- What is Chiropractic?
It is a therapy based on the principle that the body has a self-healing, recuperative capacity and that there is a relationship between the structure of the skeleton and the function of the body. The relationship between the structure of the skeleton and the nervous system is the basis of the chiropractic approach to healing. Chiropractors believe that people are healthier when the nervous system is functioning at it’s optimum.
- What are the historical origins of the Chiropractic profession?
Chiropractic is derived from the Greek words of Praxis and Cheir, which means, “done by hand.” Manipulation, however, has been used for centuries in China and the Far East as a treatment for many different health conditions, and these practioners were known as “bone setters.” The ancient Greeks used spinal manipulation, as evidenced by historical documents that are 2500 years old. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer started the chiropractic profession in the United States using manipulation as its main treatment modality.
- What type of education is required in becoming a Chiropractor?
A Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), like a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.), first completes a 4-year undergraduate degree with an emphasis in pre-med courses like anatomy, biology, chemistry, and physics. Chiropractic training also involves a 4-year doctoral program in which doctors of chiropractic complete the same basic science courses in gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, physiology, and pathology. Chiropractors do not take courses in pharmacology and toxicology but instead take courses in biomechanics, manipulation (adjusting), and musculoskeletal diagnosis. Chiropractors also take courses in physical medicine that enable us to use modalities like ultrasound and electric muscle stimulation.
- What causes the “cracking” noises during manipulation?
During manipulation of joints, you will often hear a “cracking” or “popping” sound. This sound is caused by the rapid release of gas that builds up inside of our joints. This is very similar to the sound that you hear when you open a bottle of soda. Most people fear that somehow their bones are breaking or that there is damage occuring to their joints. Most people are familiar with the old-wives’ tale that relates the cracking of knuckles with causing arthritis in hands. This is simply not true, as new research suppoorts the idea that cracking joints may be beneficial. A study preformed by Dr. Tyler Cymet at Johns Hopkins University found that osteoarthritis is more common in those who have never cracked their joints, Dr. Cymet told Reuters Health News in 2005.
- How long will my first appointment last?
The initial evaluation generally takes between 45 minutes to an hour. Depending on how complex your case is and the level of history taking required, this visit may take longer. A typical office visit will last between 30-60 minutes depending on what therapies or exercises are preformed on that day. Progress during treatment is measured through periodic reevaluations and outcomes assessments.
- Is it necessary to have X-Rays?
Generally x-rays are not preformed on every patient. There are times during the course of the history and exam when certain findings make obtaining x-rays a critical part of the treatment process. The rationale for x-rays will be discussed with the patient so that an informed decision can be made.
- Is a referral from my Primary Care Physician (PCP) necessary to begin treatment?
No, chiropractors are portal-of-entry practioners, so unless your particular insurance plan requires it, no referral is necessary. We will work with your doctor by keeping them apprised of your treatment and your progress through periodic reports.
- Will treatment hurt?
No, treatment will not hurt and is very comfortable. Generally patients feel more relaxed and can move better immediately following treatment.
- Is manipulation safe?
Yes, spinal manipulation is very safe. In a 2004 study in the Journal of Manual Therapies, the most common post-adjustment reactions were are follows: headache (19.8%), stiffness (19.5%), local discomfort (15.2%), radiating discomfort (12.1%) and fatigue (12.1%). These reactions began within 4 hours and generally disappeared within the next 24 hours. Infrequent but potentially serious side effects include: vertebrobasilar accidents (VBA), strokes, spinal disc herniation, vertebral and rib fractures, and cauda equina syndrome. These side effects only occur in a small percentage of patients and Dr. Buncke will perform a through history and exam to rule out the possibility of these side effects. Patients in our office will also be informed of these risks before treatment starts through a written informed-consent form.
- Can Chiropractors work with pregnant women?
Yes. In many cases of pregnancy-related back pain, the pain is caused by the changes in body mechanics related to the growing baby. There are many types of manipulation and mobilization which can help ease the joint pain caused by pregnancy. The appropiateness of care is dependant on the stage of pregnancy. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, please consult with your obstetrician before Chiropractic treatment takes place.
- If I start Chiropractic care will I have to continue for the rest of my life?
The answer to that question is up to you. There are many patients who start care make the decision to terminate their care when they feel better. Some patients decide to continue their care on a preventative basis to keep themselves feeling and functioning well. Before any treatment is started, the goals of acute and long-term care will be discussed.
- Can I see a Chiropractor if I have had back surgery?
Yes, patients who have had back surgery which unfortunately was not successful can be diagnosed as having “failed back surgery syndrome.” Manipulation, decompression, and stabilization exercises, accompanied by ergonomic advice, may help when medical intervention has not. It is important in post-surgical cases that we work with your surgeon to determine the most appropriate course of care.