You have both the right, and need, to know what is causing your problem. Before any treatment is provided we will first obtain a thorough history, then perform a complete orthopedic/neurological examination, to properly diagnose your condition. We are strong proponents of using an evidence-based approach to care, and in fact Dr. Whalen has co-authored several “best practice” documents on appropriate chiropractic evaluation and treatment. We will refer you for imaging studies such as x-ray or MRI if they appear necessary. Only after we are satisfied that you are a chiropractic candidate will you be accepted for treatment.
Can We Help?
Our office policy/mission statement is a simple one: If we can help you we will tell you. If we cannot help you, we will tell you that as well and make the appropriate referral. After we form the diagnosis and agree to accept you as a new patient, we will explain your condition and answer any questions you may have. Once we are satisfied we can effectively and safely treat you, your condition is explained in a way you understand, and you agree to treatment; you will be given your first chiropractic adjustment, a safe gentle manipulation of the spine. If you present with a non-spinal related condition, other treatment provided at this office will be discussed (ex. Nutrition, fibromyalgia treatment, extremity treatment, massage etc.) If it is not a condition we normally treat or if a second opinion or further testing is necessary, we will make a referral to the appropriate health care specialist.
How Long Will It Take?
This is a very good question. Your schedule of care will be determined based on what you need to recover from your condition, so it will vary from person to person. Many factors affect the treatment schedule. The most common are; compliance with your treatment schedule and recommended exercise, severity, how long the condition has been present, job duties, lifestyle, age and pre-existing arthritic conditions, delayed treatment, previous episodes/injury, disc involvement, etc. Simple cases may take days to treat. Complicated cases may take weeks, even months. You will be given only the treatment you need, nothing more, and nothing less. National guidelines recommend trials of care, typically 6-12 visits to determine if it helps.
How Much Will It Cost?
We understand that the cost of health care is on the rise. It is our goal to make Chiropractic care affordable to everyone. If you have been injured at work or as result of a motor vehicle accident those costs are usually covered 100% by an insurance carrier. We are on the panels of most large insurance carriers. If you do not have insurance, we offer other options for payment as well, including CareCharge. Our mission is to take the mystery out of insurance/work comp/personal injury, and make it as easy as possible on you financially to be able to afford care. Our staff is on your side! We are happy to discuss our fees with you and your payment options.
Does the Chiropractic adjustment hurt?
Under normal circumstances, adjustments don't hurt. Any discomfort felt during the adjustment typically lasts only seconds. Chiropractic adjustments are safe, gentle, and effective movements of the spine used to stop the pain-spasm cycle. Research by RAND showed about 3 in 10 patients were sore after the first adjustment or two, (like going to the gym after a long absence) which means 7 out of 10 were not sore. We find most patients feel better immediately!
Why does it take more than one adjustment if the bone is simply "out of place"?
Because bones do not move out of place. That is a very, very old theory. When you feel "out", you are in reality simply "tight". Joints tighten for one of three reasons: (1) major trauma, like a car accident, (2) minor trauma, like bad posture daily at your computer screen, and (3) stress…although stress won't cause your problem, it will definitely make an existing problem worse. When joints of the spine tighten, they produce pain due to neurological interference. A well-placed adjustment loosens those stiff painful joints, thus blocking the pain signal traveling to your brain, thus breaking the pain-spasm cycle. Bottom line: Normally moving joints are healthy joints, and like getting in shape, it is a "process" to restore normal spinal mobility.
What is chiropractic?
"Chiropractic" comes from the Greek word chiropraktikos, meaning "effective treatment by hand."
The American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as follows:
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
DCs may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other health care providers.
In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be a patient's primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic services may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
Like their MD colleagues, doctors of chiropractic are subject to the boundaries established in state practice acts and are regulated by state licensing boards. Further, their education in four-year doctoral graduate school programs is nationally accredited through an agency that operates under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education. After graduation, they must pass national board exams before obtaining a license to practice, and then must maintain their license annually by earning continuing education (CE) credits through state-approved CE programs.
What conditions benefit from chiropractic care?
80% of the patients who consult our office present with low back pain, herniated or bulging discs, neck pain, or headaches. However, we commonly treat other conditions such as arm and leg pain, thoracic pain, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, work injuries, and automobile injuries (whiplash).
Is there any research demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic?
A wealth of research exists pertaining to issues surrounding chiropractic healthcare. The bottom line: Chiropractic has been proven to be cost effective, treatment effective, reduce time loss for injured workers, in addition to being an extremely safe form of treatment. Patient satisfaction studies are extremely favorable to chiropractic. Our office houses a large database of research. Simply inform the front desk or any of the doctors what you are interested in and we will be happy to pull specific literature for your review.
One good source of research is the Clinical Compass website: www.clinicalcompass.org, or the American Chiroractic Association (https://www.acatoday.org/).
Do Chiropractor's believe in other forms of healthcare?
No physician can cure everything. We believe in a team approach to healthcare. As such we maintain an extensive referral list of other physicians we work with every day, including: orthopedic and neurosurgeons, neurologists, pain management specialists, physical therapists, dentist, OB/GYNs, family practice physicians, personal trainers, acupuncturists, podiatrists, psychologists, and many others. If we cannot help you, we will make every effort to find someone who can!
My [friend, spouse, physician, etc...] does not "believe" in chiropractic. What can I tell them?
The best response to anyone expressing an archaic view of the chiropractic profession is to ask questions. Remember, chiropractic is NOT a religion, or a belief, therefore there is nothing to "believe". Chiropractic is based on sound scientific principles, and there is a robust and growing body of peer reviewed scientific literature regarding chiropractic care. In fact, there is more and better research supporting the use of chiropractic care for some conditions than there is for traditional medical approaches (and it is frequently much safer!)
I heard that once you begin care, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.
If that were true every chiropractor would be so busy they could never accept any new patients. The majority of patients come in, get treated, get well, and it's over. Once you improve it remains your sole decision to either re-visit the office for future acute episodes of pain, or place yourself on a maintenance program with four proactive goals in mind: (1) minimize your pain, (2) maximize spinal function, (3) decrease reliance on drugs/medication, (4) and keep you employed….a favorite goal of most employers, and employees!
What is the benefit of "maintenance" care?
Maintenance care is no different than periodic visits to your dentist. Once you start eating right, do you always have to eat right? Once you start exercising, do you always have to exercise? Answer: It totally depends upon your personal goals. The care of your spine and nervous system is no different. We will help you meet whatever goals you set for yourself and help you understand the merits of your choice. Remember, your doctor works for you. It is not the other way around.
How safe is Chiropractic care?
Unequivocally, Chiropractic care is one of the safest forms of health care available for the treatment of spinal conditions. Compared to the risks of taking medication and the complications of surgery, risks associated with Chiropractic care are minimal. Are you aware that approximately 16,500 people in this country die every year from the side effects of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)? Add another 20,000 deaths due to Tylenol. Tylenol mixed with alcohol can produce a deadly cocktail. Chiropractic is safer and more effective than most all forms of healthcare! It’s why we pay the lowest malpractice rates!
Cassidy JD, Boyle E, Cote P, et al. Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008;33(4 Suppl):S176-183
Haynes MJ, Vincent K, Fischhoff C, Bremner AP, Lanlo O, Hankey GJ. Assessing the risk of stroke from neck manipulation: a systematic review. Int J Clin Pract. 2012;66(10):940-947.
Murphy DR. Current understanding of the relationship between cervical manipulation and stroke: what does it mean for the chiropractic profession? Chiropr Osteopat. 2010;18:22.
Church EW, Sieg EP, Zalatimo O, Hussain NS, Glantz M, Harbaugh RE. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation. Cureus. 2016;8(2):e498.
Do chiropractor's believe in drugs?
Of course we do. We simply do not believe in drug abuse and misuse. We believe in Chiropractic first, drugs second, surgery last. When it comes to spinal care, with the exception of a rare neurological emergency, Chiropractic should be your first choice, not your last choice. In complicated or difficult cases we often recommend that the patient return to their medical physician for any medication they deem appropriate to assist in the recovery. We maintain an extensive referral list of medical physicians who work cooperatively with our office.
How educated is your doctor of chiropractic?
You may be surprised to know that like medicine it generally takes 8 years of college after high school to receive a degree in chiropractic (4 years undergraduate and 4 years graduate). A chiropractic degree from an accredited chiropractic college, followed by passage of the state boards, ensures the public that the chiropractor is well rounded in knowledge and scope. Since chiropractic physicians neither prescribe drugs nor perform surgery, chiropractic college places heavy emphasis on neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Therefore while we are responsible to be able to diagnosis and/or recognize general medical conditions, our background provides a clear advantage in the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal problems compared to most medical physicians. If you suffer heart or kidney disease, your medical physician is the appropriate choice. It is to your benefit to explore both natural and allopathic (drugs and surgery) approaches and choose your best option, or team. Bottom line: No physician can adequately treat everything. Medical doctors, chiropractic physicians, and other health professionals all have a place in the healthcare delivery system, and it is to our patient’s benefit when we all work cooperatively together .