Q. What is chiropractic and how does it work?
A. Chiropractic is a non-invasive natural approach to health care. It is based on the scientific fact that the body has the innate ability to heal itself and that this ability depends greatly on a healthy spine and nervous system. Spinal adjustments correct areas of spinal stress, called subluxation, and thereby reduce pain (if present) and remove irritation to the nervous system. This has far reaching implications in that every aspect of the human body is wholly or in part controlled by the nervous system. There are many causes of spinal stress and they are the cause of many health problems – not just low back pain and headaches!
Q. Can children be chiropractic patients?
A. Absolutely. Chiropractic care is based on the basic biological and physiological sciences, which equally apply to children from birth to full development as they do to the adult. Chiropractic care is as beneficial to children as it is to adults, and they should be seen by chiropractors on a regular basis from birth. Chiropractors are trained to screen for possible abnormalities that may arise during normal development and to care for conditions that may already be present. Many spinal and skeletal weaknesses can be detected during childhood and be prevented from predisposing and adult condition. As with adults, regular adjustments provide for a healthy spine and nervous system for the developing child.
Q. Is it true that chiropractic is one of the safest methods of health care?
A. Yes. The scientific literature contains numerous studies, both government and privately funded, that conclude chiropractic to be extremely effective, cost-effective and safe. In fact, spinal adjusting is among the most researched health care interventions. These studies consistently indicate that it is extremely safe. In particular, the Ontario ministry of health concluded that there is no study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal adjustments are unsafe in the treatment of low back conditions, and further suggests that it is safer that medical management.
Q. Should I be concerned if my neck has to be adjusted?
A. No. The largest concern associated with cervical spine (neck) adjustments is the slight possibility of a stroke. This risk has to be put into perspective. Studies show that the risk is in the neighborhood of about 1 in 1.5 to 2 million – about the same chance of having a stroke while shoulder checking in you car, getting your hair washed at a salon, playing sports or even coughing. Furthermore, the risks associated with the treatments that many people consider normal for the same conditions they would see a chiropractor are thousands of times greater. For example – anti-inflammatory drugs: 1 in 1000 risk of serious complication and 1 to 2 in 10000 risk of death. Surgeries for neck pain: 1 in 64 chance of paralysis or stroke and 1 in 145 chance of death. So you see, those concerned with the safest methods of health care should be seeing a chiropractor first.
Q. Why not just use the medical approach – medication and or surgery?
A. The literature indicates that drugs and surgery for similar health problems carry much more risk and side effects than do chiropractic adjustments and are often ineffective. For example, the risk of a serious condition or death from side effects attributed to the use of nsaids (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and Tylenol) is hundreds of times greater than chiropractic. Many medications simply mask conditions and do nothing to address the causes. Chiropractors do the exact opposite by identifying the root of the condition and fixing it through non-invasive techniques.
Q. Do I Have a Slipped Disc?
A. Your spinal discs act like shock absorbers between your spinal bones. They are made of a tough fibrous outer layer and a soft gel like interior. Your discs can bulge, tear, herniate, collapse, thin and dry out – but they can’t slip!
Q. Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?
A. An actual pinched nerve is fairly rare and very painful. Most nerve irritations are just that – irritations. Usually due to rubbing, stretching and chafing by adjacent spinal structures. Very minor irritations to these nerves can affect their function and that of wherever the nerve happens to go. Often pain is an associated sign.
Q. What Makes The Popping Sound Often Heard With A Spinal Adjustment?
A. A good portion of your joints are lubricated by a liquid called synovial fluid that performs much like the oil in the engine of a car. Some spinal adjusting procedures will shift this fluid creating a popping sound. This sound is interesting but of little therapeutic value and is no indication of the quality or value of an adjustment.