Are Chiropractors “real doctors”?

A chiropractic degree requires 5 academic years of study after completing undergraduate prerequisites, earning the title of doctor.  A chiropractor has passed four National Board Examinations before he/she can become licensed to practice. Chiropractors are not, and do not profess to be medical doctors.  We do not prescribe drugs and/or perform surgery.  During the time a medical doctor would study pharmacology, a chiropractor’s education focuses on nutrition, physiotherapy, and exercise protocols to help treat patients holistically.  They use their extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology to enhance a patient’s own ability to heal and promote optimum health.

What is different about AWAKEN?

 

AWAKEN Optimal Health is a state-of-the-art wellness facility.  It integrates chiropractic science, physiotherapy, therapeutic exercise, nutrition and other alternative health care professions. Our patients have the advantage of having a team of health care professionals and therapists to confer on the most advantageous treatment approach.  So, even for those with complicated conditions, who may not have had success with other healthcare facilities, AWAKEN may be a completely different experience for them.

Does getting adjusted hurt?

 

The two main factors involved in making sure manipulation is not uncomfortable are that the patient is relaxed, and that the doctor practices good technique.  The doctor will explain all procedures before they are performed.  If a patient is well-informed and can develop trust in his doctor, he can learn to relax, and then the doctor can deliver a comfortable adjustment.  Doctor and patient must work together.  It is always important that a patient give the doctor honest feedback at all times during their care.

Will I get better?

A problem can never be solved unless its true origin is discovered.  Once found, the chances of recovery are much greater.  The most important factor to ensure full recovery is patient compliance with care.   Your doctor knows what it takes to resolve a condition, as well as what it takes to prevent a relapse.  If a condition can not be entirely corrected, chiropractic management of the condition can often bring relief and allow one to perform activities that were once impossible.

“Chiropractors are back doctors.”

Not accurate.  Although the science of chiropractic was born out of treating many conditions through adjustment of the spine, it has evolved and diversified a great deal.  Research has proven our profession to be most effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain syndromes.  A chiropractor graduating within the last 20 years has been extensively educated in orthopedics, neurology, radiology, and trauma.  Treatment of auto and work accidents, extremity injuries (such as the foot, knee, shoulder, wrist, etc.) are a daily routine for a chiropractor. Common conditions treated include plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, runner’s knee, rotator cuff injuries…

“I’ve tried Chiropractic and it didn’t work”.

No, you experienced the care of one chiropractor.  Please keep in mind that chiropractic includes an extremely diverse field of practitioners, much like other healthcare professions. In the event that the philosophy and techniques of one doctor fails, it does not mean that another chiropractor will not succeed.  An up to date proficient chiropractor, providing a different combination of therapies may unlock your ability to heal from a chronic condition that previously would not respond to care.

How much will this all cost?

 

 

Commonly, the greater portion of the care is paid by your insurance carrier.  However, deductibles and co-pays seem to grow larger every year.  In any case, AWAKEN aims to make care affordable to everyone.  Ask about payment plans that are available for those with high deductibles/co-pays and little or no insurance coverage. Your doctor will outline the expected duration and complexity of your care to guide your financial decisions.

How long will it take?

The answer to this question is particular to each case.  In general, the longer a problem has been neglected or the more severe a problem is, the longer the treatment will take.  The frequency of treatment is decreased as improvement occurs.  Three stages of care are necessary to truly heal:  relief, correction, and strengthening.  The doctor will be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate about the length of your care.

Do I have to get x-rays?

Our doctors may decide to order necessary x-rays of the area of complaint.  X-rays allow the doctor to rule out bone pathology, identify arthritic changes as well as identify postural faults and/or bone misalignment.  Many times, it will depend on one’s age, or possibly a history of trauma to the area.  In some cases, the doctor may order specialized test like MRI, CT, or ultrasound scans to uncover the true origin of one’s problem.  The results and implications of these tests will be thoroughly explained by the doctor.

“Don’t let them touch your neck.”

Statistically, adjustments delivered to the cervical spine are entirely safe.  Do not let a person unaware of these statistics create this bias for you.  A qualified chiropractor will always review your family and personal health history, perform screening maneuvers and often take x-rays to rule out any contraindications to manipulation.  The benefits to manipulation greatly outweigh the risk factors.  To put it into perspective, you are at more than 200x the risk of serious injury by taking NSAIDS regularly (aspirin/ibuprofen) for the same condition.

Can my job be part of my problem?

 

 

One’s occupation is often the cause of a problem or can serve to aggravate a condition enough that it will not improve.  Psychological and physical stress on the job is common.  Poor work postures and repetitive activities are the most common cause.  High stress levels at work can also compromise your immune system and reduce quality of sleep which can lead to many other more serious conditions.

What does “subluxation” mean and how can it interfere with my health?

 

 

Subluxation is a term specific to chiropractic, and is used to describe the abnormal motion or position of a joint that can result in a disturbed nerve, muscle, or organ function.  A gentle, specific force is applied to a joint to correct subluxation.  Restoration of proper motion and position to a joint lets the nervous tissue surrounding it function normally.  This is how an adjustment can correct a “pinched nerve” or serve to accelerate healing.

Is it OK to “crack” my own back?

 

 

Although some temporary relief may occur, hearing a “crack” when one forces a body part one way or another does not compare at all to a chiropractic adjustment.  It is not specific or accurate in any way.  Self-manipulation can be dangerous.  If done repetitively, it will lead to ligament laxity and joint instability.  Chiropractors consult other doctors of chiropractic, rather than self-treating, so that adjustments remain specific, accurate, and effective.

Are pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and muscle relaxers bad?

Depending on the severity of the condition, medications in these categories can often help one through the toughest part of an injury.  However, medications can become physically or psychologically addictive.  Chronic use can cause internal organs to deteriorate.  Above all, medications like these do not address the underlying cause of one’s condition, only the symptoms.  Injuries require correction and rehabilitation so that relapse does not occur.  Remember, pain is the body’s natural warning system.  If it hurts, it probably is not good.

What do you mean by “good pain” vs. “bad pain”?

Bad pain refers to pain that is adversely effecting an injury.  Good pain (a mild ache) can be felt during a deep stretch or on the last turn of your morning run.  The bad qualities of pain would be described as “sharp”, “stinging”, “burning”, or “biting”.  Upon feeling any of these sensations, the activity you are doing is to be discontinued.  In most cases, these sensations indicate new injury, or an exacerbation of an existing one.

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