Questions about Chiropractic
We realize you may have many questions, and we've attempted to answer some of them below, but if you find that have questions not listed, please call us, we're happy to help in any way we can. Dr. Fowler and Dr. Kille also discuss many of your questions in a series of short and informative videos found on this page.
What is Chiropractic?
A natural, non-invasive approach to health care; Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism, controlled by the brain, spinal cord and nerves of the body. The vertebrae, which protect the nervous system, when misaligned or lose its normal motion, causes malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body.
Chiropractic medicine is a form of natural health care that focuses on treating a patient without the use of drugs or medicines. Doctors of chiropractic, more commonly known as chiropractors, are primary health care providers licensed in all 50 states, and are recognized by governmental health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Workers' Compensation programs and more. Every year, more than 30 million Americans see chiropractors as part of the regular health care programs and with over 84,000 licensed chiropractors nationwide and more than 10,000 students currently enrolled in chiropractic school, it is the fastest growing health care profession.
Chiropractors frequently treat individuals with problems, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that chiropractors manage or provide care for is not limited to the common pains and problems listed above. Chiropractors also have the training to treat a variety of conditions such as allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, and other disorders as new research is developed.
What Can I Expect During My First Visit to a Chiropractor?
Although each doctor' s process will vary, generally you can expect to complete a full medical history questionnaire and "new patient" paperwork. You will then consult with the doctor. This consultation is your opportunity to express your health concerns and expectations, and to ask any questions you may have pertaining to the matter. It is also for the Chiropractor to express his role in your health care and discuss your health prognosis. A physical exam will be performed which may include orthopedic testing, reflex assessments, muscle testing, and a specific Chiropractic evaluation. In some cases x-rays may be necessary to determine an exact diagnosis. X-rays can usually be done at the doctor' s office.
Your Chiropractor will go over the results of the exam and x-rays with you. Then, depending on your situation, the doctor may give you an adjustment and/or begin physical therapy if needed. Adjustments shouldn't be painful, although you may feel some discomfort until the pressure in the joint is relieved. Depending on your condition your Chiropractor may schedule a series of visits for care.
How does Chiropractic work?
The main causes of joint dysfunction are mechanical, chemical, and mental. Mechanical causes are referred to as micro or macro trauma. Micro trauma can also be called repetitive stress injury. Sitting with poor posture at a desk and typing all day can cause problems such as carpal tunnel or neck, upper back, or low back pain. Macro trauma refers to pain due to trauma to the body, such as a fall, a break, or a car crash. Both forms of mechanical causes of joint dysfunction can benefit immensely from chiropractic care. Another cause of joint dysfunction is due to the chemical effects on the joint function and the body as a whole. Smoking, heavy drinking, and poor diet can create chemical imbalances in the body.
Chiropractic helps to remove postural imbalances and structural misalignments that can accumulate in our bodies over time. Chiropractic works by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy. For your body to remain healthy your nervous system must function well. For your nervous system to function well it must be free of interference. By restoring spinal function with Chiropractic adjustments, nerve interference by misaligned vertebrae is removed, thus allowing optimal nervous system function and improved health. The customized care you receive from your chiropractor may help to improve your posture, muscle balance and mobility. It can also restore the integrity of your nervous system and get rid of pain quickly, so you can get back to feeling good today!
What is Subluxation?
Subluxation is a term used in the chiropractic field to describe what happens when one of the vertebrae in your spine moves out of position. The word subluxation is derived from the Latin words meaning somewhat or slightly (sub) and to dislocate (luxate). When this happens, the misaligned vertebra creates pressure and stress on the spinal nerves, blood vessels, and surrounding muscles. This pressure and stress can cause an imbalance in the bodys normal processes as the nerves in the spinal column extend to the entire body and its organs. As time goes on and the uncorrected subluxation settles, the damage to the nerve gets progressively worse different stages of subluxation degeneration set in.
Subluxations can occur in a number of ways A car accident, fall, sudden jar, or trauma are all examples of unique instances that may cause a subluxation. The other occurrence of subluxation comes from regular actions such as improper sleeping position, poor posture, or incorrect lifting processes.
Chiropractors are specialists in correcting subluxation and other misalignments. A chiropractor can restore the misaligned vertebrae to their proper position in the spinal column. They do this manually by using the chiropractic procedure known as spinal adjustment. Your chiropractor, in most cases, will use his or her hands in applying corrective pressure to the spine in a specific direction and location. The manual force or thrust helps restore the alignment and mobility of the vertebrae. In some cases, the chiropractor may use instruments to detect a subluxation and adjust the spine. Under normal circumstances, chiropractic adjustments are painless. In cases of trauma, such as car accident, some discomfort may be experienced due to inflammation. It is also common to feel a brief sensation in the extremities immediately following an adjustment due to the sudden decompression of the affected nerve root.
What is spinal degeneration?
Your spine degenerates in stages or phases:
Degeneration Phase 1
First your spine loses its normal balance. There may be a loss of normal spinal curves. Your nerves may be affected and the vital life energy that flows over them is interfered with. Also your joints, discs, nerves and posture and stressed and age more quickly. Surprisingly, there may be no pain other than occasional minor discomfort. Also present may be a slight lessening of energy and slight height loss. Response to spinal care is generally good.
Degeneration Phase 2
Here there is a much greater degree of decay, disc narrowing and bone spurs (deformations); postural changes are much worse. This condition is very common (by age 40, 80% of males and 76% of females exhibit moderate disc degeneration). Spinal canal narrowing or stenosis may occur. This phase is characterized by more common aches and pains, fatigue and a diminished ability to cope with stress. Height continues to decrease. With chiropractic care significant improvement is possible.
Degeneration Phase 3
Here there are more postural imbalances, increased nerve damage, permanent scar tissue and advanced bone deformation. Physical and/or mental weakness or disability begin. Also found in this phase are permanent loss of height and loss of energy. With care some reversal is possible.
Degeneration Phase 4
This is the most advanced stage of subluxation degeneration. The postural imbalance is severe and motion is limited. There is severe nerve damage, permanent scar tissue is formed and the bones may begin to fuse. In this phase we find pain, various degrees of physical or mental disability, and continued loss of energy and height. By now the condition is considered irreversible, although chiropractic may give some symptomatic relief.
What is the History of Chiropractic?
History The history of the chiropractor dates back as far as 17,500 BC. Hippocrates believed that a misaligned spine contributed to the health of an individual. Modern day chiropractic goes back over 100 years when the first adjustment was given by Dr. Daniel Palmer on September 18, 1895.
Dr. Palmer, born in Canada in 1845, was very much interested in the healing art and first learned magnetic healing. This form of healing used the magnetism in the body. In 1886, Dr. Palmer opened his first office of magnetic healing in Burlington, Iowa. From there, he went on to open another office in Burlington, Iowa in 1887.
His interest was finding the cause and effect of sickness. He studied to discover what causes sickness and what effects sickness has on the human body. The first chiropractic adjustment he gave in 1895 was performed on a man who had lost his hearing 17 years previously. He reported to Dr. Palmer that at the time of losing his hearing, he had strained his back and had heard a noise in his back when this happened. Suspecting that there could be a spinal misalignment, Dr. Palmer examined him and did find a vertebra out of line. Dr. Palmer adjusted the vertebra back into position and the man's hearing did improve.
This proved Dr. Palmer's theory that if the spine is aligned correctly, the nerve flow to all parts of the body will work correctly and, thus, the body will be healthy and free of disease. Dr. Palmer was excited to think that he may have discovered a cure for all sickness.
Criticism of this new healing technique came from many, especially the medical community, as it did not involve the traditional medical theory of health. For years, chiropractic was discredited, made fun of and even referred to as quackery. A lot of this still goes on today, but, unfortunately, this is due to misunderstanding. Many people do not understand the concept of chiropractic and have only listened to the propaganda that's been broadcast. In fact, it wasn't until the early 1970s that insurance companies started to recognize chiropractic as legitimate health care and allowed claims to be paid for chiropractic care.
In 1897, Dr. Palmer opened his chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa, calling it the Palmer Infirmary and Chiropractic Institute. The name was later changed in 1907 to Palmer School of Chiropractic. Enrollment at first was low, with only 24 students in 1906, but today there are over 20 schools with enrollment of over 10,000 students.