as per Massachusetts Chiropractic Society www.masschiro.org/FAQ/php
Chiropractic is a natural method
of health care with the proven ability to relieve back pain, increase vitality,
and promote well-being. For over a century, doctors of chiropractic have successfully
helped millions of individuals recover from spine-related health problems. As a
result, chiropractic has earned its place as the largest drugless and
non-surgical health care profession in the United States.
How does chiropractic
The human body possesses a natural
ability to restore itself. This ability depends on a healthy nervous system.
Life's events such as automobile
accidents, sports injuries, repetitive
work, and home stress are just
some of the factors that can overwhelm the body's ability to adapt. The joints
of the spine 'lock up' when these sorts of events occur, limiting range of
motion. Spinal joint restriction and/or misalignment results in irritation
and/or pressure at the spinal nerve.
Chiropractic care can correct these
structural distortions, known as subluxations, restoring the body to its
optimal form and function. Local symptoms of subluxations may include pain,
tenderness, swelling, tingling, numbness, or spasm around the joints of the
spine, back, and neck. Many times these sensations extend further into the
shoulders and arms, around the rib cage, or into the hips and down the legs.
Subluxations can even lead to headaches, stomach and digestive problems, and
loss of overall health.
Impaired nerve coordination causes the whole
body to suffer. Vital instructions flow between the brain and the body by way of
spinal nerves. These instructions inform and direct the body as to when, where,
and how it needs to heal itself. By irritating nerves, subluxations interfere
with the essential brain/body exchange, thereby compromising the normal function
of the body's organs and tissues. Chiropractic care clears the path for the body
to maintain its own health.
How can a chiropractor
Doctors of chiropractic are
specially trained in the evaluation and treatment of spinal conditions, which is
why an increasing number of back pain
sufferers are turning to them for fast, effective, and reliable care. Similarly,
more and more hospitals and private practices are now working closely with
doctors of chiropractic in order to ensure the best quality of care for patients
who suffer from spine-related injuries and dysfunction.
The benefits of
chiropractic care have also been shown to extend beyond reduction of back and neck pain. In fact, chiropractic has proven
itself as useful in the reduction of headache
pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, jaw pain, sciatica, and tingling in the arms
and legs. The rewards of chiropractic care are numerous. People under
chiropractic care report better health and well-being
and many families have realized the benefits of chiropractic care for their children.
Who should see a doctor of
Nerve interference can affect
anyone, which is why people of all
ages experience relief and improved health through chiropractic care. A
qualified doctor of chiropractic will best determine the appropriateness of care
for you or your family.
No method of health care has proven itself to be
more effective than chiropractic
in helping those who suffer from back and neck pain. Doctors of chiropractic are
the most highly qualified professionals in evaluating and caring for these, as
well as many other health problems.
safe?YES. Its non-surgical, drug-free approach to
health places chiropractic among the safest of all health care practices.
Remember, chiropractic takes nothing out of the body and puts nothing in. As a
result, chiropractors enjoy one of the lowest malpractice rates of all health
How are doctors of
Like all primary health care
providers, doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive education and training before
becoming licensed professionals. Students begin by fulfilling undergraduate
degree requirements, with a strong emphasis on the core sciences such as
chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and physics.
The professional program
leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree is very demanding. Chiropractic
students continue their study of the sciences, including pathology and
biochemistry, at a highly detailed level.
Their education continues into
the advanced clinical sciences including orthopedics, neurology, examination
procedures, differential diagnosis, and X-ray interpretation. During this entire
process, aspiring doctors of chiropractic gain knowledge of the philosophy and
practice of health care and chiropractic.
Doctors of chiropractic refine
their technical adjusting skills in technique classes. During clinical
internships student doctors perfect these skills.
What can I expect on my
Your initial visit will begin with
a consultation. Your doctor will take a case history and ask about your present
Next, the doctor will perform an examination to evaluate the
nature of your problem. This examination generally includes a series of basic
physical tests, as well as a specialized chiropractic evaluation of spinal
movement and posture.
If necessary, your doctor may recommend X-rays or
diagnostic tests to obtain further information about the mechanics of your spine
and the details of your condition.
After completing the analysis, your
doctor will explain your problem and map out an appropriate plan of action with
you. If necessary, you may be referred to another health care specialist for
further evaluation or treatment. Doctors of chiropractic work with a variety of
health care professionals in the best interest of their patients.
doctor will discuss your care plan with you, taking into consideration your
health habits, stress, and activity levels.
Over the course of your care,
your doctor will monitor your individual response and may also recommend changes
to your lifestyle, work environment, dietary, and exercise patterns.
How does chiropractic
correct my spinal problems?
Following consultation and
examination, a program of care will be designed and customized to your specific
needs. This program is centered around the chiropractic adjustment, a method of
treatment unique to chiropractic, which corrects spinal subluxations and
dysfunction. The primary goal of an adjustment is to improve spinal alignment
and motion, thereby relieving nerve irritation, pressure, and pain.
may feel immediate improvement after an adjustment, although most people
experience gradual, progressive relief of symptoms. Since adjustments restore
motion to previously locked joints, ligaments and tendons begin to stretch back
to their normal length. This lengthening may cause slight muscle soreness
similar to that brought on by rigorous exercise. If you experience these
sensations, be assured that within days you’ll likely be enjoying the benefits
of improved spinal motion with less pain that results from a healthier spine.
For the best results, follow the plan that your doctor of chiropractic
recommends for you.
How much chiropractic care
will I need?
The number of visits you make to
your chiropractor depends on the nature of your condition and your personal
goals. Many people use chiropractic as part of a preventive health care routine,
scheduling chiropractic appointments on a regular basis to keep their bodies
functioning at their best. Others seek care and treatment for specific
conditions with the primary goal of treatment being pain relief. It is important
for you to discuss your objectives with your chiropractor in order to develop a
treatment plan that works best for you.
Keep in mind, healing rates vary
from person to person. Children
tend to respond more quickly to treatment, whereas adults and seniors may
respond more slowly. A good rule of thumb is that the longer the spine has not
been working properly, the more extensive the care plan may be to achieve
Is chiropractic care
expensive? Will my insurance cover it?
Chiropractic has demonstrated
itself to be one of the most cost-effective
forms of care in all of the health care market. As with any product or service,
fees vary by provider and location.
Many health care plans provide
coverage for chiropractic care. Check with your benefits manager to find out
what coverage you may have with your health plan. Also, talk with your
prospective doctor of chiropractic to learn about your payment options. Many
patients pay directly for care, as they discover chiropractic to be extremely
cost-effective and affordable.