What is the cracking sound that comes from adjustments? Are my bones being broken?
The “cracking” or “popping” sounds are joint cavitations. They are the result of the separation of two joint surfaces. When your chiropractor induces motion into a joint that isn’t moving properly, the result is the joint opening up (or separating) and the sound is a byproduct. Because joints are often restricted in specific planes of motion, it’s important to deliver a specific thrust through that plane. When utilized by a trained chiropractor, this specific thrust is termed an adjustment.
The absence of a cavitation doesn’t mean that the joint hasn’t moved. Some people simply will not experience an audible cavitation. For those who are uneasy or uncomfortable with the audible release, there are chiropractic techniques offered by Godshall Chiropractic which can deliver motion to a joint without producing the cavitation.
Can’t I just “pop” my own back and feel better?
Although it may feel relieving at times to “pop” your own back/neck, there can be some damage associated with it. Chiropractors work at finding the specific areas of restriction and getting those areas moving again. When you don’t move well through one joint, the surrounding joints are forced to move excessively to maintain global motion. This is why when someone gets a joint surgically fused, the patient almost always will get arthritis in the surrounding joints over the next several years. Usually when a person tries to induce motion themselves, they simply move the areas that are already moving excessively. This causes abnormal, excessive wear on those joints, which can lead to early degeneration. Your chiropractor looks specifically at the areas that aren’t moving and works to get you moving with equal, healthy motion through each joint.
Does an adjustment hurt?
The adjustment, itself, rarely is painful. Most often, patients find it extremely enjoyable. However, sometimes a problem area contains muscles or joints that are very tender to touch and as these areas are worked on, some discomfort is experienced. Most patients describe it more as a “hurts good” than sharp pain. Treatments are almost always very relieving and involve little to no pain at all.
If I come there for treatment, do I have to come forever?
No. Our goal, first and foremost, is to provide you with the tools necessary to have the best quality of life possible. Typically, the first step is getting you out of pain. It is difficult to function and enjoy life while experiencing pain and we understand that some people have pain-reduction as their first or only goal. It isn’t our mission to scare people into coming in once a week for the rest of their life.
At Godshall chiropractic, we’d like to see you continue in a healthy lifestyle beyond the reduction of your symptoms. Some people only need seasonal care to continue to function at their peak capacity. Others who aren’t as active or have had long-term injuries may need more frequent care to function pain-free. At any rate, patients are free to come and go as they please. It’s our duty to use our clinical experience and knowledge to provide you with the most effective treatment plan for you to get well and stay well. However, if you choose to end your care prematurely, we will absolutely respect that and welcome you back if you choose to take up care at a later time.
Do I have to see my medical doctor prior to coming to a chiropractor?
No. Chiropractors are considered primary care providers, as are MDs and DOs. Therefore you don’t need a referral to be treated.
What type of schooling do chiropractors receive?
Most chiropractic schools require 90 hours of prerequisite coursework in basic science courses prior to entry, however a number of them now require a bachelor degree. Upon acceptance into chiropractic school, the student completes 10 semesters of graduate studies in basic sciences, clinical sciences, and 2 years in the clinics treating patients. This adds up to over 300 credit hours of graduate work. In Pennsylvania, it is now required for practitioners to pass a 4 part board examination for licensure, in addition to an adjunctive procedures exam, to practice physiotherapy.
How often must I come throughout the week for treatment?
Varying conditions require different treatment plans. A younger patient with a relatively minor strained tissue will typically respond much faster than a patient with significant disc degeneration and muscle imbalances which have been present for years.
For the best results, a patient will typically start out coming in 3 times a week and the frequency will decrease as their symptoms decrease and strength/function increases. The high frequency treatments are most crucial during the first 2-4 weeks, and allows for the most substantial progress by not giving the muscles and joints time to lock up again throughout the week. We understand that your time is valuable, however, so we will work with you as much as possible to create an effective treatment plan conducive to your scheduling limitations.