Why would I need to see a chiropractor?
Over the course of our hectic lives, our bodies are subjected to all kinds of stress. Sometimes it is a single traumatic event, such as a car accident, but more commonly it is an accumulation of “microtraumas” caused by repetitive activities during work or leisure activities. Whatever the cause, these stressors can cause muscles to tighten and joints to lock up. This is called a subluxation. If not corrected, these subluxations can cause inflammation and irritate surrounding nerves, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, and dysfunction.
How does chiropractic work?
A Doctor of Chiropractic is a neuromusculoskeletal expert. This means that they are trained to assess the nerves, muscles, and joints of the body. To correct a subluxation, chiropractors use their hands to apply a quick, specific thrust to the joint. This is called an adjustment. The adjustment works by restoring motion to the joint, thereby improving circulation, stimulating the nervous system, decreasing inflammation and muscle splinting, and reducing pain. Other modalities may also be used to relax the muscles, decrease inflammation, and improve function, such as: massage, stretching, heat, ice, laser, electrical stimulation, nutrition, and exercises. The goal is to assist the body in healing itself by using minimally invasive procedures.
Are chiropractic adjustments painful?
Usually not. In fact, most people feel a sense of relief after an adjustment. In some cases when a joint has been locked up for a long time, an adjustment can cause some mild soreness that goes away within a day or two.
Is chiropractic safe?
Yes! Despite occasional sensationalistic media reports, evidence shows that chiropractic treatments rank among the safest forms of health care ever offered. For this reason, chiropractors enjoy some of the lowest malpractice premiums among all physicians. Probably the riskiest and most controversial procedure is the rotational neck adjustment, which is still extremely safe: your risk of injuring your vertebral artery and having a stroke after this procedure is approximately 1 in 5.85 million. To put this in perspective, you are 585 times more likely to be struck by lightning and 58,500 times more likely to die in a car crash. You are more at risk driving to your appointment than you are on the adjusting table! That being said, Dr. King does not use this method of neck adjustment on everyone. By using a drop-table or a special tool that gives a quick impulse, she is able to adjust the neck without any rotation, which brings the risk to essentially zero.
Is chiropractic for everyone?
No. Before treating anyone, Dr. King performs a thorough history and examination to determine if chiropractic is appropriate. Most of the time, the problem is biomechanical and can be helped by chiropractic. If she determines that your symptoms are due to a fracture, dislocation, or disease process, she will refer you to the appropriate health care professional.
What is the popping sound during an adjustment?
Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids inside the joints shift, similar to opening a bottle of champagne. Other times, there is no sound. The presence or absence of a “pop” does not indicate how successful an adjustment is.
How many treatments will I need?
That depends on several factors, including your type and severity of injury, age, lifestyle, and fitness level. Some people feel immediate relief after just one adjustment. Others require several treatments over the course of weeks or months. Dr. King will give you an estimate of how long your treatment plan will take.
Once I start going, do I have to keep going forever?
You do not have to, but you will probably want to! Many people feel so good after being adjusted that they choose to visit the chiropractor periodically for maintenance purposes. Just like getting your teeth cleaned every six months prevents tooth decay, getting adjusted regularly can help prevent joint degeneration and further injuries from occurring.
Does my health insurance cover chiropractic care?
Most health insurance companies do cover chiropractic care. Dr. King accepts Medicare, MassHealth, Neighborhood, Network, Tufts, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Pilgrim, United Healthcare, GIC, and some types of Cigna. She also accepts Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury cases.