Chiropractic Information

What is chiropractic care, exactly?

Chiropractic is a natural form of health care focusing on the health of the spine and the nerve system. The underlying premise of chiropractic is simple: that a properly functioning spine and nervous system can preserve and restore health on all levels.  By treating the underlying causes of physical problems rather than just the symptom, chiropractic helps the body to heal itself naturally without drugs or surgery. Chiropractic treatments include manual manipulation of the spine or other joints (an “adjustment”), and may also include physical therapy, massage therapy techniques such as trigger point therapy, myofascial therapy, neuromuscular fascilitation and traction) as well as  nutritional counseling, exercise instruction, and counseling on ergonomics evaluations.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

I use my hands—and sometimes adjusting tools called activators or arthrostims—to manipulate the joints of the spine or extremities which may be “locked up” or subluxated. This movement reduces pain and restores or enhances joint function.  You’ll most likely notice positive changes in your symptoms immediately following treatment.

Will the adjustment hurt?

No. Even if you are in pain already, the adjustment itself is painless. To ensure this, I draw upon a variety of adjustive techniques, from traditional osseous adjusting (the kind where you hear a popping sound) to non-force activator, arthrostim, drop table, and pelvic blocking adjusting.

What IS that popping sound, anyway?

It’s simply the release of a gas bubble between the joints. The adjustment changes the pressure inside the joint, causing the “pop.” Most clients look forward to the “pop,” because it signals a release of tension in their bodies (and indicates that the spine is moving better and soon they will be feeling better).

Is chiropractic safe?

Yes.It is not only safe, but effective! Statistics show that patient risk is substantially lower for chiropractic than for other forms of treatment, since prescription drugs and surgery are not used.

How are chiropractors trained?

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) undergo at least four years of professional study at one of sixteen accredited chiropractic colleges. The typical applicant to a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education. Chiropractic curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.  Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training with licensed, experienced chiropractors.  In addition, DCs must pass national board examinations and become state-licensed prior to practicing. Every chiropractor must participate in board-approved continuing education classes yearly.

Do I need to see a MD first?

No. You do not need a referral before visiting a DC. I will perform a complete consultation and examination and will refer you to other types of health care providers if necessary.  I have been in the area for almost 25 years and maintain connections to a great network of MDs, neurologists, neurosurgeons, acupuncturists, nutritionists, craniosacral therapists, Rolfers and physical therapists.

Will my insurance cover chiropractic?

Chiropractic treatment is a covered benefit in many traditional insurance policies. I am a member of most managed care groups in San Francisco as well as a Medicare provider. If you’ve been in an auto accident, chiropractic care is typically an approved and covered treatment.

What are the costs of a treatment?

I do my best to keep patient costs affordable. If you don’t have insurance, my staff will discuss our reasonable rates and payment plans.

What will my first appointment be like?

I will take a full history and do an orthopedic and neurological evaluation. Then you will have your first treatment, followed by advice for home care such as applying ice or heat, stretches, and/or exercises. The initial appointment will last about 1 hour.

Can I have chiropractic treatment even after surgery?

Yes. All too many back surgery patients—up to fifty percent—see their pain return even after the operation. Chiropractic care may help eliminate the need for repeated surgeries. Best of all, if you seek chiropractic treatment before surgery, you might not need an operation at all.

Is it safe to see a chiropractor if I am pregnant?

Yes. Pregnancy is a good time to seek chiropractic care.  Chiropractic adjustments can help ease an expectant mother’s discomfort, improve her pregnancy, and may even make childbirth easier. I always tailor my adjustment methods to my patients’ different body types, ages, and conditions.

Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

Yes. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and injuries. Chiropractic care can help them stay strong and healthy, and can prevent health complaints later. Even newborns, who often experience spinal trauma during birth, can benefit from an early chiropractic adjustment. Naturally, I adapt my adjustment methods to best meet the needs of my youngest patients.

How often do I have to be seen?

The fact that chiropractic relies on hands-on, in-person treatments—rather than prescriptions, let’s say—means that multiple visits to my office are the norm. The number and frequency of visits depend on your condition and whether you need acute, chronic, and/or preventive care.

Can I adjust myself?

No. While you may be able to twist or turn in certain ways to produce a “popping” sound, such “adjustments” may well be making the problem worse. Your chiropractor is trained to know which joint needs to be adjusted in which direction and with what amount of pressure. When it comes to chiropractic, don’t try it at home!

Do you have to go to the chiropractor forever?

Not at all. Many patients see me only during a crisis, or once in a while for a preventative visit. Others, once they see how good chiropractic care helps them feel, decide to make adjustments a regular part of their lives. Just like eating right, exercising, or flossing your teeth, taking care of your spine and your overall well being through chiropractic may become a healthy habit you don’t want to drop.  How far you take your care is always up to you.