Frequently Asked Questions
Will it hurt?
It usually depends on how bad you hurt when you walk into the office. Remember, I am going to be putting a thrust into already-tender tissues. That being said, I want to cause as little discomfort as possible and still get the job done. The methodologies I use help to minimize the pain. Generally, the most painful thing I do is muscle work, and that is just applying pressure with a fingertip to a knotted muscle for a few seconds. Those muscles can be surprisingly tender, but that therapy is very effective at breaking down the knot. The patient always has full verbal control. If it is too painful, tell me!
Are you going to pop my neck?
Different people have different concepts of what "popping the neck" is. The pop or snap you often hear as a result of an adjustment is a side effect. It is not the goal. I don't care if your back "pops." Getting a stuck joint moving is the goal. Sometimes when that happens, a "pop" is created. It is the same sound you hear when someone "cracks" their knuckles. Almost all patients who were initially very concerned find an adjustment, including neck adjustments, to be much easier than they expected.
I didn't do anything! How could this happen?
There are numerous causes for the joints to malfunction. Improper lifting is probably the most obvious. But, causes can be very insidious and can happen over weeks, months or even years. A chair or seat you use, your bed and/or your pillow are three of the most common causes of back or neck pain - and you aren't doing anything: you are at rest! Talking on the phone with the phone pinched between ear and shoulder is a very common cause of neck and/or upper thoracic/shoulder pain. Postures you use sitting (one leg tucked up under you is just one), standing (young mothers with a child perched on one hip) or lying (lying on your back with your chin pushed toward your chest so you can read or watch TV easier) are all easily causative factors.
How long will it take me to get well?
Different people respond at different speeds. The same person can respond differently on different episodes. Contributing variables include: the severity of the damage, the location of the damage, the cause of the problem (woke up with a stiff neck vs. rear-ended in an auto accident), aggravating factors (it hurts to stand, and you work as a cashier), diet and sleep to mention just a few. Because of this, I do not practice "cookbook" chiropractic where a set formula is followed. Every case is different.
My doctor says "Never go to a chiropractor, and if you do, never let them adjust your neck!"
This is a hard one to handle because it involves misinformation and/or prejudice - and potentially stupidity and/or malice. In our 113 years as a profession, there have been documented reports of patients having severe mishaps related to chiropractic care. The numbers are so rare as to be almost statistically non-existent. As an example, if 50,000 chiropractors adjust only 2 neck joints on 30 patients a day, that is 3,000,000 (three Million) thrusts to the neck per day. If one per million produced a deadly outcome, that would be 3 per day or 15 per week, or 66 per month, or 792 per year. There is not confirmed documentation of that nearly that number in our entire history, let alone in one year. Statistics gathered regarding the allopathic (MD) practitioners start at (depending on the source) about 100,000 deaths per year due directly to MD intervention (many of which are medication related). I have seen statistics as high as 260,000 iatrogenic (physician-caused) deaths per year. These are not patients that have not been able to be saved by M.D.'s; these are people that would not have died and did because of M.D. treatment. Statistically, you are at least 126 times more likely to die at the hands of a Doctor of Medicine than at the hands of a Doctor of Chiropractic. Yet, you will not hear me say, "Never go to a Medical Doctor, and if you do, don't ever let them give you drugs." One more group of statistics: you have a 1 in 5600 chance of dying in a car accident this year (50,000 deaths/year in a 280,000,000 population = 1 in 5,600 people per year). Medical deaths: 100,000 deaths per year (low figure) in 280,000,000 population = 1 in 2,800 people per year (you are statistically at least two times more likely to die from medical care than from car accidents.) Chiropractic neck adjustments (using the way-too-frequent "one in-a-million thrusts" scenario): 792 deaths per year in a 280,000,000 population = 1 in 353,535 people per year. A neck adjustment is much, much safer than riding in a car or visiting your M.D.