- What is Chiropractic?
Our bodies are programmed to be healthy! Chiropractic care helps restore optimum function. Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. The brain, spinal cord and all the nerves of the body control these important functions. The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain. The moving bones of the spinal column protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots.
If the nervous system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. Doctors call this the “Vertebral Subluxation Complex,” which, when broken down is defined as “Vertebrae” — the individual bones of the spine, “Subluxation” — less than a total dislocation and “Complex”– consisting of more than one part. A chiropractic doctor’s job is to locate and correct the subluxation complex and educate the patient on how to maintain the correction.
- How Does Chiropractic Work?
Today’s chiropractic doctor looks for the underlying nervous system involvement that can be the cause of many health problems. Chiropractic works by restoring your own innate ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and illness. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove all interference to your natural state of being healthy. The 24 moving (vertebrae) bones of the spinal column often become misaligned and interfere with the correct motion of the involved segments. A loss of normal motion or position of the vertebrae can irritate or impair nervous system function.
This interference can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses. Improved spinal function improves nervous system function. Your chiropractic doctor can help remove interference that may be impairing normal health. Since the primary focus of your care is improved nervous system function, chiropractic can have a positive effect on many health conditions not normally thought of as “back” problems
- What Does a Chiropractic Doctor Do?
The word “doctor” comes from the Latin word meaning teacher. Helping to restore proper spinal biomechanics and improved nervous system function begins with a case history. This gives the doctor a background about your health, such as surgeries, accidents, the onset of your condition and other details affecting your current health. After reviewing your history and discussing your specific problem a thorough orthopedic, neurological and chiropractic examination is performed.
At Ackerman Chiropractic Center we use state of the art non-invasive equipment to assess the state of your nervous system function. X-rays may be taken to uncover structural and functional problems associated with the spinal column. These examinations help identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system problems. Dr. Ackerman will discuss and explain the findings of these examinations and an individualized health care plan may be recommended. Progress is monitored with periodic examinations and follow-up reports. Dr. Ackerman is a strong believer in patient education and will provide many opportunities for each patient to become better informed about chiropractic care.
- What is an Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is a method of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is “locked up,” or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a normal position and motion. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to improve spinal function, improve nervous system function, and overall improved health.
There are many ways to adjust the spine. After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches and will determine the appropriate method to best correct your specific condition. Usually, the doctor’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly-accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require slow and constant pressure.
- What Education is required to become a Doctor of Chiropractic?
After undergraduate studies, today’s chiropractic doctor completes an additional four-year curriculum of over 4,500 college classroom hours of health sciences.
Today’s Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated. The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques, and related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction. To graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, each candidate passes the demanding National Board Examination.
Then, doctors apply to a governmental or professional licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor’s education never ends. Most doctors complete postgraduate instruction to stay current on the latest scientific research.
- Are All Patients Adjusted the Same?
Regardless of the adjusting technique, chiropractic care is tailored to each patient’s age, condition, and spinal problem. At Ackerman Chiropractic Center, Dr. Ackerman evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops a personalized course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience. Some patients, complaining of headaches, may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull.
Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers when the actual problem stems from the neck area. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern. Each visit builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient.
- Does Chiropractic Care Hurt?
Not at All!!!
The Adjustments are very gentle and cause no discomfort at all.
- Is Chiropractic Care Safe?
Chiropractic care is safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers, and even common aspirin! From the findings of the New Zealand government inquiry, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic care has an excellent safety record, and is considered a conservative approach to healthcare that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.
A thorough case history and examination help reveal areas of the spine that may be causing nervous system malfunction. This information will be used to determine the best course of care for each patient. Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that has been proven safe and effective.
- Can I Adjust Myself?
Some people go to great lengths to adjust themselves, but you cannot effectively adjust yourself. Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific spinal joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust yourself. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound, like the sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment.
Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more so. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs! The best way to enjoy the health benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.
- Why do Children Need Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic has been shown to be helpful with scoliosis and many other so-called “normal” childhood health problems. Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Later, childhood activities such as learning to walk and ride a bicycle can cause spinal problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the unseen damage to a child’s spine is the unique domain of a chiropractic doctor.
Many childhood health complaints brushed off as “growing pains” can often be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints often seen later in adults. Naturally, chiropractic adjustments are modified to a child’s spine. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children.
- Am I Too Old for Chiropractic Care?
Regardless of your age, chiropractic care can help improve mobility and maintain vitality. More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, chiropractic care is a safe and natural health care alternative and is growing in popularity. Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite.
Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting techniques used by your doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care become more and more obvious.
- Can I Help Speed the Healing Process?
Proper rest, exercise, and good nutrition are especially important during the healing process. While there aren’t any shortcuts to speed your body’s natural healing process, there is a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance of a quick recovery.
One way to assist healing is to learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help re-train the muscles that support your spine. Proper rest is also an important aspect of the healing process. Avoid Sleeping on your stomach whenever possible, for additional healing results. During the healing process, proper diet and nutrition are more important than ever. Make sure you eat balanced meals, ideally low in saturated fat. For optimal results, be certain to keep your appointments and follow your chiropractic doctor’s recommendations.
- How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?
Brushing and flossing, getting regular exercise, and eating healthy foods are accepted as practices of a lifestyle promoting optimal health and well-being. Periodic chiropractic checkups should also be part of that healthy routine. Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventive visits is helpful in the maintenance of good health.
Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time-consuming, our office staff is ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals. At Ackerman Chiropractic Center, how long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.
- Why do I Have to Keep Coming Back?
People feel great under care – they choose to stay well as opposed to breaking down and then having to fix it. It’s a lot easier to keep someone well than to constantly do “patchwork” on the individual.
In order to structurally change the position of the vertebrae, it takes some intensity and aggressiveness to retrain the muscles and ligaments to go into their new position. Kind of like putting braces on – they don’t change overnight.
For Skeptics Only
- I don't believe in chiropractic
While chiropractic is unique and different, it certainly isn’t something that you have to “believe in”. Chiropractic, like gravity, works whether you believe in it or not. Instead, chiropractic produces results because it acknowledges scientifically confirmed facts:
The nervous system controls everything in your body. Nerve impulses flow from the brain, down the spinal cord where nerves branch off to every organ and tissue. Impulses sent back to the brain confirm that the body is functioning normally.
The bones of the spine can misalign and interfere with this exchange of communication by irritating the corresponding nerves. Dysfunction and ill health will result from a compromised nervous system. Chiropractic care removes the interference and helps restore the integrity of the nervous system thereby promoting health and healing.
- If you start, do you have to go for the rest of your life?
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. But if you’re like most people spinal hygiene is new to you. Your spine, just like your teeth, need ongoing care at some level or problems and decay will inevitably begin again just as before care began. Would you go to the dentist to get your cavities filled and not maintain some level of care? If you don’t what will happen?
- Chiropractic results are 'All in your head'?
This is a convenient claim made by critics who have chosen to overlook convincing proof to the contrary. Being “all in your head” implies the power of suggestion. Yet, chiropractic results have been experienced by newborns, infants, pets and others for whom the power of suggestion isn’t possible!
Many objective diagnostic tests show improvement after chiropractic care.
There’s no question that the power of suggestion can be an important ally in the healing process. However, it can’t begin to explain the millions of clients who have been helped with chiropractic care.
- I've heard chiropractic wears out your joints
Actually, it is just the opposite, chiropractic care can help prevent joints from wearing out! Using car tires as an example, if they are misaligned, they will wear down faster and unevenly. Getting the tires of your car re-aligned will add life to your tires and car. The same is true for the joints in your body.
When a spinal bone is misaligned there is a loss of proper motion and/or position, which sets in motion a degenerative process. With proper position and motion, the joints will be well “lubricated” and should offer a lifetime of friction-free movement without decay.