What is a chiropractic adjustment?
The chiropractic adjustment is a gentle, quick thrust to a particular joint, typically in the spine, intended to restore normal position and movement.  Adjustments are important for releasing adhesions in the joint and reducing stress on the nervous system.  Because of the fact that the nervous system is that master controller of all muscles and organs in the body, removing stress on the nervous system through chiropractic adjustments will frequently lead to improved health in the entire body.
How many adjustments will I need?
The total number of adjustments you need depends on five main factors: 1) your age, 2) your overall health, 3) the severity of your condition, 4) how long you have had your condition and 5) what your ultimate goals are.  If you are young, in good health and have a mild condition that occurred very recently, you will need far fewer adjustments than if you are older, in poor general health and have been struggling with a problem for many years.  The total number of adjustments you will need also depends on whether you are just interested in reducing the pain you are currently experiencing, or are interested in creating optimal long-term health.
Will adjustments hurt?
Usually not.  There have been some patients of mine who have experienced mild soreness after being adjusted, but this is more of the exception.  Most people feel better very quickly after being adjusted.
Have side effects or problems been reported from using chiropractic to treat back pain?
Patients may or may not experience side effects from chiropractic treatment. Effects may include temporary discomfort in parts of the body that were treated, headache, or tiredness. These effects tend to be minor and to resolve within 1 to 2 days.
Do I still need to see the chiropractor if my pain is gone?
It is very common for pain to disappear long before the total correction of your condition is attained.  As in our discussion earlier in this chapter, pain is not a very good indicator of health.  Often times people are completely unaware of problems that are developing in them because there is no pain associated with them.  Consider heart disease, cancer, diabetes – the three top killers – don’t have any symptoms at all until they have become very advanced.  The same is true with cavities in your teeth – there is usually no pain until a cavity becomes severe.  The point is that just because you are no longer experiencing pain does not mean that your problem no longer exists.  It is important to continue being treated so that the underlying cause of the pain can be corrected.
Routine chiropractic care is one of the simplest ways to maintain the health of your body.  Numerous research studies have shown that people who receive regular chiropractic care suffer fewer illnesses, injuries and degenerative diseases, and they report a better overall quality of life.  In spite of the health benefits of chiropractic care, many people have never been to a chiropractor, most often because they don’t really understand what chiropractic care is all about.
The bottom line is that chiropractic care is a safe, effective treatment for a wide range of physical complaints, such as headaches, neck pain, low back pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, stomach and gastrointestinal complaints, wrist, elbow and shoulder pain, knee, hip and ankle pain, scoliosis, otitis media, and a host of other problems.  While most of these disorders resolve within a few weeks or months, routine chiropractic care will help ensure optimal health for life.
Can Chiropractors prescribe medication?
Currently, chiropractors do not prescribe medications, although I may refer someone to another provider for prescription medication if I deem it necessary.  However, in most cases, patients are better off with physical, rather than chemical, treatments for physical problems.