WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic is a system of healthcare focused on restoring and optimizing health by hands-on care. The word “chiropractic” comes from the root words chiro- (hand) and -praktikos (practice), and simply means “done by hand.” Care is generally focused around the movement of joints in the spine and extremities. Often times symptoms such as pain, tightness or numbness are caused by an improperly moving joint. Chiropractic care attends to joint restrictions by manually mobilizing these joints. This is a chiropractic “adjustment.”
WHAT TYPE OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING DO CHIROPRACTORS HAVE?
Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are educated as primary-contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them.
The typical applicant for 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 years of professional study are required. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy and clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.
A significant portion of time is also spent in clinical technique training to master the important manipulative procedures used to move, or adjust, the joints throughout the body.
ARE ADJUSTMENTS SAFE?
Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of most back and neck problems. Spinal adjustments are extremely safe when performed by a licensed chiropractor.
When discussing the risks of any health care procedure, it is important to look at that risk in comparison to other treatments available for the same condition. In this regard, the risks of serious complications from spinal manipulation for conditions such as neck pain and headache compare very favorably with even the most conservative care options. For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain—over-the-counter or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and prescription painkillers—are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation.
DO ADJUSTMENTS HURT?
Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort because minimal force and gentle pressure are used. Any reported soreness after an initial adjustment has been described as similar to that associated with starting a new exercise program. Drinking plenty of water, using an ice pack, and engaging in light stretching after your visit can help ease any discomfort.
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.
WILL I HAVE TO COME BACK FOREVER?
Some people will say that once you go to a chiropractor you will have to go back forever. At Evergreen Family Chiropractic, we treat each patient and injury independently of each other. The nature and severity of your condition will affect the type and length of treatment. Our goal is to decrease pain, increase range of motion and prevent the symptoms from returning.
Instead of treatment plans with large number of chiropractic adjustments, the use of stretches and exercises can be implemented to prevent conditions from returning. Combining traditional chiropractic adjusting with soft tissue work, rehabilitation exercises, and targeted strengthening exercises allows our practitioners to not only reduce pain, but address the underlying issue.