Frequently Asked Questions in Cedar Falls
Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about chiropractors in Cedar Falls. Knowing the answers to these important questions will help you pick the best chiropractor in Cedar Falls for you. If we didn't cover a question you may have, give Core Family Chiropractic a call at (319) 553-6241 and we will be more than happy to help answer your question.
A chiropractor is a doctor in which specializes in neuromuscular disorders and how they impact our physical and mental health. They believe the human body can heal itself with help from chiropractic treatments, such as spinal manipulation and spinal decompression. Despite common misconceptions, chiropractors are not trained to reject Western medicine. Instead, they learn techniques that complement the treatment plans recommended by primary care physicians and other medical providers.
Chiropractors believe the body’s musculoskeletal structure must be aligned correctly to prevent health issues. Chiropractic care draws upon this belief, which is why chiropractors often focus on the condition of your spine. Each patient receives care tailored toward their unique symptoms. When you visit a chiropractor, services may include manual manipulation, spinal decompression, laser therapy, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, or cryotherapy. Chiropractic treatments are non-surgical and non-invasive.
Chiropractors adjust or manipulation the spine using a manual or instrument procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands or an instrument to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient's pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.
Mounting evidence proves that chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments, especially for patients with back pain. Here are just a few of the latest research findings regarding the effectiveness of spinal manipulation.
A person who seeks chiropractic treatment after an injury to the lumbar (low back) region of the spine before seeking treatment with an allopathic doctor is much less likely to have spinal surgery.
In a study published in The Spine Journal, researchers reviewed 699 studies of spinal manipulation treatments as compared to other types of treatments that included exercise, medication, mobilization, and sham (placebo) treatments. Researchers found that five to ten sessions of spinal manipulation therapy over two to four weeks was just as effective as other treatments, if not more, in the majority of studies. Unlike other treatments in the studies, there were no side effects reported for spinal manipulation.
A large-scale consumer survey carried out by Consumer Reports found that chiropractic care outperformed all other treatments for back pain. This includes outperforming traditional prescription medications in managing pain.
Researchers from the University of Florida found that patients who received spinal manipulation experienced less pain as a direct result of their treatment.
Chiropractors are a very useful part of a pain management team. Learn more about even more cutting-edge chiropractic research in our other post on the subject.
In short, yes. Chiropractic care for pain can be a non-invasive treatment option for a wide variety of complaints that one may experience. There have been numerous studies that indicate that chiropractic care is a great way to approach many different pain conditions.
Neck pain and back pain are the two pain conditions best served by chiropractic care, especially when combined with other treatments.
One study found rapid improvement of neck pain over physical therapy, medications, and surgery alone. This study is notable for its size and the scientific validity of its approach. Another study looked at successful treatments over a year and found that chiropractic care worked better than physiotherapy and general practitioner care.
For lower back pain, the most common pain condition addressed with chiropractic care, there are many different studies that indicate that it works. One study that focused on military veterans found that chiropractic care decreased pain and improved function better than traditional treatments of lower back pain alone.
Another study found that those patients who used chiropractic care for pain had a 90% reduction in pain over four weeks, much higher than traditional medical care (56%).
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest non-drug, non-invasive forms of health care 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.
When discussing the risks of any healthcare 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 (i.e. over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and prescription painkillers) are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation.
Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that overuse and abuse of prescription opioid pain medications is among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States.
Traditional, more interventional, treatments like surgery can have serious side effects that are long-term. With chiropractic care, the side effects, if any, may be a bit of soreness that is usually gone within a day. Typically, side effects may include minor soreness at the area of treatment. Mayo Clinic also reports that some patients may experience headache or fatigue following the procedure.
The cost of care is an important aspect of pain treatments, especially when that treatment is long-term. A claims analysis of all of the fully insured patients with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee found that patients who initiated care with a doctor of chiropractic rather than an allopathic doctor had 40% lower paid-for costs (the costs that come directly from a patient’s pocket).
Further, recent research into chiropractic care: talking to a chiropractor first often results in more affordable and more successful treatments:
“A recent study of 719 patients who first initiated contact through a Swiss telemedical service found that talking to a doctor of chiropractic first not only saves money but is also as effective as more traditional treatments. Researchers administered a questionnaire to spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients who called the telemedical service for advice. Of the study participants, 403 saw regular medical doctors and 316 saw chiropractors. Patients seeing medical doctors first had significantly higher medical costs and significantly lower reduction in pain than those who chose chiropractic pain management.”
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. They are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches using their highly skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. DCs also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions may involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. In addition, chiropractors offer advice to patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
Pregnant women frequently get amazing results from chiropractic. Chiropractors are trained in special techniques for adjusting pregnant women, such as Webster Technique. Because of the inability to take medication for pain, the natural approaches of chiropractic are the logical choice for pregnant women. More and more, obstetricians are referring to chiropractors due to the effectiveness of spinal adjustments for pain relief. Lastly, women under chiropractic care have a significantly faster delivery than those who are not, studies show as much as 60%.
Chiropractors may be able to help relieve pain or symptoms related to:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Fertility issues
- Ear infection
- Frequently occurring colds or the flu
- Gastrointestinal syndromes
- Intervertebral disc syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Menstrual disorders (e.g., pre-menstrual syndrome)
Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.
Many chiropractors, including Dr. Brad at Core Family Chiropractic, treat children. In fact, some parents bring their children in for visits shortly after birth. Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for vertebral subluxation. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for the child's spine. Many childhood health complaints can be traced back to nerve interference somewhere in the spine. If you wait until your child gets older, you may notice they have neck or back pain. These are common complaints regardless of whether your kids lead active or sedentary lifestyles. Active kids can knock their spine out of alignment as they run, jump, or fall. Kids who log plenty of screen time often experience neck pain or aches in their wrists. So, yes, chiropractic care is appropriate for children.
"Subluxation" is a term used by some chiropractors to describe a spinal vertebra that is out of position in comparison to the other vertebrae, possibly resulting in functional loss and determining where the chiropractor should manipulate the spine.
There are three basic causes of vertebral subluxation. Physical stresses on the spine and nervous system may include slips and falls, motor vehicle accidents, repetitive motion, and improper sleeping. Chemical stress includes smoking, alcohol abuse, not drinking enough water, improper diet, or the overuse of drugs or medications. Finally, emotional stress is a major cause of subluxation due to its effect on the hormonal and muscular systems of the body. Regardless of the cause, these subluxations need to be detected and removed.
Unfortunately, research shows that up to one-half of those who have spinal surgery report a relapse of their original symptoms within months or years. This common occurrence is known as "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome," and usually results in the necessity of additional procedures. Chiropractic care may prevent repetitive surgeries, or better yet, if used initially, may help avoid surgery in the first place.
A pinched nerve is a rare occurrence. Most likely, the pain you are experiencing is an adjacent spinal bone out of its proper alignment, causing irritation, slight compression, or stretching of a nerve. These misalignments, called vertebral subluxations, can distort the impulses being sent between the brain and the body. Any interference to these nerve signals can produce disorders in the tissues and organs.