Find many of our most frequently asked questions and their answers below. If you don’t see your question, please call Lethbridge Chiropractic and we will help you out.
Common Chiropractic Questions
What type of education do Doctors of Chiropractic get?
It takes 3-4 years of undergraduate studies, 4 years of graduate school, clinical internships, national and provincial board licensure, and continuing education courses to maintain your license. What do you study? Everything they teach in medical school (same books, same curriculum) as well as chiropractic philosophy and chiropractic adjusting techniques. Chiropractors are primary health care providers, in the same category as general MD practitioners, dentists, and podiatrists.
What is an adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, 'locked up,' or not moving properly. An adjustment adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health.
There are hundreds of ways to adjust the spine. 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 a slow constant pressure.
After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.
Is chiropractic care safe?
There are, literally, thousands of published scientific studies proving chiropractic's safety and effectiveness. In the words of the New Zealand government's inquiry, chiropractic care is "remarkably safe."
Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. In fact, chiropractic adjustments are safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers and even aspirin!
My malpractice insurance premium per year is less than $1,000. A general practitioner MD pays at least $60,000 per year. Insurance companies base their premiums on how risky it is to insure a person or profession. Based on these figures, whose office poses a greater risk? My car insurance costs more than my malpractice insurance!
Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.
Do infants and children need to be adjusted?
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Preliminary studies suggested that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more pressure than you would use to check the ripeness of a tomato.
Later, learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the unseen damage to the child's spine is the unique domain of a chiropractic doctor.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as 'growing pains' can often be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic wellness check-ups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults.
Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child's spine. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children. Chiropractic has been shown to be helpful with scoliosis and many other so-called 'normal' childhood health problems.
How long will I need chiropractic care?
Spinal problems neglected since early childhood may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These longstanding problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.
Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tiptop shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventive visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.
Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. Unfortunately this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time-consuming in the long run.
How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you. You don't have to do anything for the rest of your life – it's your choice. You can choose not to brush your teeth, not to change the oil in your car, not to make repairs to your house, not to eat a healthy diet and not to exercise. However, there are consequences to your actions. If you want to get the most mileage out of your body, then yes, you must take care of it for the rest of your life. The spine and nervous system is no exception.
Are you against drugs and surgery?
No. There is a time for both. However, I am more interested in finding and correcting the cause of a problem rather than covering up the symptoms with a toxic chemical experiment that may cause deadly side-effects (just listen to the drug commercials!). Why not try conservative and non-invasive procedures first before cutting into the body and removing organs? Surgery is financially, emotionally, and physically dangerous and should be used only as a last resort.
Do I have a slipped disc?
The disc is a soft puffy "shock absorber." It has a fibrous outer ring which holds in the jelly-like material. A "slipped disc” is a common way to refer to a wide variety of disk problems. However, a disc can't slip because of the way it attaches to the spinal bones above and below it. A disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniate. It can thin. It can dry out. And it can collapse. But it can't slip.
Do I have a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve is rare. It is more likely that an adjacent spinal bone irritates, stretches, rubs or chafes a nerve. These subluxations distort the nerve messages sent between the brain and the body. This can produce unhealthy alterations to the organs and tissues connected by the affected nerves.
Can subluxations clear up on their own?
Sometimes today's hectic lifestyles are a constant source of subluxations. Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don't resolve, you need to see a chiropractic doctor!
Will adjustments make my spine too loose?
No. Only the spinal joints that are "locked up" receive adjustments. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.
What makes the sound during the adjustment?
Lubrication fluids separate the bones of each joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It's much like opening a bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting, but isn't a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.
What if chiropractic doesn't work?
If we're unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer you to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our primary goal.