Chiropractic FAQs

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a 100-year-old practice that uses non-invasive means to restore and improve health. Its tools include manipulation of the joints and surrounding tissue -- including muscles, tendons, and nerves -- to treat neck and back pain , joint pain, headache, muscle aches, and other health problems.

Chiropractic as a health care discipline emphasizes the inherent power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. It's based on healing traditions used for thousands of years around the world, he says, and focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system). The interplay of those two, he says, has a profound effect on how individuals preserve or restore their health.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a 2003 analysis of 39 clinical trials found that chiropractic treatments were about as effective as conventional medical care (including pain-relieving drugs, exercise, and physical therapy) in relieving low back pain without all of the potential negative side effects of the latter.

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What kind of training do chiropractors receive?

Much like medical or osteopathic doctors, chiropractors receive four years of graduate level education leading to their "DC" or Doctorate of Chiropractic degree, which follows a minimum of three years of pre-professional/pre-medical education. They pass national board examinations similar to those doctors of medicine must take. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed in all 50 states and make up the third largest licensed health care provider group in the United States.

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What does treatment involve?

During your first visit, Dr. Dalan will take a comprehensive health history, perform a physical exam, and, if indicated, do or review laboratory tests or imaging involving radiographs, CT scans, or an MRI. He will normally issue a verbal report that explains the diagnostic findings and outlines a strategy for treating and managing your condition or health problems.

As a branch of integrative medicine, chiropractic pays special attention to emotional relationships affecting health, as well as its physiological and biochemical aspects. After a thorough evaluation, he or she may counsel you on how to prevent disease and enjoy better health through proper nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes, among other things. If a chiropractor decides that you have an illness that requires medical care, you'll be referred to a physician or other health care provider for treatment or co-management.

During the treatment itself, you'll probably lie or sit on an exam table while your chiropractor palpates and then "adjusts" your muscles and joints -- especially your spine -- depending on your individual needs. He may also use a reflex tool to do adjustments. Spinal adjustments are normally pain-free, although some slight soreness may be present afterwards that should improve quickly on its own. Your chiropractor may also counsel you on appropriate exercises that you can do on your own.

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How does it work?

Chiropractic adjustments benefit the body's physiology, by returning function to joints that have ceased to function in a fluid normal fashion. One of these effects is to relax muscles and improve joint mobility, even long after the original injuries have taken place. The chiropractic "adjustment" is a specific movement that only chiropractors are trained to deliver and which is directed through the dysfunctional areas found by the doctor's palpation. Patients often hear a "pop" or "crack" when adjusted which is an indicator that a joint has moved.

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What is the "popping" sound I hear during my adjustment?

The "pop" you hear during a manipulation or adjustment is the joint opening and releasing nitrogen containing gas into the joint. It sometimes occurs spontaneously when you are moving about during your daily activities. It is frequently thought to be the sound of bones rubbing on each other which couldn't be further from the truth. Specifically, it is the movement of the joints apart from each other that produces this sound. It is often the doctor's audible key that joint movement has occurred but there is not always a sound when a joint opens.

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I have heard that once you go to a chiropractor you can't stop. Is that true?

Simply putů No. Chiropractors use a set of techniques that require repeated visits to achieve their treatment goals much like orthodontists and physical therapists do. Once corrections have been made stable it is up to the patient whether they return or not. Many of our patients choose to continue with care on an active basis to maintain their health, much like they go to the dentist to maintain their teeth, even when they are feeling fine. Some choose to discontinue after they have achieved their goals and then return should a new injury arise. Your healthcare is your healthcare. You should do what feels comfortable to you. We will never strong arm you or talk you into long care packages as some in our field have been known to do.

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How safe is it?

In the context of health care procedures, chiropractic treatments have a good safety record. The most common side effect of chiropractic adjustments is slight soreness, which you can usually relieve by icing the sore area. It's a good idea, though, to tell both your chiropractor and your regular doctor about each other, so they can coordinate your care.

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Are there any risks?

Any health care procedure carries some risks; compared to even the risk of taking aspirin, the procedures used by doctors of chiropractic are very safe. Medical research has linked a particular chiropractic treatment that Dr. Dalan does not employ, in extremely rare cases, with cerebrovascular events.

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Will my health plan cover treatment?

Most health plans cover chiropractic; check with your insurance company or health plan administrator for your exact benefits. Many companies choose to limit the amount of benefit their clients can receive for all types of care and chiropractic is no exception. What your insurance company pays may not be reliably conveyed to the chiropractic physician's office because of limitations in current HIPPA laws which attempt to limit the transfer of patient data out of a patient's private files. We therefore request that you contact your insurance company to get your exact benefits prior to coming to see us. You are the person who has a financial relationship with your insurance company as a result of your contract with them. Your doctors merely facilitate easier payment by consulting with them on your behalf. Many doctors have in the past few years decided to break this relationship requiring the patient to pay the doctor directly, and then filing their own claims for reimbursement. Dr. Dalan has not chosen to do that at this point. We will still continue to work with insurance companies to help our patients. Please read our
financial policy prior to your first visit.

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The Chiropractic Wellness Center, PC
www.chiropracticwellnesscenter.com