What is a Chiropractor and how do I know if I should see one?

Chiropractors generally treat musculoskeletal dysfunction (muscles and joints) and use a variety of tools and techniques to accomplish improved overall movement, decreased pain, and discussing overall health with the patient. Like many other health professions, chiropractors can work in a general practice setting or specialize. The most common specialties include: sports,  pediatrics/pregnancy, geriatrics, preventative care, rehabilitation, and many more.

The truth is chiropractors come with many philosophies and ideologies. Some chiropractors recommend preventative treatment plans that require weekly adjustments for lengthy periods of time, while others suggest short term treatment plans to address acute conditions that taper off as patients return to pain free. We recommend a treatment plan based on patient goals, and improving functional movement limitations determined during the initial exam. This means that even after the pain is gone, we still want to work with you until you’re moving at optimal performance.

Is the chiropractic office the right place for you?

Chiropractors work very well with muscle and joint conditions. Most chiropractors focus on the patient’s overall health, so they will discuss diet and exercise as an important part of your journey to recovery. If you have low back pain, headaches, tight muscles, etc. then the chiropractor is probably the best place to start. Some chiropractors argue great immune system benefits of an adjustment, and many patients would agree with this. However, it is best to check with your primary care physician first when displaying cold/flu like symptoms.

So how do you know if a chiropractor is the right one for you and your needs?

We suggest reading online reviews and asking friends and family members about their experience with their chiropractor. A doctor’s website is always a great place to find information about the doctor’s passions, techniques, and certifications.  Ask about what continuing education they have completed or if they have any additional certifications outside of their Doctor of Chiropractic.  So just to reiterate, a sports chiropractor would not be ideal if you are looking for relief during your pregnancy!  So ask around and find the right one for you!

Do I need a referral to see a chiropractor?

Nope! While there are rare occasions some insurance providers will refuse coverage without a referral, chiropractors are actually considered primary care physicians. This means that we can be the first stop for your back pain or your other issues! We specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. That means when you’re feeling stiff or you “tweaked” your knee that we are a great place to start.

A meta-analysis completed in 2017 by the Journal of the American Medical Association supported the use of spinal manipulative therapies in acute low back pain. In other words, adjustments are seen as a safe and effective option before continuing to drug treatments or surgery.

What is the "popping" noise when I go to the chiropractor?!?

In the same way “popping” your knuckles makes a sound. The majority of the joints in your body have the ability to “popped”, more than you probably think. This happens when negative pressure is created within a synovial joint(most joints of the body). This is a very normal part of a typical adjustment and causes minimal discomfort, if any.

This should not be confused with a “snapping” or “clicking” sound that may be heard when you have injured a tendon or ligament. Those sounds typically occur from friction forces caused by rubbing into other anatomy in the body such as your bones.

You may also experience a noisy knee, elbow, or back as you age. This is actually called crepitus. Crepitus describes any grinding, cracking, crunching, or popping that you experience when moving a joint. Crepitus in isolation is usually no major concern, however if it is accompanied by pain or is preventing you from doing what you like to do then you should visit your chiropractor for further evaluation.