Frequently Asked Questions

What training is required to be a doctor of chiropractic?

  • Every doctor of chiropractic (DC) must graduate from a nationally accredited DC program.  The education is four years and most schools require a bachelor’s degree for admission.  Along with the education, each DC has to pass the national board examinations that are broken down into four parts.

(www.nbce.org) Finally, each DC must meet the state requirements and pass the required exams for each state they practice in.

Why do chiropractors perform an extensive history and exam?

  • Pain can be caused by many disorders, some are treatable by a DC but many others are not.  Many non-musculoskeletal symptoms can be caused by problems that require another type of doctor such as cancer, organ problems or complications with the cardiovascular system.  The history and exam is designed to identify any red or yellow flags that would be contraindicated for chiropractic treatment.  When these flags are recognized a proper referral to another medical professional will be made.   If the symptoms are derived from the musculoskeletal system then the cause must be identified so it can be properly treated.

How safe is chiropractic care?

  • Chiropractic manipulation is a safe and effective treatment for musculoskeletal pain including back and neck pain.  There are minimal risks and they are best outlined in a recent article posted on the American Chiropractic Association. (LINK HERE)  The most common complaint for spinal manipulation is mild soreness that lasts less than 24 hours.  Generally, patients are at a greater risk for serious injury by driving to the office then by the actual treatment.

I only see my MD once, why do I see my DC multiple times?

  • MDs primary treatment for many ailments is a prescription, something you take multiple times.  Chiropractic care is hands on, and performed by the DC.  These adjustments are like taking the medication and are delivered multiple times to be effective.  Each patient is different and the frequency and number of treatments is determined by the individual patient’s make up and their condition.

What is the popping sound with adjustments?

  • During a chiropractic manipulation to help restore motion and alignment the affected joints are gapped.  There are micro amounts of nitrogen gas evenly distributed in the joint.  When it is gapped, all the nitrogen gas condenses (cavitation) and makes a noise as it does so.  This is why there is a refractory period with audible joint popping; the gas has to diffuse once again.  The pop does not mean the adjustment was a success, it just means the joint was gapped.