FAQ

What is chiropractic care?
Is chiropractic care effective?
What does an adjustment feel like?
Are adjustments safe?
How many adjustments will I need?
Can I have Chiropractic care after surgery?
How long until I feel better?
What if my insurance doesn’t cover care?
How can I prevent back pain?
What is evidence based care and what are clinical practice guidelines?
What is a Chiropractic Outcomes Database?
What are some other useful links?

 

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractic physicians focus on restoring, preserving, and optimizing health by natural hands-on care. Where conventional or “allopathic” medicine focuses on curing illness through pharmaceuticals and surgery, the goal of chiropractic is to optimize health with a non-invasive approach that does not use drugs or surgery. Chiropractic’s primary avenue of care is manipulation of the spine and the framework of the body.

The spine is an important structure that houses and provides protection for the spinal cord, while providing mobility for the arms and legs. This dual requirement of strength and flexibility makes the spine a very complex structure, with multiple joints at each spinal segment (the vertebrae) forming the spinal column.

When these joints (also known as articulations) are not positioned or functioning normally, it can affect the nerves exiting the spine. Chiropractic care attends to irritations along the spine by manually repositioning these joints. This is a chiropractic “adjustment.”

Chiropractic patients often visit their chiropractor periodically in order simply to relieve irritations – to get “adjusted.” Individuals also seek chiropractic care for back pain, headaches, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and ligament sprains.

Is chiropractic care effective?

There are many peer reviewed studies and medical literature reviews demonstrating the efficacy of chiropractic treatment of back pain and neck pain. One example published on the US Dept of Health & Human Services National Guideline Clearing house is by The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters. It reports strong evidence supporting the use of spinal manipulation to reduce symptoms and increase function in acute, subacute and chronic low back pain. Back Pain Results, Neck Pain Results, Sports Injury Results, Headache Results, Pregnancy Related Back-Pain Results, Carpal Tunnel Results

Two major best practice guidelines have been created. The Mercy Guidelines are an American consensus and the International Chiropractic Association Best Practices & Practice Guidelines include international contributors. We adhere to these best practices guidelines, and are proud to return most of our patients to pre-injury status faster that these protocols recommend.

Chiropractic effectiveness is controlled by the nervous system. There is a constant flow of information flowing from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue of the body. These tissues then send back messages to the brain letting it know if everything is working correctly or not. Abnormal motion or position of the bones of the spine can alter this exchange of information by irritating nerves and compromising function of the end organs and tissues. Spinal adjustments can remove this interference and improve communication between the brain and tissues.

What does an adjustment feel like?

Most patients report a sense of relief following an adjustment. You may hear a “popping” noise with the adjustment similar to when you crack your knuckles. Lubricating fluids separate the bones of your spine. With an adjustment, the gas and fluids in the joint may shift which will create the “popping” noise.

Are adjustments safe?

Chiropractic studies have shown that adjustments are safe, simple, and effective. The American Chiropractic Association states that “chiropractic care is one of the safest health care options available today, boasts high patient satisfaction ratings and has been shown to be more effective than medication at treating conditions ranging from back pain to headaches. ”

How many adjustments will I need?

The number of adjustments necessary to heal a condition varies with each patient. Most patients have a sense of relief after only a few adjustments (or even one). Everyone’s body responds at different rates. After a couple of visits, the doctor will re-evaluate the patient and determine what type of future care is necessary. It is important to receive care near the onset of symptoms. Typically, when treatment begins early, the body responds much quicker than if the problem has been bothering a patient for a long time.

Can I have Chiropractic care after surgery?

Yes. The chiropractor will likely avoid the surgical area of your spine. Back surgery often causes alterations in the spine above or below the involved level and this is the area that the doctor will most likely focus on.

How long until I feel better?

There is no concrete answer to this question. There are patients who feel nearly instant relief while others find that it takes weeks or even months to feel better. It is important to receive care while a problem is acute, as acute issues often respond much quicker to therapy than more chronic problems. Getting proper rest, exercising, and receiving adequate nutrition increase the likelihood that you will respond quickly to treatment.

What if my insurance doesn’t cover care?

Your health is your most valuable possession. Many insurance companies do provide coverage for chiropractic care. However, if your policy doesn’t cover care, we will work with you to determine a cash payment plan that works for you.

How can I prevent back pain?

Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
Remain active—under the supervision of your chiropractor.
Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
Maintain proper posture.
Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
Work with your chiropractor to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

What is evidence based care and what are clinical practice guidelines?

Evidence Based Medicine seeks to utilize the best available, scientifically validated evidence in healthcare decision-making. Adhering to these “Best Practices and Practice Guidelines” or clinical practice guidelines ensures that our treatment approach is based on the scientific evidence of clinical trials and peer consensus. This is the underlying principle of the care you will receive at Irving Park Chiropractic: safe and effective treatment strategies that have been shown to work.

What is a Chiropractic Outcomes Database?

Irving Park Chiropractic’s Outcomes Database was created to better track, monitor and adjust our patients’ treatment plans and achieve the best results in the shortest time frame. Included in the database are data such as gender, age, diagnosis, outcome assessment scores, treatment plans and patient satisfaction among other fields. We use this tool in combination with clinical practice guidelines to determine and/or adjust the best plan of care for our patients.

What are some other useful links?

The American Chiropractic Association
The Illinois Chiropractic Society
The Chicago Area Runners Association