Frequently asked questions
Q. What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is based on the theory that fixated or misaligned vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine) can have a harmful effect on the nervous system, affecting how certain nerve signals are transmitted to and from the brain. This is not only detrimental to the muscles and joints of the human body, but may also affect the organs, including the brain itself.
Since Chiropractic began, many advances have been made in our knowledge of the human body and how Chiropractic care can affect it. Chiropractic has continuously shown itself to be extremely effective at treating many of the diseases and injuries that can befall us including, but not limited to, acute and chronic back and neck pain, headaches, muscle/tendon/ligament injuries, ‘whiplash’ injuries, etc.
As chiropractors, our main focus is on conditions of the spine, but we also treat other joints in the body, such as shoulders, knees, ankles and wrists. We address not only the joint dysfunction of many conditions, but we also work on the muscular aspect. Chiropractic is also one of the safest treatments in modern healthcare, with none of the risks that are associated with drugs or surgery.
Q: What conditions do you treat?
A. Chiropractors are well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches, but we also treat many other musculoskeletal issues, from the shoulders down to the feet. The range of musculoskeletal conditions we can treat is too extensive to list here, so please contact us to see if we can help you. We also counsel our patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modifications.
Q. Do you take insurance?
A. No. After long consideration, we came to the decision that we wanted to make our practice budget-friendly, so we decided on a "cash-only" practice. We do not take any form of private insurance, and we do not deal with government insurance programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Workers' Compensation, etc. This allows us to keep our fees as low as possible, while still being able to provide high quality chiropractic care. We do not like the idea of insurance companies attempting to direct the type and extent of chiropractic care that may be necessary to get you back to being functional without pain.
For non-Medicare health insurance, we are considered "out-of-network". To find out about your out-of-network benefits, call the customer service number on your insurance card and inquire about your chiropractic coverage. We do not bill or directly communicate with insurance companies; however, we are happy to provide you with a "superbill" that includes the information you need to file a claim. Any reimbursement will then be mailed directly to you from your insurance company. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) the "superbill" will also validate your expenses in our office as healthcare-related to those entities. Payment for each visit is required at the time of service.
Medicare/Medicaid: As discussed above, we currently do not accept any government insurance programs.
Q. What should I expect during a first visit?
A. Like a visit to any other healthcare provider, we will take a history of your complaint and perform a physical examination. If chiropractic treatment is appropriate for your condition, then we can usually begin treatment on the same day. There may be occasions, such as when imaging studies are needed, when treatment may be delayed until the next visit. Your health and safety is our prime concern.
Q. How often should I get treated?
A. This ultimately depends on the type and severity of the condition, and your response to treatment. Our goal is to get you back to function and out of pain as quickly as possible, and to be there only when you need us. Usually, we know within 3 to 4 treatments your response to treatment and the frequency and duration of care that will be required. Many acute conditions can be addressed in only a few treatments, but chronic issues may take longer, and may require periodic care for flare ups.
Q. What types of treatment do you do?
A. We are chiropractors, so expect chiropractic adjustments, when appropriate. We also perform soft tissues therapies, including the Graston Technique (a form of aggressive soft tissue therapy designed to break up adhesions and scar tissue). Some patients only need soft tissue therapies, but most of our patients require chiropractic adjusting, soft tissue therapy and counseling. We want our patients to take control of their health, so we give counseling on home exercises, diet, supplements, activity modifications, etc. If other forms or treatment are necessary, then we will refer you to an appropriate healthcare provider. We have no egos to bruise regarding where you seek your healthcare, our only concern is that you are getting the best possible healthcare for your needs.
Q. Is chiropractic treatment safe?
A: Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation, which improves joint mobility in the neck, restores range of motion and reduces muscle spasm, thus relieving pressure and tension. Neck manipulation, when performed by a skilled and well-educated professional such as a doctor of chiropractic, is a remarkably safe procedure.
Some reports have associated high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain rare kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection. However, evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously in patients who have pre-existing arterial disease. These dissections have been associated with everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care — often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician — but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare—about one to three cases in 100,000 patients who get treated with a course of care. This is similar to the incidence of this type of stroke among the general population.
If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.
When discussing the risks of any health care procedure, it is important to look at that risk in comparison to other treatments available for the same condition. In this regard, the risks of serious complications from spinal manipulation for conditions such as neck pain and headache compare very favorably with even the most conservative care options. For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — over-the-counter or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prescription painkillers — are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation.
Doctors of chiropractic are well trained professionals who provide patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, even if that requires referral to a medical specialist.
Q: Do you require a referral from an MD?
A: No. Just give us a phone call to make an appointment.
Q: Do you refer to other healthcare providers?
A: Absolutely. If we feel that a referral to another appropriate healthcare provider is necessary, then we will refer you. This may occur if we feel that chiropractic is not the best healthcare option for your condition, if we feel that adjunctive care is needed, or if you do not respond sufficiently to chiropractic care. Our top priority is to help you get back to function and to get out of pain, and this can mean referring you to other healthcare providers or co-managing your condition with other healthcare providers.
Q. Do you take X-rays?
A: We do not take X-rays in-office. We can refer you to an imaging center for X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc, and the imaging studies will be performed by qualified imaging technicians and read by radiologists. We believe it is in your best interests to have imaging only when medically necessary, not as a standard part of an initial exam.
Q: Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
A: Yes, children can benefit from a very gentle form of chiropractic care. Pediatric chiropractic care has the goal of restoring motion to the joints and keeping the growing body as biomechanically balanced as possible. Care can be given from birth and can help with colic, breastfeeding challenges, and sleep issues. Older children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living, as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle. We have had very good results with the many children we have treated.
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