Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS LOW BACK PAIN?
Low back pain can have many causes. Low back pain is experienced in 80% of the population. In ninety five percent (95%) of the population, the low back pain can be attributed to a breakdown in the structural integrity of the muscles, disability and lost workdays, according to a research article in The Lancet, August 1999. Actually, the American Medical Association estimates that back injuries account for almost 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
The treatment of low back pain is flawed, possibly painful and increasingly expensive. The British Medical Journal in 1998 conducted a study that demonstrated results consistent with the interpretation that 90% of patients with low back pain in primary care will have stopped consulting with symptoms within three months. However, most will still be experiencing low back pain and related disability one year after consultation. This is known as chronic low back pain. Chronic low back pain is that which persists for extended periods of time, e.g. six months, even though the pain may not be constant. It is estimated that over 20 (may now be as high as 80-100) billion healthcare dollars is spent annually on low back pain related diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF LOW BACK PAIN?
Often there is no obvious cause for low back pain. Some of the more common causes include exertion, lifting, severe blows or falls, and childbirth. Additionally, back disorders ruptured lumbar discs, infections, nerve dysfunction, osteoporosis, tumors, spondylosis, congenital problems are often cited as a cause for low back pain.
The risk of low back pain increases with individuals in sedentary occupations, gardening yard work or those who participate in sports and exercise. Having poor muscle tone, poor posture, obesity and even women wearing high heels all contribute to an increase in one's potential of experiencing low back pain. Additionally, those who smoke have a 29% higher incidence of degenerative joint disease, which in turn translates to low back pain.
There is an array of treatments that are widely recognized in treating low back pain. All of which are inconsistent and typically don't address the underlying problems of low back pain.
HOW DO YOU GET SUBLUXATIONS?
There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions such as grief, anger, everyday stress and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A SUBLUXATION?
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay, subluxations can be present before warning symptoms appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have.
CAN SUBLUXATIONS CLEAR UP ON THEIR OWN?
No, when subluxations aren't resolved you need to see a chiropractic doctor, air being caught between the bones is what keeps the vertebrae out of alignment or subluxated. Only a chiropractic adjustment can resolve the issue.
WHAT'S AN ADJUSTMENT?
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren't moving right. Some methods use the doctor's hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine.
ARE CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS SAFE?
Yes. A number of studies have found that adjustments are remarkably safe. By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are about 100 times safer then taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
WILL ADJUSTMENTS MAKE MY SPINE LOOSE?
No. Only the spinal joints that are locked up receive adjustments. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.
CAN THE BONES MOVE TOO MUCH?
Highly unlikely. A chiropractic adjustment is special. It has the specific amount of energy, delivered to an exact spot, at a precise angle, at the right time. The intent is to get a specific spinal joint moving again, helping reduce the nerve interference. Years of training, practice and experience make chiropractic adjustments specific and safe.
WHAT MAKES THE SOUND DURING AN ADJUSTMENT?
Lubricating fluids separate bones from each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It's much like opening a bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting, but it isn't a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment. A bone can have its movement restored without the cavitation.
ARE ALL PATIENTS ADJUSTED THE SAME WAY?
No. Each patient's spine and care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine, each of which can move in seven different directions, we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient's care is custom-tailored for their age, condition and health goals
CAN I ADJUST MYSELF?
No. Some people can make their bones pop, but that's not an adjustment! Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
HOW MANY ADJUSTMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits become less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing can take months can take months or even years.
WHY DO NEWBORNS GET ADJUSTMENTS?
Even today's natural childbirth methods can affect an infant's spine. Preliminary studies suggested that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, or difficulty breast feeding, ear infections are erratic signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more pressure that you'd use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
CAN I HAVE CHIROPRACTIC CARE AFTER BACK SURGERY?
Yes. Rest assured that your chiropractic doctor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
CAN PATIENTS WITH OSTEOPOROSIS GET CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
Of course, when developing a care plan, your chiropractic doctor considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and condition.
HOW LONG UNTIL I'LL FEEL BETTER?
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time, most patients sense enough progress to fully carry out their doctor's recommendations.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for visits feeling great. These visits can help support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best care and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
WILL I RECEIVE ANY MEDICATION FOR MY PAIN?
No. Chiropractic doctors' don't dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic effect of pain medications.
WHY DON'T MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS AND CHIROPRACTIC DOCTORS GET ALONG?
That's challenging. Years of prejudice and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of chiropractic care. Attitudes are slow to change. However, as the public demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical practitioners are referring their patients to our office.
WHAT IF MY POLICY DOESN'T COVER CHIROPRACTIC?
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet, each of us is free to place a different value on our health. It's convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill.
But be careful! Don't allow the profit motive of a huge corporation to make the decision for you. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.
WILL I EVER BE NORMAL AGAIN?
Patient's results vary. Many report improved spinal curves and the totals resumption of their normal lifestyle. Those who neglected or delayed seeking care often see slower progress. After improvement, many patients discover that periodic chiropractic checkups can help avoid a relapse. Although you always are experiencing stresses in your life therefore you should be on a wellness/maintenance plan for chiropractic care to get checked for any subluxations.
WHAT IF CHIROPRACTIC DOESN'T WORK?
If we're unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer you to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our primary goal.
ARE CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED AFTER I SEEM TO FEEL FINE?
Chiropractic Adjustments are necessary to maintain physical wellness. They usually involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren't moving right. Some methods use the doctor's hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine. At Cornerstone Chiropractic, we also offer adjustments using the Pro-Adjuster which is used for patients who cannot tolerate a traditional adjustment or with patients suffering from osteoporosis, with too much pain, or for those who simply do not like the cracking sound that accompanies traditional adjustments.