What conditions do Chiropractors treat?

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions.  DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches with their highly skilled  manipulations AKA chiropractic adjustments. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints.  These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.

What is a Chiropractic adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his hands–or an activator–to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

Does Chiropractic treatment require a referral from my MD?

If you have a PPO option with your insurance company, a referral is usually not needed to see a doctor of chiropractic (DC); however, an HMO typically has specific referral requirements. In either case, you may want to contact your employer’s human resources department—or the insurance plan directly—to find out if there are any referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a DC.

Is Chiropractic treatment safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.

Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation, when performed by a skilled and well-educated professional such as a doctor of chiropractic (DC), is a remarkably safe procedure.

Some reports have associated high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain rare kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection. However, evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously in patients who have pre-existing arterial disease. These dissections have been associated with everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare. This is similar to the incidence of this type of stroke among the general population.

If you are visiting your DC with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your chiropractor offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.

When discussing the risks of any health care procedure, it is important to look at that risk in comparison to other treatments available for the same condition.  In this regard, the risks of serious complications from spinal manipulation for conditions such as neck pain and headache compare very favorably with even the most conservative medicinal care options.  For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain—over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and prescription painkillers—are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation.

Is my Chiropractic care covered by insurance?

Yes. Chiropractic care is included in many health insurance plans, including major medical plans and Medicare.

We are in-network providers for:

  • Aetna
  • BCBS
  • Texas True Choice
  • First Health
  • Mailhandlers
  • Medicare

We have found that for many out-of-network policies, our cash prices is similar and, in many cases, less than the expected co-payment.

We offer to our cash patients the option of paying a daily rate or purchasing blocks of adjustments in advance at a discounted rate.

What type of education and training does a Chiropractor have?

Doctors of chiropractic (DC) are educated as primary-contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for DCs are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.

The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. DCs are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.

Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures.

In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Is Chiropractic treatment safe for infants and children?

Yes, infants and children can benefit from chiropractic care. Many infants experience trauma during the birthing process.  Left unchecked, injuries to the spine can lead to nursing difficulties, respiratory issues, ear infections and more. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of infants and children, very gentle.

 

Once I start seeing a Chiropractor do I have to keep going forever?

The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. There are five phases of chiropractic treatment:

  • Pain Relief-most people seek chiropractic care due to pain. During this intense initial period of care, expect to be seen frequently, as we work together to alleviate your discomfort.
  • Corrective Care– Many issues are developed over years and it’s vital to address the underlying cause of your symptoms.  If we fail to do that, the likelihood of your problem returning remains great.  Be patient, you didn’t get this way overnight and healing takes time.
  • Supportive Care– Think about braces on your teeth.  Once everything is moved into position you need to keep it there.  At this point we want to maintain the progress you’ve made.
  • Maintenance Care– It’s a lot easier to keep a person healthy than to allow their health to deteriorate and then attempt to correct the problem.
  • Wellness Care– We place a great importance on the long-term well-being of our patients.  A periodic adjustment goes a long way in maintaining and improving the quality of your health and life.

 

 

 

What can I expect at my first visit?

We believe that it’s important to diagnose a problem before treating it.  On your first visit to our office the doctor will will complete a thorough, hands-on exam and perform X-Rays, if needed.  This initial exam will take about 30-45 minutes.  The doctor will then review his findings and at a follow up appointment will show you your X-Rays, discuss in detail his findings and recommendations and then prescribe a course of treatment.