Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions we haven't answered here, please call. We know
that the more you learn about chiropractic, the more confidence you'll
have that it will work for you. It's safe. It's natural. And it works.
It's a simple idea that has stood the test of time and helped millions
enjoy relief and better health.
Q: How does chiropractic work?
A: Chiropractic works
because you are a self-healing, self regulating organism controlled by
your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain,
down your spinal cord and out to all of your organs and tissues.
Signals are sent back to your brain to confirm whether your body is
Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine called a
subluxation can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves
and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific
spinal adjustments can help improve mind/body communications. Health
often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
Q: Do I have a slipped disc?
A: The disc is a soft pulpy "shock
absorber." It has a fibrous outer ring which holds in a jelly-like
material. A "slipped disc" is a common way to refer to a wide variety
of disc problems; however, a disc can't slip because of the way it
attaches to the spinal bones above and below it. A disc can bulge. It
can tear. It can herniate. It can thin. It can dry out. And it can
collapse. But it can't slip.
Q: Do I have a pinched nerve?
A: A pinched nerve is rare. It is more
likely than an adjacent spinal bone irritates, stretches, rubs or
chafes a nerve. These subluxations distort the nerve messages sent
between the brain and the body. This can produce unhealthy alterations
to the organs and tissues connected by the affected nerves.
Q: How do you get subluxations?
A: There are three basic causes of
subluxations. Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents,
repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions such as grief, anger
and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol,
drugs, pollution and poor diet.
Q: How do I know if have a subluxation?
A: You can have subluxation and not
even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer,
subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of
a thorough examination can show the location and severity of
subluxations you may have.
Q: Can subluxations clear up on their own?
A: Sometimes. Today's hectic
lifestyles are a constant source of subluxations. Fortunately, our
bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these problems as we
bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don't
resolve, you need to see a chiropractic doctor?
Q: What's an adjustment?
A: Chiropractic adjustments usually
involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that
aren't moving right. Some methods use the doctors hands, an instrument,
a special table or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust
Q: Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
A: Yes, 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
through exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care
might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are about 100
times safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Q: Will adjustments make my spine too loose?
A: No. Only the spinal joints that are "locked up" receive adjustments. This allows muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.
Q: Can the bones move too much?
A: Highly unlikely. A chiropractic
adjustment is special. It has the right amount of energy, delivered to
a an exact spot, at a precise angle, at just the right time. The intent
is to get a "stuck" spinal joint moving again, helping reduce nerve
interference. Years of training, practice and experience make
chiropractic adjustments specific and safe.
Q: What makes the sound during the adjustment?
A: Lubricating fluids separate the
bones of each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound
when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It's much like opening a
bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is
interesting, but it isn't a guide to the quality or value of the
Q: Are all patients adjusted the same way?
A: No. Each patient's spine and care
plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine, each of which can
move in seven different directions, we see a wide variety of spinal
patterns. Each patient's care is custom-tailored for their age,
condition, and health goals.
Q: Can I adjust myself?
A: No. Some people can make their
joints "pop," but that's not an adjustment! Worse, damage can occur by
mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are
specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor must
consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
Q: How many adjustments will I need?
A: The number of adjustments varies
with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients
sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits become
necessary less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases,
complete healing can take months or even years.
Q: Why do newborns get adjustments?
A: Even today's "natural" childbirth
methods can affect an infant's spine. Preliminary studies suggested
that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic
sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments
are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more
pressure than you'd use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
Q: Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
A: Yes. Rest assured that your
chiropractic doctor 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.
Q: Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
A: Of course. When developing a care
plan, your chiropractic doctor considers the unique circumstances of
each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method
selected will be best suited to your age, size and condition.
Q: How long until I'll feel better?
A: Some patients experience almost
instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many
factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your
problem? Are you keeping 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 patients sense enough
progress to fully carry out their doctor's recommendations.
Q: How long will I need chiropractic care?
A: After patients get the relief they
want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These
patients show up for their visits feeling great. These visits can help
support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new
problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best
care and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
Q: Will I receive any medication for my pain?
A: No. Chiropractic doctors don't
dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how
to use ice to control painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can
have an analgesic effect without the side effects of pain medications.
Q: Why don't medical practitioners and chiropractic doctors get along?
A: That's changing. Years of prejudice
and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of
chiropractic care. Attitudes are slow to change; however, as the pubic
demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical
practitioners are referring their patients to our office.
Q: What if my policy doesn't cover chiropractic?
A: Your health affects everything you
do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet,
each of us is free to place a different value on health. It's
convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill.
But be careful! Don't allow the profit motive of a huge corporation to
make the decision for you. Find out how we make chiropractic care
affordable for just about anyone.
Q: Will I ever be normal again?
A: Patients' results vary. Many report
improved spinal curves and total resumption of their normal lifestyle.
Those who neglect or delay seeking care often see slower progress.
After improvement, many patients discover that periodic chiropractic
care can help avoid a relapse.
Q: What if chiropractic doesn't work?
A: If we're unable to find and correct
the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer you to other
specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our primary goal.
Riverside Chiropractic © 2000-2006