Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic care is a safe, effective, and drug-free healthcare.   It is a natural method of health care that focuses on treating the causes of physical problems, rather than just the symptoms, like pain and stiffness. Chiropractic is based on a simple, but powerful premise: With a normally functioning spine and a healthy lifestyle, your body is better able to heal itself. That’s because the spinal cord, which is protected by the spine, is the main pathway of your nervous system. It controls feeling, movement, and function throughout your body

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Chiropractic is absolutely safe. Compared to the medical approach, which includes drugs and surgery, Chiropractic is by far the safest. It is estimated that 140,000 people die in the USA each year from drug related reactions and nearly 100,000 people die as a result to medical errors. Insurance companies charge a premium based on the risk the profession poses and Chiropractors have the lowest premiums of all medical providers.

What is an adjustment?

Activities as common as prolonged sitting or standing, extended computer use, repetitive movements, improper lifting and bending techniques can all contribute to misalignments in the spine.   Spinal misalignments can cause nerve irritation, muscle spasm, restricted movement and pain.  Immobility, muscle imbalances, trigger points, and spinal muscle deconditioning all contribute to poor functioning of the joints in the body.  Aside from discomfort and inconvenience, poor functioning of the joints contributes to an acceleration of degenerative joint processes, like osteoarthritis. After locating any misaligned vertebrae in your spine, a chiropractor manually applies pressure and repositions the vertebrae.  These corrections are called adjustments.  Gentle adjustments can help reduce nerve irritation, restore spinal alignment, improve mobility, and relieve pain and stiffness.  Chiropractic therapy can enhance the body’s healing ability, performance, and resistance to illness by improving the overall health of the nervous system.  In this way, chiropractic works to help your body heal itself.

What is the “cracking” noise?

The sound is nothing to be concerned about. It’s coming from a lubricant that every joint has. The fluid contains dissolved gases and when an adjustment is made those gases are released causing the “cracking” noise. Not all patients “pop” and not all adjusting techniques produce the noise, which means an adjustment can be proper and effective even if you don’t hear any noise.

Will an adjustment hurt?

Most adjustments are painless and actually patients feel better after their adjustments. If the area of complaint has a lot of swelling and inflammation the adjustment can occasionally be uncomfortable due to the joint being locked in its unnatural position.

What is your reflection saying?

Very often after reviewing x-rays where I have identified and measured postural imbalances, patients will ask how these changes could have come about.  They are curious why a hip is higher on one side, curvature in the low back is exaggerated, or the head is held forward.  Time and again I tell patients that have no history of an accident or injury that the position of their spine is largely related to their posture.  Sometimes the possible cause of a patient’s postural distortion is elusive and other times the cause is right before our eyes.

Four Common Causes of Postural Problems:

1. Side carrying

One cause of postural distortion is due to weight being carried more on one side of the body.  Common occurrences are carrying children on the hip, schlepping heavy pocket books and frequent use of heavy duffle bags and briefcases.  My best advice in these instances is to lighten the load when possible (I understand that children only grow), haul items in a neutral posture with chest/back carriers, backpacks or rolling luggage.  And when you have no choice but to sling over a shoulder, alternate shoulders while toting and lay the strap over the opposite shoulder (across the chest).

2. FWIRP – Fat Wallet in Rear Pocket

Ever notice on a pair of men’s jeans that one of the back pockets is stretched out or the material bears a faded, rectangular pattern.  If sitting with FWIRP can change denim this way, what is doing to our spines?

Imagine sitting all day long with a brick under one side of your backside.  The unleveling causes torsion (twisting) of the pelvis and the spine to bend sideways so we can keep sitting upright, instead of leaning.  These changes all happen automatically, so we are not even conscious of the changes taking place.  Now, a brick is an exaggeration for most, but illustrates how a thick wallet in your back pocket can affect the body.  Especially for desk workers and long distance drivers, slimming your wallet and storing it in your front pocket is a good way to avoid FWIRP syndrome.

3. Sleep Posture

If you are a side-sleeper and not using a pillow or cushion between your knees at night, then you are likely contributing to pelvic torsion.  While side-sleeping, if your top knee and leg are not resting on their counterparts below, then the knee is rotating forward, pulling the hip and pelvis into a twisted position.  Eight hours every night (hopefully) and it is easy to see how one hip might find itself higher than the other.  If you sleep side-lying, consider keeping your hips aligned with a pillow between your knees.

4. High Heels

I would be remiss if I failed to address this phenomenon.  Wearing high heeled shoes, especially over 2 inches and worn throughout the day, has a clear effect on low back posture.  Heels cause the pelvis to tilt forward and a corresponding increase in the low back curvature.  Reduce the effects of these changes by wearing shorter heels (2 inches or less) for less time.

So, hopefully you aspire to better posture and can find a way to incorporate some of the recommendations above.  If you have tried some of my suggestions and are still uncomfortable, please call Bennett Chiropractic at 615.751.1001 to schedule a consultation and exam.  Better spinal health could be just a call away.