Back Pain Questions and Chiropractic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a pinched nerve?
Do I have a slipped disc?
What is an adjustment?
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
Can I adjust myself?
Is chiropractic care safe?
Am I too old for chiropractic care?
How long will I need chiropractic care?



Do I have a pinched nerve?

 
Many patients consult a chiropractor because they think they have a pinched nerve. Abnormal spinal function caused by physical trauma, emotional stress, or chemical toxins can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots. Nerves can be pinched or irritated when nerve tissue is rubbed or stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or malfunctioning spinal joints.



Do I have a slipped disc?

Technically a disc can't slip. The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage type material between each spinal bone. Each disc serves as a shock absorber to allow normal movement. Trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord. Many patients have avoided needless surgery or dependency on drugs, by choosing chiropractic care for their disc related health problems.



What is an adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is the art of applying a specific force, in a precise direction to a joint that is fixated “locked up” or out of alignment. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position. There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the doctor's uses his hands or a specially designed instrument to deliver the brief and highly accurate thrust. It takes years of training and clinical experience to become proficient at adjusting.



Are all patients adjusted the same way?

The doctor evaluates each patient's unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. Different adjusting techniques are used depending on the situation. A child would not be adjusted the same way as an adult or a senior citizen. Each visit builds on the previous visit and patients respond differently.



Can I adjust myself?

Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force in a precise direction to a joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself correctly. It is possible to bend or twist a certain way to get a popping sound. Unfortunately, this type of manipulation is usually counterproductive. It can make an already unstable area more unsteady and can lead to early onset of arthritis. Even your doctor must seek out services from another colleague to get adjusted.



Is chiropractic care safe?

Chiropractic care has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids drugs and surgery. The correct order of treatment for any illness or health problem is conservative chiropractic care first, drugs second, and surgery last. Unfortunately, that is not the way it always happens.



Am I too old for chiropractic care?

More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. There are growing concerns with adverse drug reactions and side affects. People are looking for more natural, holistic ways to stay healthy. The adjusting technique used by your doctor will be modified for maximum safety and effectiveness.



How long will I need chiropractic care?

Spinal problems neglected from early childhood may require intensive treatment at the beginning. These long standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine. Most patients find that schedules of preventive visits are helpful in maintenance of good health. Your doctor will make recommendations for care, but how you decide to benefit from chiropractic is always up to you.