What does a chiropractor do?
The practice of chiropractic approaches the care of patients with spinal and nervous system disorders, but treatment is non-invasive. That is, treatment is a three-phase approach: first, by assessment of the patient’s general health conditions, second, analysis of the skeletal neck and spine and related body nervous system by investigation and diagnosis of conditions, called subluxations, that compromise the body’s normal functions, and third, treatment by physical manipulation or adjustments to the spine for proper spinal alignment and nerve flow.
Are there chiropractic treatment specialties?
Yes, and the increased interest in chiropractic specialties is growing. There are post-graduate studies (that is, beyond the D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) that are available to the graduate or the experienced practitioner to expand their knowledge in specialized treatment of subluxations (abnormal conditions requiring adjustment treatment). Of particular interest is the growth of specialization in chiropractic treatment of sports injuries.
What credentials should I look for in finding a licensed chiropractor to treatment my condition?
You want to restrict your trust of treatment only in a practitioner who has successfully completed D.C. studies and has obtained board certification in the field. Any additional specialization a given D.C. may have will assist in your assurance that a capable, certified D.C. has the credentials and experience4 to treat your specific condition. You might seek the recommendation of a patient friend or family member, but be certain the above recommendation applies, or check with the American Chiropractic Association “Find a Doc” online search tool for your area: www.acatoday.org/FindaDoc
What is the D.C. designation following a licensed chiropractor’s name?
The designation, D.C., stands for Doctor of Chiropractic, which is a board-certified designation attesting to the satisfactory completion of a regular set of courses designed to adequately prepare a certified chiropractor for general and/or specialization practice.
Is a chiropractor the same as a medical doctor?
No, a chiropractor is an educated and certified practitioner of body treatment specifically addressing manipulation bone structure and alignment, joints and nervous system. By contrast, a medical doctor, having a separate education and certification (M.D.), offers medical treatment of the general body systems by applied medicines, surgery, bone fracture re-setting, etc. They are completely separate disciplines which may have overlapping referrals and treatment applications.
Should I avoid medical practice and choose only chiropractic care?
This is a matter of choice by the patient. Neither a D.C. nor an M.D. should necessarily recommend exclusive treatment since, generally, the two practices address different body systems and functions. Each has its place in holistic health care. However, it should be noted that while D.C.’s do not prescribe medicine and M.D.’s do not manipulate the spine or body joints. As a result, depending on the ailments a patient suffers, they may choose exclusive treatment by one or the other practice, or both simultaneously.
Does chiropractic care treat both men and women?
Yes, both genders are treated by chiropractic care with equal dedication.
I am a woman. Are there female chiropractors?
Both men and women become certified chiropractic practitioners. If a patient is more comfortable with one gender of practitioner over another, the request should be easily accommodated. Our concern is strictly for the comfort and well-being of the patient as a first consideration.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Yes, chiropractic care is safe. In fact, if chiropractic care is warranted and the patient avoids treatment, exacerbating conditions could occur which would endanger the health and well-being of the patient. Chiropractic care aims to achieve a proper alignment of bones, joints and nervous system.
Are there age restrictions to being considered for chiropractic treatment?
No, under normal circumstances, there is no age limit restricting the treatment of chiropractic care. Infants to the very aged are patients of chiropractic care. However, age will play a part in the treatment applied and expectations of results.
Is your practice dedicated to specific types of injuries/concerns, such as sports injuries, or does the practice treat any chiropractic treatment needed?
We treat and specialize in all conditions related to the misalignments of the spine that effect the nerves, discs, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Injuries, lifestyle, sports, and age can alter proper function. Its our specialized technology that locates and treats these issues.
Can I be treated for medical conditions and chiropractic care simultaneously?
Generally speaking, yes, medical and chiropractic care can be administered simultaneously. There are, however, restrictive considerations to this general rule, so consultation with both a chiropractor and a medical doctor would be advised to have the best opinion of order of treatment. If a medical condition, such as a bone fracture, occurs, the best course of action is to have the medical condition treated first, be completely healed, and then proceed with chiropractic care.
Do you offer emergency, off-hour treatment?
We are always available after hours and weekends when an emergency arrives. Dr. Simpson and his colleagues are always on call.
Can a massage therapist treat my back or joint pain?
If the back or joint pain is as a result of a spinal, joint or nervous system condition, then no, a massage therapist, even one certified in that practice, cannot treat the condition. A massage therapist treats muscular disorder and pain, whereas the condition described may be a skeletal or nervous system condition for which massage therapy is inadequate to cure. If there is a question whether the pain is a muscular tissue issue, or deeper into the skeletal or nervous system, a certified chiropractor should be consulted.
Can chiropractic care cure medical problems such as insomnia or diabetes?
If insomnia is related to spinal or joint pain that a chiropractor would normally treat, perhaps chiropractic care would cure the issue. Diabetes is a purely medical issue related to diet and genetics, neither of which is the purview of chiropractic care. If there is a question of any condition, however, about which practice may be best suited to treat it successfully (and both may be warranted), by all means, seek a consultation with professionals of both practices and let their advice guide you to proper treatment.
Can chiropractic care cure arthritis?
Since arthritis is, primarily, a degenerative joint condition, chiropractic care may indeed offer relief from the pain, but again, maybe not. “Cure” is a relative word. There are many types of arthritic conditions affecting the body and many have a medical cause rather than mere misalignment if bones, joints and nervous system. Many arthritic conditions cannot be cured, but can be treated. The best advice is to seek consultation with both practitioners, chiropractic and medical care professionals, to obtain the best course of treatment if not cure.
Why can’t I make my own adjustments against a wall or door frame?
Self-treatment is very ill-advised. The practice of chiropractic care requires roughly the same educational dedication to completion as for medical practice. Without the necessary knowledge acquired by a proper education and professional experience, a self-treatment plan may cause more injury than the original condition, making proper treatment all the more difficult and expensive.
Why should I be treated by you instead of another practitioner?
We offer the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology in the profession. Dr. Simpson continuously stays on the leading edge of the field
My friend seems to have the same back problem as mine. Should I recommend you to him/her?
A personal referral from a satisfied patient is always appreciated. However, both referral parties should understand that chiropractic care has many specialties as in medical care. One chiropractor may not be specialized in the particular treatment requirements a patient may have, so a consultation would be advised as a first step in a treatment plan to be sure the prospective patient and the chiropractor are well suited for a successful practitioner/patient relationship. We are happy to refer a patient to another practitioner if it is our opinion that the patient would be better served by a professional referral.
My friend recommended me to you, but how do I know if you can treat my problem?
See the answer immediately above regarding referrals.
Preparation and Consultation
If I experience sudden trauma/injury from an accident or fall, how long should I delay before seeking treatment?
Care should be sought as soon as possible after the incident precipitating the injury to mitigate any exacerbating factors that may present by delaying professional treatment. However, caution should be taken. If the injury resulted in a bone fracture, that condition should be treated first by a medical doctor, allowing that treatment to heal completely before beginning chiropractic treatment if that is also recommended.
In the event of an accident resulting in a bone fracture, which treatment should I seek first, chiropractic care or medical treatment?
A bone fracture should always be treated and completely healed prior to beginning chiropractic care. If you have been in chiropractic treatment when the fracture occurred, and the bone fracture is in the location of the current chiropractic adjustments, chiropractic care should be interrupted to allow the fracture to heal completely before resuming chiropractic care.
If my need is not an emergency due to accident, what preparations should I make prior to a treatment appointment?
In general, no preparation techniques are necessary prior to a chiropractic adjustment session. However, as part of your initial consultation, be prepared to discuss your general health. Be as complete and honest as possible.
Only your chiropractor, or if you have been referred by a medical doctor, can assess whether or not seemingly unrelated health issues are related to the need of chiropractic care. Do not assume that an ache in your toe cannot have relation to a spinal condition.
Should I alter my diet in preparation for a treatment appointment?
There should be no need to alter your diet strictly due to a chiropractic appointment. However, be advised that diet may be a part of an initial consultation, as well as exercise, typical activities and lifestyle, all of which may feed into or directly affect a condition requiring chiropractic care.
Should I alter my physical activities in preparation for a treatment appointment?
Unless your normal activity is causing pain that is initiating your visit to the chiropractor, there is no need to alter you normal activities in preparation for the scheduled adjustment session unless your chiropractor specifically recommends a change.
What should I expect to learn in an initial consultation?
You should expect your initial consultation to include a review of your health history and current symptoms, an initial exam, both verbal and physical, to assess the symptoms you describe, and a diagnostic exam (such as an X-ray, MRI, or other tests), if deemed necessary to advance a firm diagnosis of your condition. You will then be advised of all the test findings, a diagnosis of your condition, and a treatment plan which would include an assessment of the expected duration of treatment and what post-treatment expectations there will be.
Will the practitioner with whom I consulted also do my treatments?
The ideal is that you initial consult was conducted with the practitioner who will administer your treatment plan. However, the consulting physician should be able to advise if that is not possible either because of schedule or because the consult results in a referral to another practitioner, including the possibility that your condition may be treated more successfully by a medical doctor or other professional practitioner.
Will my insurance plan cover chiropractic treatment?
Historically, most health insurance plans included chiropractic care. However, with the advent of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, it is advisable to assure that your coverage will include your treatment plan before you begin treatment. This is advisable for any health care you seek.
Will my treatment involve multiple sessions/appointments?
This will depend entirely on the results of your initial consultation, the diagnosis of your symptoms, the success of the treatment plan as prescribed, and your compliance with recommendations given with your treatment. The expectation of treatment duration will be given at your initial consultation.
Will I fully understand my treatment plan from the initial consultation?
The success of your treatment plan will depend on your understanding of the plan and the chiropractor’s efforts to treat you until you are as pain free as possible considering your initial symptoms and diagnosis. Your chiropractor will spend the time to make sure you understand your symptoms, diagnosis and treatment plan. You participation in treatment will depend on your full understanding of what is happening in treatment and what expectations are for your recovery.
Will my consultation include suggestions for post-treatment?
Yes, post-treatment expectations will be discussed with you to be sure you understand what restrictions of activities, diet, and lifestyle there may be, if any.
Will you let me talk to some of your patients for referral information?
With their acceptance of acting on a referral basis, but without discussing their particular symptoms, diagnosis or treatment unless they agree to do so, we will be happy to allow you to discuss referral questions with current or former patients. Above all, we respect the safety and privacy of our patients. We request that you keep your questions restricted to the quality and effectiveness of our care rather than inquire specifics about a patient’s treatment protocol, etc.
How should I dress for my treatment session?
There are no specific apparel requirements. We suggest you dress in comfortable and modest street attire for your adjustment session. Avoid tight and binding clothing.
What degree of modesty can I expect in a treatment session?
We expect your compliance with suggested, comfortable and modest apparel for your appointment. With respect to treatment sessions, we respect your modesty and safety as our primary concerns. You should not need to expose any more of you body than your back and we will be happy to provide a gown. Please discuss these concerns during your initial consultation to be aware of your attire and our necessary adjustment activities to maintain and protect your modesty.
Types of Injuries and Treatments Offered
Do you specialize in sports injury treatment?
Yes, our specialty is with sports injury and treatment of sports related pain.
Do you offer general chiropractic treatment needs?
Yes, we offer general chiropractic care.
I have back pain. Do you treat general back pain?
Yes, we will treat all back pain issues.
I have knee pain. Do you offer treatment of all body joints?
Yes, we will treat knee pain issues.
Is chiropractic care an identical treatment for all patients?
No, each patient’s symptoms and diagnosis may present unique treatment options. You should not expect a particular treatment plan just because a friend has the same apparent condition. It may not be identical to your condition; only the chiropractor will know what appropriate treatment plan will allow your recovery.
Are there any restrictions or limitations to the types of chiropractic treatment you offer?
Yes, only accept patients that we feel that we can help. Safety is our primary concern. If we feel that we can help you, we will let you know. If your condition falls outside of our specialty we will refer you to a physician who might be able to better help you.
If I need surgery as part of my overall treatment plan, do you have a comprehensive referral program to/from medical practitioners?
Yes, we are happy to refer you to, or receive referral from competent, professional medical doctors to fully accomplish your health treatment.
Do you perform surgery as part of chiropractic treatment?
No, invasive surgery is not part of chiropractic treatment. However, should our assessment of your symptoms and diagnosis recommend surgery vas part of your total treatment plan, we will refer you to a competent medical surgeon.
Are chiropractic and medical practices at odds with one another’s treatment methods?
Not at all from the perspective of our treatment process. We recognize that some symptoms patients present issues best suited for treatment by chiropractic and some by medical treatment, or both on occasion. We maintain a cordial, professional relationship with medical professionals to whom and from whom we are happy to refer you.
Do you accommodate long-term to life-long treatment plans?
Yes, we are fully equipped to provide short to long-term to life-long treatment as required based on the symptoms you present and the diagnosis and treatment plan recommended. Our concern is that you achieve as full a recovery as possible given your conditions, but no longer than necessary.
Can chiropractors prescribe medicine as part of treatment?
States differ in their D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) certification. Most states do not include drug prescription as part of D.C. certification. Actually, the treatment methods of chiropractic care would not typically require additional medicinal treatment. Inquire with your chosen chiropractor if he/she is permitted to prescribe medicine.
Does chiropractic treatment hurt?
Depending on the incoming condition of the patient and the duration the patient has endured pain before treatment, chiropractic adjustment should not hurt. On the contrary, the adjustment should result in immediate relief. However, if the patient is already in excessive pain and experiences inflammation, the associated discomfort of inflammation may continue beyond the adjustment. It is always recommended that, as long as extenuating conditions permit, a patient should seek treatment before the level of pain associated with a subluxation becomes too severe.
Is the popping sound sometimes heard in treatment normal?
Yes, on occasion, as the spine or a joint is adjusted back into proper alignment, a popping noise may sometimes be heard. This is normal and should not be a matter of concern to a patient. While you may think this is a bone-against-bone condition, what is really happening is that occasionally, the result of adjustment releases a gas bubble.
What equipment might be involved in my treatment?
If I have an accident and fracture a bone of a body part (arm, leg, back) currently being treated for chiropractic care, should I interrupt chiropractic treatment?
Yes, you should interrupt your chiropractic treatment plan for treatment of a bone fracture if the fracture is in the body area of your treatment plan. You should resume chiropractic care only when the fracture has fully healed.
I have heard that a pain in my leg may actually originate in the spine. How can that be?
Pain in almost any area of the body may result from a misalignment in your neck or spine which affects the nervous system to all your extremities and which has origin from the neck and spine. Ultimately, with delay of treatment, the pain may extend to the originating area in the neck or spine, which is why an initial consultation is recommended early on so that treatment, if warranted, can begin.
Sometimes I hear a crack or pop in my neck, but I feel fine afterward. Is that a problem for which I should seek treatment?
Yes, at least you should seek a consultation, which would include an assessment of your health condition and specific symptoms. The entire vertebral structure is susceptible to misalignment, including the vertebrae of the neck. Only a complete consultation can determine an appropriate diagnosis and recommendation of treatment, if any.
If I am pregnant, can I still seek chiropractic care?
Even if you are pregnant, you can seek chiropractic care. In fact, many pregnant women find greater relief from pain and headache resulting from pregnancy because of the potential strain place on the spine due to pregnancy. The adjustment routine will not cause harm or discomfort to the fetus. If you feel better, that well-being translates to the fetus.
After my treatment, should I alter my diet?
Unless your chiropractor recommends a specific change of diet, there is no reason to expect that your diet should be changed. However, chiropractic addresses the holistic health of a patient, and, therefore, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes may be recommended to improve health and well being.
After my treatment, should I alter my physical activities?
Please refer to the question above regarding change of diet. Likewise, recommended physical activities changes would not necessarily be advised unless the chiropractor, in the interest of holistic health, feels compelled to make activity recommendations either during a treatment plan and/or following its conclusion.
Are there particular exercises I should engage after a treatment session?
Under normal circumstances, a specific exercise routine would not be part of a post-treatment plan. During treatment, there may be specific exercises a chiropractor may recommend, and it is possible that even in post-treatment, an exercise routine would be recommended. You treatment plan will include these recommendations if necessary.
Once I begin chiropractic care, will I be obligated to continue it for the rest of my life?
Not necessarily. In most cases, extended, life-long care is not necessary. Once the treatment plan has been completed, and your symptoms have been corrected, there is no reason to believe that repetitive treatment is going to be required.
Will I have full function of my body movement after treatment has concluded?
The degree to which you should expect full body movement without pain or restriction is going to depend on your original symptoms, their cause, you existing general health and, in some cases, your age when symptoms began, and the success of the treatment plan to restore some if not all of your mobility prior to the cause of your symptoms.
Will I need to use any assisting equipment, like a cane or walker, following my treatment?
This may depend entirely upon your condition and general health prior to the incident causing your discomfort, as in the answer to the question above regarding restoration of full body movement. It cannot be completely discounted that such assistance will be necessary, particularly if you are elderly. If such equipment was necessary prior to your treatment, it may still be required following your treatment plan.
How will I know if the treatment was effective?
According to some people, this is a loaded question. The question itself is deceptive and could well be applied to many professions, particularly those which allege to perform successful health care. One reason for the confusion is that the patient’s own dedication to treatment and resulting lifestyle, diet and exercise will have much to do with the success of professional treatment. Another concern is that the treatment is only as good as the practitioner applying his or her trade. Spend the necessary time up front in choosing a practitioner who has credentials and professional experience with your particular symptoms. If you have completed your treatment plan and you can determine that you have recovered from your symptoms, then the treatment was effective.
Will I be able to engage in activities I enjoy in-between treatment sessions?
This depends on factors as described in the answer to the question above regarding recovery of full body movement (lifestyle, diet, exercise, etc), as well as the nature of your chosen activities. The best advice is that if your activities can be performed in relative comfort and ease of movement without causing pain, proceed with caution. If not, cease that activity, or curtail its frequency if you can, at least until the treatment plan is concluded.
Will I be able to enjoy activities I used to engage after my treatment plan is concluded?
Please refer to the question above regarding activity during treatment.
If my treatment plan has concluded, but I still feel pain, what should I do?
This is similar to the question above regarding effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. Link. There are no absolute guarantees with any kind of treatment, chiropractic, medical, or other alternative health care treatments. Your treatment from a certified and recommended chiropractor with professional experience in your particular diagnosis and treatment plan may or may not achieve 100% recovery. It would be best to take the recommendation of your chiropractor with regard to your lifestyle, age, diet, exercise and your achieved range of movement without pain and conduct your life’s activities accordingly. This may include continued long-term treatment.