Chiropractic Questions

What Does A Chiropractor Do?

As a chiropractor, I consult, examine, and diagnose patients the same as your other doctors. Still, instead of focusing on pharmaceutical and surgical solutions, I utilize specialized chiropractic training appropriate to the given condition.

Chiropractors are educated in the same basic sciences as our medical school counterparts but focus our treatments on manual therapy – a combination of manipulation techniques (spine and limbs) and physical therapy approaches – to resolve the health concerns our patients bring to our offices.

However, even though I’ll begin by addressing your immediate symptoms, which is necessary and important, I’m concerned with your overall wellness. My goal is to identify and resolve the underlying cause of the problem.

What Is Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation?

Spinal manipulation is the key to chiropractic care. Chiropractic reflects a specialized type of spinal manipulative procedure that chiropractors spend years perfecting that is different than all other types.

The goal of chiropractic spinal manipulation is to correct spinal joint dysfunction that often leaves the bony structures jammed and locked. If left uncorrected, this can lead to pain, restricted movement, and arthritic changes that can become permanent. Chiropractic spinal manipulation achieves correction more comfortably and safely than other types of manipulation.

I use many treatment techniques depending on factors such as the body location and severity of the problem, the patient’s condition, and related underlying health issues. Some patients are not appropriate candidates for every procedure, but we have many resources in our toolbox to help you.

Can your approach cure my pain?

It’s not possible to know if a treatment will be curative, whether mine or another’s. Still, in many cases, my approach enables me to exercise more and better control of the problem and, thus, a better chance of resolving it completely.

Can surgery cure my pain?

In some cases, surgery is the right path to take, but it must always be the last choice, not the first. For example, spinal surgery involves many unforeseen and uncontrollable aspects that do not apply to other types of surgery, sometimes making it difficult to achieve a cure. Therefore, fully explore all other, more conservative options before undergoing surgery. The good news is that the patients I typically refer to surgery have a better-than-average outcome as a result of the care I take to ensure that surgery is actually warranted.

How long will it take to get better?

I’ll strive to get you stable and functional as quickly as possible, but how quickly depends on a number of factors, beginning with the severity of the problem and how long you’ve been dealing with it. Other factors include your general health, occupation and work environment, and personal habits.

Will I have to come forever?

No, certainly not. I want you to get better and live your life. However, while some patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions may need to return for regular checkups, others just feel healthier after a tune-up, a matter of personal choice.

How should I expect to feel after treatment?

In most cases, you’ll feel better and lighter, freer of pain. Depending on the treatment, you might feel a little sore, like you would after working out a little too hard, but this is temporary, and usually, by the next day, you’ll feel better. Or, you might feel no better but no worse, in need of more time or a different approach.

How often do I need treatment to get better and stay better?

It depends on the severity and urgency of care needed, whether it’s acute or chronic, and other contributing factors.

My friends with the same problem had success with surgery, so why not me?

No two people are alike. Therefore no two people have the same problem, even if each one has low back pain. Your individual problem requires a personalized approach.

What caused this problem in the first place?

In most cases, we can’t know unless you were involved in a car crash or suffered a fall. Most people report doing something very slight and then having a dramatic event of pain and immobility. That’s because most back problems develop slowly and silently over time. This is true of many issues in modern society, diabetes and heart disease, to name the biggest. These diseases don’t develop overnight. It takes years due to many behavioral, genetic, occupational, and environmental factors.

Should I have a shot (injection) in the back?

It depends on the situation. The first thing to know is that a shot in the back, also called an epidural steroid injection or selective nerve root block, may quell the inflammation that’s the primary source of pain but doesn’t get to the cause. So, it may only offer you temporary relief as you work to resolve the underlying cause of the problem. But there is a limit to how much and how often you can have this procedure because of the adverse effects steroids can have on your body. It’s best to reserve their use for those times you really need it, and I’ll help you make that choice.

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