Chiropractic care, particularly spinal adjustments, is often the treatment of last resort for many patients. They have likely already seen at least one specialist (in addition to their primary care doctor), undergone numerous tests, and been prescribed many types of drugs, yet still do not have a definitive diagnosis. By the time these patients finally make an appointment to see Dr. Nathen Horst, they are already weary of seeing yet another doctor who may not be able to help them find relief. In addition, they may have heard stories from family or friends about the dangers of spinal adjustments, so patients may also be nervous or apprehensive. Dr. Horst offers this series of FAQs about spinal adjustments to help new patients better understand how chiropractic care works, as well as the benefits it can provide patients.
What Is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic is, first and foremost, concerned with joints, bones, and any attached ligaments and tendons. It focuses specifically on the spine as a major player in the body’s health. The essential theory behind chiropractic care is that pain and many illnesses are a result of problems with both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Given that the spine plays a major role as a conduit for both nervous systems, any misalignment of the vertebrae can hamper proper functioning of the nervous system. A spinal adjustment gently shifts the vertebrae back into their normal position, relieving pressure on the nerves leading out from the spinal column, helping to reduce pain and tightness.
What Can I Expect from My First Visit?
A good portion of the first visit will be taken up with a thorough exam. This will include medical history and x-rays. Dr. Horst will also do a physical examination, which will involve feeling the problem area along the spine. Depending on the type of problem, he may move the head or extremities through a series of movements in order to determine the range of motion. He will then compile his report of findings, which he will use to explain both the cause of the spinal problem, as well as his proposed treatment plan. Depending upon the type of issue, he may or may not do a spinal adjustment at the first visit.
Will a Spinal Adjustment Hurt?
In general, a spinal adjustment will not hurt. However, it is not unusual for patients to feel sore or tender following their first adjustment. This is a byproduct of the spine releasing all the tension it was holding while in the incorrect position. Most soreness, tenderness, or stiffness will resolve within 24 to 48 hours following the adjustment. Dr. Horst recommends that patients take it easy and keep properly hydrated.
Why Should I Continue Treatment?
Patients may feel as though they can stop treatment once the immediate problem has resolved. However, Dr. Horst recommends maintenance treatments in order to keep the spine in its proper alignment for as long a period of time as possible. Regular spinal adjustments will not only help strengthen the spine, but may even reduce or eliminate recurrences of the initial problem.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments can finally bring relief from a variety of nagging pains and ailments. Dr. Horst is more than happy to walk patients through the process so that they will feel comfortable with the process, which will help them be more relaxed when he performs the spinal adjustment. Contact Horst Chiropractic today.