Frequently asked questions about Chiropractic Care
What is the spine?
The spine is our backbone, which extends form the neck to the tailbone. The spine consists of 33 relatively small bones, called vertebrae. The neck part of the spine, called cervical spine, consists of seven vertebrae. There are 12 vertebrae in the upper and mid-back (thoracic spine), and five in the low back, or lumbar spine. Five bones fuse together in the tailbone region to form the sacrum, and below that is the coccyx, formed by four bones.
The spine is an integral part of the body. Without it, people would not be able to stand upright. The spine houses and protects the spinal cord, absorbing shock and allowing us to bend and twist. Hundreds of muscles, ligaments and tendons are attached to the spine, as well.
How can I help prevent back injuries?
The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following tips to help prevent back injuries:
• Don't lift by bending over. Instead, bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up an object.
• Don't twist your body while lifting.
• Push, rather than pull, when you must move heavy objects.
• If you must sit for long periods, take frequent breaks and stretch.
• Wear flat shoes or shoes with low heels.
• Exercise regularly. An inactive lifestyle contributes to low-back pain.
How effective is chiropractic care?
Over 30 million Americans sought chiropractic care last year alone, and recent studies show that patient satisfaction is extremely high for those who seek care from a doctor of chiropractic. Surveys have also indicated that chiropractic patients are willing to recommend chiropractic treatment to friends, family and colleagues.
A study published in the July 15, 2003 edition of the Journal Spine found that manual manipulation--the primary form of treatment performed by doctors of chiropractic--provides better short-term relief of chronic pain than does acupuncture or even medicine.
Do chiropractic adjustments/treatments hurt?
Thankfully, most treatments provide the opposite effect and actually feel good. At Chuppe Clinic, the doctors are trained in the use of gentle techniques, and use only the minimum force necessary to treat you. Most patients feel a stretch before an adjustment and a decrease of their pain after the adjustment. On occasion however patients may experience some stiffness or soreness following an adjustment. This can be due to the body adapting to the changes that have been made by the adjustment. When this is the case, it is typically of short duration. Generally, the more relaxed you are during your treatment, the more comfortable it should be.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed to help a patient is dependent upon the patient and their overall condition. This includes muscular strength and balance, severity of injury, and joint stability. Naturally, the more complicated, severe, or long-standing conditions require more treatments. Normally, you can expect to be treated more frequently when beginning care, especially when your pain is frequent or causes disruption from your normal activities. In this way, the doctors can monitor your condition closely and provide appropriate treatment. Your treatments will be spaced further apart as your condition improves.
Will my insurance cover my treatment?
Each insurance plan is different. Most insurance plans have chiropractic benefits. Your insurance plan booklet or the customer service department at your insurance company should be able to give you specific benefits. You will want to ask about coverage for chiropractic examination, manipulation, x-rays, and therapy. Not all of these are necessary for everyone, but it will help you plan for expenses. Customer service should be able to give you information on your deductible, co-payments or co-insurance. Your insurance may require that you see certain chiropractors that are in your plan or have a preferred provider option.
What happens on the first appointment?
First, you will need to complete the necessary paperwork, which includes personal, insurance, and health history information. Then, you will have a consultation with the doctor or an assistant to discuss your health history and the history of your current complaint. Next, you will be examined. After the exam, the doctor will explain his findings and give you his recommendations for treatment. Finally, you can begin treatment.
Will a chiropractor prescribe medication(s)?
No. Your chiropractor does not prescribe traditional medication.
Your chiropractor may recommend exercises, stretching, orthopedic supports, better nutrition, or vitamin and mineral supplements. He or she may also recommend application of ice, heat, or both.
What education does a chiropractor have?
Chiropractors complete an undergraduate degree before entering chiropractic college, the same as other medical students before they enter medical school. After a four-year academic degree program and internship, a doctor of chiropractic must pass a four-part comprehensive National Board Examination to become licensed. In addition, the chiropractor is required to pass a State Board Examination in order to be licensed in North Dakota.
Why is maintenance care important?
We at Chuppe Clinic are not only dedicated to relieving pain and dysfunction from injury or disease; we place great emphasis on maintenance or wellness care. We advocate periodic spinal exams and treatment if needed to:
1. Help the body function at its optimal potential
2. Relieve those minor recurrent aches and pains that just "don't go away"
3. Prevent recurrence of prior neck and back pain
4. Help the body use its energy more efficiently (sports, work, and daily activities)
5. Reduce potential for early breakdown and degeneration of structure
Maintenance and preventative care is important at any occupation. Trauma can be experienced at birth, in children from falls, through minor injuries, in sports, and by adults from occupations or activities for which we are not prepared. The elderly benefit greatly due to multiple health issues, joint degeneration, muscle and joint pain. Improved function leads to a healthy lifestyle. Tell your friends and family about the benefits of staying well....starting with spinal care.