The importance of our spine
The spine has two major functions. It allows for freedom of body movement, and it protects the spinal cord and the 31 pair of spinal nerves that emerge from the spine to control the ENTIRE body. When the vertebra of your spine become misaligned through trauma, stress, repetitive movements, or poor posture, two major consequences will result. The motion of the spine diminishes which, in turn, affect the spinal nerves that emerge from the spinal cord. These affected spinal nerves can lead to pain, disability, disease, and overall a decreased quality of life. Through chiropractic adjustments, we restore the normal motion and alignment of the spine which restores the normal function of the spinal nerves. The body is then able to respond appropriately and restore your health.
How large is the chiropractic profession?
Chiropractic medicine is the fastest growing healthcare profession in the United States. As of 2004 there were approximately 80,000 Chiropractors worldwide with 53,000 chiropractors working in the United States. Chiropractors are the most well established complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers in the United States and it is estimated that by 2015 there will be over 74,000 chiropractors employed nationwide.
How many Americans see chiropractors?
Over 30 million Americans seek out chiropractic treatments on a regular basis. This number is rapidly growing as chiropractic care appeals to health conscious Americans looking for a natural, drugless approach to their health and wellbeing.
What are the education requirements to become a chiropractor?
The chiropractic profession today requires at least 3 years (120 credits) of undergraduate education before a candidate can be accepted into a chiropractic college. After acceptance into an accredited chiropractic college the student must complete an additional 4 years (and approximately 400 additional credits) before obtaining a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. The first 2 years of the chiropractic program focuses on the basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, public health, and pathology. During the last 2 years of the program, the education focuses on courses in spinal manipulation, manipulation of the extremities, physical diagnosis, neurology, dermatology, radiology, orthopedics, geriatrics, pediatrics, nutrition, and physical therapy while providing clinical experience under the supervision of licensed chiropractic physicians. These educational requirements are similar to that of other healthcare professionals such as medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, optometrists, and dentists.
Do I have to see my medical doctor before I see a chiropractor?
No. Like medical doctors, chiropractors are classified as primary care providers. Chiropractors are portal of entry doctors in the healthcare system and are independent practitioners who can provide all three levels of primary care interventions.
Are chiropractors recognized by government agencies?
Yes, chiropractors are recognized by various government agencies. Chiropractors work as health care officers in the US Armed Forces, provide care under all 50 states’ Workers Compensation programs, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Do chiropractors only treat back pain?
Chiropractors effectively treat a multitude of soft tissue and biomechanical injuries and conditions that affect all parts of the body, including the shoulders, arms, hips, and legs.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Chiropractic care, when compared to conventional medical care, is extremely safe. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and the body’s response is much more predictable than that of prescription medications or surgeries.
I have had back surgery, can I see a chiropractor?
Yes you can. Unfortunately some spinal surgeries fail to relieve the patient's pain. This is called “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome." Spinal surgery removes pressure on a painful nerve root and/or stabilizes a painful joint. The reasons for failed back surgeries vary, but a very common reason is that the area the surgeon operated on was not the cause of the pain in the first place. Chiropractic treatments may help prevent further back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is sought out before surgical intervention, the patient could potentially avoid surgery altogether.
If I am pregnant can I see a chiropractor?
Yes! Back pain is extremely common during pregnancy. Studies show that as many as 80% of all women experience back pain during pregnancy. There are two very common types of back pain a women experiences while pregnant, low back pain and posterior pelvic pain. Pregnant women experiencing low back pain will usually have pain above the waist, in the lumbar spine. The pain is made worse by long periods of sitting, standing, or repetitive activities. The patient will also experience muscle soreness of the lower back. Pregnant women experiencing posterior pelvic pain will have pain below the waist, and the pain often radiates down into the buttocks, groin, and back of the thigh. This pain is more stubborn and does not go away as easily with just rest. This pain is caused by slight movements of the sacroiliac joint due to a combination of the baby’s weight and a hormone released during pregnancy called Relaxin. Chiropractic manipulation of the lower back and/or pelvis is very effective in providing often immediate relief from pain. Chiropractic treatment is very safe for you and your baby.
I have heard that once I start seeing a chiropractor, I will have to continue with care for the rest of my life, is that true?
The short answer to this question is “No," although there is a longer explanation. Chiropractic care is very effective, natural, non-invasive and thus very safe. Many first-time patients see chiropractors not only due to accidents and injuries, but also due to chronic stiffness or mild, bothersome, constant, background pain. The majority of our patients see rapid, significant improvement of their condition and, for the first time in their lives, realize they do not have to live with this background pain and stiffness. Because of this, these patients tend to schedule appointments from time to time as their need for pain relief arises. These patients do not “have” to come back, they “want” to come back in order to enjoy an increased quality of life.