WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
What is chiropractic?
According to The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, “chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.”
The “founding father” of chiropractic, Dr. D.D. Palmer, developed a theory that spinal misalignment caused nerve pressure or irritation which in turn caused various ailments. He realized that the structure and condition of the body influenced how the body functioned and its ability to heal itself, without the use of drugs or surgery.
This simple philosophy has healed people and has prevented unwanted injury and illness for over a century! But to fully understand the chiropractic perspective, one must learn a bit about the nervous system, or how our bodies are “wired.”
I was suffering from sciatica with lower back stiffness when I decided to try chiropractic. I had surgery to correct my problem and it seemed like I was still dealing with the pain. My cousin referred me to ESPRIT WELLNESS and I am so glad.
The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. The brain is divided into sections and stores and receives an incredible amount of information. But this information needs a way to get in and out. Nerves provide a pathway for this information to travel, and the spinal cord is made up of bundles of these nerves. The spine both houses and protects the spinal cord.
Nerve dysfunction can result from any number of factors, such as falls, accidents, stress, tension, or over-use. These events can alter our “wiring” and create pain or discomfort in our bodies.
GETTING TO THE SOURCE
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to locate the source of the pain or discomfort— it may actually be far from the actual location where the symptom is occurring— and then we correct or adjust the joints in the body and set it up to heal on its own.
Of course, the type of correction or adjustment employed by the chiropractor depends on the condition being treated, but you get the main idea. The important thing to remember is that chiropractic success occurs by addressing the source of the problem, not just masking the symptoms.
Because helping the body heal itself involves many facets, chiropractors also provide lifestyle advice to help prevent illness and injury. Diet & nutrition, fitness, ergonomics, and other areas in your life contribute, or diminish, your overall health. By making the right choices, one can live a life full of wellness and vitality.
How does it work?
Chiropractic doctors practice natural, drugless, non-invasive health care and rely on the body’s ability to self-heal. Sounds ideal, but just how does it work?
We look at the whole picture
Like other health-care providers, we follow a standard routine to gain information about the patient. We consult, review the case history, conduct a physical examination, and we may request laboratory analyses and/or x-rays.
Unlike other health-care providers, however, chiropractic physicians also conduct a careful analysis of the patient’s structure and pay particular attention to the spine. We also ask you about your life— Do you eat well? Exercise at all? How do you deal with stress? Do you have children? What do you do for work? And so on.
We seek the origin of the problem
Using this information, a diagnosis is made. Included in the diagnosis is the probable reason for your pain or discomfort. It is important to note that chiropractors seek the origin of the illness in order to eliminate it-we do not simply treat the symptoms.
If your roof is leaking, do you simply catch the drips in a bucket for years on end, or do you repair the roof to prevent it from leaking? Similarly, if the migraine headache you’ve had all week is being caused by misaligned vertebra and an irritated nerve, do you continue to take pain killers indefinitely, or do you realign the vertebra to prevent the pain? You get the picture.
Chiropractors have a term for misalignments: subluxations. A vertebral subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that protect the spinal cord. It’s a leak in the roof. Or a kink in the wiring of your nervous system.
The severity of the subluxation can vary, and there are a number of potential contributing factors that can be physical, emotional, mental, or chemical. The subluxation can be caused by any number of incidents, from birth trauma to an auto accident to simple repetition or over-use.
Then we help you fix it
When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The leak is fixed. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again.
To keep the wiring fixed and the information flowing, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.
Another important aspect of chiropractic care is this: the patient’s improvement is the responsibility of both the doctor and the patient. You will be active in your own care-this is essential in optimizing the care you receive.
Science / Research
Over 100 years ago, chiropractic health care was founded by Dr. D.D. Palmer. He had a simple theory: that good health can be sustained naturally, without the use of drugs or surgery, by removing vertebral subluxations and allowing the nervous system to function properly.
His theory has stood the test of time. This section will briefly explain how the theory was proven by taking you “behind the scenes,” into the field of chiropractic research.
1895–Present: Scientifically Proven
Since the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895, the chiropractic profession has rapidly grown to be the third-largest field of health care behind medicine and dentistry. The reason for the growth of chiropractic is simple: chiropractic is based on sound, scientific principles that have been proven with thorough research.
Investigations and inquiries have been conducted worldwide by government agencies, universities, health-care facilities, and private- and public-sector research organizations. The following paragraphs summarize some of the landmark research studies that have resulted in widespread recognition of chiropractic as a sound health-care choice.
Government of New Zealand. The New Zealand Commission Report was published in 1979 and was the culmination of two years of interviews from health-care experts on the efficacy and safety of chiropractic. The government of New Zealand funded the study, which concluded that modern chiropractic is a “soundly-based and valuable branch of health care in a specialized area.”
Wilk, et al, vs. American Medical Association (AMA) Lawsuit. Another inquiry that further validated chiropractic came about in 1987 through an antitrust suit filed by four doctors of chiropractic against the AMA. A federal appellate court judge ruled that the AMA had engaged in a “lengthy, systematic, successful, and unlawful boycott” of chiropractic.
During the legal proceedings, studies comparing chiropractic care to medical care were presented that showed how chiropractors were “twice as effective as medical physicians, for comparable injuries, in returning injured workers to work at every level of injury severity.”
Since the court findings and conclusions were released, a growing number of medical practices, hospitals, and health-care organizations in the United States now include the services of chiropractors.
Ontario Ministry of Health. In 1993, the Ontario Ministry of Health published the Manga Report, which was a review of literature on the most effective and cost-effective treatments for of low-back pain. After reviewing all available international evidence, the researchers concluded that chiropractic is “greatly superior to medical treatment in terms of scientific validity, safety, cost-effectiveness, and patient satisfaction.”
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR). In 1994, the AHCPR of the United States Department of Health and Human Services released guidelines for the management of lower-back pain.
The guidelines, which were intended to assist primary-care physicians, were developed by a panel of 23 professionals, including medical doctors, chiropractic doctors, nurses, experts in spinal research, and physical therapists. The panel concluded, among other things, that chiropractic treatment (specifically, spinal manipulation) is recommended for acute low-back problems in adults and should be pursued (in most cases) before pharmaceutical or surgical treatments.
Present-Future: Ongoing Research
Health-care practitioners in all fields rely heavily upon data made available as a result of clinical research. As the chiropractic profession continues to grow, so does our need to conduct research. The acceptance of and the increase in the utilization of chiropractic care depends largely upon research addressing questions of effectiveness, safety, practicality, and cost-effectiveness.
Who does the research?
The following is just a sampling of organizations, publications, and private and public institutions where chiropractic research may be conducted.
There are entire organizations devoted to chiropractic research (e.g., the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, the Consortial Center of Chiropractic Research), as well as journals (e.g., the Chiropractic Research Journal, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research).
In addition, there are research departments associated with each of the 23 chiropractic colleges around the world (e.g., the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, the National University of Health Sciences). Professionals from different organizations commonly collaborate on research projects.
Research has also been conducted around the world by governmental organizations (e.g., the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Ontario Ministry of Health), academic institutions (e.g., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Welsh National School of Medicine), medical journals (e.g., the British Medical Journal, the Journal of Family Practice), and private research organizations (e.g., RAND, the Gallup Organization).
What do they study?
Topics of research vary widely and include anatomy, neurology, biomechanics, neurophysiology, instrumentation, public health, geriatrics, and human performance. The fundamental goals of the researchers are to promote and further chiropractic education and health care.
The purpose of chiropractic research has been (and still is) to provide information needed to document and improve chiropractic health care worldwide. Our profession has seen advances once thought impossible due to the impact of scientific research.
For example, federal grants for chiropractic research are now a reality. The Department of Defense formed a committee to introduce chiropractic services into the United States military. Several managed-care organizations now recognize us as qualified primary-care providers. And there is an ever-growing public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care.
Feel free to do your own research— at work, at school, at your health club or rec center. Ask around. You will hear countless success stories on how chiropractic has helped people recover from an accident, an injury, a tense period in their life, etc., or how chiropractic has helped them develop new, healthier lifestyle habits.
Collect more data by making an appointment with us today. You will be pleased with the results.
It is important to understand the stages of chiropractic care because they are unique relative to those of other health-care disciplines. Because chiropractic addresses core physiological and biomechanical aspects of the body, the process to correct problems without drugs or surgery can take some time. Some conditions can be treated in a few visits, while others may take longer.
The following is a brief summary of the three major phases of chiropractic care.
The majority of patients consult a chiropractor because they have an ache or pain. In the first phase of care, the main objective is to eliminate or reduce your discomfort and stabilize your condition in the shortest amount of time. During this phase, progress is usually rapid.
The number of times you visit a chiropractor during this phase of care varies and is dependent upon your specific condition. It’s hard to say how long it will be until you see relief— it could be as short as a week or up to a month.
Once your condition has stabilized, you enter the second phase of care, where the objective is to correct any underlying injury or cause of discomfort, strengthen the muscles, and improve neuromusculoskeletal function. The frequency of office visits is reduced over a period of three months. Care may be supplemented by rehabilitation exercises, nutrition, and modification of daily habits.
It is important to remember that many of the conditions for which people seek care have developed over many years; therefore, correcting these problems is a true rehabilitative process. It helps to understand that it takes time to correct these conditions.
Once your discomfort has subsided, you may think all is well and choose to abandon your efforts. However, if you end your care before fully healing the muscles and soft tissues, you can invite a relapse. This is a mistake many people make, and it sets them up for recurring health issues.
It’s hard to believe that, after all the time, effort, energy, and money put into correcting a problem, a patient would choose to forgo this relatively easy phase of care! As much as we’d love to see you in our office, we’d much rather assist you in maintaining your health rather than relieving your pain.
You then “graduate” to the wellness phase, which is designed to maintain your improved health, encourage normal spinal function, prevent the return of the original condition, and catch small problems before they become serious. A personal wellness care program will be designed specifically for you where we teach you how to incorporate good nutrition and exercise habits into your everyday life, thereby promoting vitality, endurance, and the ability to enjoy life at its fullest.
A good way to look at chiropractic is to relate it to dentistry. We all know it takes a long time to develop tooth decay, but with regular maintenance and check-ups, the plaque doesn’t have a chance. Similarly, it often takes a long time to develop a spinal misalignment. But with regular maintenance, the bones will not have a chance to get out of line.
Few things as complicated as your body can be “fixed” and then ignored. Think of your car, your teeth, or your relationships. They take time and effort to maintain, but you know it’s worth it in the long run. That’s why we recommend a regular schedule of chiropractic check-ups.
You can then congratulate yourself on achieving your ultimate goal: optimal health!
The term subluxation means minor misalignment however the affects on the human body as a result of a subluxation on the upper cervical spine can be far from minor. In the simplest of terms, a subluxation is when one or more vertebrae (bones in your spine) move out of line and create pressure on spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from the vertebrae in your spine. Pressure on the nerves can cause interference with the signals traveling through them – leading to numerous health related problem.
Chiropractic is now firmly established as a primary health-care profession.
according to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 7 to 16 percent of people in the United Stated seek treatment each year. Our profession has earned recognition for its remarkable effectiveness and its focus on natural, drug-free, non-invasive methods of treatment. This section summarizes the effectiveness of chiropractic for some of the conditions we treat.
General Lower-Back Pain
Approximately 25% of our patients come to us with a chief complaint of low-back/pelvic pain or discomfort. This pain can be brought on by an accident, overuse, repetitive stress, emotional stress, or just everyday living.
Several studies have been conducted to determine the efficacy of spinal manipulation as a treatment for lower-back pain in general
One of these involved three chiropractic colleges in California, where researchers reported that “the trend for spinal manipulation to produce better results than any form of treatment to which it was compared was consistent and strong.” For 86% of the outcomes, spinal manipulation was more effective than any other treatment rendered for lower-back pain.
Additional studies conducted both in and out of the United States yielded similar results, where patients reportedly recovered at a more rapid rate, had fewer relapses, and gained a new sense of confidence in their movement. Still more investigations have been conducted on the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for two sub-categories of lower-back pain: acute and chronic.
Acute Lower-Back Pain
A report published in 1994 by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research on acute low-back pain concluded that spinal adjustment is one of the most effective treatments for this condition. In another study published in 1994 by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Jefferson County (Missouri) Rehabilitation Center, it was concluded that greater and more rapid improvement occurred when treated using exercises and spinal adjustment for acute low-back pain.
A third study conducted by the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic and the University of Vermont was published in 1992. These researchers reported that spinal adjustment, when compared to other methods of treatment for acute lower-back pain (massage, corset, and TMS), proved to be a “superior,” more effective treatment after three weeks of care.
Chronic Lower-Back Pain
In 1997, the Dutch Health Insurance Board funded an investigation that summarized the results of 48 separate studies on the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for chronic lower-back pain. The investigation determined that spinal adjustment is more effective than treatments suggested by general practitioners (bed rest, analgesics, and massage).
Two similar studies conducted in Canada in 1985 (University Hospital in Saskatoon) and 1991 (University of Calgary), plus a third study conducted in Poland in 1986 (Silesian Medical School), produced results similar to the Dutch investigation.
Approximately 19% of our patients come to us with complaints of neck pain or discomfort. This pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as an accident, injury, overuse, etc. The most common neck condition we address is whiplash.
The efficacy of chiropractic for neck pain has been well documented in numerous studies conducted in the United States, Canada, Wales, and the Netherlands. In a joint U.S./Canadian study published in 1996, researchers from UCLA, the West LA Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and two chiropractic colleges found that for some patients with sub-acute or chronic neck pain, spinal adjustment proved to be a more effective treatment than mobilization or physical therapy.
In a study conducted by the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto in 1997, researchers found spinal adjustments to improve neck mobility and decrease neck pain. An additional Canadian investigation published in 1997 by the University of Calgary found spinal adjustments to improve neck mobility and decrease neck pain in patients having back and/or neck complaints.
General practitioners in private practice at the Welsh National School of Medicine conducted a study of the efficacy of spinal adjustment in alleviating neck and shoulder pain. The results, published in 1983, indicated that pain and discomfort improved significantly after adjustment, as well as range of motion and flexibility of the affected areas.
A 1992 Netherlands study conducted by doctors of medicine and other professionals investigated different methods of treatment for patients with chronic back and neck pain. After 12 weeks of care, manual therapy (which consisted of adjustment and mobilization of the spine) had showed a “faster and larger improvement in physical functioning” relative to the other types of treatment such as massage, exercises, and physical therapy.
Headaches, both tension and migraine, are the chief complaint for approximately 13% of our patients. Before you reach for your pain-reliever of choice the next time a headache or migraine sneaks up on you, consider the following information on the efficacy of chiropractic care for head pain.
In a 1995 study conducted in Minnesota, the effectiveness of spinal adjustment relative to the administration of an antidepressant drug (amitriptyline) for patients with chronic tension-type headaches was investigated. The researchers included doctors of chiropractic, a doctor of medicine, and another professionals from Northwestern College of Chiropractic and the Pain Assessment and Rehabilitation Center, Ltd. They determined that, after four weeks of treatment, patients receiving spinal adjustment therapy experienced a continued lack of symptoms, whereas patients taking the medication returned to original, baseline conditions.
Another study, published in 1997 by doctors of medicine and doctors of chiropractic at the University of Odense and the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics in Denmark, compared spinal adjustment and soft tissue therapy for the treatment of benign, chronic headaches. They found that both methods of therapy allowed for significant improvement, and there were no side effects or signs of worsening associated with either method.
Consultation, chiropractic examination, x-rays (if necessary), and spinal muscles scan.
Duration: an hour.
During the consultation Dr. Sid, educates you on chiropractic and surveys your health history by asking you a series of questions. Based on your health history, Dr. Sid determines the course of your examination and reviews your options. You are then able to make an informed decision about the course of examination you wish to pursue.
Review of Exam.
Duration an hour.
On your second visit you will learn about the impact of chiropractic and understand the value of corrective care. You will see the phases of spinal degeneration learn how it happens, and realize that vertebral subluxation can lead to dis-ease. You will use all of this knowledge to review, together with Dr. Sid, your X-ray exams and experience your first adjustment and postural rehab session.
Recommendation and Fees
Duration: 30 minutes.
On your third visit Dr. Sid reviews his best recommendation, maps a chiropractic and physical therapy care schedule for you and reviews insurance and fees.