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Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects.

The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.

Imbalances in the vertebrae of the neck, which may be associated with neck pain, some types of headaches and other symptoms described in our website, often involves realignment of these misaligned vertebrae. Gentle mobilization of the bones of the neck, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve the joint mobility of the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm and irritation to nerves. This helps to relieve pressure and tension in the neck area.

Neck mobilization is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, there is no clear understanding of any such connection. The occurrence of such is extremely rare: 1 in 5.85 million manipulations based on the clinical reports and scientific studies to date. While being evaluated by us for upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help us offer the safest and most effective care including if necessary, referral to another health care provider.

It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain -- prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) -- as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.

Is Chiropractic Treatment Appropriate for Children?

Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active, and they experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.

Infants can get adjusted as early as the day they were conceived. The birthing process can cause major strain on the delicate and developing nervous system, especially the cervical spine (neck).

Is it Okay to See a Chiropractor if I'm Pregnant?

Anytime is a good time for a better functioning nerve system. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health.

Dr. Stu is Webster technique certified, and he adjusts pregnant mothers on a specialized pregnancy pillow and table that allows for a comfortable and safe placement of the growing belly.

Chiropractic care has also helped in cases of babies who are in a breech position. The ligaments of the uterus are connected to the pelvic bones. Working with the ligaments of the uterus and maintaining proper position of the pelvic bones throughout pregnancy will help the uterus and baby maintain its proper position, and provide more comfort for the mother for the duration of her pregnancy.

What is the Webster Technique?

The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment which reduces nerve system stress, and improves pelvic biomechanical function.  Its purpose is to detect and correct sacroiliac joint dysfunction.  The Webster technique is commonly used throughout pregnancy as a specific sacral analysis and adjustment that corrects the effects of neuro-muscular imbalance in the pelvis.  Adjusting the sacrum via Webster analysis and working with specific ligaments throughout pregnancy will minimize aberrant uterine tension, fetal constraint and possible malposition at the time of delivery. Throughout pregnancy it is very helpful and important to have the Webster technique performed, especially if your baby is in any breeched or malposition.

Does Chiropractic Care Require a Referral from a Medical Physician?

No, a patient does not need referral by an MD before visiting a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are first contact physicians, and are so defined in federal and state regulations. Following a consultation and examination, the doctor of chiropractic will arrive at a diagnosis and make a determination as to whether or not referrals to any other care providers are necessary.

What Type of Education and Training do Chiropractors Have?

 Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.

In total, the chiropractic curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Is Chiropractic Treatment Ongoing?

The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). Making permanent positive structural changes of ones spine requires force over time, similar to braces on a child's teeth or lifting weights at the gym.

To institute a spinal correction, a patient needs to be in our office more frequently at the beginning of the care.A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. We specialize in creating a personalized home care program to make the necessary postural and spinal corrections. We will let you know out the outset, exactly what type of time commitment you can expect. Our practice philosophy is to empower you to fix your own spine and not become dependent on us.

How Quickly Will My Symptoms Subside?

Every individual responds differently to care. It also depends on how long the symptoms have been present. That being said, in our clinical experience, most patients' symptoms will begin to subside within a few days to a few weeks.

Why is There a Popping Sound When a Joint is Adjusted?

An audible popping or cracking sound heard with an adjustment is perfectly normal and is simply the sound of gas bubbles being released in the joint fluid as they're compressed. This is exactly the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint that results in gas bubbles being released. The presence or intensity of the sound can vary from person to person, or even treatment, and is not indicative of an effective treatment.

Does the Adjustment Hurt?

There is no pain involved as the adjustment is a painless procedure. If a person is already in pain any movement of course can be uncomfortable.

What is a “Subluxation”?

A subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that house and protect the spinal cord. Any misalignment puts unnecessary pressure on the nerve system and damages the nerve supply to different parts of the body. Vertebral subluxations that are left undetected and unadjusted for many years can lead to symptoms of pain, diseases, and an unhealthy expression of life.

What is the Difference Between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?

Chiropractors base their care on the detection correction, and prevention of vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments). Chiropractors use specific spinal adjustments to correct the spine, to improve nerve system functions, and reduce nerve interference. Osteopaths use drugs, surgery, and other traditional medical therapies and only occasionally use manipulative procedures.

Is a Good Work-Out the Same as getting Adjusted?

No. Exercise is an important part of good health, yet without normal spinal function a physical workout merely puts additional wear and tear on improperly functioning spinal joints.

What is the Zone Technique and how can it help me? 

The Zone Technique is a specific technique that balances the brain center of a specific system to send perfect signals to every single cell of your body.  The 6 systems include: glandular, eliminative, nervous, digestive, muscular, and circulatory.  When the body is completely balanced in all these systems – the body can function, adapt, and heal.  Dr. Stu uses this technique with his adjustments to ensure your body’s innate healing ability is working properly. 


Is Chiropractic safe for children?

Yes! Chiropractic is a drug free, surgery free approach to natural health, hence making it one of the safest options available.