Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic Care in Buffalo
Helping You Understand the Healing Process
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
When many people think of chiropractors, spinal adjustments are the first and only treatment that comes to mind. The truth is that chiropractors are equipped to treat a wide range of conditions related to acute or chronic pain. The main motivator to visit a chiropractor is for neck or back pain, or both. In order to treat these types of injuries or conditions, an intensive process must be completed on the patient in order to make sure the best treatment plan is utilized. At BCA, we perform physical examinations and sometimes utilize diagnostic imaging tests to ensure we’re taking the right approach to back pain before beginning treatments like manual adjustments.
Did you know that chiropractic care can also help with headaches? Current evidence shows that chiropractic care is effective in treating cervicogenic and tension headaches, and evidence shows that chiropractic care lessens the instances of migraines for a patient.
Chiropractic care can also be used with other conditions such as fibromyalgia, which is a painful condition that affects the bones and muscles. In this instance, the chiropractic treatment includes a more gentle approach to return the bones to their natural position, which helps those with fibromyalgia function properly and more comfortably. Chiropractic care can also help with asthma.
Altogether, chiropractic care is useful in treating a wide range of acute and chronic pain. If you’re experiencing pain of any kind, or would like to be preventative with your care, our BCA chiropractors are here to help you.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
When performed by someone trained and licensed to perform chiropractic care, the treatment is safe and effective. Chiropractic adjustments are actually much less risky than using drugs or surgery to treat the issue of chronic pain. Some patients who seek treatment will only require a slight amount of pressure, while others might require a stronger treatment. It takes a skilled and knowledgeable professional like the ones at Buffalo Chiropractic + Acupuncture, PLLC to know the difference. In other words, don't try this at home! As we should be, chiropractors are required to receive years of training and must receive special licenses in order to practice this skill. The risks associated with chiropractic care, like a slipped or herniated disc, compressed spinal nerve, or very rarely, a vertebral artery dissection, are extremely uncommon when performed by a licensed and trained chiropractor. When we think about the risks of chiropractic care, it is important to weigh it against the risks of alternative treatments that help similar conditions. Chiropractic treatments are much safer than many of these alternatives, and Doctors of Chiropractic Care are well-trained in the field to provide patients with safe and successful care.
What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Chiropractors must undergo extensive training in chiropractic care in order to earn our title, and we are considered licensed practitioners. We must first complete undergraduate work focused on the sciences, and then qualify for entry to a four-five year chiropractic program that involves a rigorous academic program, including hands-on experience. In the U.S., chiropractors must receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from a college accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. Some chiropractors may choose to specialize in a specific area, in which case they complete a residency that lasts between two and three years. In order to finally obtain a license, all chiropractors must pass a series of examinations and stay up-to-date in the developments of the field by taking frequent continuing education courses. In total, chiropractors have to receive approximately 4,620 educational hours to receive the degree, which is almost 1000 hours more than a Doctor of Physical Therapy and only 200 hours less than a standard medical doctor.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Before a chiropractic adjustment begins, we must first go over the patient's medical history as well as the symptoms associated with their condition. We might ask a variety of questions about the existing pain and its causes, or about preventing future pain. The goal will be to gain a better understanding of the patient's condition to provide the most effective treatment possible. The next step for the patient will be to undergo a chiropractic exam. During this time, we perform general tests, such as blood pressure or reflexes, as well as a physical assessment to examine the patient's range of motion, muscle tone, muscle strength, and potential neurological condition. If we choose to move forward with chiropractic care, treatment may consist of gentle force to the spine, either manually or with the help of specific tools and instruments. When we manipulate the spine, what happens is that subluxation is reduced. Subluxation is a partial abnormal separation of the surfaces of a joint. When this is reduced, the patient experiences increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, and improved overall bodily function.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
The popping sound you hear during a spinal manipulation is caused by the release of small pockets of air that are in the fluid surrounding the joints. A chiropractic adjustment stretches these joint tissues, which causes the pockets of gas to pop and creates the cracking sound. This is also called joint cavitation, and although it might be a worrisome noise to some patients, it is not a cause of concern. The "popping" sound is completely natural and healthy. Although these sounds sometimes occur during a chiropractic adjustment, and may be associated with a sense of relief from pressure, we do not recommend working to achieve the sound on your own. Adjustment or spinal manipulation should ideally be performed by a licensed chiropractor to help ensure a safe and successful outcome.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic care?
Because chiropractic care represents an essential part of a comprehensive healthcare treatment plan for many individuals, most health insurance plans cover it. As with any health insurance plan, the extent to which they cover these treatments may vary, as some plans have limits. This includes most major medical plans, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Independent Health, and Medicare. Injuries arising from car accidents or work also have insurance coverage in the state of New York.
Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your Doctor of Chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.
How many chiropractic adjustments are necessary?
As with many other types of treatments, the amount of chiropractic adjustments you will need depends on multiple factors, such as: what you're seeking treatment for, how long you've had a certain condition (like neck or back pain) for, where an injury is located, your genetics and overall health, and more. The better question to ask is what your goals are with chiropractic adjustments. If you're just seeking relief, one or two treatments will be just fine. However, if your overall goal is long-term health improvement, an ongoing regimen of frequent adjustments might be required.
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