Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue. Interference to this incredible communication superhighway can lead to ill-health. Chiropractic is effective because of it’s focus on re-establishing this connection, thus improving the body’s ability to heal itself. This interference is called a vertebral SUBLUXATION.
The spine consists of 24 moving bones. These bones must be in proper alignment for the spine and nervous system to be functioning at full capacity. Improper motion or position of the moving bones in the spine is called a SUBLUXATION. A subluxation can compromise this vital exchange of communication by irritating or causing compression on nerves and therefore negatively affecting the function of organs and tissues that particular nerve is responsible for. Specific chiropractic adjustments can help reduce this interference. Once this interference is removed, health often returns shortly thereafter.
Many patients ask the doctor how they may have gotten their subluxation. To be honest, it is very difficult to pinpoint because there are so many opportunities throughout life to damage your spine, and often times without even knowing it. There are three basic causes of subluxation: The first is TRAUMA. Trauma can be any sort of fall, accident, sports injury, car accident, et.c. The second is EMOTIONAL. Our emotions can have a direct impact upon our posture, our degree of muscle tension and overall health. The third is CHEMICAL. A history of drugs, alcohol, pollution, poor diet, etc. can again have a direct impact on our body’s ability to function properly and develop the way it was designed to.
One of the most common initial symptoms and signs that someone may suffer from heart disease is death. The same goes with having a subluxation. Many times the subluxation lies just beneath the surface of being detected for many years, maybe being masked by a use of aspirin/muscle relaxers, massage, etc. The truth is, most subluxations have likely already been present for years and it took for example, the action of simply picking up a pencil to finally “sink the ship,” so to say. Routine check-ups with your chiropractor, similar to how we schedule regular appointments with a dentist can help prevent the development of subluxations and can maintain the body’s ability to function at its utmost potential.
Symptoms of the subluxation often will disappear over time. For example, an acute low back attack may resolve after 2-3 weeks of pain and discomfort. It is possible that the subluxation miraculously disappeared, but the more probable explanation is the body adapted to that state and ceased producing symptoms. The symptoms of the subluxation most likely will re-occur if the structural problem in the spine was never addressed properly, and will commonly be worse than the initial attack due to the cumulative neglect and damage that occurred previously.
No. The disc within the spine is a soft sponge-like shock absorber which holds a jelly like material inside of it… A “Slipped Disc” is a commonly used incorrect term that is used to describe a variety of disc problems. Anatomically we know that the disc itself cannot “slip” because of the way it attaches to the underside of each spinal bone. A disc can bulge however. It can herniate. It can thin. It can dry out. It can swell. It can collapse. But it cannot slip.
The hallmark sign of a severely “pinched nerve” is any assortment of these symptoms: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and aching. Often times the pain seems to travel along a path. For example “sciatica” basically means pain traveling down the path of the sciatic nerve which is at the back of the thigh and into the calf. A subluxation in the spine is what causes these symptoms, although many times nerve pressure can occur without any of these signs and symptoms at all. This is similar to a car with its front end out of alignment, or its tires not rotated properly. Often times we don’t realize or understand the problem until months later when we notice our tires are wearing out. By then it’s commonly too late and a new set of tires are needed. It’s a little tougher to replace our spine. Problems like this in our car and in our spine are easily avoidable. Research has shown that compression to a nerve that equals approximately the weight of a dime will cause a decrease in that nerve’s ability to function by 50%.
Numerous studies validate the safety of chiropractic adjustments. One of the most thorough of these studies concluded, “Chiropractic care is greatly superior to medical treatment in terms of scientific validity, safety, cost effectiveness, and patient satisfaction.” (The Ontario Ministry of Health, 1993). If chiropractic were truly dangerous, wouldn’t it be expected that malpractice insurance companies, that are in business to make a profit, would be charging chiropractors large insurance premiums. Instead, the average chiropractor, with maximum liability coverage pays approximately $1,500 per year (less than most yearly auto insurance policies), while most medical doctors pay an average of $100,000-$200,000 per year.
No. Adjustments are administered only to areas of your spine that are subluxated (or bones out of position). This enables the soft tissues surrounding the spine to stabilize and heal.
The number of adjustments is different for each patient. Many patients experience quick relief within their first few adjustments. Others take a bit longer. Each spine is different in its ability to stabilize and heal. Chronic cases can often take much longer, due to years of cumulative trauma and neglect.
Some patients experience instant relief. Others take a few weeks, and some more, especially those with chronic cases. Are you keeping your appointments? Are you exercising? How’s your diet? Are you getting enough sleep? All these are contributing factors in the speed of your recovery.
After patients get the relief and results they desire, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for their appointments feeling great and simply want to have their spine checked regularly to improve their health, prevent degeneration within their spine, and also to maintain the correction their spine has achieved. Periodic checkups also help prevent or catch new problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best care, and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
Let’s start with explaining what an adjustment actually is. An adjustment is a gentle, but specific force applied to the spine by the hands of your chiropractor. Not all adjustments are created equal however. The focus of a Gonstead adjustment is to be as specific, precise and accurate as possible, addressing only the problem areas (areas of subluxation). Great care is taken to ensure a mechanically correct position and a precise thrust to provide the most accurate and comfortable adjustment possible.
There are more than 100 chiropractic techniques in the world today. Not all are created equal. The Gonstead Method is more than just a technique. It is a system of meticulous analysis and evaluation, combining all necessary information, followed by delivering a specific, “hands-on”, bio-mechanically correct, chiropractic adjustment. A Gonstead adjustment is comfortable, effective and incredibly safe.
No. A Gonstead adjustment is unique and tailored to each patient’s spine differently. The findings on an x-ray study, the temperature reading, and the doctor’s palpation (feeling the spines position in motion and also while stationary) enable a Gonstead doctor to deliver the correct adjustment necessary.
If your problem is the result of a subluxation in the neck region, then cervical adjustments can be very effective. One of the hallmarks of the Gonstead Technique is the fact that when a Gonstead Doctor adjusts the cervical spine or any part of the spine for that matter, rotation is eliminated. That’s right. There is no twisting involved with any of our adjustments. They are extremely safe and comfortable. Much safer than muscle relaxers or aspirin!
We commonly hear from patients, “I crack my lower back all the time.” It is not difficult to make a joint “pop” or make noise, but this is not an adjustment! Worse yet, damage can occur to a weakened joint by mobilizing it improperly. Adjustments are specific and take years to master.
There is fluid within the joints that helps lubricate and separate the bones. This fluid contains gas, and when the gas is given room to expand (as when the joint is moved during the adjustment), the formation of bubbles within the fluid occurs. This results in the “popping” noise. It is similar to opening a soda can or a bottle of champagne.
No. Chiropractic doctors do not dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you other ways to control your pain without the possible side effects of prescription drugs.
The birthing process can be extremely traumatic on an infant’s new spine. Many studies suggest that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are extremely gentle and often require no more force than the pressure one would use to check the ripeness of a tomato.
Of course. Each adjustment is tailored to each patient’s body size, stature, age, etc.
Yes. Rest assured the areas of surgical modifications will be avoided. Often the areas above and below the site of surgery are severely affected after surgery. Again, a Gonstead Doctor specializes in cases like this due to their focus on delivering a specific adjustment and their thorough exam and analysis process.
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. It’s much more valuable than your car, your clothes, your golf clubs, etc. It is convenient when an insurance company will help pay the bill. But be careful! Don’t allow the profit motive of a huge corporation dictate what kind of care and how much care you may need. Find out how we make chiropractic affordable for just about anyone.
If we are unable to achieve the results you desire, we will gladly refer you to another specialist who may be able to help. Your health is our primary goal!