What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a profession that specializes in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Chiropractic addresses the effects that disorders in either of these systems have on a person’s daily life or general health. Chiropractic is a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care. Doctors of Chiropractic, often known simply as chiropractors, are required to take an extensive history and physical exam in order to properly determine a diagnosis. Chiropractors then treat their patients based on their diagnosis, using chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy modalities, rehabilitation, and self-care management. Chiropractors may also assess their patients through laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging to diagnose and/or determine whether chiropractic treatment is appropriate. In some cases, the patient may be referred to a medical professional in a different specialty.
What is the popping noise I hear/feel when I’m being given an adjustment?
First, to understand this phenomenon, you need to understand the body processes involved. There is a great potential for friction to build up when the ends of two or more bones rub together at a joint, in your elbow, for instance, and also between each of the bones (vertebra) in your spinal column. The ends of your bones are covered by connective tissue, called articular cartilage, and around this tissue we find fluid, called Synovial fluid, that serves to reduce friction. When your chiropractor performs a manipulation, or adjustment, pressure changes can be created within the Synovial fluid when the articular cartilage moves. Gases found naturally in all body fluids, such as carbon dioxide, can react to these pressure changes by causing a cavity (or bubble). The popping noise that you hear is created when the cavity collapses (the bubble pops). This is not harmful, and in fact causes a relaxation of the tissues in the area.
I’ve heard that once you go to a chiropractor, you will always have to go to a chiropractor. Is that True?
No! This is not true. Your chiropractor’s goal isn’t only to help relieve pain, which is a symptom, but to find the underlying problem that causes the pain in the first place. By finding the root of the problem, educating you, and re-training your body with proper biomechanics, your chiropractor can effectively treat your condition so that you can go through your normal, daily life without pain and see sustained results.
What are the education requirements to become a chiropractor?
Acceptance into a chiropractic school requires four years of undergraduate work related to the health field. Undergraduate classes include Anatomy, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Physiology, Biology, and the lab work that goes along with those classes. Chiropractic medical school consists of at least 3 and a half years of year-round classes. Subjects studied in chiropractic school include Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Chemistry, Bacteriology, Diagnosis, Neurology, X-Ray, Psychiatry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Orthopedics, and more. Dr. Thomas graduated from the National University of Health Sciences, known for its anatomy lab. In the lab, Chiropractic students dissect an entire human cadaver to further their education in anatomy. After completing course work, students are required to complete a one-year internship, in which students diagnose and treat patients. This internship requires a specific number of patient visits, physical exams, lab tests, treatment plans, adjustments, etc. Students refine their skills of diagnosis and treatment to become doctors of Chiropractic Medicine. In total, Chiropractic students get approximately 4,400 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience.