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Q: Why does my spine keep “going out”?
A: Spines do not “go in and out” and Chiropractors don’t put bones “in”. Otherwise your doctor would be able to take an x-ray of your spine after the adjustment and show you it’s fixed. The fact is, decompress joint pressure, signal nerve receptors to override pain, and change the nerve muscle memory on how muscles contract and react. The feeling of “going in or out” is based on the joint pressure, disc or nerve compression that occurs when muscles are pulling harder on one side than another due to the habits of nerve muscle memory. Once nerve muscle memory is changed, the spine stabilizes and doesn’t feel like it’s “going out”.
Q: How does your spine “hold” once it is fixed?
A: There has been a change in nerve muscle memory in a corrected spine. Just like body building, learning gymnastics, or playing the piano once a level is achieved maintenance is all that is needed.
Q: Why should I fix my spine if I have no symptoms?
A: Spinal subluxations cause nerve interference to whatever part of the body the nerve supplies (heart, lungs, digestive system, muscles, joints etc.) Like most health care problems subluxations are usually silent for a long time. After enough damage occurs the disc, joint or body part the nerve supplies a symptom occurs. Correction and prevention of spinal subluxations should be a part of everyones health care before symptoms arise.
Q: What kind of problems can subluxations (spinal misalignment) cause?
A: Most people adhere to vitalistic views of holistic health care. However, when it comes to the spine and posture they get trapped in the mechanistic belief that their structure only has to do with physical aches and pains in muscles and joints. The truth is research shows that your structure determines function. If the spine is subluxated nerve interference occurs. Nerves carry messages from the brain to control everything! If nerve interference occurs to any part of the body due to spinal subluxations (spinal misalignment) the part won’t function optimally. Patients with subluxations can get allergies, digestive problems, heart trouble, breathing disorders, and many more conditions we typically associate with medical problems. Wherever there is nerve interference there is a problem.
Q: Why can’t I just do exercises to correct my spine?
A: There are two types of nerve receptors that trigger nerves to fire to control posture, fast and slow. Spinal exercises trigger the slow ones and adjustments trigger the fast ones. Both must be stimulated for optimum spinal correction.
Q: What are the best types of exercises for spinal correction?
A: Isometric, Postural muscles (slow twitch muscle fibers) respond differently than phasic muscles (fast twitch muscle fibers). When you are injured phasic muscles (fast twitch muscle fibers) go flaccid where postural muscles (slow twitch muscle fibers) strengthen with isometric exercises. This is why you can see a body builder with symmetrical phasic muscles, but be grossly misaligned in their spine. In the gym, when we are “pumping iron” and doing aerobic exercises, we’re affecting fast twitch muscle fibers or phasic fibers. What’s happening to our postural muscles? Not much. So exercises to strengthen phasic muscles don’t improve posture.
Q: Should my kids get their spine checked?
A: Most problems start in childhood, especially postural problems. Past postural habits, falls, and hereditary postures can effect a child’s spine. Correcting spinal alignment is usually easy, cost effective, and will save your child a world of problems and pain in the future. Many childhood problems like bedwetting, headaches, colic, learning disabilities, asthma, allergies, scoliosis and digestive problems are helped with chiropractic. In addition, kids don’t only look like you from the outside they have their nose, hair, color, heart problems, allergies and spinal misalignment.
Q: What will happen if I don’t fix my subluxations?
A: Like a wheel in a car, studies show there will be progressive wear and tear to the disc, joints and nerves which results in loss of function to the body.
Q: What is the popping sound?
A: It is a release of air by 10% breaking the joints vacuum, similar to opening a can of soda pop.
Q: What is the difference between a Chiropractor (D.C.) a Physical Therapist (P.T) and an Osteopath (D.O.)?
A: PT’s are trained for joint and muscular rehabilitation they employ stretching and strengthening but cannot do adjustments. DO’s are similar to MD’S can do some manipulations. These manipulations primarily done for joint mobilization and reducing pain not for corrective posture and spinal adjustments. Although DO’s are aware of the great benefit of spinal manipulations for overall health and wellness and have done a significant body of research on it, less than 1% of DO’s do manipulations at all. DC’s correct spinal misalignments (subluxations) to reduce nerve interference to improve function and health.
Q: Can MD’s adjust your spine?
A: No. Adjusting your spine is an art and needs to be left in the hands of trained and qualified Doctor of Chiropractic. MD’s are not trained or qualified to adjust you or give opinions on Chiropractic Adjustments.
Q: Do adjustments hurt?
A: Generally no. There may be some mild discomfort at the beginning due to the initial movement, stretching of tissue, and adhesions. It is similar to starting a new exercise. Most people feel much better right away. If you do feel pain from your adjustment, discuss this with your Chiropractor right away.
Q: When will the pain go away?
A: Pain is a perception that comes from the damaged tissue hitting a threshold. As your spinal alignment is restored tissue repair and function returns. Pain relief is not directly related to the amount of spinal misalignment but the amount of tissue damage that has occurred. This is why it is hard to predict when pain will come or go. Pain could stay away with just a few adjustments, but a lot of work needs to be done to restore the spine to its normal alignment. On the other hand, spinal alignment could be close to optimum yet pain may still be present. Unfortunately a misaligned spine eventually causes pain and dysfunction in the body.
Q: Are adjustments safe?
A: Yes. In most cases adjustments are very safe. However, like any other health care procedure, unforeseen complications can occur but are rare. The most common side effects are mild soreness like starting a new exercise program. Even this only occurs in a small percentage of people. The key is to maximizing safety in any health care procedure is a thorough exam by a licensed Chiropractor. Caution should be exercised if the Chiropractor rushes into adjustive procedures without examinations. Make sure you chiropractor has a system of patient education, does a good history examination, necessary tests, reviews the findings with you in an understandable way. There should be a course of action and a monitoring system laid out to you, and if any contradictions or potential risks exist they should be explained. This will help insure the safety of your adjustment program.
Q: Can I still exercise during my adjusting program?
A: In most cases yes. However, depending on the extent of your subluxations and postural distortions the Doctor may have you stop from doing certain high input activities that may adversely affect your spine.
Q: Can Chiropractic help a herniated disc?
A: Absolutely, a herniated disc usually refers to a bulge in the annulus or the fibrous lining of the disc. When the spine is out of alignment there is undo pressure on the disc which causes the inner jelly like fluid to push to one side. This stresses the disc fibers over time until the pressure of the inner jelly like fluid causes a bulge, similar to bubbles in a weak tire. This bulge puts pressure on the nerve or spinal cord causing pain, numbness, weakness and dysfunction. Chiropractic gets excellent results reducing the bulge and restoring alignment of the vertebrae to establish spinal stability. In most cases Chiropractic saves people from surgery.