Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a healthcare field concerned with the alignment of the bones of the spine as well as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that attach to the spine. A misalignment of one of your spinal vertebrae can cause interference with the nervous system, leading to any of a number of conditions including but not limited to back pain. Chiropractic works with the body's natural ability to heal itself.
How does Chiropractic work?
A Chiropractor adjusts misaligned vertebrae in your spine (known also as subluxations). When a vertebra misaligns, or subluxates, it puts pressure on the nerves that come out from the spinal cord at that level. This pressure can cause interference in the messages carried by the nerve from the brain to the body, and from the body back up to the brain. By adjusting your spine, a doctor of chiropractic reduces that nerve interference. This allows your brain to better communicate with your body and improves your health.
What is Chiropractic good for?
Most people are aware that chiropractic is helpful for back pain and headaches, but that is just a small part of what it can do. Every part of your body is controlled by your central nervous system. The spinal cord is the pathway for communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When your nervous system is not able to do its job because of a blockage in its communication line (ie. a subluxation), the parts of your body controlled by the blocked nerve suffer. For example, if a nerve that goes to a muscle is compromised, the muscle can be weakened (this is true for the heart muscle too). If a nerve that goes to a gland is compromised, the gland may put out too much or too little of the appropriate hormone. If a nerve that goes to the stomach is blocked, what would you expect - too much acid perhaps, or too little, or weakened mucosal lining, making the stomach more susceptible to injury from its own acid or from invading bacteria. A nerve that goes to a blood vessel can be irritated by a subluxation, causing the blood vessel to tighten up, in turn causing the cells that were getting that blood to have less oxygen, and consequently, function at a lower capacity.
Every part of the body is controlled by the central nervous system, thus every part of the body can be negatively affected by a subluxation in the spine. The good news is: every part of the body can be helped by getting rid of spinal subluxations. Even the immune system has been shown to respond favorably to chiropractic adjustments. Some studies have shown an increase in white blood cells following a regimen of chiropractic care. This is not to say that chiropractors can cure everything. In fact, chiropractors don't cure anything. God made the human body with a miraculous ability to cure itself, and it almost always takes care of that job without any trouble. But, if the nervous system is not able to properly tell the rest of the body what to do, its ability to heal is decreased. Getting adjusted helps restore the body's ability to heal itself.
Do adjustments hurt?
Very rarely should a chiropractic adjustment hurt. Sometimes, however, because the nerves and muscles around a subluxated vertebra are already irritated, they will be tender to the touch. If you ever find an adjustment to be uncomfortable in any way, please let your doctor know. They may be able to adjust the same bone in a different, and more comfortable way.
When can I expect results?
Many patients will experience some relief from their symptoms immediately. Almost everyone will have noticed a marked improvement in their chief complaint by the time they've had 8-10 visits. As your condition improves, and you start to 'hold' your adjustments for a longer period of time, we will decrease your appointments' frequency and start you on maintenance care.
What is maintenance care?
Maintenance care, also known as wellness care, is when a patient has gotten beyond the initial intensive care phase of their treatment and no longer needs such frequent attention. Maintenance care usually involves coming in about once a month to get checked for subluxations, and adjusted if necessary. This way, you're much less likely to have a return of symptoms that brought you into the office in the first place, and you will be in better overall health. This is preventative health care.
What can I do to keep myself from getting subluxated again and to stay healthy?
This is an excellent question! Dr. Mendes' article, Ten Things You Can Do To Stay Healthy, can give you more information.
Is Chiropractic good for children?
Short answer? Yes! Click here to learn more.
"One of my friends told me that she had a friend who went to a chiropractor, and he got addicted to chiropractic!" Can that really happen?
Well, not really. Many chiropractic patients become aware of the way they feel when they are adjusted and properly aligned, and can tell the difference between that and when they are subluxated. Naturally, these people want to go to the chiropractor when they realize they are out of alignment, but this does not mean they are addicted. It just means that they prefer their body to be in a state of homeostasis (that means equilibrium, it's a big word for health) rather than a state of tension. Preferably, as your chiropractic care progresses you will need to be seen less and less frequently - which is the opposite of addiction.