Common Questions About Chiropractic Care

By: Peter Burgess
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Never been to a chiropractor? Or have you been treated for one condition, such as back or neck pain, and you’re wondering what else a chiropractor can help you with?

 

Since your health and your time are so important, we wanted to answer some of the frequently asked questions that we get from new patients about chiropractic treatment, including:

What does treatment consist of?
What conditions are typically treated?
Does chiropractic treatment hurt?
How many times will you need to come back?
Is chiropractic expensive?

Keep in mind that our answers to these questions are based on our philosophies and approach here at Burgess Chiropractic , and that others may have different answers to some of these questions.

What does chiropractic treatment involve?

If you’re preparing for your first visit to a chiropractor, then it’s perfectly normal to wonder what to expect. Especially if you’re dealing with an injury or condition that is causing you pain and/or interrupting your daily activities and tasks.
The most important thing to know is that treatment begins the first day you see your chiropractor and that most patients report a reduction in pain after their first visit. Beyond that, here’s what to expect at our clinic.

A thorough examination:

After you are checked in, your doctor will meet you and escort you to a private treatment room where the two of you will discuss your injury or condition in detail. Once your doctor understands what’s hurting, when it hurts, and your health history, he will evaluate the joints and muscles associated with your injury or condition and perform a neurological screening test. Depending on the severity of your injury and pain levels, evaluations may involve anything from x-rays to a series of light movements. With more severe injuries, your chiropractor may even request an MRI or other advanced imagery and could refer you to a specialist.
Your chiropractor will also perform a shorter evaluation at the start of each of your later visits to gauge progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. All first appointments are 30-45 minutes in length, with subsequent visits taking approximately 15 minutes.

Treatment

After evaluating your condition, your chiropractor will explain how he is going to treat your condition and then perform your first treatment (unless he determines that chiropractic care isn’t the best treatment option and refers you to another specialist). Treatment may involve several techniques. For example, myofascial release techniques, which are focused on loosening up overly tight connective tissue, and chiropractic adjustments, which are quick, focused movements designed to help restore normal joint mobility. Next, your chiropractor will walk you through some self-care techniques you can perform at home, such as light stretching or strengthening exercises that will aid in your recovery. Your chiropractor may also recommend additional treatment steps, such as massage or nutritional supplements, to expedite and optimize your recovery.

Do chiropractors treat more than back and neck pain?

Although many people associate chiropractic care with the neck and back, it actually can be used to effectively treat issues and conditions from head (for example, temporomandibular joint [TMJ]) to toe (for example, plantar fasciitis in the feet). The focus of chiropractic care is on the relationships between and function of joints, muscles and nerves throughout the body. Here at Burgess Chiropractic, we address the entire body, including the spine and upper and lower extremities.

Neck

Beyond treatment for a stiff neck, chiropractic care is also highly effective at treating whiplash from automobile accidents or sports injuries. Many people aren’t aware that chiropractic can also be used to treat tension headaches and migraines.

Shoulders, arms and hands (upper extremities)

Chiropractic can help speed relief of shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff strains, by coaxing the muscles related to an injury to relax and facilitating a safe, effective rehabilitation process. It can also help with common frustrating conditions in elbow or wrist joints, such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Spine

In addition to being an effective treatment for lower back pain, chiropractic treatment is highly effective at treating other spinal-related pain and conditions, including discomfort and pain associated with poor posture, for example. Chiropractic care is even a proven non-invasive method for addressing the pain and mobility challenges associated with herniated discs in the neck or low back.

Hips, legs and feet (lower extremities)

Feeling a burning sensation in your lower leg after driving or sitting for a long period? It could be sciatica, and chiropractic care can help you reduce or eliminate the pain. Chiropractic care and rehabilitation exercises can also help you address various types of pain and chronic conditions in your hips and knees, which are often related to overly tight joints and muscles. It can even help with painful, slow-to-heal injuries, such as ankle sprains or plantar fasciitis.

Sport injuries

Competitive athletes and weekend warriors alike can benefit from chiropractic treatment, whether to help speed recovery from a fall, crash, or sprain, or to address the muscle and flexibility imbalances that arise after you’ve been doing the same sport and movements for long periods. For example, cyclists and runners often have tight hips, which can contribute to lower back issues. And CrossFit athletes often need to improve mobility in various parts of their body to complete key movements and lifts safely. Chiropractic care can help with all of these sports-related conditions.

Does chiropractic treatment hurt?

The short answer is no. In some cases, people experience soreness after treatments as we work on areas that are already irritated. In most cases, however, people describe the sensations associated with painful spots being worked on as “good pain.”

How many times will you need to come back?

Since every individual and the circumstances associated with their injury or condition are unique, there is no definitive answer to this question. The treatment duration will depend on factors, such as the severity of your injury or condition, how long you’ve had the symptoms, and how proactively you work to recover from the injury or condition by following home care recommendations.
For less severe issues, you can reasonably expect that your chiropractor will recommend between 3 – 6 visits, most likely spread across several weeks. More severe or chronic issues may require more treatments over a longer time period. After your initial evaluation, your chiropractor should be able to give you a good sense for how many treatments to expect. In general, the majority of conditions we treat are built up over time, so it will often take a few visits to undo the damage and get to the bottom of the primary problem causing the symptoms.

 

Do you have more questions about chiropractic or are you ready to schedule an appointment? We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to call us: 613-382-5385

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