Chiropractic Treatment: What You Should Know
What you should know about chiropractic treatments. As a chiropractor, this is a question that I answer for patients all the time. As many of you know, I am a chiropractor in Inverness, FL. In my office, Moss Chiropractic of Inverness, we treat many, many different conditions and typically have amazing results. I wanted to share with you a few things that I've experienced in my office and questions that are related to that experience.
- Chiropractic is the most cost effective approach to back pain, neck pain, headaches and many other conditions.
- Chiropractic treatments are safe and effective.
- Nothing in the body heals immediately, it will take some time.
- A typical treatment time is about 5-10 minutes, more if other therapies are utilized.
- There are many different ways to adjust the spine, some are more physical than others.
- Most adjustments are painless, occasionally - especially if the area is spasmed or already hurts - the adjustment may be somewhat uncomfortable for a second or two.
- The 'crack' sound doesn't actually mean that the adjustment was made, nor does every technique of adjusting cause a 'cracking' sound.
- Not everyone should get adjusted. (cancer, other reasons)
- Does insurance pay for Chiropractic care?
Example: Spinal surgery costs anywhere from $25,000 for laser surgery that is NOT covered by insurance, to over $150,000 for spinal fusion with prosthetics (rods and screws). In many cases chiropractic, combined with Spinal Decompression Therapy and Laser Pain Therapy the same or better results can be accomplished for a fraction of the cost, usually less than the 'out-of-pocket' costs of surgery from a typical insurance policy.
Pain Management... is another way of saying take drugs for the rest of your life to mask the pain. This MAY be necessary for some, especially after a failed spinal surgery, but not most. It will never 'fix' the problem and was never intended to fix the problem. Spinal injections for pain range from $600-$2500 EACH. Patients are only allowed 3 of these injections per year due to the degradation of the joints from the chemicals being injected. Not a fix, but very expensive AND causes more damage along the way.
2. The real statistics show that Chiropractic is safer than taking aspirin. A person is more likely to get hit by lightening TWICE than to be injured by a chiropractor. Incredible! Unfortunately there are a few incidents where a Chiropractor was at fault and actually injured the patient. Because this is so rare, it usually makes the news. If you really want to know how safe a chiropractic adjustment is, go to the people who keep the statistics - the Insurance companies. Malpractice insurance for a Chiropractor in Florida costs about $2900/year. Chiropractors are probably not even in the top 500 for what can kill you, while iatrogenic deaths are ranked in the top 4. By the way, iatrogenic means doctor or hospital caused. That's right, the 'healthcare' system in this country is in the top 4 of ways to die. Scary!
3. Nothing in the body heals immediately! It takes the human body at a minimum of 4-6 weeks to begin to heal ANYTHING. Just because we want it to take less time, doesn't mean that it will. Don't believe me? Next time you cut yourself, see how long it takes for the area to become NORMAL again, not just scabbed over. It actually may take months for the skin to become normal looking again with no scar or discoloration from the original injury - it may NEVER be completely normal again depending on the severity of the injury and your body's ability to heal.
That being said, the typical injuries that we see in our office will take approximately 3 months to fully treat, though pain relief and use of the injured area should be accomplished MUCH sooner than that. A patient can expect at least a 50% decrease in pain and a 25% increase in range of motion within the first 4 weeks, typical results are closer to 80+% pain relief in this time frame.
A disc injury takes approximately 305 days to heal, that's basically 10 months. So, if a patient enters into a chiropractic office presenting with a bulging or herniated disc, it is very likely that it will take almost a year to get that disc to heal as well as it can. This is why when we have patients come in with bulging and/or herniated discs, we put them on a 1 year plan that includes the therapies and techniques necessary to help that patient, such as Laser Therapy. It only makes sense to not only get it to heal, but then support it along the way to ensure the best possible outcome.
4. How long does it take? This varies by doctor, but it typically takes 5-10 minutes to adjust a patient. Often times, especially in the first visits, other therapies may be utilized for muscle spasm and pain management. This will take additional time, but most patients are in and out in under 30 minutes.
5. Do you have to crack my back? In a word, no. There are MANY different techniques in chiropractic. At Moss Chiropractic of Inverness, we utilize as many as 8 different techniques, depending on the needs of the patient. Typically we use a technique called Thompson Terminal Point (or drop) Technique, as well as Koren Specific Technique, Gonstead, Diversified and an Arthrostim electric adjusting tool. The Arthrostim is amazing and you will never get a 'crack' from it. All of these techniques are amazing and give Dr. Moss a lot of different ways to adjust the patient, depending on their needs or wants.
6. Most adjustments are painless! There are times when they are uncomfortable for a second or two. It's kind of like when someone jams a finger, it is silly to think that they will be able to move that finger without some discomfort. It already hurts.
7. What is the cracking sound? The cracking sound is simply a cavitation of the joint. That means that the gases that are in solution in the synovial fluid are pulled out of solution momentarily and it makes a 'popping' sound. Though many patients think this means that their vertebra moved and the adjustment has been completed, this is not always so. Many times it just popped. Knowing the difference is only one skill that a Doctor of Chiropractic is taught in school. Everyone knows that we can 'pop' each other's backs, the difference is was it done in a manner that helps the body to heal, or just made a pop. I've had many patients come in after someone 'popped' their back, and it took weeks to get them straightened out again - including a cracked rib or two.
8. Not everyone should get adjusted. There are some patients that should not be adjusted because of pathology in their body. It is not advised to adjust a patient with bone cancer, as the bone may have the consistency of chalk and will simply break under any pressure at all, including a chiropractic adjustment. There are other pathologies or malformations that do not allow for a chiropractic adjustment as well. Chiropractors are trained to look for these issues during the examination and subsequent x-rays. Yes, every patient should have recent x-rays.
9. Most insurance covers Chiropractic adjustments. This is a misconception from decades ago that is still around today. If you would like to know if your insurance covers chiropractic, call us and let us find out.
|Dr. Brett A. Moss|
If you would like more information on how we can help serve your healthcare needs, please call us at 352 419 6548.