Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions we are asked everyday in our office.

Does being adjusted by a chiropractor hurt?

What education is involved in becoming a chiropractor?

Why does it take multiple visits to get better?

How is physical therapy different from chiropractic?

What is chiropractic?

What is an adjustment?

Does my insurance cover chiropractic care?

Will I always have to go to a chiropractor?

Q. Does being adjusted by a chiropractor hurt?
A. This is the most common question I receive from patients. The answer is, it depends on who is doing the adjusting! Certain chiropractors adjust in a fashion that is very rough, and do nothing to relax your muscles ahead of time. All I can say is OUCH!!!!! The worst thing you want to happen on your first chiropractic visit is to feel like you have been in the ring at a WWE match.

On the other hand when certain doctors adjust you feel like nothing was done. I take the approach that everyone has different pain levels and likes and dislikes. Some people don’t like the idea of having their neck cracked; I can accommodate these patients and get them better without the popping. Essentially adjustments don’t hurt, but you may feel some stiffness after adjustments that diminish quickly. Most patients tell me they love getting adjusted.

Q. What education is involved in becoming a chiropractor?
A. In order to become a chiropractor an individual has to obtain a bachelors degree with a science emphasis. This usually includes a year of Physics, Biology, and Inorganic/Organic Chemistry all with labs. The rest of the general education requirements also have to be completed for the degree.

After applying and being accepted into a chiropractic college the fun really begins. Chiropractic school takes approximately three and a half to four years to complete. A complete listing of courses taken can be found at the college I attended (Palmer College of Chiropractic) website. Click here to view the courses chiropractors must complete to graduate.

During school four rounds of National Board Exams are taken. These Board Exams are required to practice within a particular state. In addition, some states still have unique state board exams on top of that. There are also a minimum number of continuing education credits that must be completed each year to maintain a chiropractic license. Indiana requires 12 hours per year or 24 hours bi-annually. So all in all it takes approximately 7-8 years of college and advanced education to complete the requirements to practice.

Q. Why does it take multiple visits to get better?
A. This would be the second most common question. People who end up at my door have usually been dealing with some form of pain, soreness, or stiffness for quite a while; and suddenly severe pain starts from routine activities. All those months and years small symptoms were nagging away, tension, pressure and inflammation is building in your muscles, joints, and ligaments. Most people come in with significant restriction in their spine and tissues. The bottom line is that you didn’t get “broke” overnight, and you will not be “fixed” overnight.

Any other profession that works on improving people’s function such as Massage Therapy, Physical Therapy, etc all know that the body can only change so fast. On the flip side, I believe that chiropractic can achieve faster results because we are working on the spine and the muscle tension around the spine; versus just stretching or strengthening muscles. Remember those tight muscles attach to a bony structure called the spine; if your structure is crooked and stays that way, the muscles will never relax. Lastly, patients need to understand that doing their home therapy will accelerate results tremendously, versus chiropractic care alone. The patient has to do their part.

Q. How is physical therapy different from chiropractic?
A. Physical Therapists mainly focus on stretching and strengthening muscles and other tissues in the body. They are not spinal specialists that spent most of their schooling studying how to assess and adjust the spine. Chiropractors in my opinion have a much deeper understanding of spinal biomechanics, and are more qualified to adjust. Physical Therapists are not educated or licensed to perform spinal manipulation properly; but they do tremendous good for patients with other problems.

For example, most Chiropractors would have no idea how to properly rehabilitate a person after shoulder or hip replacement surgery. Thus Physical Therapists are uniquely better able to perform these services than chiropractors. My opinion is that we need to work together to assess what is wrong with the patient and make the appropriate referral and treat within our scope. I have on many occasions felt a PT approach would be better and sent a patient to therapy that is more intensive, and they do great.

Q. What is chiropractic?
A. Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system (especially the spine, and the nerves extending from the spine to all parts of the body). “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand.” Chiropractic stresses the idea that the cause of many disease processes begins with the body’s inability to adapt to its environment. It looks to address these diseases not by the use of drugs and chemicals, but by locating and adjusting a musculoskeletal area of the body which is functioning improperly.

Q. What is an adjustment?
A. A chiropractic adjustment is movement of a segment of the spine to increase range of motion, function, and relax surrounding muscles. An adjustment can be performed by hand, or by an adjusting instrument. Each practitioner is different and each patient responds to a different approach.

So the bottom line is that when an adjustment occurs, bones move!

Q. Does my insurance cover chiropractic care?
A. Almost all insurance companies we deal with in our office cover chiropractic care to some degree, and many do not require a referral from a primary care doctor.

Q. Will I always have to go to a chiropractor?
A. Some people will say that once you go to a chiropractor you will have to go back forever. Kind of like a black hole from which you can never escape. Typically, we all share the goal of good health. We have become a society, though, that wants the quick fix. We have learned to ignore our bodies and the way it communicates problems to us through a commonly used messenger called “pain.”

Chiropractic patients learn to listen to their bodies and to take action when something is not exactly right. If this means that a chiropractic adjustment is appropriate, then they get adjusted (See what an adjustment is above). Does this last forever? I sure hope so! BEWARE, though, of Chiropractors who tell you that you need to come back multiple times per week for many, many weeks at a time. Also, BEWARE, of chiropractors who try to sell you long-term treatment plans. These plans are made to benefit the chiropractor, not you. You should not have to be SOLD anything when you go to a doctor’s office.

  Each person is an individual and they will respond to treatment in different ways. What may take you only two days of treatment can take another person two weeks. Your treatment schedule should be determined by the week, not by the month or year. At Mason Family Chiropractic & Wellness your treatment is tailored to YOU. Our goal is to get you well. We want to help educate you in the art of listening to your body. We take pride in doing this in as few treatments as is necessary.

Mason Family Chiropractic

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