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Frequently Asked Questions
To Dr. Severns

What is Chiropractic?

Q:What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body. The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain. The moving bones of the spine protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots. If the nervous system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissue and organs throughout the body. Chiropractic doctors call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Vertebral, meaning the bones of the spine. Subluxation, meaning less than a total dislocation, and Complex, meaning consisting of more than one part. Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand.” Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body’s inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.

Q:What conditions benefit from chiropractic care?

img_topAlthough chiropractic is used most frequently to relieve low back pain, studies have found it to be effective for a variety of conditions, such as migraine headaches, neck and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and infantile colic.

Q:Can the bones move too much?

Highly unlikely. A chiropractic adjustment is special. It has the right amount of energy, delivered to an exact spot, at a precise angle, at just the right time. The intent is to get a “stuck” spinal joint unlocked and moving normally again, reducing nerve interference. Years of
training, practice and experience make chiropractic adjustments specific and safe.

Q:Why does my vertebrae “crack” when you are doing an adjustment?

The Chiropractic adjustment is a concentrate form of exercise that is usually given to those joints that are stiff and restricted in their movement. Sometimes there is a calcium buildup on
the joint surface called exostoses. That is like a rusty hinge and makes noise when it is moved. Some joints have developed adhesions where the tissue has grown together. This can
make a cracking noise when moved. Some joints when stretched make a popping sound like a suction cup when released. One thing we do know is that while there may be some noise with
the adjustment usually there is no pain. The pain has usually occured at the time of the injury. Research also shows the more movement a joint has the healthier it is. Stiff joints lead to

Q:Is Chiropractic safe?

img1Chiropractic care is safe enough to be of use for your newborn infant as well as for your 90 year old grandmother. Researcher A. Terrett, in a review of literature between 1934 and 1994, found Chiropractic to be
the safest in the delivery of vertebral manipulation. The risk of death from using NSAIDS (ie: ibuprophen) is 400 times the risk from manipulation, when performed by a Chiropractor. Chiropractors are the musculoskeletal specialists, with the greatest degree of education and experience in this field. Additionally, a New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic
care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are safer than taking an over-the-counter
pain reliever.

Q:Do you give advice on what exercises that I should do?

Yes. Once your structual system is balanced a specific exercise program is recommended to maintain the results and strengthen balance.

Q:What kind of education and training do doctors of chiropractic have?

logan_colChiropractors receive an education that emphasizes neuromuscular diagnosis and treatment. Preparation for the practice of chiropractic is concentrated on three areas of learning; basic training in the biological and health sciences (anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry, clinical and radiological diagnosis); specialized training in the chiropractic discipline (theoretical studies, practice, diagnosis and applications); and extensive clinical training.

Q:Do Chiropractors Have Medical (M.D.) Degrees?

Chiropractors have Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degrees granted from chiropractic colleges. Chiropractic education and medical education are similar in some respects and different in others because chiropractors do not prescribe drugs and medical doctors do not correct the vertebral subluxation complex (spinal nerve stress).

Q:Have any studies been published showing what chiropractic is effective for?

Several studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic in relieving back pain. More recent studies have shown chiropractic to be effective in treating infantile colic and migraine headaches.

Q:What can I expect on my first visit?

img2The first thing a chiropractor will do is ask you about the health complaints about which you are chiefly concerned. The DC will also ask about your family history, dietary habits, other care you may have had (chiropractic, osteopathic, medical, etc.), your job, and other questions designed to help determine the nature of your illness and the best way to go about treating the problem. A physical examination will be performed in accordance with your DC’s clinical judgement. A careful spinal examination and analysis will be performed to detect any structural abnormalities which may be affecting or causing your condition. All of these elements are important components of your total health profile, and vital to the doctor of chiropractic in evaluating your problem.

Q:What is Electrical Muscle Stimulation?

img3An involuntary contraction of the muscular area being treated. Exercise is needed for injured or spastic muscles, or areas of muscle spasm, to heal properly. However, forced exercise can be injurious to the muscles. Passive exercise (contraction and movement involuntarily done while the muscle is at rest) will exercise and thereby strengthen the muscle without injuring it. The area of involvement will then heal stronger and will be much more stable. Using the electrical muscle stimulator will also help to over-ride the established reflex pattern which is causing the muscle spasm, restricting movement and producing pain. The passive contraction or exercise of the muscle will re-establish the normal reflex pattern, thereby reducing the muscle spasm and also the pain reflex pattern. The contraction produced by electrical current also helps to increase the circulation in the area through exercise, also prompting healing and strengthening the area of muscles involved. Inactivity during an injured or spastic state while the muscle is healing causes the tissue to heal in a weakened state. The application of electrical muscle stimulation promotes healing and, especially, strengthening of the involved area.

Q:What is the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique?

img4Evolved from 35 years of empirical study and 15 years of clinical research, the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique (AMCT) uses the latest advances in orthopedic, neurological and chiropractic examinations to seek joint dysfunction in the spinal column and extremities for improved patient care. AMCT uses the Activator Adjusting Instrument to give consistent low-force, high-speed chiropractic adjustments. Over 35,000 doctors have been trained in AMCT and 2,100 doctors are Proficiency Rated, making AMCT the most widely used technique worldwide; a testament to low force patient satisfaction

Q:Is Chiropractic care expensive?

Not at all! Several studies have demonstrated the cost effectiveness of Chiropractic in relation to other forms of care for the same conditions. Chiropractic care repeatedly proves to be cheaper than other treatment methods. If you have questions we haven’t answered here, please call or e-mail. We know that the more you learn about chiropractic, the better it looks. It’s safe. It’s natural. And it works. It’s a simple idea that has stood the test of time and helped millions enjoy relief and better health.