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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is chiropractic?
Why should I see a chiropractor?
What conditions benefit from chiropractic care?
Is Chiropractic safe?
Does Chiropractic hurt?
What kind of education and training do doctors of chiropractic have?
How can a chiropractor help?
Who should see a doctor of chiropractic?
What can I expect on my first visit?
What results can I expect from treatment?
I have heard that once I start seeing a chiropractor I have to come forever. Is this true?
Why are X-Rays needed for treatment?
How does chiropractic work?
I have arthritis. Is it safe for me to go to a chiropractor?

What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). "Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand." Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body's inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
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Why should I see a chiropractor?
The simplest most direct answer is "To feel better," but there are many other answers to the question "WHY?" 1. To relieve pain both chronic and acute. 2. To restore/maintain normal joint function and alignment which may help decrease the normal degeneration that occurs as we age. 3. To prevent progressive worsening of a condition, e.g. people who "blow" or herniate discs typically have a long history of back pain and injuries. Proper treatment and exercise before a disc "blows" can dramatically reduce the likelihood of it herniating. 4. To prevent the development of scar tissue and maladaptive body compensation after an injury. 5. To relieve muscle spasms, reduce swelling and improve range of motion, and reduce or relieve stiffness.
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What conditions benefit from chiropractic care?
Although chiropractic is used most frequently to relieve low back pain, studies have found it to be effective for a variety of conditions, such as migraine headaches, neck and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and infantile colic.
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Is Chiropractic safe?
YES. Its non-surgical, drug-free approach to health places chiropractic among the safest of all health care practices. Remember, chiropractic takes nothing out of the body and puts nothing in. As a result, chiropractors enjoy one of the lowest malpractice rates of all health care professionals.
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Does Chiropractic hurt?
Under normal circumstances, adjustments don't hurt. The patient may experience a minor amount of discomfort during the adjustment which lasts only seconds.
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What kind of education and training do doctors of chiropractic have?
Chiropractors receive an education that emphasizes neuromuscular diagnosis and treatment. Preparation for the practice of chiropractic is concentrated on three areas of learning; basic training in the biological and health sciences (anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry, clinical and radiological diagnosis); specialized training in the chiropractic discipline (theoretical studies, practice, diagnosis and applications); and extensive clinical training. Like all primary health care providers, doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive education and training before becoming licensed professionals. Students begin by fulfilling undergraduate degree requirements, with a strong emphasis on the core sciences such as chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and physics. The professional program leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree is very demanding. Chiropractic students continue their study of the sciences, including pathology and biochemistry, at a highly detailed level. Their education continues into the advanced clinical sciences including orthopedics, neurology, examination procedures, differential diagnosis, and X-ray interpretation. During this entire process, aspiring doctors of chiropractic gain knowledge of the philosophy and practice of health care and chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic refine their technical adjusting skills in technique classes. During clinical internships student doctors perfect these skills. Finally, all doctors of chiropractic must pass the rigorous national board exams and state exams before entering the field.
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How can a chiropractor help?
Doctors of chiropractic are specially trained in the evaluation and treatment of spinal conditions, which is why an increasing number of back pain sufferers are turning to them for fast, effective, and reliable care. Similarly, more and more hospitals and private practices are now working closely with doctors of chiropractic in order to ensure the best quality of care for patients who suffer from spine-related injuries and dysfunction. The benefits of chiropractic care have also been shown to extend beyond reduction of back and neck pain. In fact, chiropractic has proven itself as useful in the reduction of headache pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, jaw pain, sciatica, and tingling in the arms and legs. The rewards of chiropractic care are numerous. People under chiropractic care report better health and well-being and many families have realized the benefits of chiropractic care for their children.
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Who should see a doctor of chiropractic?
Nerve interference can affect anyone, which is why people of all ages experience relief and improved health through chiropractic care. A qualified doctor of chiropractic will best determine the appropriateness of care for you or your family. No method of health care has proven itself to be more effective than chiropractic in helping those who suffer from back and neck pain. Doctors of chiropractic are the most highly qualified professionals in evaluating and caring for these, as well as many other health problems.
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What can I expect on my first visit?
The first thing a chiropractor will do is ask you about the health complaints about which you are chiefly concerned. The DC will also ask about your family history, dietary habits, other care you may have had (chiropractic, osteopathic, medical, etc.), your job, and other questions designed to help determine the nature of your illness and the best way to go about treating the problem. A physical examination will be performed in accordance with your DC's clinical judgement, which may include x-rays, laboratory analysis and other diagnostic procedures. In addition, a careful spinal examination and analysis will be performed to detect any structural abnormalities which may be affecting or causing your condition. All of these elements are important components of your total health profile, and vital to the doctor of chiropractic in evaluating your problem.
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What results can I expect from treatment?
That depends on your condition. The length of time you have had the problem, your age and the degree of your disability all affect the length of your treatment. Your chiropractic doctor should tell you the extent of treatment recommended, and how long you can expect it to last. One of the main reasons people choose chiropractic is that they often get quick results. Individual cases vary and chronic conditions obviously need more treatment, but Workers' Compensation Board studies show that people with low back pain get back to work much faster with chiropractic care. You might also consider the benefits of regular chiropractic adjustments even when you feel healthy. Sometimes you won't know you have a disorder of the neuromusculoskeletal system until it becomes acute and painful. So, just as you see your dentist to have your teeth checked and your optometrist for eye exams, regular visits to your chiropractor can catch related health conditions early, often preventing them from developing into major problems. Remember, your spine is every bit as susceptible to wear and tear as your teeth and your eyes so you should look after it.
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I have heard that once I start seeing a chiropractor I have to come forever. Is this true?
Do you need to brush your teeth for the rest of your life. The answer is no. You don't have to...you know the benefits and just make the choice to continue to do it everyday. Many chiropractors believe that everyone should see a chiropractor on a regular basis. Their philosophy is that you should have regular back check-ups and adjustments just like you need regular dental check-ups. Regular care for people with chronic pain can improve their quality of life and reduce their need for drugs. Many drugs can impair mental faculities and present long term health risks. Some competitive athletes also benefit from regular care because of the tremendous demands they place on their bodies. Treatments for athletes helps them maintain and enhance their competitive edge. Chiropractic is a method of healing which helps the body function at its best. Do you have to keep yourself adjusted...only if you want to, it is your choice.
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Why are X-Rays needed for treatment?
X-rays are taken if the doctor believes they will provide information which may change the treatment to be provided. The first and probably most important reason is to find fractures, or other pathology of the bones and joints, which would contraindicate adjusting, or require referral to a medical doctor. X-rays also identify any abnormal curvatures of the spine, scoliosis, joint misalignments, as well as arthritis.
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How does chiropractic work?
The human body possesses a natural ability to restore itself. This ability depends on a healthy nervous system. Life's events such as automobile accidents, sports injuries, repetitive work, and home stress are just some of the factors that can overwhelm the body's ability to adapt. The joints of the spine 'lock up' when these sorts of events occur, limiting range of motion. Spinal joint restriction and/or misalignment results in irritation and/or pressure at the spinal nerve. Chiropractic care can correct these structural distortions, known as subluxations, restoring the body to its optimal form and function. Local symptoms of subluxations may include pain, tenderness, swelling, tingling, numbness, or spasm around the joints of the spine, back, and neck. Many times these sensations extend further into the shoulders and arms, around the rib cage, or into the hips and down the legs. Subluxations can even lead to headaches, stomach and digestive problems, and loss of overall health. Impaired nerve coordination causes the whole body to suffer. Vital instructions flow between the brain and the body by way of spinal nerves. These instructions inform and direct the body as to when, where, and how it needs to heal itself. By irritating nerves, subluxations interfere with the essential brain/body exchange, thereby compromising the normal function of the body's organs and tissues. Chiropractic care clears the path for the body to maintain its own health.
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I have arthritis. Is it safe for me to go to a chiropractor?
In the vast majority of cases the answser is yes. In fact chiropractic is very beneficial in reducing the pain associated with arthritis and helping to maintain joint mobility. In a minority of cases of severe arthritis, adjustments are contraindicated. However even in these cases physiotherapy is often helpful.
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