What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts which is concerned with human health and disease processes. Doctors of Chiropractic are physicians who consider man as an integrated being and give special attention to the physiological and biochemical aspects including structural, spinal, musculoskeletal, neurological, vascular, nutritional, emotional and environmental relationships.
The practice and procedures which may be employed by Doctors of Chiropractic are based on the academic and clinical training received in and through accredited chiropractic colleges and include, but are not limited to, the use of current diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Such procedures specifically include the adjustment and manipulation of the articulations and adjacent tissues of the human body, particularly of the spinal column. Included is the treatment of intersegmental aberrations for alleviation of related functional disorders.
Chiropractic is a drug-free, non-surgical science and, as such, does not include pharmaceuticals or incisive surgery.
Due regard shall be given to the fact that state laws, as well as the nation’s antitrust laws, may allow Doctors of Chiropractic to utilize ancillary health care procedures commonly referred to as being in the common domain. (Source: ACA)
What Does A Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractic is founded on the principle that proper maintenance of the spine through Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation will ensure the well-being of the body. A Doctor of Chiropractic, also referred to as a Chiropractor, treats spinal column dysfunction. The Chiropractor sets out to relieve any spinal impediment to the normal functioning of the spinal column. Without spinal impediment to interfere with the essential functioning of the nervous system, the internal organs of the chiropractic patient are beneficially impacted.
Important to maintaining the good health of a patient, the Chiropractor, through manipulation, removes those obstacles which negatively interfere with the internal organs of the body. The spinal cord, housed within the confines of the vertebral casing, afford each of us a range of motion and degree of flexibility. In order to properly maintain the spinal column, the joints of the spinal vertebrae must be moving properly. When the movement of one or more vertebrae is impaired, this imbalance can disturb the nervous system.
What Is An Adjustment?
The term “adjustment” refers to the specific manipulation chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally. The objective of the chiropractic treatment is to reduce the subluxation, which results in an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability and improved function.
What Can I Expect On My First Visit?
Patients typically visit a chiropractor for the first time through a personal reference or a referral of another health care specialist. At the first visit, you can expect the chiropractor to complete a thorough chiropractic consultation that takes 30-45 minutes and includes:
- Patient history
- Chiropractic physical examination
- Diagnostic studies (when indicated)
- Chiropractic treatment plan
In preparation for your consultation with the chiropractor, you will be asked to fill out forms that provide background information about your symptoms and condition. Types of questions the chiropractor might ask include:
- When and how did the pain start?
- Where is it located?
- Is it a result of an injury?
- What makes it better?
- What makes it worse?
You will also usually be asked to provide the chiropractor with information on family medical history, any pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries, and previous and current health providers and treatments.
Chiropractic Physical Examination
Once the history has been completed, your chiropractor will perform a thorough chiropractic examination. In addition to general tests such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexes, the chiropractic examination will include specific orthopedic and neurological tests to assess:
- Range of motion of the affected part
- Muscle tone
- Muscle strength
- Neurological integrity
Based on the above chiropractic examination procedures, further chiropractic tests may be necessary to arrive at the assessment or diagnosis of the affected area (such as moving your leg in a specified manner, posture analysis, or the chiropractor manipulating your arm or leg).
Diagnostic studies are helpful for chiropractors in revealing pathologies and identifying structural abnormalities that more accurately diagnose a condition. They may or may not be deemed necessary by the chiropractor based upon the results of the history and chiropractic examination.
The most common diagnostic studies used by chiropractors include:
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan
- Laboratory tests
Many chiropractic offices can do basic x-rays, but an MRI scan and more extensive images may be referred to an outside center for which an appointment is needed.
The culmination of the history, examination and diagnostic studies is a specific diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established, the chiropractor will determine if the condition will respond to chiropractic care.
The chiropractor will explain:
- The diagnosed condition
- The chiropractic treatment plan (or other treatments)
- The anticipated length of chiropractic care
How Often Should I Get Adjusted?
This will be discussed with you and the treating doctor to assure you get the maximum benefits and results.
Do Health Insurance Companies Cover Chiropractic?
Emphatically yes, most health insurance companies will cover chiropractic care. Call us and we will gladly verify with your insurance company to determine the specific coverage of your specific policy.