Frequently Asked Questions
What is chiropractic treatment? Is it safe? Is it proven to work?
A chiropractic adjustment is a treatment designed to restore proper alignment and function to the body by correcting "subluxations." The medical term "vertebral subluxation" refers to a misalignment or slight dislocation of the bones in the spine. Chiropractors are the only doctors trained to diagnose and treat subluxations.
Chiropractic treatment is safe and proven to help a large number of health conditions, including chronic back and neck pain, acute injuries/sports injuries, auto injuries such as whiplash, and age-related health conditions like osteoarthritis. Please read our chiropractic adjustment page for more details.
Is a Chiropractor a "real" doctor?
Chiropractors are licensed health care providers with a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. They are considered primary physicians in the state of Florida. The chiropractic curricula is extremely rigorous and similar to that of medical school. In addition to classroom study, chiropractic students must complete a residency working with patients in a clinical setting, while supervised by other licensed chiropractors. After graduation, chiropractors must pass four sets of national board exams along with state board exams.
The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors is in their style of treatment. Medical doctors are trained in prescribing medicine and/or surgery for patients. They focus on biochemistry, and they can be helpful with chemical-related health problems such as infections, diabetes or hypothyroidism.
Conversely, chiropractors are trained to correct physical problems through chiropractic adjustments, exercises, stretches, and muscle therapies. They are helpful in addressing conditions that are physical in nature, such as back pain, neck pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and whiplash. Chiropractors are the only doctors trained to diagnose and treat spinal misalignment (vertebral subluxation), which can affect many areas of health. See our chiropractic adjustment page for more details on health conditions that can be improved with chiropractic care.
Can chiropractic cause damage to my body?
Chiropractors are specialists in diagnosing and treating subluxations. When done correctly, a chiropractic adjustment is beneficial to most patients. However, the adjustment could be contraindicated for some health conditions. That is why we perform a thorough diagnosis to determine the correct treatment plan for you. We may use alternate forms of treatment, including milder forms of adjustment that do not produce a "pop" or "crack."
What causes the "pop" or "crack" sound during an adjustment?
Traditionally, chiropractic adjustment refers to a quick thrust applied to the vertebra to correct its alignment. The adjustment is often accompanied by an audible "pop" or "crack" sound that comes from the movement of synovial fluid and a release of gas (nitrogen, CO2) within the joint, called a "cavitation."
I've heard that I shouldn't crack my knuckles. Isn't it bad to crack my joints?
When done properly, a chiropractic adjustment is restoring proper alignment of the spine or joints. Chiropractors are specially trained to perform these adjustments without causing harm. Untrained individuals should never attempt to pop or crack joints (including knuckles) because this can strain the joint.
Does treatment hurt?
As health care providers, we are guided by the principle to "do no harm" to our patients. That is why we perform an extensive examination and review your health history to ensure that we perform the right treatments for your unique needs. Some patients do experience a minor discomfort during a chiropractic adjustment / cavitation, and it is not uncommon to feel a little worse before you feel better. However, if cavitation is contraindicated or if the patient is too uncomfortable, we can utilize other forms of treatment including milder adjustment techniques.