How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic is a physical medicine concentrating on improving joint function and balance to the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems. Treatment involves examining, diagnosing and treating injured, dysfunctional, imbalanced, degenerative tissues and joints. Treatment varies from patient to patient, however, it normally includes gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments, physical rehab and strength training, manual therapy massage and stretches that allow your body to function at its optimum potential.
What is an adjustment?
A gentle, specific "thrust" delivered by hand or instrument. The purpose of the adjustment is to improve function, range of motion, and to re-position the joint which eliminates unwanted stress on joints and connecting soft tissues.
Is Chiropractic Safe?
Yes, statistics prove that chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. You only need to compare the malpractice premiums paid by chiropractors to those paid by medical doctors. Doctors of Chiropractic pay only a small fraction (approx. 1/20) of the price medical doctors pay in malpractice premiums. Chiropractic adjustments are safe, gentle and effective treatments that, combined with physical rehabilitation, provide maximum benefit for many conditions and injuries.
What is the "cracking sound" Made During a chiropractic adjustment?
That sound is not you spine "cracking or popping", as most people think. The sound is created by gas (in this case, nitrogen) rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the "pop" you hear when the cork is taken out of a wine or champagne bottle. Not all chiropractic adjusting techniques produce this noise. In fact, some adjusting techniques use little force and thus produce no noise at all, which in turn does not indicate success or failure.
Is it bad to "crack" your back or neck a lot?
This question is frequently asked because people associate the 'cracking' or 'popping' of one's back or neck with a chiropractic adjustment. The two are not the same thing. If a person has a desire to 'crack' his/her neck or back, it is often because one area of the spine is fixated or jammed, causing another area to move too much and "pop", sometimes by itself. It's the fixed or jammed area that needs to be properly adjusted by a chiropractor so that the other parts of the spine will not be hypermobile and noisy. When you "crack" your back, you may be relieving the tension for a little while. Do you notice how it keeps coming back? That is because you are not giving yourself a specific chiropractic adjustment. The cause of the spinal tension, the fixated or jammed vertebrae, has not been corrected. A person who makes a habit out of "cracking or popping" their back or neck should go to a Doctor of Chiropractic to have their spine checked. Even a chiropractor cannot adjust him/herself.
Once you see a chiropractor, do you have to go for the rest of your life?
NO. The extent to which you choose to benefit from your chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. Dr. Leber sets up a treatment paln for each client that is tailored for his/her acute condition. Each and everyone of us is soley responsible for the quality of our health and well-being. However, we do strongly urge all patients to consider wellness chiropractic care. This is where the long-term, lasting benefits of care are enjoyed. Regular exercise and healthy eating habits are a lifestyle decision and so is wellness chiropractic care. The goal is to remain 'fixation' free and correct and maintain function for life.
Should I continue care if I don't have any symptoms and feel better?
In most cases, Yes. Chiropractic care has many benefits, not just getting rid of your current pain level, but improving and maintaining the mobility and function of chronic irritations/conditions. Just because your symptoms/pain disappear does not mean that your injuries/conditions are corrected. Many of these patients seen in our office have spinal decay (degeneration or herniations) which have taken years to develop and may have only recently begun to be a problem. The trauma of the slips, falls, accidents and countless other stresses over the course of your lifetime adversely affect the health of your spine. By improving joint mobility, reinforcing proper joint mechanics and maintaing joint strength/stability, chiropractic care can add years of pain free activity to your life. However, how you choose to use chiropractic care can is ultimately up to you. It has been our experience that those who stop care when they are "feeling fine" return with the same health challenges which brought them to our office in the first place...only it has usually gotten worse. On the other hand, thos patients who commit to long-term chiropractic care will find their health challenges rarely return and enjoy a higher quality of life and health.