Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic
What is a subluxation?
Subluxations, or vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) involves misalignment and/or loss of movement of vertebrae in your spine which interferes with function of the spinal cord and nerves in your body. Vertebral subluxations are often painless and prevent your body from functioning and healing normally. Only Doctors of Chiropractic are trained and licensed to correct subluxations.
How do I know if I have vertebral subluxations?
The only way to know if you have subluxations is to be checked by a chiropractor. You should think of regular spinal check-ups the same way you think about dental check-ups; they need to be done throughout one’s life (starting as soon as possible after birth) so that problems can be identified and corrected before permanent damage is done. Chronic uncorrected vertebral subluxations lead to many health problems and unecessary suffering. Unfortunately spine and nerve system health tends to be neglected when one thinks of health care. Don’t make this mistake by making sure that you and your family are checked regularly for vertebral subluxation!
What are the causes of vertebral subluxation?
There are two general classes of causes:
Microtraumas: poor posture, repetitive strain, inactivity, sedentary lifestyle, chronic mental/emotional stress
Macrotraumas: car accidents, falls, work or sports injuries
How are vertebral subluxations corrected?
The only way to correct spinal misalignment and subluxation is with chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments restore normal alignment and motion to the spine and correct nerve system interference allowing your body to function, heal and re-create as it was designed to do. Please be aware that there are many chiropractic techniques available that can safely, gently and effectively correct subluxations.
How can I avoid getting new vertebral subluxations?
This can be difficult as for most of us experience physical, chemical and emotional stresses every day which can cause subluxation. The best ways to help prevent subluxations are by getting adequate rest and relaxation, moving regularly (i.e. daily exercise), limiting exposure to toxins in food and our environment and of course regular chiropractic check-ups!
What conditions can be helped by chiropractic?
Since chiropractic care improves the health and function of the brain and spinal cord (which control your body), all health conditions can improve under chiropractic care. There is a growing body of research demonstrating how chiropractic impacts health, please read Dr. Pete’s weekly blog posts for ongoing education in this area.
Has Chiropractic been scientifically researched?
Yes! Dr. Pete reads research journals and publications weekly to keep up with the ever expanding research base documenting the problems subluxation causes and the benefits of chiropractic care. Here are some of the research findings related to chiropractic:
Documented Negative Health Effects of Subluxation and Loss of Normal Spinal Curves:
increased systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein levels elevated), increased muscle tightness, decreased strength and co-ordination, increased risk of death due to atherosclerosis, spinal cord pressure, disc herniations, spinal decay (arthritis), increased pain, decreased mobility, decreased blood flow to brain, increased stress response, delayed healing
Documented Health Benefits of Subluxation Correction through Chiropractic Adjustments:
decreased pain, decreased levels of C-reactive protein (blood marker implicated in many diseases including heart disease), increased serum thiol levels (protect body against oxidative stress and damage), increased strength and co-ordination, improved reactive time and mental performance, endorphin release (body’s self made feel-good chemicals), increased immune system response, improvement in white blood cell counts in HIV positive individuals, less need for medical visits and medications, increased blood flow to brain, restoration of normal spinal curves, prevention of spinal decay and degeneration, relief of colic in babies, for more research check blog posts regularly!
What is the popping heard and felt when an adjustment is given?
The popping sound, known as an “audible release” indicates that one or more of the spinal bones or vertebrae have moved during an adjustment. This is a normal and safe occurence during an adjustment, however some adjustment techniques do not produce an audible release yet are also effective.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Chiropractic adjustments are extremely safe! At Clearview Chiropractic a detailed health history and exam is performed and reviewed with you before any care is given to ensure that you have a positive chiropractic experience. Chiropractic care has been subject to government reports and numerous scientific studies which have repeatedly demonstrated it’s safety and effectiveness. Medical procedures (drugs & surgery) are many times more dangerous than chiropractic care for the management of similar conditions.
How often does one need to see a chiropractor?
This depends on the health of an individual’s spine and nerve system as well as the amount of physical, chemical and emotional stress an individual is routinely subject to. In general, more frequent visits are needed in the early stages of care to correct areas of spinal dysfunction and build a solid foundation for healing. This is not unlike what one does when starting an exercise program; repeated workouts are needed done frequently enough to produce changes in the body. As chiropractic care progresses and an individual’s spine and nerve health stabilizes, less frequent care is required to maintain progress and stay healthy. Specific recommendations for you are created by the doctor depending on the results of your initial and progress exams.
Do I need x-rays?
Spinal x-rays are one of the most valuable tools your chiropractor has to assess you for vertebral subluxation associated spinal decay and loss of normal spinal curves. Examination of your spine by x-ray helps the doctor determine appropriate care for you and progress can also be monitored by repeat x-ray studies. The use of state of the art equipment by well trained professionals ensures that the lowest radiation dose possible is used to obtain the necessary images. Please also note that chiropractic x-rays may be taken differently than when x-rays are taken for medical use, so old x-rays taken of you at facilites other than Clearview Chiropractic may be of limited value.
What do I need to do in addition to chiropractic care to stay healthy?
Be sure to do any home exercises recommended by the Doctor including using your neck orthotic; an instructional video can be viewed here. Regular exercise including but not limited to walking, resistance training and yoga is helpful for many. Finding a dietary/nutritional approach that works for you is valuable too. Setting aside a minimum of 15 minutes a day to lie down and meditate is also beneficial for many. Finally, it is extremely valuable to be sensitive to your emotions and guide your thoughts in a positive rather than negative fashion to allow your body to function and heal optimally.
What if I don’t have insurance? Can I afford chiropractic care?
At Clearview Chiropractic we have several payment options to make care affordable for almost any budget. Many extended health insurance plans offer coverage for chiropractic care. Check with your employer, HR benefits person or contact your insurance company directly to find out the details of your plan.
Does my medical doctor approve of chiropractic?
That depends on how well he/she is educated on the research demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic. Most medical doctors are becoming aware of the value of chiropractic in an individual’s health care. Your medical doctor should never discourage you from seeing a chiropractor as only a chiropractor can determine the appropriateness of chiropractic care for you!
What is the training and education process to become a Doctor of Chiropractic?
At least three years of University study is required to gain entrance to Chiropractic Colleges in the U.S. and Canada. The Doctor of Chiropractic educational process is a four year intensive program of study with education in the areas of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, radiology, research and nutrition. The last year of study involves clinical practice under the supervision of licensed Doctors of Chiropractic. So your doctor of chiropractic has undergone seven to eight years of post-secondary study which is very similar to that of other health professionals (i.e. physicians, dentists).
I heard children shouldn’t get chiropractic care. Is this true?
Chiropractic care is one the best and safest options to keep your child healthy as they grow.
If you have been discouraged from taking your children to the chiropractor for spinal check-ups this advice has come from someone who is unaware of the safety of chiropractic and importance of spinal health for individuals of all ages.
Is chiropractic addictive? Once I start will I need to keep going forever?
This question usually comes from a common experience that people have when beginning chiropractic care. Patients usually feel great after chiropractic adjustments due to the release of endorphins and restoration of proper function of the nerve system. Once you start feeling healthy, do you want to go back to neglecting your spine and nerve system and gradually drift back into ill health? Of course not! This is again like exercise where you notice that you feel better when you are exercising regularly and start to feel stiff and sluggish when you are inactive for long periods. So naturally there is motivation to continue chiropractic care to continue to experience the benefits of a healthy spine and nerve system and combat the effects of a stressful life. At Clearview Chiropractic we make every effort to make regular chiropractic care convenient and affordable for you and your family.