For this blog post, I decided to answer some common questions that I get,and the answers that I give. My answers are based on reasearch and my own experience. For those of you who would like sources, please contact me, and will provide them to you. For those unfamiliar with chiropractic terminology, an adjustment is the main treatment provided by a chiropractor. It involves restoring proper motion and function to joints. I hope you find this informative...
Does chiropractic treatment boost my immune system?
While many chiropractors make this claim, there is no strong evidence to support that claim. There are a few low quality studies that possibly indicate that chiropractic treatment may boost immune function, bigger and better studies need to be done to substantiate these claims. Chiropractic DOES decrease the stress on the musculoskeletal system. There are other strategies that may be more effective in keeping your immune system strong, including proper sleep, proper exercise, and proper nutrition. A chiropractor may help you develop these strategies.
Is chiropractic safe for children?
Chiropractic is very safe for children, especially if it is done by a professional that has training and experience. Parents report a 90% satisfaction rate according to multiple studies.
Do all chiropractic treatments involve twisting, cracking and popping?
Absolutely not. There are many effective chiropractic techniques that involve no twisting cracking or popping. Some involve a specialized table, others use a small handheld instrument.
What are the risks involved with a chiropractic treatment?
As with any medical procedure, chiropractic is not risk-free. The most common risk is soreness after an adjustment. Less frequently, broken bones can occur in those that are prone to broken bones or have other disease processes (like osteoporosis). The most severe risk, also the least likely is a certain type of stroke after a manipulation to the neck. Trained chiropractors decrease the risks by doing a thorough evaluation, screening for the risks, and choosing a technique that is appropriate for your condition.
Can I really have a stroke after a chiropractic treatment to my neck?
You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning, drowning in the bathtub or dying from taking too much aspirin over a long period of time. The chance is close to one in a million according to most research. If you have risk factors, then avoid a hands-on neck adjustment. Request an activator adjustment or different treatment that does not involve rotation of the neck.
What makes the popping sound when you get an adjustment or crack your knuckles?
Most likely, the sound comes from the precipitation of gasses that are dissolved in the fluid in your joints. When the joint capsule expands nitrogen gas that is normal dissolved in the joint fluid escapes. The gas remains in the joint and eventually dissolves into the joint fluid again. This takes about 20 minutes. Until the gas is dissolved, it's difficult to get another crack sound.
Will cracking my knuckles make me get arthritis?
No. This is a common myth.
Once I start going to a chiropractor, do I have to keep going?
Of course not. Many people choose to keep going to the chiropractor because they see the benefit. It's like going to the dentist. You can wait until you have a toothache, which means you have a potentially serious problem that may cost a lot of money to take care of, OR you can go in for regular check-ups and avoid costly fees. If you have a spinal problem, it may take a lot of work and money to take care of the problem. If you get regular checks, you can avoid potential problems and some injuries, certainly saving money in the long run.
Does a chiropractic treatment hurt?
One of the most common side-effects to chiropractic treatment is soreness after an adjustment. This does not always happen, though. Occasionally there is discomfort during an adjustment. Sometimes it does hurt. It really depends on the severity of the problem, how long you have had the problem, and the nature of the problem. Chiropractors do their best to make sure your experience is a good one. Most people respond very well to treatment. There are a small few who don’t. A good chiropractor will know when to adjust and when NOT to adjust.
Does it help?
Although no medical procedure is guaranteed to help, most chiropractic patients do report satisfaction with treatment. It is not like magic, though, and most of the time one single treatment will not miraculously get you better. Very much like antibiotics, you have to complete the treatment plan to notice any type of result. Again, even then, it is never guaranteed because every person is different in their health, needs, and response to treatment. Again, most people do report satisfaction with the treatments.
Is there an age limit to chiropractic?
There is no age limit. A good chiropractor will adapt his techniques based on the age and needs of the patient. A 90-year-old will not be adjusted the same way as a 25 year-old, or an infant.
I am sure there are many other questions and answers. What are some of your questions?
Bradley Shepherd, DC
Bradley Shepherd, DC was born and raised in Utah. He graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in August 2008. He has practiced in Utah, Texas and New Mexico. He currently practices in Las Cruces, and occasionally in El Paso. He has experience with auto injury, pediatric treatment, sports injury and nutrition. He particularly enjoys the nutrition aspect of his practice, and practices telemedicine for all residents of New Mexico and Texas. When he is not practicing chiropractic or nutrition, you can find him playing his guitar. He plays with a local rock band. He lives in Las Cruces with his fiancee and his two children. He enjoys helping others with their health and wellness.