Chiropractic FAQs

Is a chiropractor a real doctor?

A chiropractor is licensed by his or her state chiropractic licensing board as a "Doctor of Chiropractic," but a chiropractor is not a medical doctor. Chiropractors attend 4-year graduate programs and learn much of the same information as medical doctors, however, the majority of chiropractors do not seek to treat medical conditions. Their objective, rather, is to improve the function of the nervous system, improve the alignment of the joints (particularly those of the spinal column), and help facilitate the body's natural healing mechanisms. State regulations and laws dictate what chiropractors in each state are allowed to do under the scope of their chiropractic license. For example, chiropractors in the state of Oregon are legally allowed to deliver babies and perform minor, in-office surgical procedures. For the most part chiropractors in all states are allowed to make medical diagnoses, make referrals to specialists, perform physical therapies, take x-rays, and adjust the joints of the body. With specialized postgraduate training some chiropractors are also allowed to provide other services such as acupuncture, diagnostic ultrasound, and dry needling.

Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?

While some chiropractic techniques are not appropriate to use on patients during pregnancy, chiropractors are trained to take precautions during adjusting sessions with moms-to-be, making it quite safe. In fact, women often report great relief from pregnancy-induced symptoms throughout all three trimesters, an easier delivery, and quicker healing postpartum.

Is chiropractic safe for children?

Chiropractic has been shown to be very safe, and additionally, very effective. Most chiropractors see children of all ages. In fact, most chiropractors adjust their own children from the day they are born. Research indicates that 60-90 pounds of force is used during normal hospital deliveries, which has the potential to cause damage and misalignment to a newborns spine and nervous system. Falls during the toddler stage and traumas caused by recreational activities are also well-known stressors on children's spines. Most chiropractors agree, the earlier children can get their spines checked and adjusted the better.

Does chiropractic help with the immune system?

At its core, chiropractic is intended to improve the function of the nervous system, which in turn improves the immune system. Ronald Pero, Ph.D., chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute as well as a professor of medicine at New York University conducted a study with 107 participants to measure immune function as it relates to chiropractic care. He found a 200% increase in immune function of patients under chiropractic care versus those not under care.

Does it hurt to get adjusted by a chiropractor?

Typically, patients receiving an adjustment by a chiropractor experience an immediate relief of pain and/or tension. A small amount of soreness may occur hours following an adjustment. This is caused by joint inflammation caused by the subtle movement of the joint space. We recommend using ice or a topical cryotherapy following chiropractic sessions to reduce the joint inflammation and prevent, at least in part, soreness. There are also some risks associated with being adjusted when a chiropractor uses specific manual techniques. Risks do include increased pain, muscle strain, joint sprain, swelling, bruising, and in extreme cases VBAI (see 'Can a chiropractic adjustment cause a stroke?') and fractures. Instrument and gentle force techniques like those used at The Well-Being Studio help to reduce or eliminate the possibility of these risks. The chiropractor uses a variety of methods of treatment and will choose the safest, most appropriate one for your individual case.

Can a chiropractic adjustment cause a stroke?

In very rare cases, a manual chiropractic adjustment may cause a stroke or vertebral basilar artery infarction. A direct cause-and-effect link has not been established. Historically, incidents in which a patient experienced a stroke within 7 days of a chiropractic adjustment involved the patient's pre-existing condition (some patients have a weakened arterial wall that is prone to tearing with extreme neck movements). Statistics based on this historical data show a 0.0012% probability of experiencing a stroke following a manual chiropractic adjustment of the neck. Some stroke cases in the past have simply been correlated to chiropractic adjustment because patient's often seek the care of chiropractors when experiencing identical symptoms to those of stroke symptoms (e.g. headache, dizziness, neck pain, blurry vision, etc). Many techniques used at The Well-Being Studio are gentle and carry zero risk of causing stroke.

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