Patient Education


Do chiropractors have medical degrees?


No, chiropractors have chiropractic degrees from Chiropractic Colleges.

The education is similar to that of a medical doctor in some respects and different in others.

The letters D.C. after the chiropractors' name stand for Doctor of Chiropractic.


How long does a spinal adjustment take?


Usually a few minutes to a quarter hour (more or less) after the chiropractor is familiar with the patients spine.

It all depends on the adjusting technique the chiropractor is using.

Sometimes it takes a few hours or even a few days of evaluation for a new patient to get an initial adjustment.

Other times it may only take a relatively brief initial visit.


Can I adjust myself?


When most people talk of adjusting themselves they often state it I can crack myself. While the person can pop or crack their neck, back and knuckles they are not really adjusting themselves.

They are merely displacing joint fluid in the vertebrae or joints which some believe to be the cause of the noise.

Cracking is only a temporary fix, soon the urge to pop it again will reappear.

Only chiropractors can fix the vertebral subluxation complex.

I'll let you in on a little secret!

Chiropractors have to go to other Chiropractors for their own adjustments.


Can I go only once?


Of course.

Once is better than never and sometimes a spinal problem may be due to nothing more than a slight spinal misalignment rather than long-standing vertebral subluxations.

In that case, one visit may be all that is needed.

It's best to ask your chiropractor what your spinal care needs are.


Can you tell if you need a chiropractic adjustment on your own?


Generally, no.

A subluxation can be likened to a dental cavity: You may have one developing for a long time with no noticeable symptoms.

That's why periodic spinal examinations are so often recommended.


How will I feel after an adjustment?


Everyone seems to respond a little differently after a spinal adjustment.

Some people experience a euphoric feeling or high as the nerves now released from long-standing stress fixations send nerve impulses or life energy through the body again.

Some people feel no different. Others may experience muscle soreness in the back as a result of muscles that haven't worked properly for years and are in a weakened state suddenly are working again, though usually only a small minority.


Is it bad to crack your neck or back a lot?


Despite the old wives' tales about cracking your joints giving you arthritis, there just isn't any research to support it.

When you crack or pop your neck you're relieving tension for a little while, but your not giving yourself an adjustment.

After a while the urge to pop or crack reappears because the cause of the spinal tension, the fixation or jammed vertebrae, hasn't been corrected.


What causes the noise of an adjustment?


Not all adjusting techniques that chiropractors use produce the popping noise we associate with cracking our knuckles.

Some chiropractic adjusting techniques make no sound at all.

But many chiropractors do use techniques that create in many instances the popping sound of a spinal release.

A British research team took X-ray movies of a person popping his knuckles and found that gas (80% carbon dioxide) rushes in to fill a partial vacuum created when the joint surfaces are slightly separated.

It is this displacement of joint fluid which some believe to be the cause of the noise.