How do I know if I should see a chiropractor?
Many conditions that cause back pain, neck pain, other joint pain, or muscle pain can be treated by a chiropractor. While many chiropractors are similar in their approach to treatment, every chiropractor is unique in how they adjust and what other techniques they utilize. Chiropractors are not only spine specialists, but also get extensive training in all areas of the body and all systems of the body. Diagnosing your condition/symptoms, and then properly treating them, or referring you to the correct specialist is done on the first visit to our office. While imaging is not necessary in many cases, we can have x-rays taken, or refer out for advanced imaging if necessary. Seeing a chiropractor is often the best place to start, as a thorough exam is performed, it is non-invasive, and you can get referred to the right person if chiropractic isn’t the correct treatment for your condition.
How do I know if I have a muscle problem, a joint problem, or something more serious?
Having a proper history and exam will give good indication on what is causing your condition/symptoms. In some cases, imaging is required to obtain more information and rule out more serious problems. The majority of back and neck pain falls into a category of “uncomplicated.” Although the pain can be extremely severe, this essentially means there is not a serious pathology requiring anything more than conservative care. In the majority of “uncomplicated” back pain cases, both muscle and joint dysfunction is occurring when pain is present. If pain is lingering more than a couple of days, there is likely more than “just a muscle” problem going on.
If I come in for a visit, will I have to keep coming back?
The simple answer to this question is “no”. However, many patients choose to come back once they know what it feels like to be pain free and function better. Some people come back for maintenance care of a chronic condition. This question is a complicated one, because it assumes chiropractic care works like the medical model. With that model, you go to the doctor and expect a pill or a surgery to fix the problem. While there are times that is necessary, chiropractic care does not work like that.
As a society, we are trained to think that one visit will fix my problem and it should never come back. Or, if I don’t feel better after one visit, that option didn’t work. Chiropractic and conservative therapy as a whole aims to restore function, remove interference, and optimize performance. By doing this, it does help eliminate or reduce pain. However, work and life are hard on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. These repetitive day-to-day stresses ultimately lead to most of our dysfunction and pain, and those stresses don’t go away.
Chiropractic care works similar to exercise or going to see a dentist. The question is never asked, “If I spend this month getting into shape, will I have to keep exercising to stay in shape?” While that seems like a ridiculous question to ask, it only seems that way because most of us are educated on how exercise works. Although the comparison isn’t perfect, that is how our body and spine function, recover, and stay healthy as well. We want you to be comfortable with your care, and you are the one that is in control of your care. While some people choose to keep coming back, not every patient decided that is best for them, and we are happy to work with you and help you get what you want out of the treatment.
What are some good exercises to strengthen my back?
Exercises that work on strengthening your core and gluteal muscles are best for keeping your back healthy and pain free, given they are done correctly. There are dozens of great exercises, and also some that are popular, but not good for our spine. As part of your treatment, we help transition people back to exercise, or get them started, and make sure the correct exercises are being done.
How does the spine affect the rest of my body?
Your spine “houses” the communication center (spinal cord and nerves) for the rest of your body. With injuries or chronic stress on the spine, immobility sets in, and the inability for each segment of your spine to move correctly ultimately speeds up the degenerative process and does not allow for normal nervous system communication. Studies have shown that the weight of a feather on a nerve can interrupt/disrupt communication and function of that nerve. Chiropractic care, proper exercise, and good nutrition are all factors in keeping your spine healthy and allowing your body to function optimally.
How do I know if I should see a chiropractor for maintenance?
Our spine takes constant stress throughout our lives due to a number of factors. Working at a computer, looking down at our phones, sedentary lifestyles, and poor nutrition are just a few of the reasons that stress on our spines is present. Even if you are not experiencing pain, it doesn’t mean there is not dysfunction present. Pain only comes when that dysfunction reaches a certain threshold. Most, if not all of us, have these factors in our lives, and if we do, maintenance care can be beneficial. Individuals with chronic pain would benefit from maintenance care as well. Others who are seeking to perform better with sports, in the gym, or just feel better around the house would also benefit from maintenance care. Maintenance care can vary greatly depending on each person and situation. It typically ranges from once a week to once a month, but can be less or more often.
What insurances do you accept?
We accept almost all insurance companies that allow chiropractic coverage. Tricare does not cover chiropractic care. However, we are an outside provider for the VA Medical Center, and there are options to get coverage that way. Please call with any additional questions or to ask about your own coverage. You can also read our Insurance section on this website for more details.
What should I expect on my first visit?
The first visit typically takes 30-45 minutes. You are welcome to fill out paperwork online, or fill it out when you come the first time. Plan to come five minutes early if you do it in the office. You will have a consultation, exam, and treatment on your first visit. You will be treated the first visit, unless there are factors that require advanced imaging before we can treat you. This is rare, and most people are treated on their first visit.
Is chiropractic care safe for children and pregnant women?
Yes! People of all ages benefit from chiropractic care. Kids suffering from frequent ear infections, colic, and constipation, to name a few, can get positive results with chiropractic care. Pregnant women are a segment of the population that need chiropractic care as much as anyone. Women treated during pregnancy not only see benefit with reduced pain and fatigue, but also, studies have shown decreased labor times with women that were treated throughout their term.
Do adjustments hurt?
Typically, when there is some restriction in a joint but it is not inflamed, adjustments will not hurt. When there is inflammation present in the joint that is going to be adjusted, it can momentarily be sore while the adjustment is applied, but will not usually stay sore afterwards. On occasion, soreness for a day or so following an adjustment can happen, but this is rare.