disorders mean disorders of the body that are caused in whole or in part by spinal faults.

In addition to pain and discomfort in the neck and back, these disorders include tension headaches, migraine headaches, dizziness, neuralgia, pain in the shoulders and arms, certain types of pain in the chest and abdomen, pain in the hips, knees and legs (sciatica), disc disorders, certain digestive disorders and problems with menstrual cycles. The connection between these seemingly unrelated conditions and the spine is that the nerves, which serve all areas of the body, can be irritated directly or indirectly by spinal disorders.

Even people suffering from arthritis find great relief with chiropractic care, although complete cures from arthritis are not possible.

Frequently spinal problems start in childhood, years before clinical symptoms appear. Identified early, most of these disorders are reversible, and it is for this reason that spinal examinations for children are imperative.

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What happens in a Chiropractor's office?

On your first visit, your chiropractor will want to talk with you, not only about your immediate problem, but also about any past health problems. These facts will help in the interpretation of the examination findings.

If it is decided that your condition will respond to chiropractic care, then adjustments can begin. Adjustments consist of unlocking certain spinal segments which may have become subluxated causing abnormal movement or nerve irritation in the spine. These "adjustments" are performed by hand and are generally painless.

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What is a subluxation?

SUBLUXATION is a misalignment of the vertebrae (spinal bones) causing an irritation to the nervous system. Your nervous system controls, co-ordinates and integrates all the functions of the tissues and cells that make up your body. Any irritation to the nervous system in your body can have devastating effects on your health.

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How do I know if I have a subluxation?

The only way to know for certain is to have your spine checked by a good chiropractor. If you take three people with the same subluxation they may all present differently. For example, with a subluxation at the fifth cervical vertebrae (neck): one may present with pain or stiffness at the spinal level; one may have pain or muscle weakness in the shoulder, arm or hand; and the third may not have any complaints at all - yet. In any case it is not o.k. to have nerve interference.

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How much training does a Chiropractor receive?

Chiropractic training is extensive. Each student begins with at least two years of undergraduate college, followed by four to five years of specialized Chiropractic training. Naturally Chiropractic students take all the basic science courses - anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and microbiology. They also take intensive courses in diagnosis, radiology, orthopedics, neurology, nutrition and public health. Each student then participates in a clinical internship followed by a licensing exam.

Your doctor of chiropractic is trained to restore the health of your spine through special, gentle chiropractic methods, called adjustments. Adjustments help relieve the irritations that cause pain, normalize and heal the function of many body systems. Anyone can receive chiropractic adjustments regularly, from babies to the elderly; even pregnant women are benefiting from regular chiropractic adjustments and experiencing a healthy and natural pregnancy free of back pain.

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What happens on my first visit?

During your first visit, you will find your Doctor of Chiropractic concerned about you as a person as well as about any specific problem you have.

First comes a full case history of your problem, followed by a complete physical exam plus a spinal and musculoskeletal examination. Also, your first visit may include x-rays. Then your Doctor of Chiropractic identifies the cause of your aliment and starts to correct it. Your Chiropractor promotes the philosophy of wellness and disease prevention

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What do I do if I am in an accident?

If you are involved in an automobile accident or other type of accident that causes immediate pain or immobility, see a physician immediately. Many persons come to a chiropractic office for care long after an accident, making the symptoms more difficult to treat, and a correction and proper healing much more difficult to accomplish. Injuries are best treated within the first 5-7 days with chiropractic care. If the only care you getting is painkillers, hotpacks and massage, you are missing an important part of getting well. Correcting the spine is just as important as any other thing you may do to get well.

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Can chiropractic help improve athletic performance?

Yes. In many cases, the doctor can also offer advice on safe, healthy ways to improve peak performance. Chiropractors are often called upon to work with or treat athletes, both amateur and professional. Many are afflicted with sports-related injuries; others feel fine, but are looking to boost performances. A chiropractor's training and experience with the dynamics of the human body qualifies him or her to diagnose and successfully treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

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Can a long-term running program be bad for me?

About thirty million people in the U.S. are classified as recreational runners or joggers. Approximately 60% will eventually experience an injury that may limit their activities. Running places a tremendous stress on the lower extremities: low back, hips, legs, knees, and feet. The body of a runner weighing 150 lbs. has to absorb stress shock equivalent to 375-450 lbs. every time his or her heel makes contact with the running surface. Over time, overuse injuries often result, and may be magnified if there is any underlying structural problems in the lower part of the body. Postural distortions in the feet can have a definite impact on an athlete's performance: for example, a runner with a 25 degree foot flare would be outdistanced 31 yards per mile by a runner of equal size and abilities who had no foot flare. Smart runners consult regularly with a health care professional about his or her postural health and status. Your chiropractor is an expert in analyzing and treating musculoskeletal conditions.

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Can Chiropractic help?

If areas of abnormal spinal function are identified, your doctor will recommend a chiropractic care program of spinal adjustments. Your plan of care is based upon your age, condition, lifestyle, and unique spinal problem(s).

The primary course of care will be specific chiropractic adjustments. This will help return individual spinal bones to their proper motion and position. There are hundreds of ways of using carefully directed and controlled pressure to restore better position and motion to "stuck" or fixated spinal joints. This may require a quick thrust, or in other instances a slow, constant pressure. Sometimes, only one area of the spine is adjusted, and other times the entire spine will receive attention.

Some adjusting approaches can result in a faint "popping" sound. This sound is created by the shifting of gas and fluids in the joint. The presence or "loudness" of this sound has little meaning and varies with each patient.

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Is Chiropractic care safe?

Chiropractic adjustments are safer than aspirin, muscle relaxers, and back surgery. Dozens of research studies have documented the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments. When compared with traditional approaches, chiropractic care is remarkably safe. In fact, millions of chiropractic adjustment are safely delivered to satisfied patients every day!

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What can a chiropractor do for me if I'm having leg or knee pain?

These may indicate a postural imbalance, an inappropriate training program, overuse injuries, or stress conditions to soft tissues or bone. These conditions can often be effectively managed if the problem is identified early and appropriate treatment is followed. While every patient's case is unique, your chiropractor will probably perform a postural analysis as part of your initial examination. Important information can often be obtained through a simple evaluation of your standing posture. X rays may also be required. Your training regimen and schedule may be reviewed, to see if there are any problem areas to correct. In addition to any chiropractic adjustments your doctor may perform, he or she may also recommend that you wear spinal/pelvic stabilizers and perform at-home rehab exercise therapy.

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Why is my neck so stiff when I wake up in the morning, and sore by the end of the day?

These two questions have a lot in common, and are common questions chiropractors hear. If there is no apparent trauma involved (like whiplash, a fall, or a sports injury), and if other conditions (tumor, infection, arthritis, etc.) have been ruled out, one of the most likely causes for chronic neck pain is poor posture. Your body is similar to a moving chain, with your head, body, arms and legs linked together by joints, and supported by bones and soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, etc.). Movement at one joint influences movement at other joints in the chain. In fact, your feet can have a big influence on the rest of your body, especially if they are not in balance. Postural imbalance places stress and strain on body parts higher up, which can cause pain. Besides a foot problem, obesity can also contribute to postural conditions. Being overweight can cause stress pain to an area like the neck, as soft tissues must work all day against the downward pull of gravity.

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How long will it take?

Chiropractic results vary. Some patients get results quickly. Others find their recovery takes several months or longer. Children often respond quickly, while adults with long-standing spinal problems heal more slowly. The healing process takes time.

There are three stages of chiropractic care. Periodic progressive examinations help determine the course of your care. Once you understand true health, you may want some type of ongoing chiropractic care. Like brushing your teeth, eating wholesome foods, and other healthy habits, a regular chiropractic checkup makes sense. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.

INITIAL INTENSIVE CARE -This is usually where most patients begin their chiropractic care. Visits can be frequent, depending upon the severity of your condition. The primary focus is to reduce or eliminate your most obvious symptoms.

REHABILITATIVE CARE -With your ache or pain diminished, the objective is to stabilize spinal function and promote a more complete healing. Muscles and soft tissues of the spine are strengthened during this stage of care, helping to avoid a relapse.

MAINTENANCE CARE -With the maximum restoration of spinal function many patients enjoy regular chiropractic "check-ups." This type of preventative, wellness care can save time and money by helping prevent little problems from becoming serious.

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