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Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic


Why is the nervous system so important?

Your brain, spinal cord, and nerves coordinate and control every cell, tissue and organ in the body and adapt them to their internal and external environment. If the nervous system is not responding properly, the body will not perform at 100% as nature intended. The result? Reduced immune function, disease, fatigue, premature aging, stress, poor metabolism, hormonal imbalance, difficulty concentrating, muscle and joint dysfunction, etc.

What is a subluxation?

Interference to the nervous system caused by chemical, emotional, and physical stress leading to the body’s inability to regulate, heal, repair, and regenerate its cells, tissues, and organs for optimal function. The word “subluxation” comes from the Latin words meaning “to dislocate” (luxate) and “somewhat or slightly” (sub). A subluxation means a slight dislocation (misalignment) or biomechanical malfunctioning of the vertebrae (bones of the spine).

These disturbances may irritate nerve roots and blood vessels which branch off from the spinal cord between each of the vertebrae. This irritation may cause pain and dysfunction in muscle, lymphatic and organ tissue as well as imbalance in the normal body processes. This also interferes with the body’s inborn healing ability and lowers the body’s resistance. Lowered resistance is the number one cause of all physical breakdowns. Over time, the organs and glands connected to these compromised nerves begin to malfunction, creating abnormal body chemistry, disease, accelerated deterioration and degeneration!

What causes a subluxation?

Physical, chemical and emotional stresses cause subluxations. A fall, injury, sudden jar, trauma, or sometimes inherited spinal weakness can displace a vertebra. Other causes include improper sleeping conditions or habits, poor posture, occupational hazards, incorrect lifting practices, obesity, and lack of rest and exercise. The birth process is a major cause of subluxation. Chemical causes of subluxation can be from poor diet, toxic food and drinks, or chemical interactions causing imbalances from food, drink, vitamins, or prescription drug use. Mental causes of subluxation can be your body’s inability to adapt to sudden traumatic stressful events or even low level stress for a long period of time to which your body does not adapt.

How is a subluxation corrected?

Doctors of Chiropractic are specialists in neuromusculoskeletal conditions. They are trained to restore the misaligned vertebrae to their proper position in the spinal column. They do this manually, utilizing the chiropractic procedure known as “spinal adjustment.” Your chiropractor, in most cases, will use his or her hands in applying corrective pressure to the spine in a specific direction and location. The manual force or thrust helps restore the alignment and mobility of the vertebrae. In some cases, the chiropractor may use instrumentation to detect subluxations and adjust the spine.

Does the adjustment hurt?

Under normal circumstances, chiropractic adjustments are painless. In cases of recent trauma, such as whiplash, mild discomfort may be experienced due to inflammation. It is also common to feel a brief sensation in the extremities immediately following an adjustment due to the sudden decompression of the affected nerve root.

Is regular chiropractic care necessary?

Regular chiropractic care may be necessary to correct spinal subluxations to help maintain sound health and fitness. Your spine is under constant strain during waking hours. Improper lifting techniques, poor posture, accidents, falls and bumps, and other causes can contribute to spinal strain. Timely adjustments can help restore the neuromusculoskeletal integrity of the spine to normalize the bodily equilibrium and increase resistance.

How old should a person be before he or she begins chiropractic care?

Chiropractic patients range in years from birth to old age. Regardless of age, the vertebrae can become misaligned. For example, the birth process may cause trauma to the neck and spine. Left uncorrected, the vertebral subluxation may disturb the delicate spinal cord and nerves which control the youngster’s muscles and organs. In some cases, an uncorrected subluxation may lead to a deformity of the spinal column. An early chiropractic checkup may detect many spinal problems while they are still easily correctable.

How will the adjustment help me?

Chiropractic adjustments by themselves do not actually heal the body. When any of the 24 moveable spinal vertebrae become misaligned, a basic imbalance or disruption can occur in the nervous and blood vascular systems, which may contribute to stress in the body. Chiropractic adjustments help eliminate that imbalance or disruption so that the body can function at its true potential.

Does an adjustment have to make a noise to be effective?

No, it is a common misconception that your joints must make a noise to be properly adjusted. Chiropractors are not concerned with the noise, rather we are concerned with the effect the adjustment has on the nervous system. Actually, in our office we use a number of chiropractic techniques which make excellent adjustments without causing any noise.

Should I go to a Chiropractor if I feel fine?

Absolutely! Everyone benefits from regular chiropractic care. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we associate sickness and disease with symptoms and health as a lack of symptoms. There are many that feel fine now, but unknowingly have disease processes going on, and who will die in the near future. Symptoms are not nature’s early warning signs. Symptoms are often the last to appear only to surface after years of prolonged damage has already been done.

Spinal misalignments cause subtle changes that you don’t feel early on. If not adjusted, these misalignments lead to injury to cells and soft tissues and can develop into more serious problems as years go by, such as abnormal body chemistry, disease, accelerated deterioration and degeneration. By receiving regular chiropractic care, you can help your body stay healthy now and through-out your entire life.

Is it true that Chiropractors do not prescribe medication or perform surgery?

Yes. Chiropractors do not include medication or surgery in their treatment program. Chiropractors maintain that the body has a built-in capacity to restore health within certain limits, and base their care on this principle. Occasionally, the use of medication can interfere with the body’s healing mechanisms, produce side effects, create a dependence and lead to drug-caused disease or complications. The first response in most illnesses and injuries should be conservative care. Chiropractic’s principles make it possibly the safest and most appealing of the healing arts.

How does chiropractic care help the pregnant woman?

Because of the additional weight and stress on the framework of the body in pregnant women, chiropractic adjustments can help lower the incidence of pain in the low back and legs, and between the shoulder blades. In some cases, fewer headaches and problems with nausea and elimination may also result. Many chiropractors care for expectant mothers in the regular course of their daily practices. It is wise, however, to first inquire about the experience of your chiropractor in caring for pregnant women and what he or she recommends for you.

Are you against drugs and surgery?

No. There is a time for both. However, I am more interested in finding and correcting the cause of a problem rather than covering up the symptoms with a toxic chemical experiment that may cause deadly side-effects (just listen to the drug commercials!). Doesn’t it make more sense to use conservative and non-invasive procedures prior to cutting into the body and removing organs? Surgery is financially, emotionally, and physically dangerous and should be used only as a last resort.

I heard chiropractic cures diseases. Is this true?

The body heals itself when it is given the tools it needs for healing, namely proper nutrition, adequate rest, physical exercise, mental and spiritual balance, and a nervous system that is working properly.

Nerves control the immune system, skeletal system, respiratory system, reproductive system, digestive system, hormone (endocrine) system, and the list goes on. Chiropractic facilitates healing because it restores proper nerve function. As a chiropractor, I remove the interference to the nervous system and get out of the way… I allow the body to do what it is innately designed to do when the channels of communication are clear. Chiropractors do not cure anything. The body cures itself when it has the proper nerve supply. “Nature needs no help… just no interference.”

How long will it take for my body to heal?

It depends on your personal history, genetics, current physical condition, level of stress, and how well you follow the chiropractic recommendations. Your body has tolerated physical, chemical, and emotional stress for years. It took years for your body to get to its current level of dis-ease. Healing is a process, and like every process in nature, healing takes time. It is unreasonable to expect permanent correction of a condition instantly after we have abused the body for decades.

Why do you insist we follow the chiropractic recommendations?

I am committed that you get the desired results quickly, the effects are long-lasting, and you do not waste your time and money. It is disappointing to see patients stop chiropractic care before they have even given their body a chance to heal, only to return weeks, months, or years later with the same problem that brought them to the office in the first place. If you only go to the gym on an irregular basis, and when you do work out, you don’t follow the trainer’s recommendations, who would be at fault if you did not get the results you hoped to achieve?

Why do I need to get adjusted more frequently when I first start chiropractic?

The initial stage is designed to reduce inflammation and restore joint mobility as quickly as the body will allow. This stage addresses the symptom relief. The second phase, or wellness care, is designed to further the healing process and maintain the progress your body has already made. Using the gym example again, if after months of working out you feel and look great, is it wise to stop working out? You might not have to work out with the same intensity that got you into shape, but it would be smart to maintain your progress?

Do I have to get chiropractic care for the rest of my life?

You don’t have to do anything for the rest of your life – it’s your choice. You can choose not to brush your teeth, not to change the oil in your car, not to make repairs to your house, not to eat a healthy diet, and not to exercise. However, there are consequences to your actions. If you want to get the most mileage out of your body, then yes, you must take care of it for the rest of your life. The spine and nervous system is no exception.

When should someone start chiropractic care?

As soon as they are born. The point is to maintain health for your whole life, not to abuse or ignore your body for decades and then put out fires when you are in physical distress. The spine and nerve system is subject to trauma from day one until death – twisting of the neck during the birth process; falling while learning to walk and while playing; sports injuries; carrying heavy backpacks, purses, laptop computers; poor posture; driving; sitting all day; inadequate exercise; gravity; pregnancy; carrying and lifting car seats and strollers; osteoporosis; emotional stress; chemical interactions. It is never too early or too late to start chiropractic wellness care.

Why do infants and children need chiropractic care?

That’s a great question. But if you don’t understand vertebral subluxation, you will not understand the need for children to have chiropractic care. So, let’s review subluxation.

Vertebral subluxation is a change in the position, tension or mobility of one or more bones of the spine causing interference to the nervous system. Changes in the spine are often very obvious in old people. They’re bent over, stiff and rigid and have difficulty getting out of a chair. We can easily see the changes in their spines. But did this just happen? Did their spines decay and deform overnight? When did that process of spinal distortion actually begin? Usually during infancy or childhood. Slight changes in the spinal bones, called subluxations, occur throughout a person’s life.

The birth process itself often causes damage to a baby’s spine. The stresses of growing up, both physical and emotional, add to the stress on a child’s spine and nervous system. If you look closer, you’ll see children with their heads forward, or perhaps stuck in the low back or pelvis. Often, a foot turns inward or outward, indicating spinal stress (subluxation). They may not have any symptoms yet, but the distortion is present, and unless it is addressed and corrected, the body and mind of the child suffer and work less than 100%.
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We all want the best for our children. We all want our children to be healthy and strong. Unfortunately, few parents know about the benefits of regular spinal checkups and adjustments for their children. Simply put, it is easily one of the greatest expression’s of love you can do for your child’s health and well-being.

Look closely at this. Years ago, the dental profession recommended we floss and brush our teeth three times daily, and get our children into the habit as well. Why? Because people used to neglect their teeth and they would generally start to rot while in their twenties or thirties, without them even knowing it. Well, guess what? Neglected spines do the same thing. They rot. They decay and corrode and degenerate. I’ve seen the x-rays. And it’s not old age, either. It’s neglect, pure and simple. And it starts when we’re young.

Am I really telling you that newborn babies get their spines checked and adjusted by a chiropractor? Yes, and their lives are so much better for it. Please understand, it is VERY GENTLE and very honouring to their little spines.

Here’s what I have found; children who get their spines checked and adjusted regularly are far healthier than those who don’t. I know that’s a bold statement, but it does make sense. Why? Because the central nervous system is in the spine. The nervous system runs the entire body. It runs the ears, the sinuses, the organs, the glands, and everything else. Your child’s coordination depends on a fully functioning nervous system. When the nervous system is compromised (interfered with by vertebral subluxation), the body cannot function properly. It’s that simple.

Why do athletes get regular chiropractic adjustments?

Chiropractic helps athletes improve their athletic performance, heal quicker from injuries, increase flexibility and stamina, and much more.

  • Improving athletic performanceIf you had a race car would you make sure your front end was aligned properly before a big race? Of course you would because you know that when your car is aligned properly it will run faster, more efficiently, and with less strain on the car’s structure. This is how Chiropractic care relates to your body and athletics. And there’s more. To perform at your peak, your body must receive signals from your brain, and your brain must get messages from your body.Have you ever been on a cell phone when there was static on the line? Interference over your nerve pathways has the same effect. It reduces the communication between your brain and your body and affects your ability to perform at your best.Chiropractic care removes this interference and keeps it out of your life through specific Chiropractic adjustments. No wonder Dan O’Brien credits Chiropractic for helping him win the Olympic Gold Medal in the Decathalon.
  • Heal quicker from injuriesPeople heal quicker from injuries, sickness, and everything else if they have good nerve supply from their brain to their body and back again. There are countless personal experiences from people who have limped into Chiropractic offices with a sports or athletic injury, and leaped out to participate in their activity the next day.While not every person who goes to a Chiropractor has this kind of experience, because it depends on the extent of the injury, many people certainly do. Why do you think Chiropractic has been one of the fastest growing health professions over the last decade? No wonder Emmitt Smith credits regular chiropractic care with helping him break so many football records.
  • Improve flexibility and staminaOne particular study tested two groups of athletes in training. The first group trained without receiving Chiropractic care. The second group trained and received ongoing Chiropractic care as well. As you would expect, both groups improved. After 12 weeks, however, there was a substantial difference in their results. The group that was not under Chiropractic care showed a 4.5% improvement while the Chiropractic group showed a 16.7% improvement after 12 weeks. No wonder Evander Holyfield had regular Chiropractic care during his training, as well as before and after a fight.

How long does it take to become a chiropractor?

Four years of college, four years of graduate school, clinical internships, state and national board licensure, continuing education courses. What do you study? Everything they teach in medical school (same books, same curriculum) as well as chiropractic philosophy and chiropractic adjusting techniques. Chiropractors are primary health care providers, in the same category as general MD practitioners, dentists, and podiatrists.

Comparison of Hours of Basic Sciences Education in Medical and Chiropractic Schools

Subject Chiropractic Schools Medical Schools
Hours % of Total Hours % of Total
Anatomy 570 40 368 31
Biochemistry 150 11 120 10
Microbiology 120 8 120 10
Public Health 70 5 289 24
Physiology 305 21 142 12
Pathology 205 14 162 14
Total Hours 1,420 100 1,200 100

Comparisons of the Overall Curriculum Structure for Chiropractic and Medical Schools

Chiropractic Schools HOURS Medical Schools HOURS
Mean Percentage Mean Percentage
Basic Science 1416 29% 1200 26%
Clinical Science 3406 71% 3467 74%
Chiropractic Science 1975 41% 0 0
Clerkship 1405 29% 3467 74%
Total Contact Hours 4822 100% 4667 100%

Is chiropractic dangerous?

My malpractice insurance premium per year is less than $1,000. A general practitioner MD pays at least $60,000 per year. Insurance companies base their premiums on how risky it is to insure a person or profession. Based on these figures, whose office poses a greater risk? My car insurance costs more than my malpractice insurance!

What are your responsibilities as a doctor?

To be the best technician, educator, communicator that I can be. To serve with my mind, my heart, and my hands. To create a friendly office with efficient procedures and simple/fair fee systems. Every month I attend weekend continuing education seminars and hire mentors to coach me in my chiropractic and business skills. Every week I am on conference calls with my mentors and colleagues.

What are my responsibilities as a patient?

To follow your recommended care plan; to call ahead if you must reschedule an appointment; to attend the new patient orientation; to communicate with me about any concerns you might have; to adhere to your financial agreements; to refer others to the office for the health potential workshop on Monday evenings; to share your results with friends and co-workers; to get your family under chiropractic care; to help me find speaking opportunities (in your church, office, daycare, etc.) so that I can share my message of health with others.

Why is the new patient orientation important?

So you understand what chiropractic really is and is not, learn how you can best benefit from care, find out about your own health potential, ask questions, broaden your horizons, have a wake up call, see me in action in a way you have never seen before, share chiropractic with a friend who might be interested in getting care but who wants to find out more before deciding if chiropractic is right for him/her.

Why do you only adjust patients at certain times on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Tuesday afternoons?

It keeps the flow going so you don’t wait; chiropractic is very physically demanding so I am warmed up, I am concentrating exclusively on patient care, rather than marketing, insurance, accounting, etc. In between the prime adjusting times I am seeing new patients, performing re-exams on existing patients, writing reports, studying, training, returning phone calls, setting up business meetings. On Tuesday mornings and on Fridays I am either doing more of the list just mentioned, or I am giving or writing speeches, attending conferences, doing research, running errands, participating in community work, wrestling with insurance companies.

Is chiropractic care a substitute or alternative to medical care?

No. It is not a substitute or alternative to anything. It is the location and correction of vertebral subluxation to allow the wisdom of the body to better express itself and to function at its greatest capacity on all levels. No other profession provides this service. This is distinctly the sole focus of the chiropractic profession only.

What’s the bigger picture?

Get healthy naturally, stay well, appreciate and respect your body, lead a life that is full of joy, self-expression, fun, personal growth, and activity.

Can I get more information?

If you have questions, or comments, please e-mail at You can also subscribe to our FREE newsletter for on-going information, or enjoy a free initial consultation.

When you’re ready to take action, give us a call at The Family Wellness Center to schedule an appointment.

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