Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic
What a process! You’ve been through our Comprehensive Bio-Structural Examination, reviewed all the results (yes I know, there was a lot to cover…), received a crash course in spinal and neurological function, and have been accepted into our corrective care program. Still, there may be some looming questions we didn’t answer and we want to make absolutely sure you understand everything possible in order to get the best results. That’s why we’ve amassed this mega-list of the most common (and not so common) questions about Chiropractic we field every day… we know if one person is asking, there’s likely ten others wishing they knew the answer too!
What exactly is a chiropractic correction?
At your first check up you probably noticed a few key things – it was fast, gentle, and seemed to have a lot to do with your feet… We’ll get to that one in a moment, but first…
As Life By Design Chiropractors we analyze and correct structural distortions in the spine and pelvis. These deviations in normal alignment and motion of the vertebrae place stress on the nerves and disrupt the way your brain and body communicates. The technical terminology for this condition is vertebral subluxation.
This is different from a chiropractic adjustment or manipulation in two ways:
- A correction is always delivered specifically to an area of the spine that is shifted – not just an area that hurts. Vertebral subluxations are most often painless as only a small percentage of the nervous system receives and reports pain. You may have a subluxation impairing your body’s function and yet have no pain.
- A correction is not accomplished by simply popping or cracking the spine. Although some audible sounds may accompany some corrections, the sound is not related in any way to the success of a correction.
How do you know when a correction ‘worked’?
The first thing we need to do is define what is meant by ‘work.’
In the context of a chiropractic correction, ‘working’ means that there has been a measurable reduction in stress on the nervous system as a result of correcting the underlying distortion in the spine.
Primary indicators the Doctor may use during your visit to visit analysis include balancing of leg lengths (this is what we check when we’re at your feet), changes in breathing rate and rhythm, palpable improvements in motion of the spine and changes in muscle tension surrounding the affected vertebrae.
In short, the analysis used by your Doctor during your check up will determine if a correction worked or did not work. This is exactly why you will notice your Doctor re-checking your spine following every correction.
Longer term indicators include things like improvements in your posture (being able to stand up taller or straighter), optimal motion throughout the spine, symmetry of muscle size and strength along with objective changes like Structural Alignment, Electromyography and Thermography improvements identified on your comparative examination results.
Other common findings people notice include more energy, better digestion, improved immunity (getting sick less often), sleeping better, and having better circulation. These are all changes in bodily function which could occur as a result of correction of your core problem.
Why don’t I feel any different after a correction?
That’s a really good question. After all, you originally came in because you wanted help with a problem right?
Do you remember when your Doctor told you that what you thought was your problem likely wasn’t your problem at all but instead it was collateral damage?
The objective of the correction is to reduce as much stress as possible from your nervous system. This doesn’t always equate to feeling immediately better, but it DOES help your body to function better EVERY time.
You may not immediately be aware of the change that has occurred as it takes time for your body to adapt to the correction and many of the functions that could improve cannot be ‘felt’.
Structural distortion is very often accompanied by chronic inflammation and soft tissue damage, both of which will take time to heal. As scar tissue starts to break down, inflammation clears and the structure of your spine changes…rest assured that each correction moves you slowly and steadily toward a healthier version of YOU!
I’m starting to notice that I have more energy and am sleeping better… is this normal?
Yes this is entirely normal. In fact, we expect these kinds of changes once we begin to see structural correction in your spine. The reduction in stress on the nerve system has a direct effect on improving sleep quality and quantity.
As your spinal alignment and motion improves, your body becomes more efficient at utilizing energy. This means there are more resources available for your body to use for all of your other functions instead of allocating so much to stabilizing your structural distortion.
Sometimes there are very few corrections while other times there are several… what’s going on here?
Every time you come in to the office and lay down on the table, your spine is different than the last time you came in. This is why every single time you come in we check and analyze your spine to determine if a correction is even necessary. Some days there will be more distortion, therefore more corrections needed and other times, you’ll need less.
When that happens, it’s a clear sign that your body is recovering and adapting better – in other words, you are getting healthier! When it happens consistently and your test results support it, your check up schedule will change to match your goals.
In fact, it may surprise you that our ultimate goal is to check your spine and nerve system and find that no corrections are required. It is to check as little as required to maximize results!
What can I do to speed up my recovery?
I think it’s fair to say we all want the same thing…the best results in the shortest amount of time. So it’s totally normal for you to ask what else could you be doing to speed up your Bio-Structural Restoration?
In our experience there’s a very specific process you will we need to go through and it’s often slightly different for each person. You will definitely be prescribed specific corrective mobility exercises along with strengthening and stabilizing exercises. We may also recommend getting the help of a registered massage therapist and/or physiotherapist.
One blanket recommendation that we can make for everyone is to make sure you are getting lots of regular, low-level movement in your day.
As humans, we are designed to move…a lot. Aim to walk at least 45 minutes every day above and beyond your normal activities. Split this up however you want, but an easy strategy would be to take a 15 minute walk in the morning before work, at lunch, and after dinner. If you have kids, get them involved too – this is excellent habit to instill in them at such a young age.
Another excellent habit to establish is this sit-busting habit. For every 30 minutes that you sit, get up and move for 2 minutes. In that 2 minutes you could go for a quick walk, do some jumping jacks, air squats or climb up/down some stairs. It may seem distracting from your work but research clearly shows that regular movement breaks actually increases productivity.
Should I exercise before or after my check ups?
The most important thing is that you find time to fit both exercise and your checkups into your busy week. In our experience, your personal schedule will dictate this more than anything else.
However, if you find yourself with the freedom to choose then you are always better off to exercise following your checkup and here’s why…
Since the purpose of your check-up is to maximize your brain-body connection by correcting any distortions in your spine, your body will work more efficiently and effectively following any required corrections.
With a subluxation free spine you be re-programming more optimal movement with your training as well as get the most out of your session and reduce any risk of injury.
Do I have to attend the workshops?
If you’re goal is to get the best results in the shortest amount of time, then the Life By Design workshops are a no-brainer to attend.
Figuring out what you need to do in order to solve your problem and be healthy can get really confusing… These workshops are designed to show you exactly what you need know to start meeting all your body’s fundamental requirements to for health. Not to mention, the information and actions are key components to your Bio-Structural Restoration.
What is best way to fuel your body so that you lower chronic inflammation, have abundant energy and healthy body composition? That’s Eat By Design. What’s the most efficient way to build a better movement patterns that can reduce the amount of stress on the spine? That’s Move By Design. How do you ‘manage’ stress and create a system that ensures you create the life of happiness that you want and deserve? That’s Think By Design.
The best part is that we have taken the time (literally thousands of hours) sifting through all the research to make sure you’re getting the most up-to-date information based on more than 20 years of experience in the health and wellness field.
Dr. Jamie is an international speaker who has traveled the world sharing these workshops to audiences of thousands. You have him right in your own backyard. Don’t miss the chance to access everything you need to know that will all but guarantee exceptional results.
Should I also be seeing a Physiotherapist or Massage Therapist?
Due to the fact we focus on a very unique aspect of health known as Bio-Structural Restoration, the combination of our corrective approach and massage and/or physiotherapy can provide great results. We work very closely with several excellent therapists in our neighbourhood and never hesitate to refer you to the most appropriate one for you. Here’s some general guidelines:
If you’ve just rolled your ankle or have a specific ‘extremity’ problem (arm or leg) then, in conjunction with your corrective care, seeing a good physiotherapist that focuses on hands-on care and exercise rehabilitation is your best bet. A quick note – if your physiotherapist relies on hooking you up to a bunch of machines, consider finding a new physiotherapist. If you want some recommendations send us an email – we regularly refer to great physiotherapists across Chatham-Kent.
Properly applied massage therapy focuses on rebuilding and maintaining healthy muscles. So if you have a specific muscle problem and are looking to restore normal muscle tissue, then a good Massage Therapist is your best bet. Some things to consider when choosing a good therapist is whether or not they do a thorough assessment and provide you with specific recommendations for follow-up. Ask us for a recommendation at your next visit.
Why does my insurance only cover a portion of my required corrective care?
If health insurance were actually about creating or maintaining health then your plan would routinely include gym memberships, personal trainers, organic food and restorative spa days…
Unfortunately health Insurance is purposefully designed to get you out of crisis situations while creating health is left to the individual.
It’s true, you may have insurance to cover a few visits, just remember it is not designed to address any of your core problems.
Since our focus is on tackling one major core problem – your structural distortion and nerve disturbance – it’s no surprise your requirements don’t line up with what your insurance provides…the goals are different.
If you’re fortunate enough to have private health insurance (only 20% of our practice has even a small amount), think about it like a ‘health’ coupon… one that can be used to reduce the cost of your corrective care and get you started on the path towards a healthier life.
For those who do not have access to this ‘coupon’, it shouldn’t stop you from taking the necessary actions to solve your problem and create as much health for yourself as possible!