At Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine we strive to help patients understand the different options available to them and how they affect their bodies. To fortify this understanding, we’ve built this Frequently Asked Questions page to further educate on some of the questions our patients ask.
What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a field of medicine focusing on replacing tissue and organs damaged by age, congenital issues, disease, injury, or trauma. This approach differs from traditional medicine which focuses more on treating symptoms of illness with medications and procedures. Instead, regenerative medicine uses tools including cellular therapies, tissue engineering, and more.
What is platelet rich plasma therapy?
Platelet rich plasma therapy, also known as PRP, is a regenerative medicine treatment using injections that amplify the body’s natural growth factors. The injections are made from the patient’s own blood platelets or thrombocytes. These are the cells responsible for growth functions as well as the formation of blood clots.
The process begins by taking a few tubes of blood from the patient, which are then ran through a centrifuge. This concentrates the platelets. The concentrated platelets are then injected directly into injured or diseased tissues in the body.
This form of medicine has been shown to enhance the healing process, improve function, and reduce pain while reducing the need for anti-inflammatory medications and opioids. As they come from the patient’s body, there is no fear of rejection or negative reaction.
After a car accident, how soon should I see a chiropractor?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, then it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor within 72 hours of the accident. However, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. It’s advised that you visit a hospital or urgent care for evaluation and treatment of your injuries. Your doctor may advise you to visit a chiropractor right away or to wait a day or two.
If your doctor diagnoses you with whiplash or back pain then you want to get into the chiropractor sooner than later. Don’t wait for the insurance settlement as it may take a significant amount of time. It’s important to have a chiropractic evaluation done before your pain gets worse.
Are chiropractic treatments effective?
Chiropractic treatments such as spinal manipulation and other techniques are generally considered to be effective and safe treatments for back, neck, shoulder, and other types of pain. Nearly 95% of patients experience a reduction in back pain in comparison to the 54% of medical care recipients.
Are chiropractors licensed health care professionals?
All 50 states in the United States of America license Doctors of Chiropractic under the health care practice acts. While they are not medical doctors, they do undergo a significant amount of training to become licensed.
Are there chiropractic adjustment side effects?
It’s not unusual to experience mild side effects after chiropractic adjustments including temporary soreness, stiffness, or tenderness. Very rarely will someone experience nausea or dizziness.
Can a chiropractor treat sports injuries?
Yes. Chiropractic treatment is commonly used for sports injuries to relieve symptoms, improve range of motion, accelerate healing, and many other benefits. Seeing a chiropractor often results in patients getting back to their active lifestyle more quickly than they otherwise would on medications or with surgery.
Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?
Absolutely. In fact, chiropractic care is one of the most useful post-surgery therapies when it comes to relieving pain and allowing your body to heal after back surgery. However, it is important that you advise your chiropractor if you’ve had back surgery so they can make sure they modify treatment for your injury. You won’t start seeing a chiropractor until your body has recovered from the surgery. At that point, your chiropractor will take a gentle approach to spinal manipulation to relieve pain, improve joint movement, boost nerve communication, and improve your overall health.
How does chiropractic care work?
A chiropractor uses treatment designed to help align your musculoskeletal structure, primarily the spine. This can mean using hands-on manipulation and other tools and alternative treatments to help you achieve alignment. Spinal manipulation helps restore joint mobility after injury, stress, or poor posture causes tissue restriction. Rather than simply treating the muscle or joint pain with pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicine, chiropractic care seeks to correct the source of the problem. Chiropractors will also commonly provide patients with advice, exercises, and stretches to help prevent reoccurrence.
What are the benefits of chiropractic care?
Chiropractic treatment goes beyond just pain relief and mobility. There are many benefits to seeing a chiropractor. Chiropractors can help:
- Improve neck and back pain
- Reduce reliance on prescription pain killers
- Reduces osteoarthritis symptoms
- Reduces headaches
- Improves scoliosis symptoms
- Improves posture
- Can help athletic performance
- Improve immune system function
- Boost vitality
- Help control asthma
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve digestion
- Improved balance
- Reduce pregnancy pain
- Improve sleep
- Improve range of motion
- Relieve sciatica
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve vertigo
There are also many benefits for young children who may suffer from colic and acid reflux. These are just some of the benefits of chiropractic care.
What are common chiropractic techniques?
Overall, there are about 200 different chiropractic techniques that chiropractors may use. The six most common chiropractic techniques are:
- Flexion Distraction – This technique treats lower back pain, sciatica, and disc injuries. The patient is placed on a special table and the chiropractor and the motion of the table together help remove spinal pressure.
- Gonstead Technique – This is a hands-on technique where the patient lays on their side and the chiropractor adjusts the lower back and pelvis.
- Activator Method – This technique uses a specialized activator adjusting instrument. This instrument allows chiropractors to pinpoint specific areas and apply a short, low-force pulse. The speed of the pulse prevents the body from being able to tense up as commonly seen in other techniques.
- Extremity Manipulation – This technique focuses on manipulating joints that are not the spine such as the shoulder, elbow, or wrist. This technique is commonly used for patients who suffer from posture-related issues.
- Spinal Manipulation/Mobilization – This technique uses a gentle thrusting motion along with stretching. This is what most people think of when they think about going to the chiropractor.
- Thompson/Drop-Table Technique – This technique uses a specialized table that drops by small increments as the chiropractor applies pressure.
What happens during a chiropractic treatment?
Your chiropractor will offer specialized treatment depending on your unique case. You’ll likely lay face down on a chiropractic table. Your chiropractor will then use their hands or small instruments like an activator tool to apply quick, controlled pressure. Any popping or cracking noises you hear are the sound of gasses being released from your joints. Adjustments create little to no pain.
How often do I need to see my chiropractor?
The frequency of your chiropractic visits depends on the reason you’re going and how well your body responds to chiropractic care. After an injury, you may need to go a few times a week at first to regain mobility. As you recover these appointments will likely grow to be further and further apart. Some people go to a chiropractor on a schedule. This could mean they go once a week, once every two weeks, once a month, or even longer between appointments. When you meet with your chiropractor to discuss your situation then they will evaluate you and recommend a treatment plan to get you the results that you want.
What can I expect from my first visit to a chiropractor’s office?
During your initial visit, your chiropractor will take a medical history, ask about your symptoms, and perform a physical examination. They may use diagnostic tools and imaging to help understand more about your specific musculoskeletal system. These could include x-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans. Many chiropractors also have tools to help determine what muscles may be contributing to your spine being out of alignment. After your chiropractor understands your symptoms and the issue at hand, they’ll develop a treatment plan based on these findings.
Do I have to see a medical doctor before seeing a chiropractor?
No, you do not have to see a medical doctor before seeing a chiropractor or to get a referral to see a chiropractor. You can make an appointment with a chiropractor whenever you wish. However, there are certain situations in which you may wish to see a medical doctor for further evaluation. It’s also never a bad idea to involve your medical doctor in your health care decisions. If your primary care doctor is aware that you’re seeing a chiropractor, then you can ask them to share your health records and potentially avoid repeating tests.
How does a chiropractor help lower back pain?
Chiropractors use a variety of chiropractic techniques to restore joint mobility in the spine as well as proper alignment. This reduces nerve irritability, improves function, and restores mobility.
I’m over 60. Am I too old for chiropractor treatment?
Chiropractic care is considered to be safe for older adults suffering from back pain. However, it is important to talk to your chiropractor about your medical history including any medications or spinal conditions. Your chiropractor may use different techniques if you’re over 60 than they may use for a younger individual. Speak to your chiropractor about any concerns you may have.
How can chiropractors treat pain from musculoskeletal issues?
Musculoskeletal issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, sprains, strains, or a herniated disc can help by easing pain by focusing on target joints while also providing full-body pain relief and lowering inflammation to provide lasting benefits and improve your overall quality of life. They do this by using a variety of chiropractic techniques customized to your issue.
What is a hip flexor muscle strain?
A hip flexor muscle strain occurs with overuse or improper use of your hip flexor muscle. It can also be caused by not properly warming up the muscle before physical activity. As a result, the hip flexor muscles and tendons become sore and painful, often with inflammation.
How do you treat a hip flexor injury?
Once you’ve been diagnosed with a hip flexor injury it’s important to rest the muscle group. Not taking the time to rest can prolong your recovery. In addition to rest, you can apply ice for 30 minutes every 4 hours or so. For more severe injuries your doctor may recommend using crutches. After the muscle has started to repair itself, then it’s a good idea to start physical therapy. A physical therapist will use a variety of techniques to help heal and strengthen the area.
What is shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment used for chronic musculoskeletal problems, ongoing pain, and joint issues. It is a series of low-energy acoustic wave pulses applied to an injured area using a machine that transmits the waves through a gel medium. The waves trigger the body’s natural healing response to improve healing and reduce recovery time.
What is shockwave therapy used for?
Shockwave therapy is commonly used to treat:
- Tennis elbow
- Jumper’s knee
- Heel spurs
- Chronic tendinopathy
- Painful shoulders
- Plantar fasciitis
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome
- Hip pain
It can be used in many other applications as well. Any time you wish to speed healing and reduce recovery time then shockwave therapy can likely help.