Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands–or an instrument–to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain.

Actually, adjustments do not always produce a sound. Adjusting a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint when it is slightly separated, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is normally minimal, if any, discomfort involved.

No. After a thorough examination to identify the true nature of a patient’s problem, a chiropractor will determine the appropriate adjusting technique and treatment course. Different problems respond more favorably to different adjusting techniques – meaning a treatment that worked before may not be the most appropriate with your new complaint. Adjustments should be comfortable too, so if you typically feel sore after your adjustments, see if your chiropractor can utilize another adjusting technique.

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, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise.

No. Since a chiropractic adjustment requires a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself safely, correctly and accurately. It is possible to bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint mobilization is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable spine even more unstable, and can sometimes be dangerous.

Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans (like Blue Cross Blue Shield), workers’ compensation, Medicare, Medicaid plans, among others.

A referral is not normally needed to see a doctor of chiropractic; however, your health plan may have specific referral requirements. You may want to contact your insurance company to find out if there are any referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a chiropractor.

Yes.  Adjustments on patients with prior back/neck surgery are modified to be much gentler and preserve the health of the rest of the surrounding spine. It’s unfortunate that many of those who have had spinal surgery see their original symptoms return just months or years later. Then, they face the prospect of additional surgery. Chiropractic may help prevent repeat back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is used initially, back surgery can often be avoided in the first place.

Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care and is safe. We all know children normally go through several falls and blows from daily activities as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may lead to  symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is a skilled treatment adapted to the individual patient – meaning in the case of children – very gentle.

Yes. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments help with pregnancy discomforts (like low back pain, sciatica and midback tightness/soreness) and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjustment styles are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age and condition of health to ensure the safety of the mother and her baby.

No. Exercise is a critical part of good health, yet without normal spinal function, a physical workout merely puts additional wear and tear on improperly functioning spinal joints. Just as adjustments won’t whip you back into shape, exercise alone won’t correct an ill-functioning spine. Both are required to achieve optimal health.

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