The most frequently asked chiropractic questions our patients ask are:
Q: What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is the second largest health care field in the United States and the leading natural healing art in the world. It is based on the foundation that good health, in part, relies on a healthy spinal structure which affects the function of the nervous system and body. Your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. The body’s functions are controlled by the brain through the spinal cord and all the nerves of the body. If the spine misaligns and puts pressure on the nervous system (this is called a subluxation), it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. Chiropractic is the science of locating nerve interference and adjusting the spine to remove it. This non-drug and non-surgical approach to restoring health was founded in 1895 by D.D. Palmer.
Q: Is Chiropractic safe?
Yes. Chiropractic is among the safest of the healing arts. Every health procedure, from taking Tylenol to giving blood involves a level of risk, but chiropractic enjoys an excellent track record because of its non-surgical and non-drug approach to health. The NUCCA adjustment is gentle and doesn’t involve any twisting, popping or jerking of the spine. Rest assured that all adjustments are delivered by a licensed practitioner, and risk factors are identified in patients before any type of care is administered. Chiropractic takes nothing out of the body and puts nothing in.
Q: What do Chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors don’t treat any specific disease or condition. They detect and correct misalignment (subluxation) of the spine putting pressure on the nervous system. Once the nerve pressure and body balance is restored, the body is better able to heal, regulate and maintain itself. Many practice members see relief from a variety of symptoms when the body is in proper alignment. Chiropractors are looking for one potential cause of dysfunction in the body (nerve interference), and are not as concerned with treating the effects (like many medications). Click here
to view a list of some conditions that have responded to upper cervical chiropractic.
Q: Is it bad to "crack" your neck or back?
It is a habit that you will want to break. The desire to pop the neck or back is caused by tension in an area of the spine that is fixated or stuck. The person’s desire is to pop their neck or back to release the tension, but the movement and noises are usually coming from other parts of the spine than the fixated joint. The fixated part should be adjusted by a chiropractor so that the rest of the spinal column will balance and stop being so movable and noisy.
Q: Can I go to a Chiropractor if I'm under medical care?
Absolutely. The two professions serve their patients in different ways, but are both interested in your health and well-being. There are many chiropractors and medical doctors that are working together in the same clinic or on joint research projects. Many medical doctors are open to the benefits of chiropractic care and have a number of their patients seeing chiropractors. No single healthcare profession can attend to every healthcare need.
Q: What is NUCCA?
NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) is an upper cervical organization and technique. This organization has been doing research in the upper cervical area and educating Chiropractors to do the work since it began in 1966. It is a system of analyzing and aligning the top neck bone, called the atlas, by hand to restore the spine to a balanced and less stressed position. This rebalancing decreases pressure on nerves thus improving health.
Q: How is NUCCA chiropractic different from "regular" chiropractic?
NUCCA Chiropractors adjust the top neck bone to improve structural balance, and hope for improved spinal mobility. This adjustment influences the postural reflexes by returning the head to a more balanced position on top of the neck. The laws of physics and mechanics are used to determine the proper adjustment angle. “Regular” Chiropractic attempts to primarily address joints that aren’t moving properly by giving a short, quick thrust to the area to increase mobility and hope for improved structural balance.
Q: Is NUCCA just effective for the neck or can it help low back pain too?
It can definitely help low back pain. When a person has a trauma to the head and neck, the rest of the spine will compensate and shift out of place like a stack of dominoes all the way down to the pelvis. When the body’s posture is distorted like this there will be uneven weight distribution over the joints. Pain will show up in primary compensation areas over time (the low back commonly feels this stress). Receiving a NUCCA adjustment to reduce postural distortion allows for the possible relief of pain in these compensated areas.
Q: Why are there so few NUCCA chiropractors?
Even though NUCCA has been around for decades not all chiropractic colleges have it available for students to be exposed to. The technique also requires a lot of time and energy to become proficient.
Q: How do you get a misaligned (Subluxated) spine?
An accident or injury at some time in a person’s life causes their atlas to shift out of its proper position and the rest of their spine to misalign. It is not necessarily an injury that you would remember.
A few examples of injuries are:
- A difficult or traumatic birth
- A fall as a child
- Falling off a bicycle
- Bumping your head getting in or out of your vehicle
- Car accidents
- Twisting or popping your neck
- Amusement park rides that jerk the spine
- Contact sports
Q: Can my spine be misaligned (Subluxated) without experiencing pain?
Yes. It may be misaligned for years before pain or symptoms show up. It can act like two of our country’s biggest killers, heart disease and cancer. They may be present for years before they are symptomatic. Subluxation is known as a silent killer, which is why periodic spinal checkups are so important!
Q: How can I tell if I have a misaligned (Subluxated) spine?
You can’t always tell, so it’s best to be checked by a NUCCA trained chiropractor to determine if your spine is misaligned. Spinal misalignment may be present for years before warning signs appear. For practice members that are already getting adjusted, many of them become more sensitive over time as to whether they are in alignment or not. Some rely on the return of their symptoms and others can see and feel changes in their posture (head tilt, a lower shoulder, more weight on one foot, and a change in how they are walking, etc). Even these indications are sometimes misleading so it’s good to get periodic objective checkups from a NUCCA chiropractor.
Q: Can my body go in and out of alignment on its own?
No, a true subluxation will not realign on its own and must be corrected by a chiropractor. Many times patients may feel that their body went “out of alignment” and then back “in alignment”. What the individual likely felt was the body adapting to stress that they were able to manage without assistance. Sometimes patients can temporarily irritate the nerves with a bad posture, for example, but not have enough force to misalign the spine.
Q: Why should I get checked by a chiropractor when I’m feeling fine?
Symptoms may not show up for years after the spine misaligns. Preventative care is better than reactive, relief care. (It’s better to get a cavity fixed before it becomes symptomatic). Using how you feel as your health barometer can be unpredictable and even dangerous. Many people are walking around with heart disease and cancer and feel great. Feeling symptom free does not necessarily mean healing has finished or that you are in your optimal alignment.
We evaluate everyone using objective tests that are independent from subjective symptoms. It is best to be assessed periodically to ensure that if you are misaligned but non-symptomatic, you can be adjusted to prevent your body from being used to a misaligned state once again. You want to avoid or slow down the spinal degeneration that often involves a return of pain.
Q: Do you take care of children?
Yes! All children should have the benefit of a properly functioning nervous system and balanced body. Even newborns have received adjustments after difficult or traumatic births. A few of the conditions that we have seen results in children are: ADHD, colic, ear infections, seizures, learning disabilities, autism, difficulty sleeping, bed-wetting, asthma, headaches and back pain. Children’s misalignments tend to be less complex because they are present for a shorter period of time. They generally respond quickly to adjustments and require fewer of them. Anyone of any age can be a candidate for NUCCA if their spine is out of alignment.
Q: Who should be checked for a misaligned spine?
Everyone with a spine should get checked. Anyone who is determined to have an imbalanced body and pressure on their nervous system can benefit from NUCCA. Adjustments are only given to those who are found to have a need for the care. Having the body aligned will free up energy that was being used to fight gravity in an out of alignment position to now be used for self-healing, maintenance and thinking. Click here
to listen to and read patient’s results with NUCCA chiropractic. The question is: When do you ever want pressure on your nervous system? How long are you willing to live with pressure on it?
Q: Does the adjustment hurt?
No. There is no popping, twisting, or cracking of the spine with the NUCCA adjustment. The NUCCA Correction involves a series of precise and gentle touches on the side of the neck. Each practice member receives an individualized adjustment according to his/her misalignment pattern to unlock their spine. Most patients barely feel any pressure at all and feel very relaxed afterwards.
Q: Are there any reactions to an adjustment?
Practice members typically notice more reactions to the first one or two adjustments. A list of possible reactions are:
- Cold-like symptoms (runny nose/sinus drainage)
- Muscle soreness
- Popping or cracking in the spine (from spinal reconstruction)
- Pain in the area of an old injury
Q: What can I do to prevent myself from losing the adjustment?
There are many stressors that can contribute to putting the body back out of alignment. A simplified classification of stressors is the 3 T’s (thoughts, traumas, and toxins). Thoughts include negativity or stress. Have your trapezius and shoulder muscles ever gotten tight after a long day of work? What are those muscles attached to? Obvious traumas like bumps, falls and daily repetitive bad postures can cause the spine to go back out of alignment. Toxic stresses are usually environmental like the food we eat and the air we breathe.
After your first adjustment in our office you will be given recommendations regarding daily things to do and not do to protect the adjustment.
Q: How many adjustments will I need?
The number of adjustments needed varies from person to person, which is due to a number of factors that include but are not limited to:
- Patient compliance (following the doctors recommendations)
- How much damage there is to the spinal structures
- Exercise habits
- Emotional and physical stress
- The shape of your spinal bones
Each person’s healing response is different. We give each practice member an estimate of how long their recovery may take at the beginning of their second visit. Visits will be spaced out over time, based on the rate of improvement. Once the spine becomes more stable most practice members decide to come in for monthly checkups to maintain their correction so they can keep their health at a more optimal level.
Q: Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. There are thousands of mathematical combinations that exist of atlas misalignments. Each combination requires a different correction, which is determined from the thorough analysis of the x-rays.
Q: Do I get adjusted each visit?
You are only adjusted when the objective findings indicate your body is back out of alignment. Our goal is to adjust you as few times as possible. There is a broad range of how long people hold this adjustment which is directly related to their body’s ability to maintain their alignment. The doctor’s recommendations are designed to check the spine at a frequency that returns more stability to the spine.
Q: Can I have adjustments after back surgery?
Yes. The doctors are trained to deliver a safe and gentle spinal correction which requires no bending, twisting or cracking of the spine. If it is determined that there is a contraindication for the care, the doctors will refer you to the appropriate health care professional.
Unfortunately, up to half of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years later, and then face the possibility of additional surgery. Chiropractic may help prevent repeated operations.
Q: Can a person with a broken back or neck see a Chiropractor?
They may after the break heals. Since a broken bone forms a callus when it heals it is stronger that the rest of the bone. The adjustments don’t involve any twisting, popping or cracking of the spine. Since accidents which cause breaks may also cause the spine to misalign, it is even more reason to get checked once the bone heals.
Q: How can such a light pressure move the spine?
The pressure is so light because the doctor uses leverage when delivering the adjustment. It’s the same principle as to why we can move a heavy pile of sand with the light push of a wheelbarrow. The doctor calculates the angle from the films to best use their biomechanical leverage. This is why the practice members barely feel any pressure.
Q: Are x-rays really necessary?
Yes! X-rays are taken and analyzed to determine the exact position of the head and neck. The doctor makes some calculations on the films to determine the proper vector (angle) for each individual adjustment. The films taken are specific to the NUCCA procedure. The misalignments in this area may be small (sometimes the thickness of a fingernail), and thus cannot be sufficiently figured out through palpation (touch with the fingers).
Q: Do you take x-rays on every visit?
No. X-rays are initially taken before and after the first spinal correction. They don’t need to be taken on every visit because even when the spine goes back out of alignment, it often misaligns in the same pattern. Additional x-rays are only taken if a new accident or injury has occurred or if the patient isn’t maintaining their alignment.
Q: How long until I feel better?
Healing is individual and there are many factors involved, including:
- Type and severity of the condition(s)
- How long you have had the condition
- What other treatments you have had
- Medications you are taking
- Compliance with the doctors recommendations
The more personal responsibility the patient takes in this process, generally the better the results they obtain. All healing takes time. Some patients experience immediate relief after the first adjustment but many find out that it can take several weeks to notice relief. The longer your spine has been out of alignment, the more possible damage has occurred to the tissues and therefore the more time is required for healing. Practice members will see relief in the symptoms that are due to the postural distortion that the NUCCA adjustment is correcting.
Q: Is it true that if you see a chiropractor once you have to go for the rest of your life?
No. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is up to you. Many people who experience chiropractic know the benefits and choose a lifestyle that includes lifelong checkups. They are usually the same type of people that are interested in benefiting from regular good eating habits and exercise. Our job is to offer you the very best care and walk with you on your journey toward better health regardless of your health goals.
This perception is out there and may stem from the fact that the healing process takes time and multiple visits to the chiropractor are therefore often recommended to stabilize the spine until the body does a better job of holding the spine in an aligned position on its own. The longer your spine has been out of alignment (which is usually much earlier than the initial onset of symptoms), the longer it will typically take to become more stable again. Just as it’s important to get regular dental checkups for early detection and prevention of tooth decay, getting regular chiropractic checkups for detection of spinal misalignment and nerve pressure is important since they may both be present without pain or symptoms for a long period of time.
Q: What type of education did Laneville Family Chiropractic doctors receive?
The education process for a chiropractor is much like that of medical doctors, dentists and osteopaths. The Laneville Family Chiropractic doctors both graduated with a four-year undergraduate degree. They went on to the fountainhead of chiropractic, Palmer College of Chiropractic, and passed their 10-trimester program. While at Palmer they passed the four-part National Board examinations and completed all state licensure requirements.
Below is a breakdown of chiropractic classroom hours based on the review of curriculum catalogues from eleven chiropractic colleges. It clearly shows that chiropractors are well-trained health practitioners.
Q: Will insurance cover my upper cervical chiropractic services?
If your insurance plan covers chiropractic, then depending on the insurance company, there could be a good chance that they will either cover some or most of your services during the first few months of care. We always explain to our practice members “Don’t expect anything back from your insurance company and if you do get something, then think of it as a bonus”. This way our practice members are not disappointed. We recommend that you don’t base your decision to get care or not on an insurance companies coverage. Your quality of life is your responsibility not your insurance companies. All of our practice members pay with cash, check or credit card at the time of service. We give them a receipt with the insurance codes on it to submit to their insurance company. They are reimbursed based on what is contracted with the company.
Q: What if my policy doesn’t cover your services?
Your health is your most valuable possession. Each of us is free to place a different value on it. It’s convenient when an insurance company pays the bill, but don’t allow the profit motive of insurance companies to make the decision about your quality of life for you. It is you that needs to live with your body the rest of your life, not the insurance company. We have different options that make our services affordable for most people. The question you have to ask yourself is: "Is my health worth it?"
Q: Does Medicare cover your chiropractic services?
Medicare does cover a large portion of the chiropractic adjustments provided in the office. They do not cover x-rays, office visits and re-exams. Our staff will submit the services to Medicare, and Medicare will reimburse you directly.
Q: How much does the care cost?
Everyone is different. The number of visits and adjustments needed varies based on many factors. Once you are examined by the doctors and it is determined that you are a candidate for the care, the doctor will go over the necessary next steps and the fees for the services. We want our practice members to make fully-informed decisions without any surprises.
Q: My group needs a speaker for its meeting. Do the doctors give speeches on health topics?
Yes, and without charge! Please contact us to ask about topics and availability.