©Dr. Larry Basch, D.C., CCSP, CCEP www.LaserSpineandSport.com
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Chiropractic.
1. What is chiropractic?
2. What is an adjustment?
3. Does an adjustment hurt?
4. Is an adjustment safe?
5. What is a "subluxation"?
6. How do I know when I am subluxated?
7. How did I get subluxated?
8. What is that cracking sound?
9. When should I see a chiropractor?
10. What are some of the benefits of chiropractic care?
11. Can a chiropractor help with painful bone spurs?
12. Who can benefit from chiropractic care?
13. How do I know if I should see a chiropractor?
14. Are there many athletes who use chiropractic?
15. Is it ok to see a chiropractor if I am pregnant?
16. Can I see a chiropractor if I had back surgery?
17. Is chiropractic good for kids or elderly people?
18. What is a chiropractor's educational background?
19. Why doesn't my medical doctor refer me to a chiropractor? I think it would help.
20. What should I expect as a patient of Menifee Chiropractic?
21. Will my insurance cover chiropractic?
22. How do I set up an appointment with Menifee Chiropractic?
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic was founded in 1895. It is based on the scientific fact that the nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system of the body. The brain and the spinal cord are protected by bones, specifically the skull and vertebra. When the vertebra lose their normal position or move improperly, they irritate the nervous system. This irritation can effect the nerves which supply the tissues and organs causing a lack of function. This lack of function is called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. But this term is not always clearly understood. I like to use the term “ Joint Fixation” or Restriction. Similar to a rusted chain with links not moving properly. If these joints are not moving fully, unrestricted, then not only can they affect the spinal and peripheral nerves, but will also exert increased tension on the various connective tissues of the musculoskeletal system, such as increased pull on the muscles and tendons, pulling on the fascia, and even affecting the blood and lymphatic vessels.
Chiropractors locate and correct the areas of the spine not functioning properly. The correction is done through a procedure called an adjustment. The word adjustment describes a specific movement that is directed with specific force. This gentle force allows the vertebra to return to a more normal position and movement.
Doctors of Chiropractic go through a four year graduate program after completing medical school prerequisites. They receive thousands of hours of scientific education in anatomy and the function of the human body. The training also teaches Chiropractors the skill to use just the right amount of pressure at the proper time.
What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is the term used to explain the chiropractic treatment. It is known in the medical community as spinal manipulation, although the chiropractic adjustment is performed specifically by chiropractors with at least four years of extensive education and experience in this type of treatment. While various other health care providers may take some very basic and even weekend course in manipulation, Doctors of Chiropractic perform about 95% of all manipulations in the world. We are the experts.
Does an adjustment hurt?
The adjustment is a painless procedure. If a person is already in pain any movement of course can be uncomfortable, but the adjustments are designed to ultimately reduce and eliminate the pain.
Is an adjustment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of headache, and neck and back pain. It has an excellent safety record. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Even common over-the-counter medicines carry a risk.
Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment, however, some may experience temporary pain, stiffness or slight swelling. Some patients may also experience temporary dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. However, adverse effects associated with spinal adjustment are typically minor and short-lived.
Prior to starting treatment, all health professionals are required by law to obtain informed consent to treatment from their patients. Health care consumers must receive adequate and accurate information to assist them in evaluating their health care choices, and in balancing the relative risks of treatment options with the benefits. The Chiropractic profession takes this responsibility seriously and has been a leader in obtaining informed consent.
Chiropractors are required in their Standards of Practice to obtain written informed consent prior to treating a patient.
Neck adjustment, particularly of the top two vertebrae of the spine, has on rare occasions been associated with stroke and stroke-like symptoms. This risk is considerably lower than those serious adverse events associated with many common health treatments such as long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers or birth control pills. While estimates vary, a range of one to two events per million neck adjustments is the ratio generally accepted by the research community.
An extensive commentary on chiropractic care, published in the February 2002 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, which is the journal of the American College of Physicians, reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. It states the following with regard to the safety of neck adjustment: "The apparent rarity of these accidental events has made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has been noted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date."
A Canadian study, published in 2001 in the medical journal Stroke, also concluded that stroke associated with neck adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate an accurate risk ratio. The study was conducted by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the authors have stated: "The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with chiropractic manipulation of the neck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associated with many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs."
The most recent research into the association between neck adjustment and stroke is biomechanical studies to assess what strain, if any, neck adjustment may place on the vertebral arteries. The preliminary findings of this ongoing work indicate that neck adjustment is done well within the normal range of motion and that neck adjustment is "very unlikely to mechanically disrupt the VA [vertebral artery]."
What is a subluxation?
A subluxation is a slight misalignment of the bones that house and protect the spinal cord. Any misalignment puts unnecessary pressure on the nerve system and damages the nerve supply to different parts of the body. Vertebral subluxations that are left undetected and unadjusted for many years can lead to symptoms of pain, diseases, and an unhealthy expression of life. Since only Chiropractors use this term, and some sceptics criticize the Subluxation Complex, we commonly use the term Joint Fixation or Joint Restriction of a joint to better explain this concept.
How do I know when I am "subluxated"?
It's not easy to know when you are subluxated, although a pain of some kind can be a clue. Abnormal posture including one shoulder higher than the other, hips not level or a head forward past the shoulders can also be indicative of a subluxation. Often, the nerves that are negatively affected because of the misalignment in the spine do not carry pain signals. This means that you can suffer from subluxations for years without any painful warning signs. However, allowing subluxations to exist in your body can negatively impact the functions of the organs in your body, which leads to a deterioration of your health. A chiropractor can detect the subluxations with their highly trained hands, and correct them effectively.
How did I get subluxated?
A person can become subluxated in a wide variety of ways. Simple things like improper sleeping, sitting, and standing can contribute to subluxations. Often, people develop their first subluxation during birth when the doctors use force of up to 60 to 100 pounds to aid the delivery. Normal childhood activities such as spills from the bike, sledding, playing ball, and any other activity that results in a jarring fall, all result in subluxations in children. Because subluxations don't often cause pain, people do not know they are there and thus do not get them fixed until after major damage has been done, at which point the pain usually begins.
What is that cracking sound?
That "cracking" sound is air, gas and fluid escaping from the joint. It is the same thing that happens when you crack your knuckles. The patient’s bones do NOT crack.
When should I see a Chiropractor?
Eight out of ten Americans will experience back pain at some point in their life. For many people, the pain can keep them away from work, school or even their day-to-day activities. If pain causes interruptions and restrictions in the activities of your daily life then you should consult a health care provider.
Chiropractors are highly educated and extensively trained to assess, diagnosis, treat and prevent conditions disorders of the spine, joints, muscle and nervous systems. These disorders may include back pain, neck pain, headaches, referring pain in your arms and legs, etc.
Many patients seek Chiropractic treatment for wellness care just like brushing your teeth is preventative. Others, like seniors, who find that treatment helps them to maintain mobility and good range of motion. Pain should never become a way of life, especially when there is qualified help available.
There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care: Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function.
What are some of the benefits of Chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care can:
• Improve movement in your neck, shoulders, back and torso
• Improve your posture
• Provide relief from headaches, neck and back pain
• Help prevent work-related muscle and joint injuries
• Lead to enhanced athletic performance
• Improve your flexibility and range of motion
• Relieve pregnancy-related back ache
• Correction gait and foot problems
Can a Chiropractor help with painful bone spurs?
Look for another cause of your pain! Many patients are told that they have "bone spurs" in their back or neck, with the implication that the bone spurs are the cause of their back pain. However, while bone spurs are an indication that there is degeneration of the spine, these bony growths are not usually the actual cause of the pain. The term "bone spurs" is really a bit of a misnomer, as the term "spurs" implies that they are "poking" some part of the spinal anatomy and causing pain. However, this is not at all true. Bone spurs are in fact smooth structures that form over a prolonged period of time. The medical term for bone spurs is osteophytes, and they represent an enlargement of the normal bony structure. Basically, osteophytes are a radiographic marker of spinal degeneration (aging) and are by and large a normal finding as we age. Over the age of 60, bone spurs are actually quite common. Our Class IV Laser is highly effective.
Who can benefit from Chiropractic care?
Chiropractic benefits people of all ages from infants to those in their golden years. Not only can Chiropractic help to alleviate specific conditions, but it also helps to improve overall health and well-being by improving the body's innate ability to heal itself.
How do I know if I should see a Chiropractor?
Subluxations may be caused from a number of different factors. Some of the most common are physical trauma, emotional trauma, and toxicity. Doctors of Chiropractic help many people with a variety of conditions such as:
• Neck, Shoulder, or Chest Pain
• Low-Back Pain or Sciatica
• Chronic Headaches
• Joint Pain or Stiffness
• Sports Injuries
• Sprained or Pulled Muscles
• Numbness and Tingling
• Chronic Fatigue • Susceptibility to Infection
• Poor Healing Ability
And especially in children:
• Frequent Ear Infections
• Recurrent Colds and Flu
Are there many athletes who use Chiropractic?
YES, YES and YES! Many amateur and professional athletes use Chiropractic treatment as part of their overall health care, fitness and maintenance program. Chiropractic is often used to improve muscle and joint conditioning, which has a direct effect on an athletic performance. Treatment works to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement. Chiropractic care also help athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high level performance, and may reduce long term wear and tear. Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and sometime shorten, the healing time of injuries.
Athletes most often select treatment to improve their performance, where as the average consumer will select chiropractic care to help manage aches and pains. In some cases treatment will be similar, but in all cases a treatment plan will be developed according to the goals and condition of each patient. In the case of professional and elite athletes, Chiropractors often work in conjunction with other health care professionals, including medical doctors and/or sports medicine doctors, massage therapists and physiotherapists. Most all Professional team in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, US Olympic teams and Division I College teams have Chiropractors on staff, not only to treat injuries, but also to help improve function, performance, flexibility and recovery.
Is it ok to see a Chiropractor if I am pregnant?
Anytime is a good time for a better functioning nerve system. Pregnant mothers find that Chiropractic adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient's size, weight, age, and condition of health.
Can I see a Chiropractor if I had a back surgery?
Yes. It's an unfortunate fact that up to half of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years later. They then face the prospect of additional surgery. This too common occurrence is known as "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome." Chiropractic may help prevent repeated back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is initially utilized back surgery can often be avoided in the first place.
Is Chiropractic good for kids or elderly people?
Chiropractic is good for all patients, because chiropractic care centers on the spine. Different techniques are used for children and the elderly due to their spine's delicate nature. Children need chiropractic care so they do not develop the problems we see in most adults, like nerve compression and arthritis. It is especially important to have children checked by the doctor after they have had a fall. Chiropractic care can help the elderly from developing more serious complications from their longstanding spinal and nerve related conditions.
What is a Chiropractor's educational background?
Many people are unaware of the amount of rigorous schooling and training Chiropractors undergo. After completing the same prerequisites for medical school, chiropractors attend chiropractic college for four years. The following compares some of the course work of a Doctor of Chiropractic to a Medical doctor.
Course Hour Comparison
Medical Modality Chiropractic
M.D. compared to D.C.
509 Anatomy 520
326 Physiology 420
401 Pathology 205
325 Chemistry 300
144 Bacteriology 130
324 Diagnosis 420
112 Neurology 320
148 X-Ray 217
114 Psychiatry 65
148 Obstetrics 65
156 Orthopedics 225
2756 Total Hours 2887
Why doesn't my medical doctor refer me to a Chiropractor? I think it would help.
Find another doctor who will. Your doctor is still "in the dark" as to the benefits of Chiropractic care. The relationship between the medical & Chiropractic professions has improved vastly over the past 10 years, but there remains a few staunch medical doctors out there who refuse to move into the 21 century and look at the research showing benefits of Chiropractic care.
What should I expect as a patient of Menifee Chiropractic?
Our mission is to put you on the path of regaining your active lifestyle you once enjoyed. At Greenlife Wellness, we specialize in treating patients who suffer from chronic pain
and failed surgeries. We have more than ten years of experience treating patients a wide varierty of pain symptoms, causes and ages. We provide services in spinal decompression, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. Based on your needs, we tailor an individualized rehabilitation program to maximize your chance of recovery. You may see some of our patients' testimonials here.
Will my insurance cover Chiropractic?
About 80% of insurance plans cover chiropractic. We will verify your benefits when you come to our office for the first visit.
Please call us at for Mission Viejo (949) 707 - 4770 or Menifee (951) 679- 4121