Frequently Asked Questions – Chiropractic
Low back pain can be caused by a number of factors from injuries to the effects of aging. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, which are made of bone. Between each vertebra are soft discs with a ligamentous outer layer. These discs function as shock absorbers to protect the vertebra and the spinal cord. Many of the problems that cause back pain are the result of herniation and degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Degeneration is a process where wear and tear causes deterioration of the disc. Herniations, or bulging of the disc are protrusions from the disc that press on surrounding nerves, causing pain or numbness.
Chiropractic is a medical profession 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). The word “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand.” Chiropractic looks to address diseases and other health conditions, not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a neuromusculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.
Although chiropractic is used most frequently to relieve neck and back pain, studies have found it to be very effective for a variety of conditions, such as migraine headaches, hip and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, jaw pain, fibromyalgia, and pre/post pregnancy pain to name a few.
Chiropractic adjustments feel great. Once the normal motion is restored in your joints, you will notice a big decrease in tension and pain, and an increase in your range of motion. All of my patients look forward to getting their body adjusted.
A Chiropractic adjustment produces what we’ve come to know as a “crack”. The common misconception is that the “cracking” noise is bones breaking. That is ridiculous! When a joint is lacking its normal movement, gases are allowed to build up inside the joint space. When you are adjusted, and the normal movement is restored, that gas pressure is released from the joint, causing a “cracking” noise.
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 their spine is fixated or jammed causing another area to move too much and “pop”, sometimes by itself. It’s the fixated 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. Any person who makes a habit out of “cracking” or “popping” their back or neck needs to come to Manalapan Spine & Physical Therapy Center to have their spine checked.
Chiropractic care is extremely safe. The odds of sustaining a serious injury from a Chiropractic adjustment are around 7 million to one. Compare that to the over 300 thousand people that die from adverse drug reactions every year, and you will see that Chiropractic is one of the safest forms of medical treatment that exists.
Chiropractors receive the same medical education as regular medical doctors. The only difference between a D.C. degree and an M.D. degree is that Chiropractors are not allowed to prescribe drugs. Because Chiropractors do not have to focus on pharmacology during their education, it allows them to receive over 100 hours more class time in anatomy and neurology than regular medical students. Chiropractic training primarily focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. This makes Chiropractors nerve, muscle, and joint specialists.
No. You do not need any referrals to see a Chiropractor. You can go to a Chiropractor like you would go to your primary care physician.
No. The extent to which you choose to benefit from your chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. However, we do strongly urge all of our patients to consider lifetime, wellness chiropractic care. This is where the long-term, lasting benefits of care are enjoyed. Regular exercise and healthy eating habits are lifestyle decisions we make to maintain overall health. Regular Chiropractic care maintains joint function as well as the functionality of the muscular and nervous systems, thus enhancing your body’s performance and helping to prevent future injury.
Yes. Just because symptoms disappear, does not mean that the underlying cause of the problem is corrected. Joint, muscle, and nerve conditions take a long time to develop. I tell most of my patients that the pain is the last thing to come and the first thing to go. It has been my experience that those who stop care when they are “feeling fine” return with the same health conditions which brought them to our office in the first place…only it’s usually gotten worse. On the other hand, those patients who commit to long-term Chiropractic care, find their health conditions rarely return and they enjoy a higher quality of life and health.