Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic

We have assembled the answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive, but we realize that we may not address the question that you may have. Please feel free to call us at (630) 876-3812, send us an e-mail, or stop by our office and we'll be more than glad to answer any questions you may have!

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a natural, drug-free health care profession that focuses on disorders of our musculoskeletal and nervous systems and the role they play in specific maladies and our general health.

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) such as Dr. Waln treats the causes and symptoms of our injuries and illnesses primarily through chiropractic “adjustments.” While Doctors of Chiropractic most often treat neuro-musculoskeletal complaints such as back, neck, and joint pain, growing research supports chiropractic as an effective treatment for other common conditions as well, such as asthma and ear infections.
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What is an “adjustment?”

chiropractic adjustmentAn adjustment, or chiropractic manipulation, is the term for applying a specific force in a precise direction to a joint that is “locked up” (hypomobile) or not moving properly to help to restore the joint’s normal position and mobility.

An adjustment helps to alleviate pain, inflammation, and muscle tightness and permits injured tissues to heal. Usually, the doctor performs a gentle adjustment with his hands but sometimes utilizes specifically designed instruments.

Since the spine houses the main part of the nervous system - which affects every major system in our bodies - chiropractors often make adjustments to our spine. But, an adjustment can be done to any movable joint in the body - even feet and ankles - to make sure that we're healthy from the ground up!
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Does an adjustment hurt?

Chiropractic adjustments rarely cause discomfort, and often people experience immediate relief from their symptoms following an adjustment. A few patients may experience some mild soreness after a treatment, but it usually resolves itself quickly.
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What is that popping sound?

doctor examining x-rayOur joints are surrounded by a lubricating synovial fluid which contains gases such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen. When a joint is adjusted, the change in pressure created by gapping in the joint may release a gas bubble which makes that popping sound - the same process that occurs if we "crack" our knuckles. (By the way, our moms were wrong about that arthritis/knuckle-cracking connection smiley face.)
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Can I adjust myself?

A Doctor of Chiropractic’s (DC) education allows him/her to recognize which joints need attention, then to adjust the joint in a precise manner to achieve the needed benefits. While we may be able to re-create a “pop” in some joint, we are probably merely moving a joint that already has sufficient mobility and not any of the joints that need a trained touch. It is unlikely that we'll provide ourselves any benefit - and we may wrench ourselves in such a way that may exacerbate our injuries.

Even with the proper knowledge and technique, it's still extremely difficult to perform an adjustment on oneself, so even chiropractors visit chiropractors!
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How safe is Chiropractic?

Over 20 million people in the U.S. receive chiropractic treatment each year1 and would probably agree with the studies that attest that chiropractic is an extremely safe form of health care.2

As with any form of health care, there may be the small chance of a complication, but statistics have shown a substantially lower risk of complications when one receives care from a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic than from other types of medical care. This makes sense when one compares chiropractic to the inherent risks of surgery and the potential side effects of prescription drugs.3

Dr. Waln is board-qualified and licensed according to strict requirements and continues his education to ensure that you receive the best care possible.
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What ages are appropriate for Chiropractic care? Is my child too young? Am I too old?

grandfather and granddaughterChiropractic care is always adapted to each individual patient, so people of all ages can benefit from a healthy nervous system protected by a healthy spine. So far, our youngest patient at Prince Crossing Family Chiropractic was only 8 days old and our oldest was over 92 years old!
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Does insurance cover Chiropractic care?

Yes, most U.S. health care plans cover chiropractic care, as does Medicare, Medicaid, and federal and state workers’ compensation programs. Additionally, research suggests that patients receiving chiropractic care can have lower total health care costs than those who do not utilize chiropractic care.4
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Does Chiropractic require a referral?

Doctors of Chiropractic are first-contact physicians trained in clinical examination, diagnosis, treatment, and referral, so you are free to make an appointment at your convenience without a referral from another doctor. Feel free to call us at (630) 876-3812, send us an e-mail, or simply stop by our office for an appointment, as we may be able to see you immediately.
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What if my question isn't answered here?

These are just the answers to the most commonly asked questions, so please feel free to call (630) 876-3812, send us an e-mail, or stop by our office and we'll be more than glad to answer any other questions you may have!
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References

  1. Tindle, H., Davis, R., Phillips, R., and Eisenberg, D. "Trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine by U.S. adults: 1997-2002." Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine Jan-Feb 2005; 11(1):42-9.
  2. See e.g.,
    Haldeman S, MD, PhD, DC, Kohlbeck FJ, DC, McGregor M., DC. “Risk factors and precipitating neck movements causing vertebrobasilar artery dissection after cervical trauma and spinal manipulation.” Spine 1999;24(8):785-94.

    Hasselberg, P.D. Commission of Inquiry, Chiropractic in New Zealand. Report of the Commission of Inquiry Wellington, New Zealand: Government Printer: Wellington, New Zealand, 1979.

    Manga, P., PhD, Angus, D. MA, Papadopoulos, C., MHA, Swan, W. "The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain" University of Ottawa, Canada: 1993.

    Pistolese, R. “Risk Assessment of Neurological and/or Vertebrobasilar Complications in the Pediatric Chiropractic Patient.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research 2(2):1-9 July 1998.
  3. See for comparison, e.g.,
    Fored, C., M.D., Ejerblad, E., M.D., Lindblad, P., M.D., Ph.D., Fryzek, J., Ph.D., Dickman P., Ph.D., Signorello, L., Sc.D., Lipworth, L., Sc.D., Elinder, CG., M.D., Ph.D., Blot, W., Ph.D., McLaughlin, J., Ph.D., Zack, M., M.D., M.P.H., and Nyrén, O., M.D., Ph.D. “Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Chronic Renal Failure” New England Journal of Medicine 2001, 345:543-545, Dec. 2001.

    Kohn L., Corrigan J., Donaldson M., eds. (2000) To Err is Human: building a safer health system. Washington: National Academy Press: 2000.

    Leape, L., MD. “Error in medicine” Journal of the American Medical Association 1994;272:1851-1857.
  4. Mosley C., Cohen I., Arnold A. “Cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care in a managed care setting.” American Journal of Managed Care 1996;2:280-282.
  5. General references for this section:
    Cox, J., Low Back Pain, Mechanism, Diagnosis, and Treatment, 4th ed., Williams and Wilkins, 1990.

    Leach, R., DC, The Chiropractic Theories; Principles and Clinical Applications, Williams and Wilkins, 1994.

    Lewit, K., MUDr., Doc. DSC, Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Motor System, Butterworth, 1987.

    White, A., M.D. and Panjabi, M., Ph.D., Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine, 2nd ed., J.B. Lippincott, 1990.