Frequently Asked Questions
We have found that many people have the same or similar questions about chiropractic and the care we offer. If you have a particular question that is not answered below, please call us at 804.499.6020.
What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a unique health care approach that seeks to get people well without the use of drugs and surgery. It works by introducing specific impulses called "adjustments" into the joints of the body, especially the spine. Misaligned spinal vertebrae result in pressure on the nerves that stem from the spinal cord. This is called a subluxation and can cause problems almost anywhere in the body because our nerves control every bodily function. The adjustments remove this nerve pressure, producing a healthier nervous system and a healthier you.
How do I know if chiropractic will help me?
As with anything, the only way to know with finality is to experience it for yourself. Chiropractic care benefits the vast majority of people and even improves the performance of those who are already fit and healthy. That's why chiropractic care is utilized by all 32 NFL teams and millions of Americans visit a chiropractor on a regular basis for wellness care. If your case cannot be managed through chiropractic, the doctor will make this known and refer you to the appropriate health care professional.
Are there any age restrictions for chiropractic care?
Absolutely not. Chiropractic is safe for newborns and the elderly; not only safe, but recommended. A baby needs a healthy nervous system perhaps more than anyone since their body is rapidly developing, especially the immune system. Children commonly get subluxations from the birth process, repeated falls while learning to walk, or wrestling with siblings. Adjustments given to infants and children are extremely gentle and quite different than those received by adults. Chiropractic has been shown to help with ear infections, bed wetting, ADHD, fevers, etc. See the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association for evidence-based literature.
Likewise, we regularly see folks in their 80’s and 90’s. Subluxations occur in everyone and always have a negative effect on the body. Consistent visits to your chiropractor helps slow down joint degeneration, reduce the risk of injury, and improve range of motion and balance so you can maintain your independence.
Are chiropractors real doctors?
Chiropractors and Medical doctors both undergo rigorous academic training. While some of the curriculum overlaps, there are also stark differences (click for details). Each profession awards a different degree: a doctor of chiropractic (DC) and a doctor of medicine (MD). Chiropractors prefer to treat patients naturally without drugs or surgery; therefore, chiropractors do not write prescriptions. So are chiropractors medical doctors? No. Are chiropractors required to earn an actual doctorate, a terminal academic degree in a particular field? Yes. Chiropractors must pass 4 different National Board Exams, with 31 states requiring an additional 5th exam, in order to attain state licensure.
What makes the popping noise heard during an adjustment?
This is perhaps the most asked question in our office. A common misconception is that the popping sound is due to bone on bone contact or that the bones are literally being cracked. This is simply not the case. Joints in the human body are wrapped in ligaments for support and filled with fluid for lubrication and nourishment. During an adjustment, there is a rapid decrease in pressure within the joint, causing dissolved gases to be released. It is the same idea as opening a champagne bottle. While many adjustments create sound, it is quite common for the bone to be realigned without making any noise at all.
What does an adjustment feel like?
Most patients describe the adjustment as "momentary pressure." Most patients enjoy being adjusted and feel immense relief afterwards. It is a common fear that the adjustment will be painful. It has been our experience that this fear is usually rooted in preconceived ideas or the anxiety of having never been adjusted before. In general, the adjustment itself does not hurt. Some patients are highly symptomatic due to an existing injury and are tender to the touch. In these cases, an adjustment is needed to help the body work through the inflammatory response to heal the injured area.
How much does it cost/Does insurance cover chiropractic?
The short answer is, it depends on several factors. Finances will be discussed in person with the doctor or staff on your first visit. We make every effort to explain our financial policies with clarity before any charges are incurred. Many insurance companies do make provision for chiropractic care. Coverage granted by an insurance company varies significantly depending on the policy. Please see our New Patients tab to see which insurance companies we contract with. Even if we do not accept your insurance we can still accept you as a patient and make your care quite affordable.
Will I have to get X-rays?
Not every patient requires X-rays. The doctor will determine if X-rays are warranted during your examination. If they are, you can have them taken on-site at your first visit. It is an easy process and much more affordable than other imaging centers. You will get to see and review them with the doctor on your second visit. If you have an X-ray or MRI less than a year old, please bring it to your appointment.
If I come in, will I need to keep coming back?
Every bodily process takes time: healing a cut, losing weight, fighting off a cold, etc. It would be against logic to think you can exercise at the gym one time and walk out with bulging muscles. Why? You are limited by the body's physiology. The way you respond to chiropractic follows those same laws of nature. In the beginning, yes, you need multiple adjustments if you want your body to be regenerating damaged tissue as it should. The frequency of your visits declines in proportion to your progress. We have a very high success rate treating patients who follow our care recommendations. While we make the recommendations that are in your best interest, it is your decision whether or not to follow them.
I heard chiropractors cause strokes, is that true?
The fear that chiropractors cause strokes is one backed by unsubstantiated claims often made by chiropractic skeptics. The question should not be "can it happen?" The more important question is "what are the chances of it happening?" Numerous peer-reviewed studies have been performed by various facilities. They have found that the rate of stroke from cervical spine adjusting is 0.3 per 1 million cases(1). Did you know the risk of death from a hip replacement is 4900 per 1 million cases(2) or that routine treadmill-based cardiac stress tests produce a heart attack at a rate of 200 per 1 million cases(3)? In light of the statistical evidence, it seems unfair to give the topic of stroke and chiropractic such a disproportionate amount of attention.
In strokes that reportedly follow manipulation, many cases followed large-scale manipulations performed by health care professionals outside the chiropractic field. Additionally, many who report a stroke from cervical manipulation had pre-existing vascular complications, putting them on the verge of having a stroke. Specific adjustments made by a chiropractor should not lead to a stroke in an otherwise healthy individual. The fact that risk-adverse insurance companies charge chiropractors very little for malpractice insurance compared to their medical counterparts attests to the safety of chiropractic.
2. Seagroat V, Tan HS, Goldacre M. Bulstrode C, Nugent I, Gill L. Effective total hip replacement: incidence, emergency, readmission rate, and post-operative mortality. British Medical Journal, 1991;330:1431-1435.