Frequently Asked Questions
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
An adjustment is a high speed low force thrust applied to a specific joint. Think of it as a stretch. The difference between the stretch a chiropractor gives you and the stretch a physical therapist or athletic trainer gives you is in the speed and force. If you have ever been stretched by a physical therapist or trainer than you know there is a significant degree of force and discomfort associated with it. When a chiropractor stretches or "adjusts" you the high speed of the maneuver fires a specific type of nerve within the muscles surrounding the joint. This causes the muscles to relax for a moment and gives a more comfortable and more effective stretch.
Is chiropractic care safe?
In 2003 Dr. William J. Lauretti published an article in the journal of the American Chiropractic Association. The article was titled Chiropractic Risks and in it he summarized hundreds of studies which dealt with different treatment alternatives for neck pain. The study concluded that the mortality rate associated with anti-inflammatory medication was more than double that of chiropractic manipulation of the neck. The sources for his statistics were reputable medical journals, medical schools, hospitals and government studies. Click here for a PDF transcript of the article along with all cited sources.
What type of training is required to become a chiropractor?
Chiropractors receive their Doctor of Chiropractic degree from a specialized chiropractic school. The entrance requirements vary slightly from school to school. All require the same pre-med coursework as medical school. The first 2 years of chiropractic school practically mirror that of the medical school curriculum. The differences are chiropractic students get more credit hours of anatomy, pathology, physiology, radiology, biochemistry and nutrition. Medical school students get more pharmacology, genetics and public health. The remainder of school for both medical and chiropractic students involves clinical rotations treating patients. Medical students do theirs in a teaching hospital while chiropractic students do theirs in clinics that are part of the chiropractic school. Chiropractic students take a four part national board exam which tests knowledge of all basic science, anatomy, radiology, diagnostic and clinical skills. Students then have to apply to the licensing board in the state in which they choose to practice in. Some states such as Florida require an additional state board exam. The Florida state board exam as well as part four of the national board has students examine, diagnose and treat patients in front of board members to prove their proficiency. If a student satisfies all chiropractic school coursework, passes all board exams and satisfies all state board requirements, he or she is granted a license from the state’s department of health as a Chiropractic Physician. The chiropractor can then begin private practice.
Is chiropractic safe for children and the elderly?
Chiropractic adjustments are safe for patients of all ages. Obviously a different technique will be used on an eight-five year old woman with osteoporosis than the technique use when treating a twenty year old college football player.
Dr. Wassermann has performed hundreds of adjustments on children less than one year of age. He adjusted his own children in the hospital the first day they were born.
Dr. Wassermann did an internship in a geriatric chiropractic clinic at Edgewater Medical Center in Chicago Illinois. This was a clinic inside the hospital that gave chiropractic treatment to patients eighty years and older.
Do chiropractors prescribe medication?
Chiropractors are trained to treat human ailments WITHOUT the use of drugs or surgery. Chiropractors do not write prescriptions for medication. If you have a condition that requires drugs or surgery Dr. Wassermann will refer you to the appropriate medical doctor for further care.
Should I be getting adjusted even though I don’t have any pain?
A regular chiropractic adjustment is an integral part of maintaining good health. Adjustments are just as important as proper nutrition, exercise and regular wellness visits to the dentist and medical doctor. Of course, people with injuries require more frequent care. Chiropractic wellness visit frequency differs from person to person. Some people may need 2 visits per year to stay healthy while others may need 2 visits a month to stay healthy.
Does insurance pay for chiropractic care?
Most insurance companies pay for chiropractic care. Medicare and Medicaid pay for chiropractic. Coverage varies from plan to plan. Please call our office and we will be happy to let you know what your plan covers. We also have affordable fees for those without insurance.
What is the "crack" you sometimes hear with an adjustment?
The sound associated with a chiropractic adjustment is the same as the sound you would hear cracking your knuckles. It is the sound of a joint that was locked being released. The source of the sound is not fully understood by scientists at this time. It is believed that when a joint is stretched far enough, a pressure change and popping sound is created in the fluid that lubricates the joint.
If I don’t hear a "crack" does that mean the adjustment did not work?
When your chiropractor adjusts you, his goal is to restore normal motion to your joint. Sometimes the joint is so tight your chiropractor cannot get it to fully release. In this case you may not hear a popping sound. The adjustment was still helpful in stretching the joint, it just was not as profound a stretch as your chiropractor might have wanted. Other times when the joint is fully mobile with no restrictions, you do not hear a popping sound because no release was needed by the joint. A good chiropractor will make an assessment of the movement of your joints before adjusting you. He will then only adjust the joints that are restricted in their movement. Sometimes however, even the most experienced chiropractor will think a joint feels restricted until he attempts to adjust it. Then while delivering the adjustment the true motion of the joint is apparent.
Do not become preoccupied with hearing a "crack" every time you get adjusted. Sound is not a good indicator of the effectiveness of the adjustment.
My mom always told me I shouldn’t crack my knuckles because I would get arthritis. Is that true? Why is it different when my chiropractor "cracks" my joints?
The joints in the human body wear out with time and use. When you constantly "crack" your joints, whether the joint in question is your knuckle or a facet joint of the spine, you are causing extra wear and tear to that joint. When a joint wears out, the condition that ensues is osteoarthritis. So yes, if you "crack" your knuckles often you will be more likely to get arthritis in those knuckles at an earlier age than you would otherwise.
A good chiropractor will make an assessment of the movement of your joints before adjusting you. He will then only adjust the joints that are restricted in their movement. That is the difference. Adjusting a restricted joint will actually help to slow down the natural progression towards arthritis. Adjusting a fully mobile or overly mobile joint will actually speed up the natural progression towards arthritis. Understand however, that every human being will get arthritis if they live long enough. The questions are only how soon will you get it and how severe will it be.
I heard you can get addicted to chiropractic treatment. Is this true?
Chiropractic treatment is not addictive. Once you start getting adjusted you will realize how good it is possible to feel. You will come to know how chiropractic care is an important part of maintaining your health. You will want to continue feeling as good as possible and therefore want to continue your care. Your body will not somehow become physically dependent on adjustments. You will look forward to your adjustments but you will not become addicted to them.
Is a chiropractor a "real" doctor?
Chiropractors receive a degree called a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) It is a doctoral degree from a credit standpoint. Chiropractors successfully treat millions of patients a year. They are not medical doctors. Medical doctors receive a degree called a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) If your definition of "real" doctor is someone with a doctorate degree who diagnoses and treats patients then yes a chiropractor is a "real" doctor.