Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Doctor of Chiropractic help?
The doctor of chiropractic, through a procedure called an adjustment or manipulation, helps restore misaligned vertebrae to a more normal position, thus allowing the joints on the vertebrae to move more normally and the nerves to properly communicate with the rest of the body and let the body heal, safely and naturally.
Is chiropractic appropriate for a child?
Yes. Chiropractic is one of the safest forms of children’s health care. A chiropractor does not adjust a baby or a child the same way as he or she adjusts an adult. A baby’s spine is very supple during the first few months of life, so the doctor of chiropractic applies only a slight pressure to make an adjustment. For older children whose spine is still made of mainly cartilage, slight pressure followed by a gentle push is all that is required to put the vertebra back in place.
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…particularly with their highly skilled manipulations or 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 conditions often involve or impact the nerve 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.
How do I select a Doctor of Chiropractic?
One of the best ways to select a doctor of chiropractic (DC) is by getting a referral from a friend, family member, colleague, or another health care provider.
Does Chiropractic Treatment Require a Referral from an MD?
A referral is usually not needed to see a doctor of chiropractic (DC); however, your health insurance plan may have specific referral requirements. If you’re not sure of the requirements of your coverage we would be happy to verify your insurance prior to your first appointment. Just ask to speak to someone in our insurance department for help.
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 or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours. During your exam tests are performed to rule out conditions that would be contraindication for certain types of chiropractic treatments.
Are Chiropractors Allowed to Practice in Hospitals or use Medical Outpatient Facilities?
Chiropractors are being recognized to admit and treat patients in hospitals and to use outpatient clinical facilities (such as labs, x-rays, etc.) for their non-hospitalized patients. Hospital privileges were first granted to a Chiropractor in 1983. However, the vast majority of chiropractic treatments are performed in chiropractic offices in an out-patient setting.
Do Insurance Plans Cover Chiropractic?
Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, Medicare, and Medicaid plans, among others. Chiropractic care is also available to active-duty members of the armed forces at more than 60 military bases and is available to veterans at 36 major veterans medical facilities.
What Type of Education and Training do Chiropractors have?
Doctors of chiropractic 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 doctors of chiropractic 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. Doctors of chiropractic 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 Ongoing?
The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.