Chiropractic Adjustments In Petersburg IL
What to Expect on Your First Visit
Many new patients are not sure what to expect during their first appointment with a doctor of chiropractic (DC). Chiropractors start by asking patients questions to gather information about their present condition and health history and then performing a physical examination to develop a working diagnosis. Imaging or lab tests (such as MRI, CT scan or X-ray) may be used to confirm a diagnosis.
The combination of the history, exam and diagnostic studies will enable your doctor of chiropractic to reach a diagnosis, which will in turn help him or her to determine whether chiropractic services are appropriate for your condition. If your doctor determines you would be more appropriately managed or co-managed by another health care professional, he or she will make the proper referral.
Through a process of shared decision-making, you and your doctor will determine if chiropractic services are right for you. As part of this process, the doctor will explain your condition, recommend a treatment plan and review the risks and benefits of all procedures.
Based on the extent, timing or severity of a patient’s condition, chiropractic interventions may require several visits. Patients may also receive advice on home care, lifestyle modifications, exercise instruction and nutrition.
Watch the video below to learn more about what to expect on your first chiropractic visit.
WHAT DO CHIROPACTORS TREAT?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches…particularly with their highly skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. DC’s also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
DOES CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT REQUIRE A REFERRAL FROM AN MD?
A referral is not needed to see a doctor of chiropractic (DC); however, your health plan may have specific referral requirements. You may want to contact your employer’s human resources department—or the insurance plan directly—to find out if there are any referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a DC.
DO INSURANCE PLANS COVER CHIROPRACTIC?
Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others. Chiropractic care is also available to active-duty members of the armed forces at more than 60 military bases and is available to veterans at 36 major veterans’ medical facilities.
IS CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT SAFE?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of musculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
IS CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.
Safe and Effective
Chiropractic services are some of the safest drug-free, noninvasive therapies available for the treatment of back pain, neck pain, joint pain of the arms or legs, headaches and other neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small.
Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching (like that experienced after some forms of exercise), headaches and tiredness. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.1
In addition to being a safe form of treatment, spinal manipulation is incredibly effective, in some cases getting patients back on their feet faster than traditional medical care. A clinical comparative trial published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that chiropractic care combined with usual medical care for low back pain provides greater pain relief and a greater reduction in disability than medical care alone.2 In addition, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that spinal manipulative therapy and exercise are more effective at relieving neck pain than pain medication.3
Safety of Neck Manipulation
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment or neck manipulation, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Patients typically notice a reduction in pain, soreness and stiffness, along with an improved ability to move the neck. Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated high-velocity, upper-neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, research suggests that patients are no more likely to suffer a stroke following a chiropractic neck treatment than they are after visiting their primary care medical doctor’s office. Researchers who examined the issue closely concluded that vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke is a very rare event, and that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming or having a shampoo in a hair salon.4
It’s important to note that patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or medical doctor—but the care they receive there is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity, upper-neck manipulation is extremely rare – about 1 case in 5.85 million manipulations.5 To put this risk into perspective, if you drive more than a mile to get to your chiropractic appointment, you are at greater risk of serious injury from a car accident than from your chiropractic visit.
When assessing treatment options, patients should understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for neck and back pain—prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as well as prescription opioid pain medications—as these options carry risks significantly greater than those of manipulation.
According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers such as ibuprofen.6 In addition, as many as one in four people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction.7
Surgery for conditions for which manipulation may also be used carries risks many times greater than those of chiropractic treatment. Even prolonged bed rest carries some risks, including muscle atrophy, cardiopulmonary deconditioning, bone mineral loss and thromoembolism.8
A comprehensive review of scientific evidence related to neck pain treatments found at least as much evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of common chiropractic treatments, including manipulation, as compared with other treatments such as prescription and non-prescription drugs and surgery.9
If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic for neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor to determine the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider. If the issue of stroke concerns you, do not hesitate to discuss it with your chiropractor. Depending on your clinical condition or preferences, he or she can forego manipulation and can instead recommend joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, soft-tissue techniques or other therapies.
Ongoing Research and Education
The American Chiropractic Association believes that patients have the right to know about the health risks associated with any type of treatment, including chiropractic. Today, chiropractic researchers are involved in studying the benefits and risks of spinal adjustment in the treatment of neck and back pain through clinical trials, literature reviews and publishing papers reviewing the risks and complications of neck adjustment.
All available evidence demonstrates that chiropractic treatment holds an extremely small risk. The chiropractic profession takes the issue of stroke and the safety of patients very seriously and engages in training and postgraduate education courses to recognize risk factors in patients and to continue rendering treatment in the most effective and responsible manner.
- Senstad O, et al. Frequency and characteristics of side effects of spinal manipulative therapy. Spine 1997 Feb15; 435-440.
- Goertz CM et al. Effect of usual medical care plus chiropractic care vs usual medical care alone on pain and disability among US service members with low back pain: A comparative effectiveness clinical trial. JAMA Network Open, 2018; 1(1): e180105. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0105.
- Bronfort G, Evans R, Anderson A, Svendsen K, Bracha Y, Grimm R. Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012; 156(1):1-10.
- Cassidy D, et al. Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care. Spine 2008; 33: S176–S183.
- Haldeman S, et al. Arterial dissection following cervical manipulation: a chiropractic experience. Can Med Assoc J 2001;165(7):905-06.
- Lanas A, et al. A nationwide study of mortality associated with hospital admission due to severe gastrointestinal events and those associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. Am J Gastroenterol 2005; 100:1685–1693.
- Boscarino JA. Risk factors for drug dependence among outpatients on opioid therapy in large US health-care system. Addiction. 2010 Oct;105(10):1776-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03052.x. Epub 2010 Aug 16.
- Lauretti W. “The Comparative Safety of Chiropractic.” In Daniel Redwood, ed., Contemporary Chiropractic. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p.230-8.
- Hurwitz E, et al. Treatment of neck pain: noninvasive interventions. Spine 2008;33(4S):S123-S152.