Frequently Asked Questions
Many patients consult a chiropractic doctor because they think they have a pinched nerve. Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function caused from physical trauma, emotional tensions, or chemical toxins can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots. While commonly associated with the spine, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually rare. Researchers suggest that only 10% to 15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue! This can result in numbness, burning. or a “pins and needles” feeling. More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesion). This is caused when nerve tissue is rubbed, scraped, stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or irritated by malfunctioning spinal bones more properly termed ‘subluxation’.
Technically, a disc cannot “slip.”The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between spinal bones. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. A soft, jellylike center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending.Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot “slip.” However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, herniate. or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, as the soft center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.Many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problems.
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body.The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain. The moving bones of the spine protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots. If the spinal bones are misaligned the nervous system can be impaired, causing malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. Doctors call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Vertebral, meaning bones of the spine. Subluxation, meaning less than a total dislocation. And Complex, meaning consisting of more than one part.The sole purpose of your chiropractic doctor is to identify these damaging subluxations, determine the most effective method for their removal and then gently realign the spine, allowing the body to heal naturally. Health!!
Chiropractic works by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove interferences to your natural state of being healthy.A common interference to the nervous system is the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system. This can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses.With improved spinal function there is often improved nervous system function. Your chiropractic doctor can help remove interference that may be impairing normal health.Since the primary focus of your care is improving nervous system function, chiropractic can have a positive effect on many health conditions not normally thought of as “back” problems.
Today’s Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated.The science of chiropractic required a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques, and related subjects. This demanding curriculum prepares chiropractic doctors to locate the Vertebral Subluxation Complex and help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction.To graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, each candidate passes the demanding National Board Examination. Then, doctors apply to a governmental or professional licensing board and pass still more difficult tests before being granted the privilege to practice.A chiropractic education never ends. Your chiropractic doctor completes postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest scientific research.
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction applied to a joint that is subluxated, fixated, “locked up”, or not moving properly. This frees the subluxation, restores normal function to the nervous system, adds motion to the joint, allowing the bones to gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is improved nerve and spinal function, thus improved health.There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the doctor’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly-accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow and constant pressure.After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.
The doctor evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience.Some patients who complain of headaches, may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern.Patients notice that their chiropractic care is delivered with confidence and precision. Each visit builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient.
Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific spinal joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself.It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound, like the sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counter productive, often making an already unstable area the the spine even more unsteady. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.
In the words of the New Zealand government’s inquiry, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.”Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.A thorough case history and examination help reveal areas of the spine that may be causing nervous system malfunction. This information will be used to determine the best course of care for each patient.Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.
While there aren’t any shortcuts to speed your body’s natural healing process, there’s a lot you can do to give yourself the best chance of a quick recovery.Learn proper sitting and lifting methods. Specific exercises may be suggested to help retain the muscles that support your spine.Proper rest is an important aspect of the healing process, too. Get the appropriate amount of rest your body needs and avoid sleeping on your stomach.During the healing process, proper nutrition is more important than ever. Make sure you eat balanced meals, and if you’re overweight, now would be a good time to slim down and reduce unnecessary stresses to your spine.Most important of all, keep your appointments and follow your chiropractic doctor’s recommendations for optimum results.
Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventive care is helpful in the maintenance of good health.Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time- consuming, Pesta Family Chiropractic stands ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals.How long and how you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you
In 1993, the Ontario Ministry of Health funded a Canadian research project to study if chiropractic could help lower the costs of work-related injuries or improve the rehabilitation of disabled or injured workers.
This study specifically explored the effectiveness of chiropractic management of low back pain. Based on a historical review of the most significant clinical studies, the panel of researchers concluded that the approaches employed by chiropractic doctors were more effective than traditional forms of treatment. In fact, they found the most common used medical treatments have questionable value.
Besides revealing that chiropractic patients were able to return to work more quickly than those who received traditional treatment, chiropractic patients reported a high level of satisfaction with their care.
One of the most persuasive findings was the issue of safety. The study concluded that chiropractic care is safer than medical management of low back pain.
Based on the evidence, the researchers recommended that chiropractic services be fully covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Further, they concluded that chiropractic doctors should be engaged at the highest levels to assess policy and review standard and care recommendations for workers with back injuries.
The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain, Pran Manga, Ph.D., Douglas Angus, M.A., Costa Papadopoulos, M.H.A., William Swan, B.A., Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. August 1993.