What’s the difference between a chiropractic adjustment and when I “crack” my back?

There are a couple of differences between chiropractic adjustments and cracking your back.  First, when a chiropractor adjusts your spine, you are relaxing all of your muscles.  When you crack your back, at least half of the muscles around the spine are tight (contracted). When muscles are flexed around the spine, they are going to stop it from getting the motion into the joint.

Second, when someone attempts to crack their own back, they normally  get the areas that are already moving properly.  This will normally result with the person continuously cracking an area of their spine, a good sign that they haven’t fixed the real chiropractic problem at hand.

Is “cracking” your knuckles bad for you?

One crack of the knuckles is not bad for you, but the HABIT of cracking your knuckles is bad for you.
When you crack your knuckles multiple times a day you can start to stress the joints.  What happens is you create too much motion in the joint, making it unstable. This causes the joints to inflame and swell, and lead to the joint breaking down prematurely and developing arthritis.

What makes the “cracking” sound when I get a chiropractic adjustment?

The noise you hear during a chiropractic adjustment is actually a gas release.  The gas builds up in a joint that becomes locked up and when you get a chiropractic adjustment, the built up gas rushes out of the joint, making a “popping” sound.  This is the same reason you hear a popping sound when you pull a suction cup off of a window or wall.

I really don’t like the noise it makes when I get a chiropractic adjustment; can I be treated without the cracking sound being made?

Yes, there are different chiropractic techniques that we can use to adjust the spine and some are noise free.  A chiropractic instrument called an Activator can be used to silently guide the spine into the proper alignment.  An Activator is a spring loaded tool that produces a gentle amount of force over a very precise area.  There are also special chiropractic tables that can be used to adjust the lower back without noise.

Is chiropractic care covered by insurance?

Yes, our chiropractic office is a provider for most of the major insurance companies.  Some may require a referral, but most do not.  Call the chiropractic office to ask if we are providers with your health insurance carrier.  If you do not have health insurance or your plan does not cover chiropractic care, we have affordable fees and plans to help you receive the chiropractic treatment you need.

I’ve had back surgery (or previous back injuries, herniated discs, ect.) in the past; can I still see a Chiropractor for my back pain?

Absolutely, you can still see a chiropractor for your back pain.  During surgeries, the normal mechanics of the spine are changed.  When the mechanics are changed in one area they will directly affect the rest of the spine, making your body compensate in a variety of ways.  DeFalco Family Chiropractic treats many patients after surgeries, some years after surgery and some weeks after surgery.

Obviously, if you have a fusion, we will be unable to adjust that spinal segment, but we will work above and below the area to increase the function and stability of the rest of the spine to reduce risk for developing arthritis and to manage symptoms.

I’ve been told I need back surgery; is it too late for a Chiropractor to help me?

It is not necessarily too late to seek the chiropractic treatment you need.  In any healthcare situation, any doctor would agree that you would want to try the most conservative care first.  You do not want to try something first that cannot be undone.  Chiropractic care is one of the most conservative treatments you can try.  Spinal stabilization and alignment can go a long way in correcting even the most complex back problems.

DeFalco Family Chiropractic offers a variety of chiropractic treatments, including spinal decompression, so we can handle even the most difficult spine injuries.  You can Google LCD or read our spinal decompression explanation to learn more about spinal decompression.  (Surgeries are not guarantee to relieve the pain or correct the problem and neither are chiropractic adjustments, but surgeries are permanent)

I think my problem is muscular in nature; could a Chiropractor still help me?

Yes, Chiropractors are neuromusculoskeletal experts.  All of your muscles attach to the bones in one way or another, so when one suffers so does the other.  This is why chiropractors treat both areas to help correct the problem the fastest, most efficient way.  Many times, when you have a back or neck problem, it comes down to the “chicken or the egg” conversation.  Which came first: the spinal misalignment or muscle spasm/sprain?  Chiropractors treat both.

Do Chiropractors treat areas other than the spine?

Chiropractors treat the entire body.  Chiropractors focus on the spine and the nervous system because it is the most important; it controls everything that happens within the body.  If other joints are out of alignment such as shoulders, wrists, knees, and ankles, chiropractors will align them as well.

Since Chiropractors work with the nervous system and the nervous system controls your entire body, a wide variety of other issues can be helped with chiropractic care.  Things that you may notice are: improved digestion, respiration,  and energy levels; less allergies; reduced heart burn and thousands of other common symptoms.  Chiropractic treatment may be just what your body is asking for.

How long do you have to go to school to become a Chiropractor?

In order to become a chiropractor, there are many educational steps you must take.  After high school, you will go into a four year Bachelor’s program, and most students wishing to become a chiropractor will choose a science major of some sort.

Next, with all the prerequisites met, you will go to a Chiropractic school for 10 semesters of study.  Traditionally a 5 year chiropractic program is what you will encounter, but you can study through the summers as Dr. Francis DeFalco did and finish Chiropractic school in 3 years and 4 months.  Chiropractic curriculum is similar to that of medical school, without the pharmaceutical courses.