Frequently Asked Questions
Chiropractic is a health-care profession based upon the spine and nervous system, as well as the surrounding muscles and ligaments. There's nothing mysterious about chiropractic. It's a natural method of healthcare that focuses on treating the causes of physical problems, rather than just treating the symptoms. Chiropractic is based on a simple but powerful premise. With a normally functioning spine and healthy nervous system, your body is better able to heal itself. That's because your spine is the lifeline of your nervous system. It controls feeling, movement, and all function through your body.
Chiropractors are not "medical doctors," but go through a similar education process to become licensed Doctor of Chiropractic. There is much more emphasis on neurology, chiropractic manual adjustment techniques, and xray, than an M.D. will be exposed to while pursuing their degree. In fact, educational requirements for chiropractors are among the most stringent of any health care profession. DCs are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical internship, with the average DC program equivalent in classroom hours to allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.
Certification is managed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), which administers national board exams that graduates of accredited chiropractic colleges must pass before applying for a state license to practice. Licensure is managed by individual states, which have varying requirements. Most states, including Washington State, require chiropractors to meet yearly continuing education requirements to maintain their license.
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 painful conditions are often caused by subluxations that impact the nervous system. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
A subluxation is the movement of a vertebrae (or other bone) away from it's normal anatomical position, placing pressure on, and therefore "pinching" a nerve. A subluxation can result from a variety of causes, including trauma, such as a fall or motor vehicle collision, repetitive microtraumas (like swinging a tennis racket or golf club over and over), and even poor daily habits such as incorrect posture or sleeping positions.
The initial chiropractic visit includes a thorough history and consultation, followed by an examination and possibly x-ray imaging to develop a working diagnosis. The doctor will combine these elements to determine the best course of action for the patient's particular problem. This information will be shared upon a subsequent visit, where the doctor will provide all the information necessary to mutually decide on a course of action, based upon the severity of the patient's condition. Patients may also receive advice on home care, lifestyle modifications, exercise instruction and nutritional advice.
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a precise, controlled force applied to a specific joint to correct structural alignment. This ultimately relieves pressure on the nerve and surrounding soft tissue. The result is increase of function, reduction of pain, and overall improvement in health and wellness.
A chiropractic adjustment is a highly controlled and precise procedure that rarely causes discomfort because minimal force and gentle pressure are used. In fact, most patients feel relief immediately following an adjustment.
Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available. Each adjustment is tailored to a patient's age, size, and unique spinal problem. Each day over a million people worldwide receive chiropractic spinal adjustments. Statistically, a chiropractic adjustment is more than 100 times safer than taking an over the counter pain reliever. Chiropractic is all-natural and non-invasive, making it extremely safe.
Pregnancy is a great time to benefit from chiropractic care. While it's always best to have a properly functioning nervous system, it's especially helpful during pregnancy. Adjusting methods are modified to a mother's size, weight, and stage of pregnancy. Many women that receive chiropractic adjustments report shorter and easier births.
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for vertebral subluxation. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for the child's spine. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off can be traced to the spine. Health problems that emerge in adulthood could often be prevented by having your children's spine checked by a chiropractor early. Many parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and are healthier than their peers.
Many people have found that chiropractic care is very affordable. Most insurance companies have coverage that includes chiropractic care and massage. We are a participating provider with most Washington health plans. Studies show that people actually pay less for their long term health care expenses if they are seeing a chiropractor. For example, a study by Richard Sarnat, M.D., shows that patients under chiropractic care had a 62% decrease in outpatient surgeries and procedures and an 85% decrease in medication costs. This natural health care choice is both affordable and effective.
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