You might have seen videos of patients lying on a special table and a chiropractor doing hand manipulations to help them with their pain. Often times, sounds may be heard as a result of an adjusment, releasing nerve pressure due to a subluxation. A subluxation is a misalignment of the spine causing nerve interference, in return, the chiropractor tries to restore the proper communication between the brain and spine by removing the interference resulting in improved mobility, decreased pain and increased function of the spine and corresponding nerve.
This type of treatment is called chiropractic medicine, which stands on the concept that the human body can heal itself with the proper support (1).
Combining the Greek words ‘cheir’ and ‘praxis,’ which mean hand and practice, chiropractic care is a hands-on therapy that uses manual manipulation of the spine without surgery or medicine to improve a person’s health.
It’s a well recognized healthcare profession (2) founded by Dr. David Daniel Palmer in 1895. It attracted healers and doctors and is now taught in at least 40 colleges and universities in 16 countries.
“Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy in conjunction with standard medical care offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain,” according to a study (3) quoted by the American Chiropractic Association (4).
Another study (5) states that back and neck pains were the most prevalent health problems that were consulted with chiropractic practitioners. And many of these cases reported getting help from chiropractic care.
However, many people still have questions about this type of medicine. Dr. Tony Salamay of the Bay Clinic of Chiropractic will shed light on this by answering some of the frequently asked questions and giving clarity on what chiropractic is all about.
FAQs About Chiropractic Medicine
Chiropractic Dr. Tony Salamay answers your most common questions.
1. What exactly does a chiropractor do?
As primary contact practitioners (6), a chiropractor sees a patient even without a referral from a GP and focuses on restoring the proper communication between the spine, brain, and the rest of the body using the hands. A chiropractor aims to eliminate the nerve interference that vertebral subluxations or misalignments of the spine cause.
2. How long does it take to become a chiropractor?
A straight-up answer is it takes four years of pre-medicine or undergraduate coursework and another 4-5 years of chiropractic school or a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.
Chiropractic aspirants must pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam and obtain a state license. (7)
The training and educational requirements cover the physiology and anatomy of the spine, making it very extensive with thousands of hours of study (8).
3. What does a chiropractor treat; what does a chiropractor help with?
Chiropractic doesn’t just look at symptoms but also uncovers the whole brain-body imbalance that could be causing a person’s condition. Thus, a chiropractor can help with a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions including neck and back pain, headaches, sports injuries, sciatica, whiplash from auto accidents or jaw problems and even other non-musculoskeletal conditions when lifestyle, nutrition and complimentary medicine is employed. Chiropractors address the human frame, diet, nutrition, and biochemical disturbances leading to the cause of the problem.
4. How do I know if I need a chiropractor?
Seeing a chiropractor near you is essential if you experience persistent pain, lack of mobility, and body malaise in the absence of advanced trauma or disease (i.e, fracture, dislocation, infection, or cancer.) You should also consider seeing one if you feel unexplained neck and body pain that’s not due to advanced osteoporosis (9). Generally, healthy people without the need for emergency medical care can benefit from seeing a chiropractor. Those who continue to suffer with migraines and headaches can also benefit by seeing a chiropractor
You will receive a proper case history exam to determine if chiropractic can help with your condition and undergo diagnostics or imaging for the appropriate treatment method.
5. How to find a good chiropractor near me?
One of the best ways to find a chiropractor near me is to see and hear what the community is saying about the chiropractic doctor you’re inquiring about. Visiting their website and reading reviews about them can give you an idea of what they do and if they’re good. Just remember, though, that chiropractors practice differently, so one technique may work better for some but not for others. Having a diverse repertoire using different methods and tools can be helpful. Spending adequate time to listen and properly assess a patient’s individual problem is vital before resorting to treatment to ensure that the right approach is taken.
6. How often should you see a chiropractor?
The frequency of seeing a chiropractic doctor largely depends on the gravity of the patient’s problem or health goals. Some patients visit their chiropractor a few times a week initially, but they taper down as their issues resolve. However, even if the condition has already been corrected, maintaining wellness with periodic adjustments every 1-2 months is essential for good maintenance and preferred by many.
7. How much does a chiropractor cost?
The cost of chiropractic treatment depends on the type of problem and treatment needed, as well as the location and amount of therapy required to address the condition. Typically, a visit can cost anywhere between $50 and $200.
8. What tools does a chiropractor use?
Most chiropractors use the hands as a primary form of treatment, while others use instruments. At the Bay Clinic of Chiropractic. Dr. Tony Salamay and his team use manual adjustments as their primary method. However, they also integrate instrumentation for the healing of the spine and the nervous system since each person responds differently to different techniques.
9. How many chiropractic techniques are there?
Chiropractic is a well-established science and employs over 200 techniques. From these, there are about 15 primary techniques that chiropractors use.
At the Bay Clinic of Chiropractic, we use the following:
- Diversified (Manual, Full Spine)
Dr. Brett Carnevale, chair of the Integrative Chiropractic Therapies Department at Northeast College of Health Sciences, defines the Diversified technique as “an adjustment with a high-velocity, low-amplitude impulse.” He adds that “this high-velocity, low-amplitude impulse works to restore a motion within the area we’re contacting, or adjusting. This restoration of joint motion promotes optimal spinal function and promotes pain reduction and healing in the associated tissues.” It’s a technique that most commonly addresses the spine, but chiropractors can also use it for other parts of the body, including the joints of the lower and upper extremities (10).
- Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT)
The Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT) was originally formulated in the 1920s by Major Bertrand DeJarnette (The Major), who was both a doctor and engineer. He aimed to develop methods of correcting the pelvis, cranium, organs, and extremities instead of just the spine. In this method, the most significant relationship is that of the sacrum and occiput; thus, the technique’s name (11).
- Applied Kinesiology
Applied Kinesiology is one of the emerging studies in the field of chiropractic based on the study of muscles and patient body movement for diagnosis and treatment. It uses the muscle testing approach, combined with other methods, to diagnose and analyze a patient’s condition holistically. The diagnosis includes detecting the body’s weak muscles and finding the root cause of why it’s not functioning well.
This technique follows the triad of health, which explains the balance of health’s major categories. So, when a person has poor health, it could be due to an imbalance in the chemical, structural, or mental factors. Since these factors are interactive, Applied Kinesiology assesses all three sides to determine the cause of the problem.
- Gonstead Technique
To understand the Gonstead technique, remember that its concept begins with the intervertebral discs and the body’s structural foundation. It primarily considers nerve dysfunction, motion disturbances, intervertebral misalignments, and foundation unleveling in healthcare and patient management (12). It also believes that the body can achieve stability and maximum balance in the spinal column when the legs, vertebrae, and pelvis are level (12).
- Thompson/Drop Table
The Thompson technique uses the patient’s legs as a guide throughout the entire procedure by positioning and checking if they’re symmetrical with each other while the patient lies prone (flat on their stomach) on the table. The chiropractor flexes the feet to check for neuromuscular imbalances, which makes one leg appear longer than the other. The patient also moves his head to the right and left so that the chiropractor can determine where the correction should be made(13).
6. Chiropractic Neurology
Chiropractic neurology deals with specific areas such as neurological disorders, and chiropractor Panama City FL Dr. Tony Salamay of the Bay Clinic of Chiropractic practices this field. It has been shown successful in treating the nervous system, spine, and brain functionality without using surgery or drugs, which can pose higher risks, especially those associated with toxic drugs and invasive surgery.
10. What is the popping sound when you get adjusted?
This popping or sometimes cracking sound is harmless and is actually a release of nitrogen gas and fluid in the joint. Note that every healthy joint has associated gasses and fluids, which build up and create pressure that results in a popping sound. Think about opening a carbonated beverage. A manual adjustment creates a vacuum and appears as a popping or cracking noise. While it’s not necessary for an adjustment to be successful, it is a reassuring sound for many patients that the bone has been aligned.
Finding a Chiropractor
Different chiropractors use varying methods for treating their patients. But if you’re looking for an experienced chiropractor with years of formal training and education in the field of chiropractic, Human Nutrition, and Functional Medicine with a constant pursuit of learning, Dr. Tony Salamay of the Bay Clinic of Chiropractic is at your service.
Aside from chiropractic, he was also awarded Fellow of the Acupuncture Society of America and is visited by both locals and out-of-state patients at his clinic in Panama City, Florida, who want to feel relief from chronic and acute pain. Through the years, he has treated patients from all walks of life who can attest to the quality of treatment and procedures Dr. Tony Salamay employs. Check out their testimonials and discover what our Panama City doctor has done for them.
Chiropractic care is a natural and non-invasive approach to healthcare, focusing on treating the root cause of pain and discomfort rather than just masking the symptoms with medication. We hope the answers to frequently asked questions have shed light on the safety, effectiveness, and benefits of this form of treatment. As always, do your own research and consult with a healthcare professional to determine if chiropractic care is right for you.