1. What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a unique health care approach that started in 1895. Chiropractic is a manual skill that introduces specific impulses, called “adjustments”, into the joints of the body, especially spinal vertebrae. An adjustment may create a popping sound, similar to cracking knuckles: see question 9 to find out why. Misaligned vertebrae result in pressure on the nerves that stem out of the spinal cord. In chiropractic, this is called a “subluxation.” The adjustment removes the nerve pressure to produce a healthier nervous system and therefore, a healthier you.
2. How do I know if chiropractic is right for me?
As with anything, the only way to answer this question with finality is to experience it for yourself. Chiropractic care benefits the vast majority of people and improves the performance of those who are already considered fit. That’s why chiropractic care is utilized by all 32 NFL teams. If you are not a candidate for chiropractic, the doctor will make this known during your initial examination and send you to the appropriate healthcare professional.
3. Will I need X-rays?
The majority of patients do not need X-rays to be safely adjusted. However, the doctor will determine if X-rays are warranted at your initial visit, which is sometimes the case. While some chiropractors opt to shoot X-rays in-house, our office currently refers to a local imaging center. It is a smooth and easy process. If you have X-rays from a previous chiropractor, please bring them to your first appointment.
4. How much does it cost?
The short answer is, it depends on several factors. Finances will be discussed in person with the doctor or staff member on your first visit. We make every effort to explain our financial policies with clarity before any charges are incurred.
5. Does insurance cover chiropractic care?
Most insurance companies do make provision for chiropractic care, although we cannot guarantee that yours does. The amount of coverage granted by an insurance company varies significantly depending on the policy. For more information, please see the Insurance Section of our New Patient page.
6. Are chiropractors real doctors?
Chiropractors and Medical doctors both undergo rigorous academic training. While some of the curriculum overlaps, there are also stark differences. Each profession awards a different degree: a doctor of chiropractic (DC) and a doctor of medicine (MD). So are chiropractors medical doctors? No. Are Chiropractors required to earn an actual doctorate (a terminal academic degree in a particular field)? Yes. Chiropractors have to pass four different national board exams, with 31 states requiring an additional fifth section, in order to attain their state license. See the American Chiropractic Association for details.
7. Do chiropractors write prescriptions?
No, chiropractors do not write prescriptions. Chiropractic is historically a drug-free profession that focuses on healing the body naturally, meaning without drugs or surgery. At Compass, we believe that God designed the body with the ability to manufacture any chemical it would ever need. We also believe in the idea that “God does not make junk,” and our bodies were not created with excess parts that have no purpose. We do acknowledge, however, that some cases can warrant the use of prescription drugs or emergency surgeries, for which you should seek care from your medical doctor.
8. Do chiropractors do massage?
Massage and chiropractic are commonly associated but often confused with one another. They are quite different in both their training, purpose, and goals. Although congruent with the holistic mindset of chiropractic, massage is not typically a service offered by the chiropractor. However, we do support massage therapy at Compass Chiropractic: in fact, we believe it compliments chiropractic so much that we have a massage therapist right in our office.
9. What makes the popping noise heard during an adjustment?
This is perhaps the most asked question in our office. A common misconception is that the popping sound is due to bone on bone contact or that the bones are literally being cracked. This is not the case. Joints in the human body are wrapped in ligaments for support and filled with fluid for lubrication and nourishment. During an adjustment, there is a sudden decrease in pressure within the joint, causing dissolved gases to be released. It is similar to the idea of pulling a suction cup off of a piece of glass. Adjustments do not always create sound: it is fairly common for the bone to be realigned with no popping noise at all.
10. Do adjustments hurt?
This is a very common fear. It has been our experience that most of this fear is attributed to the preconceived idea that your bones are literally cracking during an adjustment. Please see the above FAQ (#9) if this is the case.
Most patients describe the adjustment as “momentary pressure.” In general, the adjustment itself does not hurt. Most patients enjoy being adjusted and feel immense relief afterwards. If it is your first adjustment you may experience minor soreness in the 12-24 hours following, if at all. Remember, you have probably been out of alignment for quite some time, which creates adhesions in the soft tissues around the joint, restricting its motion. So it’s natural to feel changes as your body adapts and begins to normalize.
Some patients are highly symptomatic due to an existing injury and are tender to the touch. In these cases, the adjustment may create temporary discomfort. This is both safe and normal, as the body works through the inflammatory response in order to heal the affected area.
11. Why would anyone get adjusted if they’re not experiencing pain?
Compass Chiropractic believes that prevention is the most cost-effective form of health care. The reason to get your spine checked even without pain is the same reason to brush your teeth and change automobile oil consistently: because regular maintenance prevents serious problems. Unfortunately, many of us take better care of our automobiles than we do our own bodies, yet the auto has replaceable parts. A healthy body is much more receptive to chiropractic than one in pain, because if pain is present, it means the disease process has been present for a while, making it harder to reverse. That’s why patients with chronic issues take more visits to show improvement compared to those without pain, who require just 1 or 2 visits per month to stay out of pain. When a joint gets fixated due to subluxation, it automatically begins to degenerate, well before pain occurs. Pain is one of the last symptoms to show up when there is a spinal problem. But by having a proactive mindset and getting your spine checked regularly, you can reduce the risk of injury and prevent pain and degeneration before it ever begins.
12. If I come in, will I need to keep coming back?
Every bodily process takes time: losing weight, healing a cut, growing a beard. Improvements resulting from chiropractic care are subject to the same laws of nature. What is the course of action for prescription medications? For a few days you take 2 pills per day, then 1 pill per day, then a pill every other day, etc. The idea is that the body needs more attention initially, and as it adapts, the treatment is gradually reduced. It would be unreasonable to take one pill one time and expect a full recovery.
The same is true in chiropractic. We are establishing a “new normal” for your body, which cannot be done in a single visit. Initially, several adjustments are needed in a smaller timeframe, and as the body responds, the visits become spaced out. At this point, we recommend that patients return every 4-6 weeks for maintenance care in order to keep the nervous system in tip top shape, reduce the chance of re-injury, and prevent the onset of new problems. Because we encourage our patients to be active participants in their own health, we highly recommend, but do not force, maintenance care.
13. Can I adjust myself?
We strongly discourage patients from trying to adjust themselves, and here is why. When a vertebra gets stuck out of position, it no longer contributes to the range of motion in that spinal region, such as the neck. The vertebrae above and below must become hypermobile to make up for the lost motion at the site of the problem. The reason you feel like “something needs to pop” is because your body detects the fixated vertebra.
When you attempt to adjust yourself, you will actually move the adjacent vertebrae that are already hypermobile, which need to be left alone. While thinking you are fixing the problem, your self-adjustment may instead lead to chronic issues. This is why people who crack their own neck or back feel the need to do it constantly. Your chiropractor, however, identifies the subluxation and adjusts only that vertebra. Please come in to the office if you feel the urge to self-adjust and your body will thank you for it later.
14. I heard chiropractors cause strokes, is that true?
The fear that chiropractors cause strokes is one backed by unsubstantiated claims often made by chiropractic skeptics. Statistically, the New England Journal of Medicine found the risk of stroke following a chiropractic manipulation to be 3 in 165 million. Did you know the risk of stroke from going for a haircut is estimated at 3 in 100,000 and that routine treadmill-based cardiac stress tests produce a heart attack in 1 in 5,000 cases1? In light of the statistical evidence, it seems unfair to give the topic of stroke and chiropractic such a disproportionate amount of attention.
In strokes that reportedly follow manipulation, many cases followed gross manipulations performed by healthcare professionals outside the chiropractic field. Additionally, it is the opinion of this office that those who report a stroke from cervical manipulation had pre-existing vascular complications, putting them on the verge of having a stroke. Specific adjustments made by a chiropractor should not lead to stroke in an otherwise healthy individual. The fact that risk-adverse insurance companies charge chiropractors very little for malpractice insurance compared to their medical counterparts attests to the safety of chiropractic.
1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Here
15. Are there any age restrictions for chiropractic care?
Absolutely not. Chiropractic is safe for newborns and elderly alike; not only safe, but recommended. A baby needs a healthy nervous system perhaps more than anyone since their body is rapidly developing, especially the immune system. Children commonly have subluxations from the birth process, repeated falls while learning to walk, or wrestling with siblings. Adjustments given to children and infants are extremely gentle and completely different than those received by adults. Chiropractic has been shown to help manage ear infections, bed wetting, ADHD, and fevers. See the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association for evidence-based literature.
Adults likewise stand to gain from regular chiropractic care. This is even true for the elderly. Subluxations occur in everyone and always have a negative effect on the body. Consistent visits to your chiropractor can mitigate these negative effects, helping to prevent or slow down joint degeneration, reduce the risk of injury, and improve range of motion and balance so you can live the life you love.
16. What does chiropractic have to do with allergies or fever?
While chiropractic does not aim to treat or cure these kinds of complaints, some patients report a spontaneous resolution or reduction of these symptoms after beginning chiropractic care. Our goal is to give you a healthy nervous system, which controls all bodily functions and helps modulate the delicate balance of chemicals. Allergies are due to hyperactivity of the immune system. We are intelligently designed with other protective mechanisms, such as a fever. The human body will actually create a state of fever on purpose to literally cook to death the unwanted virus or bacteria. Chiropractic care allows the immune system to work more efficiently to help reduce the fever naturally, while still effectively fighting the bacteria.
17. Does your office accept Person Injury and Worker’s Comp Cases?
Yes, our office accepts both personal injury and worker’s compensation cases. We understand these cases can be frustrating for you and will do all we can to get you back to pre-injury status as soon as possible, so you can get back to your normal way of life.