FAQ Answers From Dr. Jeff Williams
Understanding some common chiropractic questions

What is chiropractic care? 

Chiropractic is the 3rd largest doctoral healthcare profession in the USA. It is based on its core treatment, spinal manipulative therapy. In truth, chiropractic care encompasses so much more than that. After spinal manipulative therapy, chiropractic care consists of exercise, strengthening, balance learning, instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation, advanced massage, cold laser, spinal decompression, ultrasound, electric stimulation, proper biomechanics, recommendations in regard to activities of daily living, and so much more. 

Are chiropractors doctors?

Absolutely. Just like an osteopath, a dentist, an optometrist, a pharmacist, a physical therapist, a podiatrist. None of these are medical doctors but are educated on a doctoral level all the same. In fact, Doctors of Chiropractic receive the same basic science education as do medical doctors in medical school.

What type of pain do chiropractors treat?

While some chiropractors have been known to make some unsupported claims about what they can treat, the research literature supports the treating of neuromusculoskeletal pain. Which means that chiropractors are most effective when treating spinal conditions, spine pain, joint pain, and headaches and migraines. 

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

The first thing to discuss on this is that there is not generally not an 'alignment' issue. Spinal adjustments are typically used when there is a 'movement' dysfunction. When the bones in the back (vertebrae) are not moving properly, chiropractors use spinal manipulative therapy to correct it. This can have several effects but the most common results of a chiropractic adjustment are an analgesic effect much like ibuprofen or Tylenol, increase blood flow at the level of treatment, increased proprioceptive input for better function going forward, and a dampening of the pain mechanism that allows pain triggers into the brain from processing. 

Do adjustments hurt?

Not typically. If a patient is in an extreme amount of pain upon arrival, some positions can be painful. That is understandable. However, spinal manipulative therapy by the best chiropractors is not zero or 100 miles per hour. It is not either zero treatment or very strong and aggressive treatment. Treatment can be graded to the tolerance of the patient so that it can be accomplished more comfortably with very little discomfort. 

Are adjustments safe?

Without a doubt. The RAND Institute says the odds of a bad outcome as the direct result of a chiropractic adjustment at 1 in 1-2 million. To put that into context, our odds of winning an Oscar in Hollywood stand at 1 in 11,500. This means it is exceedingly safe to go to an experienced, well-trained chiropractor.

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

A general chiropractic adjustment may look similar many times from one patient to another but, in reality, the chiropractor's hands and direction of push vary greatly from patient to patient and can vary based on factors such as weight, size, and flexibility of the chiropractic patient. 

Will a chiropractic adjustment completely remove back pain?

Yes and no. In some patients, a chiropractic adjustment can get rid of the pain almost immediately. In others, especially in those suffering from chronic pain, the goal of a chiropractor moves from achieving complete pain relief to accomplishing a level of pain that is tolerable for the patient. One must understand that many chiropractic patients have been suffering pain for decades. In cases like this, the pain may never be completely resolved. However, if we can decrease the pain to a level that is tolerable, then the patient can begin to reclaim their life. 

Can I see a chiropractor if I am pregnant?

Absolutely, yes! In fact, we commonly get patients referred to our chiropractic clinic by their OB/GYN physicians. Some of our favorite patients have been mommy-to-be's because we can help them so quickly and the decrease in pain is dramatic. Some of them will even share that they would not have made it through their pregnancy without chiropractic care. 

Is back pain normal?

Back and neck pain is so normal that if you do not every experience it, you are truly one of the rare and blessed creatures on Earth. Well over 80% of the population globally will experience back pain in their lifetimes. Back pain is the leading cause of disability globally and costs more to treat than diabetes and heart disease. 


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