Once I start seeing a chiropractor, do I have to go forever? No. We will determine if chiropractic care can be helpful by taking a history, performing a physical examination, and possibly taking X-rays. If chiropractic care is warranted, we will recommend a treatment plan and outline how much time it might take to reach the goals of the plan. If chiropractic care is not indicated, we will suggest other sources of help, and make an appropriate referral. Every case is different, and each person’s response varies.
Will I have to come back for a long time? No. Our greatest satisfaction is allowing our patients to return to an active lifestyle in the shortest time frame possible. Our care is based on patient needs and case complexity, not cookie-cutter treatment plans. In addition to reducing tension and discomfort, we also teach a variety of strategies to prevent a problem from returning. Our active care approach requires patient participation. The closer our recommendations are followed, the faster and longer a patient is likely to remain pain free and functioning maximally.
How often do I have to be seen? It depends on the severity of the condition. People also heal at different rates and have varying treatment goals. Some patients see a chiropractor as part of a preventative health strategy, while others seek treatment for more acute problems.
How do I know when I have completed my treatment? The end of treatment is usually based on the achievement of mutual goals established by the doctor and patient. In addition to achieving pain relief, we encourage our patients to focus on reaching activity and performance goals as a measurement of care completion. The temporary relief of pain does not always lead to long-term success. While many of our patients enjoy immediate pain relief following a treatment, it may take a follow-up visit to completely address the dysfunction and prevent this injury or tension from recurring. Clinical research proves that our active approach to health care will lead to lasting physical improvements if performed according to your doctor’s instructions. Thus, adhering to the doctor’s treatment program can prevent future office visits and costs.
Is chiropractic care expensive? Chiropractic care is very affordable compared to other forms of treatment. It can even save money by avoiding other costly medical procedures.
Does my insurance cover chiropractic care? We are providers for most insurance companies. Ask our front desk assistants, or call our office at 248-644-9495 to inquire further.
How many people see chiropractors? About 20 million people each year.
How much education is required to become a doctor of chiropractic? Four years of chiropractic schooling is required after completing specific, undergraduate requirements. The classes in chiropractic school are very similar to medical school; however, chiropractic students spend more time on anatomy, nutrition and chiropractic technique, while medical students spend more time on pathology and pharmacology.
Are all chiropractors the same? No, not at all. Many people are surprised to learn that most chiropractors practice differently. Based on our studies, travels, clinical research and experience, we understand that the combination of joint manipulation, muscular therapy, functional rehabilitation and therapeutic exercises delivers superior outcomes. Our knowledge of anatomy and the body’s mechanics, coupled with our manipulative techniques provides us with the insight to know when a joint should be adjusted, when muscular or rehabilitative therapy is appropriate, and when an integrated treatment program is necessary.
Do chiropractors refer patients to other specialists? Like other doctors, chiropractors belong to a large and growing network of health care professionals. Our doctors are well educated and fully capable of recognizing potentially serious risk factors. If a medical doctor, or specialist best addresses a patient’s problem, we will not hesitate to recommend the appropriate referral. Likewise, medical doctors in the community have served as an excellence referral source for our clinic when their patient’s needs are best met with our comprehensive chiropractic services. This referral network is a win-win for our patients.
What are the licensing requirements to practice Chiropractic in the state of Michigan? Licensing requires graduation from a nationally accredited school of chiropractic, and passing parts I, II, III and IV national board exams (www.nbce.org).
What is a chiropractic adjustment? An adjustment is the primary method of treatment utilized by doctors of chiropractic. Chiropractic adjustments are performed on spinal joints that have been diagnosed as being hypomobile, fixated or dysfunctional. There are also various adjustment techniques. Typically, adjustments are applied by hand on a specific joint or spinal segment, with a low force and controlled velocity. To learn more about the chiropractic techniques we practice, click here.
Should an adjustment ever hurt? Most chiropractic adjustments are painless. In fact, adjustments help most patients enjoy immediate pain relief. However, if the patient has suffered from a recent injury, adjustments can sometimes cause slight discomfort as the tissues surrounding the dysfunction are usually inflamed. This is why our doctors offer a combination of muscle and joint manipulation to treat complex cases and minimize discomfort. Other patients may experience sensations in their muscles or extremities following an adjustment. This is a normal reaction caused by the relief of pressure that was once plaguing nerves. Some scientists also associate this feeling with an increase in circulation achieved once the irritant is removed from the nerve.
What effect does a chiropractic adjustment have on joints? Research shows that chiropractic manipulation can actually prevent arthritis by restoring proper motion to spinal joints. The restoration of joint function provides the cartilage and disc with improved blood supply, which helps to inhibit pain, reduce muscle spasm and inflammation.
Is it safe to adjust myself? Concern has been raised over the safety of people who try to adjust themselves. Research proves that only experts in spinal manipulation (chiropractors and osteopaths) can ensure that an adjustment is performed safely. Often times, a “self adjustment” produces movement in joints near the dysfunctional area, not in the primary area of dysfunction. This can cause harmful friction to surrounding joint structures and further aggravate the restricted and dysfunctional area. The best advice: Don’t try to do it yourself. Seek the expertise of your chiropractor.
What makes the cracking and popping noise when an adjustment is delivered? The audible noise stems from the release of a nitrogen gas that is located within a joint lubricant, called synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is made up of dissolved gases and is found in joints throughout your body. An adjustment releases the built up pressure, which is caused by a restriction in a joints range of motion.
Why should I see the doctors at Birmingham Chiropractic Clinic and not my family doctor for back or muscle pain? The doctors at BCC have undergone extensive and specialized training in the fields of musculoskeletal anatomy, biomechanics, sports injuries, and rehabilitative exercise. As a result, when it comes to acute or chronic injuries of the joints or muscles, the doctors at BCC are well suited to meet your needs.
According to Jens Chapman, M.D., a professor of orthopedics and neurological surgery at the University of Washington, “Chiropractors are a satisfying choice to manage acute back pain.” Further, a 2002 study funded by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality reported a third more patients are satisfied with the back treatment and advice they get from chiropractors compared with medical doctors.
I don’t want to be adjusted. Is this a necessary part of the treatment? Every patient is unique. Chiropractic adjustments are appropriate for certain conditions, but are not absolutely necessary. You and your doctor will determine which ways are best for your body.
How long does it usually take to get better from a back pain episode? About 80% of people with lower back pain are 80% better within 2-4 weeks.
Can a person see a chiropractor if they have had back or neck surgery? Yes, especially in our office. We utilize the most current, evidence-based treatment procedures, which are safe for post-operative patients. Rehabilitation, postural advice and joint-specific stretches are also performed in our office to help stabilize and strengthen post-surgical spinal patients.
Can children be helped with chiropractic treatment? Chiropractic care can be helpful in treating people of all ages. Chiropractic adjustments have shown to benefit children with persistent ear infections, colic, reflux, wry neck/torticollis, delayed motor development, and stomach and intestinal dysfunction. The primary goal of chiropractic for children and adults is to restore spinal and extremity joint function, which enhances the body’s nervous and immune system. Infants and children typically require fewer treatments.
Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I am pregnant? Yes. Chiropractic can be very beneficial for pregnant moms.
Can you help with spinal stenosis? Spinal stenosis is a common condition. It is typically seen in the aging population when a narrowing spinal canal compresses the spinal cord, or a spinal nerve. Many patients find relief with specific decompression techniques, which are performed at Birmingham Chiropractic Clinic.
Can you help with a pinched nerve? Yes. Pinched nerves in the neck or low back can cause arm or leg symptoms such as numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. We will perform the necessary examination to diagnose this condition correctly and treat it appropriately.
Can I see you for headache pain? Absolutely. Chiropractic along with postural and ergonomic advice is a proven approach for many headaches. Occasionally, multidisciplinary management with other specialists is required and a team approach is utilized.
If my MRI shows a herniated disc can you help me? Herniated discs are very common. They are even present in people who have no symptoms. Experts say that spinal changes like herniated discs and arthritis are related to age (similar to graying hair and wrinkling skin), not symptoms. It appears that the difference between a person with a herniated disc who has symptoms, and one who has no symptoms, has to do with how well his or her body is able to stabilize itself.
If I have sciatica do I need surgery? If sciatica persists for 2-3 months and is causing progressive muscle weakness, a surgical consult should be considered. A more urgent surgical consult is warranted with bowel or bladder incontinence and weakening of the legs. However, 90% of people with sciatica will improve with conservative care alone.
An interesting scientific study showed that there was no difference in the outcome of those who had surgery vs. those that did not after 2 or 10 years. Neurosurgeon Edward Caragee, M.D. from Stanford University wrote that the decision to operate is not a medical one, but is a social one. If your condition is not improving within 12 weeks then you may get better quicker with surgery. But, eventually, even without surgery, if you can manage the pain then you will have the same result either way.