Questions

What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is the specific application of forces to facilitate the body's correction of vertebral subluxation. Our chiropractic method of correction is by specific adjustments of the spine.

What is subluxation?
Subluxations are misalignments or distortions of one or more of the 24 vertebra in the spinal column, skull, hips and related tissues (the structural system) that irritate, stretch, impinge or otherwise interfere with the proper function of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, spinal nerves and peripheral nerves). Since the nervous system controls all functions of the body, any interference to it can have wide-ranging effects but always resulting in a lessening of the body's innate ability to express its maximum health potential.

What causes subluxations?
Nerve system stress can be caused by physical, chemical and or emotional stress. Physical stress may start in the womb, with the baby lying in a distorted or twisted manner. This constraint limits the space of the developing baby. Any compromised position for the baby throughout pregnancy will affect his or her optimal development. Conditions such as torticollis can occur because a baby’s space was cramped in utero.

Throughout childhood, the normal childhood traumas every child experiences can be a source of spinal and cranial trauma. Most of the time, the pain from the initial injury “goes away” however the damage incurred continues to affect the future function of the child’s nerve system.

Is chiropractic care important for me even though I’m healthy?
It is important to keep your spine and nervous system healthy throughout your life. Chiropractic care can help you express 100% life by keeping your mind-body connection clear. Since only 6% of your nerves feel pain, it is very important to have your nervous system and spine regularly checked by a chiropractor even if you don’t have symptoms. The nervous system also helps direct the immune system. This means that people who get adjusted regularly have stronger immune systems than the average person.

Why do children see chiropractors? They don’t seem to have any pain.
More and more parents are seeking chiropractic care for their children. Many spinal problems seen in adults began as early as birth. Even so called 'natural' birthing methods can stress an infant's spine and developing nerve system. The resulting irritation to the nerve system caused by spinal and cranial misalignment can be the cause of many newborn health complaints. Colic, breathing problems, nursing difficulties, sleep disturbances, allergic reactions and chronic infections can often be traced to nerve system stress.

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked right away. As the infant grows, learning to hold up their head, sit, crawl and walk are all activities that affect spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a Doctor of Chiropractic.

As your child begins to participate in regular childhood activities like skating or riding a bike, small yet significant spinal misalignments (subluxations) may occur. If neglected, the injuries during this period of rapid growth may lead to more serious problems later in life. Subtle trauma throughout childhood will affect the future development of the spine leading to impaired nervous system function. Any interference to the vital nerve system will adversely affect the body’s ability to function at its best.

One of the most common reason parents seek care for their child is trauma from an injury of some sort. These misalignments may or may not result in immediate pain or symptoms. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify potential spinal injury from these traumas, make the correction early in life and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults. Proper spinal hygiene is an important key to better health.

Another sought out reason for care is the resolution of a particular symptom or condition. Parents seek care for conditions such as colic, ear infections, asthma, allergies and headaches (to name a few) because they have heard from other parents that chiropractic care can help. It is important to understand that the doctor of chiropractic does not treat conditions or diseases. The expertise of the chiropractor is in checking the child’s spine for misalignments that impair nervous system function therefore affecting overall body function. The bones of the spine, the vertebrae, house and protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is an extension of the brain and carries information from the brain to the body parts and back to the brain again. Subluxations interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit this vital information.

The nerve system controls and coordinates the function of all the systems in the body: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, hormonal, eliminative and immune system. Any aspect of health may be impaired by nerve interference. The chiropractic adjustment restores nerve system function allowing the body the ability to express a greater state of health and well-being.

The doctor of chiropractic will take a case history and perform a chiropractic exam to determine if spinal subluxations exist. Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to fit a child's size, weight, and unique spinal condition. They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and look forward to subsequent visits. They also report that their children experience a greater level of health while under regular chiropractic care. Once your family has experienced the many benefits of chiropractic care—please help us tell others!

My child's spine is still growing and not fused yet. Is it safe for them to be adjusted?
This is exactly why it is so important to have your child adjusted as an infant. Since their bones are still forming, it is important that they grow in proper alignment. Kids don’t usually grow out of bad posture, they grow in to it. As for safety, chiropractic care is safer for children than any other form of health care in the world. This is demonstrated by the low cost of chiropractor’s professional liability insurance.

A survey study examining the practice characteristics and pediatric care of chiropractors (1) in the Boston area estimated that approximately 420,000 pediatric chiropractic visits were made in the Boston metropolitan area alone for 1998. If extrapolated for the rest of the United States and Canada, the number of chiropractic visits to children in one year would be enormous numbering in several million visits. Given this high utilization rate of pediatric chiropractic services in the United States and Canada, statistics should indicate a great number of morbidity and mortality. On the contrary, there exists little evidence of harm to children from chiropractic.

When the Canadian Pediatric Society published their position statement on, "Chiropractic Care for Children: Controversies and Issues," (2) they addressed the issue of "The Safety of Chiropractic in Paediatrics," Only one case report of vertebrobasilar occlusion in a seven-year-old was cited. It occurred following gymnastics and repeated chiropractic manipulations of the cervical spine (3). They further readily admit that, "Reports of other paediatric complications are few."

In Perspective:

  • Its been estimated that the annual cost of medication-related problems in the United States is approximately $84.6 billion (4,5)
  • The human impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (i.e., aspirin)-related gastrointestinal deaths have been estimated at rates higher than that found from deaths due to cervical cancer, asthma or malignant melanoma (6)
  • Medication errors and adverse drug events are three times higher in children and substantially higher still for neonates (7).
  • The list could go on...
  1. Lee AC, Li DH, Kemper KJ. Chiropractic care for children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2000;154:401-407.
  2. Canadian Chiropractic Association - www.cps.ca/english/index.htm
  3. Hondras MA, Linde K, Jones AP. Manual therapy for asthma (Cochrane Review). Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2001;1:CD001002.
  4. Johnson JA, Bootman JL. Drug-related morbidity and mortality. A cost-of-illness model. Arch Intern Med 1995;155:1949-1956.
  5. Bates DW, Spell N, Cullen DJ, Burdick E, Laird N, Petersen LA, Small SD, Sweitzer BJ, Leape LL. The costs of adverse drug events in hospitalized patients. Adverse Drug Events Prevention Study Group. JAMA 1997;277:307-311.
  6. Singh G.Gastrointestinal complications of prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: a view from the ARAMIS database. Arthritis, Rheumatism, and Aging Medical Information System.Am J Ther. 2000;7:115-121.
  7. Kaushal R, Bates DW, Landrigan C, McKenna KJ, Clapp MD, Federico F, Goldmann DA. Medication errors and adverse drug events in pediatric inpatients. JAMA 2001;285:2114-2120.
  8. Zito JM, Safer DJ, DosReis S, Gardner JF, Boles M, Lynch F. Trends in the prescribing of psychotropic medications to preschoolers. JAMA 2000;23:1025-1030.

What happens to kids who never get adjusted?
Some kids have a lifetime of recurrent illnesses, but most kids…they are just average kids. There is nothing wrong with a child being average…if that is his or her potential!  But, what if that’s NOT his or her potential? What if the child was meant to be something more than average? Even if she or he is meant to be what we call average, she or he will not even reach that level if his or her brain and body can’t communicate effectively with each other.  The only way for your children to reach their potential in life is to have nerve systems that are free from interference so that they can adapt to all of the physical, chemical and mental stresses they encounter each day. That way, their energy can be used to access higher levels of creative thought instead of just trying to get through the day. In other words, they have the best possible chance of reaching their full potential in life! Everyone deserves the opportunity to express their greater potential in their own unique, individual way.

How can chiropractic add comfort in pregnancy?
Chiropractic care in pregnancy is an essential ingredient to your prenatal care choices. A large percent of all pregnant women experience back discomfort or pain during pregnancy. This is due to the rapid growth of the baby and interference to your body’s normal structural adaptations to that growth.

Preexisting unnoticed imbalances in your spine and pelvis become overtaxed during these times. The added stresses lead to discomfort and difficulty while performing routine, daily activities. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the common discomforts experienced in pregnancy. This can also include sleep disturbances, “morning” sickness, reflux, varicose veins, leg and pubic pain.  The Journal of the American osteopathic Association, a number of practitioners commented on the effectiveness of spinal care for pregnant women. The following are a sampling of their remarks:

“For normal patients, correction if vertebral subluxations definitely helps normal function and rehabilitation. Manipulation can be of great value in normalizing the body functions of women with problems of pregnancy such as toxemia.” (!)

“Manipulative therapy…normalizes functions of the pituitary, adrenal, ovarian and placental systems, including the craniosacral respiratory mechanisms. This shortens the labor…and lessens medication requirement…Postpartum depression is a rarity in patients receiving…manipulative therapy.” (2)

Specific adjustments eliminate these stresses in your spine, restore balance to your pelvis and result in greater comfort and lifestyle improvements.

    • Reynolds, J.P. What is the role of osteopathic manipulative therapy in obstetric care? For normal patients? For patients with problems (e.g. toxemia of pregnancy)? Journal of the AOA, 1974, 74.
    • Guthrie, R.A. & Martin, R.H. Effect of pressure applies to the upper thoracic (placebo) versus lumbar areas (osteopathic manipulative treatment) for inhibition of lumbar myalgia during labor. Journal of the AOA, 1982, 82(4), pp. 247-251.

How can chiropractic care in pregnancy add comfort for your baby, too?
As your baby develops, your uterus enlarges to accommodate the rapid growth. So long as the pelvis is in a balanced state, the ligaments connected to the uterus maintain an equalized, supportive suspension for the uterus. If your pelvis is out of balance in any way, these ligaments become torqued and twisted, causing a condition known as constraint to your uterus. This constraint limits the space of the developing baby. Any compromised position for the baby throughout pregnancy will affect his or her optimal development. Conditions such as torticollis occur because a baby’s space was cramped in utero.

If the woman’s uterus is constrained as birth approaches, the baby is prevented from getting into the best possible position for birth. Even if the baby is in the desirable head down position, often times constraint to the uterus affects the baby’s head from moving into the ideal presentation for delivery. The head may be slightly tilted off to one side or even more traumatically, present in the posterior position. Any baby position even slightly off during birth will slow down labor, and add pain to both the mother and baby. Many women have been told that their babies were too big, or labor “just slowed down” when it was really the baby’s presentation interfering with the normal process and progression. Avoidable interventions are implemented during a natural process into an operative one.

Doctors of Chiropractic work specifically with your pelvis throughout pregnancy restoring a state of balance and creating an environment for an easier, safer delivery.

How can chiropractic care help you prepare for a Safer Birth?
Dystocia is defined as difficult labor and is something every woman wants to avoid. In addition to the pain and exhaustion caused by long, difficult labors, dystocia leads to multiple, medical interventions which may be physically and emotionally traumatic to both you and your baby. Some of these interventions are the administering of pitocin, the use of epidurals, painful episiotomies, forceful pulling on the baby’s fragile spine, vacuum extraction, forceps and perhaps even c-sections. Each of these procedures carry a high risk of injury to you, your baby or both! However, all of these procedures used to hasten the delivery process can be avoided if delivery goes more smoothly to begin with.

When reviewing the obstetric texts, the reported reasons for dystocia are caused by pelvic imbalance and its resulting effects on your uterus and your baby’s position. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy restores balance to your pelvic muscles and ligaments and therefore leads to safer and easier deliveries for you and your baby. Additionally, the chiropractic adjustment removes interference to the nervous system allowing your uterus to function at its maximum potential. Published studies have indicated that chiropractic care does in fact reduce labor time.

I.C.P.A. doctors offer specific analysis and adjustments for your special needs in pregnancy. You and your baby’s continued safety and comfort is primary in our care.

Why chiropractic? Why not just take some pills, it's easier?
Chiropractic gets to the root of health issues. Drugs and surgery are sometimes necessary but certainly not with the frequency they are used today. You should always try to find the answers to your health issues by using the least invasive and healthiest ideas first.

I heard once you start chiropractic you always have to keep going. Do you get hooked?
No - you don’t get hooked. Chiropractic is no different than other healthy things like exercising, eating healthy or drinking bottled water. Once you’ve experienced it on a regular basis, most people adopt it as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why has there been such a controversy regarding chiropractic over the years?
In the 1940’s and 1950’s it was quite common to see chiropractors for many different reasons from pneumonia to cancer. It was to the point that more were going to chiropractors than medical doctors. Medical doctor’s lost millions in revenue from this and it became a financial decision not to associate with chiropractors or refer to them. They also disseminated enormous amounts of false literature to newspapers and the general public that included many lies they had invented regarding dangers of chiropractic. The greed came to the point that if a chiropractor would refer a patient to a medical doctor who was suspected to be having a heart attack, the medical doctor would not take them because they had associated with a chiropractor. Chiropractors had to go underground or fear arrest for practicing medicine with out a license. Chiropractors battled back from this and sued the AMA. The lawsuit took over 20 years and millions of dollars to complete but the American Medical Association was finally found guilty of violating antitrust regulations and conspiring against free trade by the Supreme Court. The financial settlement was for an undisclosed amount, suspected to be multimillions of dollars. Unfortunately some of the animosity and false teachings regarding the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care are still spewed by medical doctors today. Fortunately many medical doctors today are better educated and motivated more by helping people than their forefathers were.

Does my insurance cover chiropractic care?
Many insurance policies contribute toward chiropractic care. They will usually contribute towards symptomatic care only. Keeping your family well and healthy will be your financial responsibility. Our office is set up so that chiropractic care is affordable for most families whose health is a top priority.


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