Frequently Asked Questions
What is a subluxation?
Subluxation refers to a spinal or peripheral joint that is relatively immobile or out of place. Subluxations create an imbalance in the spine, affecting the way our body and brain communicate with one another, irritating nerves and blood vessels and possibly causing pain and dysfunction in muscles and organs.
What causes a subluxation?
Accidents, injuries and inherited spinal weaknesses are common causes of subluxations. Other causes include poor sleeping habits, poor posture, obesity, stress, a sedentary lifestyle and too little rest.
How is a subluxation corrected?
Chiropractors treat subluxations with a healing technique called spinal adjustment, a procedure that involves applying specific, short, quick thrusts to return vertebrae (the bones that compose the spine and protect the spinal cord) to their proper position. They may also use other tools and techniques, and will explain these to you at the time.
Does the adjustment hurt?
Most chiropractic adjustments are painless; in fact, the adjustment may feel good and can be relieving. If you've had a recent injury, however, adjustments can irritate inflamed tissue and cause some discomfort. Some people also experience odd sensations in their extremities after adjustments. This is a normal reaction to the relieving of pressure on nerves and is usually no cause for concern.
How old should a person be before receiving chiropractic care?
While every chiropractor has his or her own preference, people of all ages are candidates for chiropractic treatment. Even babies can have subluxations, due to the rigors of birth. In general, it's best to treat children's subluxations early, as they interfere with nerves that control developing muscles and organs. With an early checkup, your chiropractor can detect these problems while they're easy to correct.
Should I go to a chiropractor if I feel fine?
Your chiropractor can recognize and detect problem areas in your spine before they develop into problem conditions. Chiropractic adjustments may help to maintain or support a healthy spine, and maintenance spinal care programs, which may include advice on posture, nutrition and exercise, can effectively prevent pain. Regular checkups will also ensure that small stresses on the spine don't become major misalignments.
How will the adjustment help me?
Chiropractic adjustments help eliminate interference that prevents your body from healing itself. Misaligned vertebrae interfere with your nervous system, which affects organs and muscles throughout your body. Your chiropractor treats the underlying problem, which can alleviate painful symptoms.
Does an adjustment have to make a noise to be effective?
No. While it's true that patients often hear a "pop" during an adjustment, similar to the sound you'd hear cracking your knuckles, it's not related to the treatment's effectiveness. Instead, the explanation lies in a lubricant called synovial fluid that's found in every joint. That fluid contains dissolved gases. Separating joints creates pressure, which forces the gases to rapidly escape, creating a "pop."
How does chiropractic care help pregnant women?
Pregnancy places additional weight and stress on women's bodies. Chiropractic treatment can help relieve pregnancy-related low back, leg and shoulder blade pain. It may also reduce incidences of headache and nausea. Ask your chiropractor how much experience he or she has in treating pregnant women.
Is it true that chiropractors do not prescribe medication or perform surgery?
Yes. Chiropractors don't prescribe medication or perform invasive procedures. They believe the body has the ability to heal itself, and therefore focus on providing it with the right elements for self-restoration. This makes chiropractic one of the safest of all treatments.