Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic Care
Pregnancy & Chiropractic Care Questions
Headaches & Chiropractic Care Questions
Otitis Media & Chiropractic Care Questions
Sinusitis & Chiropractic Care Questions
How does Chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works by aiding the health of the body’s nervous system. It is based on the philosophy that humans are self-healing, and self-regulating mechanisms. Chiropractors scientifically locate and resolve problems (subluxations) in the flow of information along the spine to the rest of the body and the brain.
What is an Adjustment?
An adjustment is the method of improving movement in spinal joints and reducing nerve interferences. They involve the expert application of the right pressure, in the right spot, in the right direction.
How often will I have to be “adjusted” and for how long?
In some cases the relief is almost instant. Many patients see relief in a few treatments, but in chronic cases complete healing can take a longer time. Regular checkups help ensure problems don’t reoccur.
Are Adjustments the only procedure my
chiropractor will use?
Other methods may be suggested as well – heat or cold application, nutritional advice, muscle and soft tissue rehabilitation and exercise programs are some of the other healing procedures used.
Can Chiropractic be used with newborns, the elderly, or those with osteoporosis?
Your chiropractor uses techniques suited to each patient’s circumstances. There are many ways that spinal adjustments can be performed—safe, gentle, and effective treatment from infancy to old age.
Can Chiropractic Care Help During Pregnancy?
Chiropractic care and spinal adjustments help to ensure a healthier pregnancy, and alleviate some of the discomfort, as well as prevent future problems that may arise as a result of pregnancy.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy can be helpful in the following ways:
• Help to maintain daily activities during and after pregnancy
• Promotion of spinal stability
• Increased endurance
• Pain relief
• Improved physical fitness
• Promotes self care
• Aides a speedier recovery following childbirth
Chiropractors can evaluate and treat pain in the body, especially in the spine, joints, and muscles. One of the most common complaints in pregnancy is muscle soreness and spinal discomfort. Chiropractors can do safe adjustments that will help maintain motion in the spine as well as soft tissue work and massage to relax muscles that have been strained due to the changes in the woman’s body. Your chiropractor may also advise you on proper ergonomic positions for lifting, getting up from seated, and getting in and out of the car, to keep yourself from unnecessary strains on your body and decrease some of the common pregnancy discomforts.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe During Pregnancy?
Because chiropractors use a drug-free approach, chiropractic care is absolutely safe during pregnancy for both you and your unborn baby. Chiropractors can use special tables and adjustments that are safe for the baby and equally as effective for you. Because your body is going through a great deal of changes in a short time, it is recommended that you get regular chiropractic care, as this will keep your body limber and moving easily, thus aiding in a healthy delivery and faster recovery.
What Causes Back Pain In Pregnancy?
Back pain is a very common complaint during pregnancy. This can be caused by a number of things. It is most often the result of your center of gravity shifting with your growing abdomen, causing strain and stress on the muscles and ligaments surrounding your spine. As you get further along in your pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is produced to help your body loosen the ligaments in preparation for the birthing process. Unfortunately, this can also be a cause of back pain, as well as pain in other areas of the body, as they are more easily strained and your body misaligned. This hormone can remain in your system for some time after pregnancy also, causing instability in the joints. Your chiropractor can give you some mild exercises to help re-strengthen the muscles of your back and abdomen, aiding in support of your spine.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help After Pregnancy?
One of the more common complaints following childbirth is lower back pain. Due to the stress of carrying the baby, the relatively rapid weight gain, and hormonal changes within your body, the spine and the muscles surrounding it are strained and stretched. Chiropractic treatments can help to restore your body structure to its pre-pregnancy state.
Can Chiropractic Care Be Helpful For My Partner And Baby?
Although mainly the mother experiences the majority of the changes during pregnancy, parenting a new baby can be physically and mentally demanding on the whole family, including the infant. Parents often complain of beck and neck aches from holding and feeding their new baby. The baby also goes through a demanding birth process, and a chiropractor can help your baby recover and adjust to their new environment.
Can Chiropractic Care Help With Headaches?
Because of the fact that 95% of headaches are caused by something other than a serious medical condition, chiropractors are able to treat most headaches with adjustments and non-invasive treatments.
Often times, headaches are the result of misaligned or tightened muscles and joints in the neck. These headaches are called “cervicogenic” headaches, and while they can be painful and bothersome, are easily treated with chiropractic manipulation and soft tissue massage.
Chiropractic care is gaining popularity for the treatment of headaches, as pharmaceutical drugs are becoming a last resort. Studies have proven the success of chiropractic treatment in relieving headache pain quicker and more effectively than medication. One such study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (1995) showed that improvements were just as effective with chiropractic treatment as with headache medication, and patients suffered fewer side effects. This study also showed that after a four week follow up, patients that were treated with chiropractic care maintained their level of improvement, whereas many of those treated with headache medication had a recurrence of headaches similar to those before treatment.
Different Types Of Headaches:
• Tension headaches
• Cervicogenic headaches
• Migraine headaches
• Sinus headaches
• Chronic or episodic headaches
• Trauma related headaches
• Jaw related headaches
Symptoms can overlap the types of headaches, so talk with your chiropractor about your headaches. They will ask you about your symptoms in order to help you determine which type(s) of headache you suffer from and what type of treatment will be best for you.
How Can Headaches Be Treated?
Traditionally, headaches have been treated with medication. This temporarily relieves the pain by treating the symptoms, but the cause of the headaches remains and the patient often complains of recurrent headaches.
Together, you and your chiropractor can determine the type of headaches you are having, the causes, and an effective course of treatment, without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. While your treatment will be catered to your specific needs, it may include any combination of the following:
• Massage of related neck muscles
• Chiropractic manipulation
• Postural improvements
• Dietary/Nutritional advice
• Lifestyle advice
What Are “Cervicogenic” Headaches?
Cervicogenic headaches are one of the most common types of headaches and the least complicated to treat, as they are often the result of simple subluxations of the spine. Cervicogenic headaches are typically treated with chiropractic manipulation, massage, and postural exercises.
Cervicogenic headaches are characterized by the following qualities, though the severity may vary:
• Dull or aching pain in the head
• Neck pain or tenderness in a specific area
• Restricted movement of the neck
• Increased pain in the head or neck with certain movements
• History of neck trauma
How Do You Prevent Recurring Headaches?
While some headaches and situations may be out of your control, you can take the following steps to try to decrease further headaches:
• Take frequent breaks for stretching and walking while on long car rides
• Sleep on a firm mattress and a comfortable supportive pillow
• Correct your posture when necessary:
• Stand straight
• Relax shoulders
• Don’t slouch
• Take advantage of ergonomics where possible
• Use proper lighting to read
• Practice relaxation techniques frequently
What Is Otitis Media?
Otitis Media is a general term that describes conditions that affect the middle ear. Disorders and conditions of the middle ear most frequently result in fluid build up and inflammation, causing pain in the inner and outer ear. Otitis Media is frequently due to an infection and often times preceded by an upper respiratory illness or the common cold. Those most likely afflicted by Otitis Media are children under six years of age, though adults can also be affected. Consult your physician if you have an upper respiratory infection followed by hearing loss or ear pain, as this may be the result of Otitis Media.
How Does Otitis Media Develop?
Otitis Media usually occurs when an infection from the common cold find its way into the middle ear. One of the main contributing factors frequently associated with Otitis Media is a problem with the Eustachian tube. The Eustachian tube is basically a small opening connecting the middle chamber of the ear to the back of the throat. Otitis Media, while frequently caused by infections, can also be caused by a variety of other things, such as food allergies, intolerance to dairy, and secondhand smoke. Regardless of the cause, if the Eustachian tube is blocked or impaired, fluid is likely to accumulate in the middle ear chamber, causing the eardrum to bulge and cause pain from the pressure.
Is Otitis Media Dangerous?
Often times, Otitis Media will heal on its own without intervention. However, if left untreated, Otitis Media can lead to eardrum rupture or sinus inflammation. Further ignoring these symptoms can cause hearing loss or an infection in another part of the head if the ear infection spreads. Serious side effects of Otitis Media are extremely rare, but suspected ear infections should be seen to when problems arise.
How Can A Chiropractor Help With Otitis Media?
Some chiropractors are specially trained with a technique called Endonasal Technique, which is specifically designed to relieve pressure from the middle part of the ear and help with drainage. Your chiropractor can work with you and give you ways to ease symptoms and prevent recurrence of Otitis Media. If the problem lies within the spine or surrounding muscles, your chiropractor will be trained to help with those problems as well.
Do I Need Antibiotics For Otitis Media?
Strong bacterial ear infections may require a dose of antibiotics to cure them properly. However, recent studies suggest that antibiotics may be less effective in treating Otitis Media than doctors originally thought. Physicians are turning to other methods, and prescribing pharmaceuticals less often. If you find that your ear infection is not resolving itself, your chiropractor may be able to recommend natural supplements or over the counter drugs that will ease your symptoms.
Can Chiropractic Care Help My Chronic Otitis Media?
Chiropractic care can play a very large part in treating seemingly chronic conditions of Otitis Media, especially when it is recurrent or chronic. Ask your chiropractor what techniques and what course of treatment is best for your individual condition.
How Does Sinusitis Develop?
Sinusitis can be caused by an irritation or an infection of the sinuses. Many factors can contribute to sinusitis, and the most common causes are:
Do I have Sinusitis?
- narrow or thin nasal passages and sinus cavities
- deviation of the nasal septum
- inflammation of the sinus and nasal tissue due to a variety of nasal factors with or without infection
- fever or cold
- environmental pollution
It is advised that you consult your physician if you experience any combination of the following symptoms for more than a few days:
Can Sinusitis Be Dangerous?
- yellow or green discharge with nasal congestion
- facial pain
- headache or pressure behind the nose or forehead
- sore throat
Typically, sinusitis will resolve itself like the common cold, but if symptoms persist, you should consult a physician. Prolonged sinusitis, if left untreated can progress to an infection in other areas of the head. While extremely rare, an infection that spreads can be extremely dangerous.
How Can My Chiropractor Help My Sinusitis?
Your chiropractor may be trained in specific sinus techniques such as sinus draining, endonasal technique or nasal specific. The aforementioned techniques can help relieve pressure by increasing sinus drainage. Your chiropractor is also able to treat muscular or spinal issues that could be related to your symptoms. Before turning to medication, consider asking your chiropractor how they can help relieve your symptoms.
Are Antibiotics Necessary if I Have a Sinus Infection?
Strong bacterial sinus infections may require a dose of antibiotics to cure it properly. However, recent studies suggest that antibiotics may be less effective in treating sinus infections than doctors originally thought. Physicians are turning to other methods, and prescribing pharmaceuticals less often. If you find that your sinus infection is not resolving itself, your chiropractor may be able to recommend natural supplements or over the counter drugs that will ease your symptoms.
Can Chiropractic Care Help With My Chronic Condition?
Chiropractic care can play a very large part in treating seemingly chronic conditions of sinusitis, especially when it is recurrent or chronic. The aforementioned techniques can be used to keep your nasal passages clear and your symptoms at bay, avoiding recurrence in the future. Ask your chiropractor what techniques and what course of treatment is best for your individual condition.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is typically caused by irritation or an infection of the nasal sinuses. The normal flow of mucus in your nasal passages allows you to breathe clean air. This is done by collecting germs and particles from the air in the mucous-producing nasal cavities. When this flow is interrupted, the germs that are normally flushed out replicate and cause sinus inflammation, often resulting in a sinus infection.