I often get questions from patients about chiropractic care, from those seeking recommendations to those who have questions about the current pain they are experiencing and how chiropractic works. I enjoy responding to these questions, but it got me thinking that there must be much more people with these types of questions!
So I thought it best to provide some answers to the most common questions I get about pain, chiropractic care, and living a healthy lifestyle.
1. “Is it true that once you start receiving treatments from a chiropractor, you have to continue for the rest of your life? Are the adjustments safe? Are they painful?”
Once you receive treatments from a chiropractor and your complaint has been resolved, you may choose to discontinue care until there is a need to treat another condition. Additionally, many patients choose to continue with maintenance care in order to preserve the results they achieved (pain-free increased mobility) from their initial investment of time and money during the acute stages of care.
With regard to whether adjustments are safe or painful, the answers are: yes, adjustments are completely safe and, no, they are not painful.
2. “Can you help me? How long will it take until I feel better?”
These questions are answered on a case-by-case basis; of course, I can’t diagnose a patient and give them a timeline without having completed a thorough examination.
3. “What’s the most common injury you see and why?”
Low back pain followed by neck pain and headaches. These are mostly a result of sitting at a desk all day which causes muscle imbalances and stresses the joints and discs between each vertebra.
For more on relieving headaches, check out some of these great natural remedies.
For more advice on preventing back pain, check out my blog about relieving back stress at work.
4. “If you could give one piece of advice to people regarding caring for their muscles and joints, what would it be?”
Stretch on an hourly basis at work and change your posture to avoid continual stress on the same structures for prolonged periods of time. Also see a chiropractor who can advise you on posture, stretching and strengthening in addition to the care of the spine and extremities (upper and lower limbs).
5. “Lower back pain is a common issue for a lot of us with sedentary jobs. What are some steps people can take to reduce strain? How important is it to invest in a quality chair?”
It’s important to be aware of what is known as “lower cross syndrome (LCS)” which is characterized by tightness in the muscles that bring your knee to your chest (hip flexors) and weakness in buttocks muscles (gluteus maximus). In order to reverse the effects of LCS, it’s important to stretch your hip flexors and strengthen your gluteus maximus. Additional exercises to help strengthen your core muscles include the following: quadruped, plank, side plank, bridge and modified curl up.
It’s also important to be aware of what is known as “upper cross syndrome (UCS)” which is characterized by tightness in the muscles that round your shoulders inward and tilt your head back, forcing your chin forward. In order to reverse the effects of UCS, it’s important to stretch the muscles that round your shoulders inward and tilt your head back. The opposing muscles which are located on the front of your neck and between your shoulder blades become weak in response, therefore, it is important to perform strengthening exercises.
In terms of investing in a quality chair, it’s important to prevent stress and pressure on the lower back. These tips will help you find a chair that’s right for you: Back Care Tips for Work and 6 Tips for Choosing an Office Chair.
6. “Another common problem for people is foot pain that can lead to a lot of other, bigger issues. What are we doing wrong? How important are orthotics for people who suffer from foot and heel pain? What types of shoes should they avoid?”
The feet are the foundation of the biomechanical chain – in other words, the position of the feet when in contact with the ground can affect the position of body parts anywhere above. For example, a person who has flat feet (poor arches) or someone who has a foot or ankle injury often can develop problems with knees, hips and low back.
One of the concerns if you have low arches (pronators) is that there is a tremendous amount of torsion (twisting) which can be transferred from the foot or ankle to the knee and hip. This twisting action has the potential to cause knee, hip and back problems.
Custom orthotic inserts can help to reduce torsion and promote proper foot positioning and movement. It is important to know that “flats” are the worst type of shoes that you can wear. The reason is that “flats” do not have proper foot support.
Ideally, the best type of shoe is one with stability or motion control (support under the arch of the foot in an attempt to adjust the foot into a neutral alignment), good solid and deep heel counter (the material that is located behind the heel of the foot) and proper heel lift (elevation of your heel in relation to your toes) according to the sport or activity.
7. “What is one thing about the importance of chiropractic care that you would tell people?”
Chiropractic should be an integral part of a patient’s overall healthcare strategy. A chiropractor can identify any imbalances in muscles, joints or ligaments which may gradually develop as a result of a variety of physical and mental stresses before they cause further complications and increased pain. Chiropractic treatment can restore movement in the musculoskeletal system and reduce or eliminate pain.
8. “Do you have any advice on proper techniques or avoiding injury for people who are eager to get outside and get active?”
Proper warm-up (stretching and gently going through the motion of the sport/activity, for example, the motion of swinging a bat before playing baseball) is important to prepare your body to engage in your activities. Also, make sure that you inspect your sports equipment so that it’s safe to use.
If you have pain during your activities but are not sure if the pain is due to a good healthy workout or if the pain is due to some underlying problem, consult a chiropractor for further assessment.
9. “What’s the most rewarding part of your job?”
The skills I have acquired through the comprehensive Doctor of Chiropractic training program in addition to many years of clinical practice provide me with the expertise to assess a patient’s complaints, diagnose their condition, and provide safe and effective evidence-based treatment.
When I identify a patient whose condition is outside of my scope of practice, I ensure that they are referred to the appropriate healthcare provider that is best able to manage their condition. In all cases, patients who consult me will receive appropriate care.
Ultimately, my goal is to help patients return to their activities of daily living in order to help them achieve their full potential. It’s a very rewarding profession.
I hope this provides you with a better perspective of what chiropractic is and its importance in contributing to optimizing your quality of life. If you think it might be time to incorporate chiropractic into your routine, contact Motion4Life!