|• How large is the chiropractic profession?|
• How many people see chiropractors?
• What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
• Does chiropractic care require a referral from a medical physician?
• I’ve heard that chiropractic really doesn’t have a scientific basis. What are the facts?
• How quickly will my symptoms subside?
• Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
• Does the adjustment hurt?
• What is a “subluxation”?
• What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?
• Is chiropractic care expensive?
• Does chiropractic treat any other problems except back problems?
• Is chiropractic treatment safe?
• Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?
• Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I’m pregnant?
• Can a Chiropractor help with painful bone spurs?
• Why doesn’t my medical doctor want me to see a chiropractor? I think it would help.
• Do chiropractors treat conditions other than back pain?
• I have heard that once I start chiropractic care, I’ll have to continue with it for the rest of my life. Is this true?
• Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
How large is the chiropractic profession?
|Chiropractic is the fastest-growing and second-largest primary health care profession. According to Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards there are approximately 81,000 doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in active practice in the United States spread from rural areas to inner cities. More than 10,000 students are currently enrolled in chiropractic educational programs accredited by a federally-recognized body (CCE). The ratio of DCs to the general population, based on the Bureau of the Census figures is estimated to be one doctor of chiropractic for every 5,100 citizens. This compared dramatically to the ratio of medical providers to the general population as there are well over ten times more MDs than DCs. Thus the MD to general population ratio is approximately one to every 430 citizens.|
How many people see chiropractors?
|Chiropractic services are in high demand. Tens of millions of Americans routinely opt for chiropractic services and this number is rapidly growing. In 1993, more than 30 million consumers made chiropractic a regular part of their health care program.|
What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
|Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.|
In total, the chiropractic curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Does chiropractic care require a referral from a medical physician?
|No, a patient does not need referral by an MD before visiting a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are primary health care providers, and are so defined in federal and state regulations. Following a consultation and examination, the doctor of chiropractic will arrive at a diagnosis and make a determination as to whether or not referrals to any other care providers are necessary.|
I’ve heard that chiropractic really doesn’t have a scientific basis. What are the facts?
|The practice of chiropractic is based on sound scientific principles.|
The existence of the nervous system as the primary control mechanism of the body is an undisputed scientific fact. Its relationship with the spine is the focus of the practice of chiropractic. The spine develops in utero to provide two primary functions: (1) allow for freedom of movement and (2) house and protect the spinal cord. When the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned through trauma or repetitive injury, two major consequences will result: (1) the range of motion becomes limited and (2) spinal nerves emerging from the spinal cord are compromised. DCs use the term “subluxation” to describe such disruptions. Interruption of nerve flow can eventually lead to pain, disability, and an overall decrease in the quality of life. Conversely, the removal of that interference has been shown to have significant, lasting health benefits. Through the adjustment of the subluxation, the doctor of chiropractic endeavors to restore normal nerve expression. The body is then able to respond appropriately to any imbalance in the system, thus relieving symptoms and restoring health.
How quickly will my symptoms subside?
|.Every individual responds differently to care. It also depends on how long the symptoms have been present. That being said, in our clinical experience, most patients’ symptoms will begin to subside within a few days to a few weeks.|
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
|An audible popping or cracking sound heard with an adjustment is perfectly normal and is simply the sound of gas bubbles being released in the joint fluid as they’re compressed. This is exactly the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint that results in gas bubbles being released. The presence or intensity of the sound can vary from person to person, or even treatment, and is not indicative of an effective treatment. There is no pain involved. Many adjustments do not have an audible popping sound at all !|
Does the adjustment hurt?
|The adjustment is a painless procedure. If a person is already in pain any movement of course can be uncomfortable, but the adjustments are designed to ultimately reduce and eliminate the pain.|
What is a “subluxation”?
|A subluxation is a misalignment and or aberrant movement of the bones that house and protect the spinal cord. Any misalignment or restriction of movement can put unnecessary pressure on the nerve or irritate the nervous system and damage the nerve supply to different parts of the body. Vertebral subluxations that are left undetected and unadjusted for many years can lead to symptoms of pain, diseases, and an unhealthy expression of life.|
What is the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?
|Chiropractors base their care on the detection correction, and prevention of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments). We use specific spinal adjustments to correct the spine, to improve nerve system functions and reduce nerve interference. Osteopaths use drugs, surgery, and other traditional medical therapies and only occasionally use manipulative procedures.|
Is chiropractic care expensive?
|Doctors of chiropractic provide effective, low-cost health care for a wide range of conditions.|
Studies conducted according to the highest scientific standards and published by organizations not affiliated in any way with chiropractic institutions or associations continue to show the clinical appropriateness and effectiveness of chiropractic care. One of the most recent, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, stated emphatically that:
“On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain…There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low back pain was transferred from physician to chiropractors.
Does chiropractic treat any other problems except back problems?
|The doctor of chiropractic is an effective source of preventative and wellness care. The anatomical focus of the DC on the human spine has created the perception of the DC as just a “back doctor.” Although this perception is not entirely incorrect, it is very much incomplete. Doctors of chiropractic are a highly appropriate resource in matters of work-place safety, stress management, injury prevention, postural correction and nutritional counseling.|
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
|Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects.|
The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Imbalances in the vertebrae of the neck, which may be associated with neck pain, some types of headaches and other symptoms described in our website, often involves realignment of these misaligned vertebrae. Gentle mobilization of the bones of the neck, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve the joint mobility of the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm and irritation to nerves. This helps to relieve pressure and tension in the neck area.
Neck mobilization is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, there is no clear understanding of any such connection. The occurrence of such is extremely rare: 1 in 5.85 million manipulations based on the clinical reports and scientific studies to date. While being evaluated by us for upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help us offer the safest and most effective care including if necessary, referral to another health care provider.
It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) — as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.
Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?
|Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that up to half of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years later. They then face the prospect of additional surgery. This too common occurrence is known as “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.” Chiropractic may help prevent repeated back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is initially utilized back surgery can often be avoided in the first place.|
Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I’m pregnant?
|Anytime is a good time for a better functioning spine. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health.|
Dr. Gebhardt adjusts pregnant mothers frequently, most notably his own wife throughout her entire pregnancy with their daughter.
Chiropractic care has also helped in cases of babies who are in a breech position. The ligaments of the uterus are connected to the pelvic bones. Working with the ligaments of the uterus and maintaining proper position of the pelvic bones though out pregnancy will help the uterus and baby maintain its proper position, and provide more comfort for the mother throughout her pregnancy.
Can a Chiropractor help with painful bone spurs?
|Many patients are told that they have “bone spurs” in their back or neck, with the implication that the bone spurs are the cause of their back pain. However, while bone spurs are an indication that there is degeneration of the spine, these bony growths are not usually the actual cause of the pain. The term “bone spurs” is really a bit of a misnomer, as the term “spurs” implies that they are “poking” some part of the spinal anatomy and causing pain. However, this is not at all true. Bone spurs are in fact smooth structures that form over a prolonged period of time. The medical term for bone spurs is osteophytes, and they represent an enlargement of the normal bony structure. Basically, osteophytes are a radiographic marker of spinal degeneration (aging) and are by and large a normal finding as we age. Over the age of 60, osteophytes are actually quite common.|
Why doesn’t my medical doctor want me to see a chiropractor? I think it would help.
|Find another doctor who does. Your doctor is still “in the dark” as to the benefits of chiropractic care. The relationship between the medical & chirpractic professions has improved vastly over the past 10 years, but there remain a few staunch medical doctors out there who refuse to look at the benefits of chiropractic care. Take control of your own health and demand that your doctors explain to you all aspects of the testing, diagnosis, and treatments – be it medication, surgery, or chiropractic adjustments. You should know all the possible benefits, risk, and alternatives available to you – If you Doctor refuses to provide you with those you should seek a second opinion.|
Do chiropractors treat conditions other than back pain?
|Chiropractors provide effective treatment for all types of soft tissue disorders and not just back and neck ailments. This includes conditions of the joints of the extremities like the ankle, knee and shoulder. What you may not be aware of is chiropractic’s success in treating a number of non-soft tissue conditions like dysmenorrhea (painful menses), ulcers, migraine headaches, and ear infections in children. While we cannot claim to cure these conditions, we believe that many of these problems can be mimicked, aggravated and sometimes caused by disruptions in the nervous system as a result of spinal abnormalities. By correcting these spinal abnormalities like the vertebral subluxation, chiropractic has helped thousands of individuals overcome these conditions and regain control of their lives. A number of studies have also supported these findings. In one such study, spinal manipulative therapy was compared with standard medical treatments in the treatment of duodenal ulcers. The researchers Pikalov, MD, and Kharin, MD, found those subjects receiving spinal manipulations took an average of 16 days to heal vs. 26 days to heal in the standard medical treatment group. JMPT 1994;17(5):310-313. Even if Chiropractic can not treat the actual condition, many patients find the relief from Chiropractic adjustments for musculoskeletal issues greatly help them cope and deal with their condition in conjunction with medical treatments.|
I have heard that once I start chiropractic care, I’ll have to continue with it for the rest of my life.
Is this true?
|Yes it is. But not for the reasons you might have been lead to believe. Many people start Chiropractic care for acute aches and pains, but continue to come regularly for the rest of their life once they discover the far reaching benefits of Chiropractic care. Most patients require several visits to treat effectively, but after the initial treatment are released from care and can make their own decision to continue with wellness care. You can compare it going to the Dentist – A lot of people go when they have a tooth ache, but see the benefit of preventing future cavities and problems with regular cleanings and checkups. Why? Quite simply, to prevent your teeth from literally rotting out of your head. Once chiropractic care eliminates your pain and rehabilitates the injured tissues we do recommend that you maintain a schedule of periodic spinal checkups. Like your dentist and like many of the medical experts are now recognizing, prevention is the key to reducing recurrences of existing health conditions and minimizing new injuries in the future. So the answer is yes, we want you to keep coming back, but just periodically. Periodic chiropractic care minimizes spinal and nerve stresses, reduces recurrences of old injuries, prevents new injuries from developing, minimizes degenerative processes, which enhances overall health and wellness.|
Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
|Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.|
Infants can get adjusted as early as the day they were born. The birthing process can cause major strain on the delicate and developing nervous system, especially the cervical spine (neck).