Frequently asked questions

What exactly IS chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a primary health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the spine and extremities. We have a special interest in how the relationship between the nerves, muscles, bones and joints of the body relates to attaining and maintaining optimum health.

There is an emphasis on “hands on” treatments including spinal manipulation, also called adjustments, and other natural methods of healing including acupuncture, exercise, nutritional and life style choices.

What kind of training does a doctor of chiropractic have?

Most chiropractors have a minimum of two years of pre-chiropractic university education followed by at least 4 years of professional training at an accredited chiropractic college. National board competency examinations are part of confirming a chiropractor’s status as an expert in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of the neuromusculoskeletal system.

Dr. Guthrie’s background can be viewed here.

How do I know if I need to see a chiropractor?

While many people see a chiropractor for the first time because they are in pain,  a chiropractor is also a reliable source of information on a variety of health concerns.

When bad posture, injuries, accidents, overexertion and other mechanisms can cause the joints of the spine or extremities to work improperly or even to become stuck, this creates an irritation of the delicate nerve fibers supplying some of the joints and their surrounding soft tissues. Chiropractors evaluate the spine and other joints in the body for altered motion. Any abnormal motion is “adjusted” by applying a specific force in the direction that is needed to restore the joint’s normal function. A healthy joint results in a healthier nerve supply, and because the nervous system is primary in maintaining health and preventing disease, the whole body is benefited.

What conditions does a chiropractor treat?

We treat people, not conditions. But chiropractic care is well established as the treatment of choice for back pain, neck pain and headaches. Here are a number of common conditions that are effectively treated by a chiropractor:

  • Headache
  • Whiplash
  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica (pain spreading down the back of the leg)
  • Soft tissue pain syndromes
  • TMJ
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sports injuries
  • Rotator cuff conditions
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Knee pain
  • Foot problems

Because pain is usually the most obvious clue that something is not functioning properly, the chiropractor spends a great deal of time investigating the cause of the pain.

What’s an adjustment?

Although a chiropractor can use a variety of natural treatments, the one most unique to the profession is the “adjustment”. This is very fast, non-forceful  movement of joint usually done by the highly trained hands of your chiropractor. Most often, a sound is heard for felt by the patient.

What causes the “popping” sound?

The popping sound is simply gas being released into the joint space in the same way as a suction cup makes a “pop” when released. This is a normal and expected sound and is a good indication that the adjustment was successful.

Does chiropractic treatment hurt?

The majority of patients find immediate relief upon receiving a chiropractic adjustment. Moving a “stuck” joint in the spine is usually painless however, if the muscles or ligaments in the surrounding area are inflamed or overly tight, there may be some discomfort after an adjustment while they adapt to their correct function. Sometimes deep muscle work done in conjunction with a chiropractic treatment can be the cause of some residual stiffness and soreness, just as working out can cause stiff and sore muscles the next day. Any soreness noted after a treatment should be reported to your chiropractor who will advise you about the appropriate use of ice, heat and rest. In most cases, any soreness goes away quickly as your body begins to function properly.

How long will it take to get well?

Healing times vary depending on an individual’s intrinsic ability to heal, how long the problem has been present and how actively a person participates in the  healing process. A problem that has been developing for years will not be fixed in one session! While most people feel better right way, a number of treatments spread over a 6 to 8 week period gets to the root problem and helps to prevent the cycle of pain from re-occurring. Regular re-evaluations are done throughout the treatment period to ensure health goals are being met. While your chiropractor will often give you general health care advise, you may also be referred to our kinesiolgist who can help you establish the proper home-based exercises that can help keep your body strong and healthy.

How safe is chiropractic treatment?

Chiropractic care has been studied intensely by researchers in a variety of fields and is widely recognized as one of the safest treatments available for back pain, neck pain, headaches and other musculo-skeletal conditions. The risks of serious injury related to a chiropractic adjustment are extremely low and estimated at between 1 in 2.2 million treatments, making it many times safer than taking a aspirin.

If you have other questions on chiropractic that you feel haven’t been answered here, please email us and we will be happy to answer your questions!