Frequently Asked Questions

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1Why do I need a chiropractor as I’m taking painkillers?
Although painkillers do ease the pain, they do not address the possible underlying problem of your pain. So, although you might experience less pain, the problem could slowly be getting worse, making it more difficult to treat and resolve in the long-term.
2How does Chiropractic work?
The cause of many complaints originates within the spine. When a spinal joint doesn't move properly, it has an effect on the surrounding tissues attaching to these joints, like muscles and ligaments. These muscles and ligaments tense up and often cause more pain. By restoring motion of the spine; using gentle and specific adjustments; the motion of the spine is restored. When motion is restored, joints start to ache less, muscles and ligaments relax and blood flow is increased. Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery and helps the body heal naturally.
3How many visits will it take?
Treatment plans vary for each individual and progress will depends on a variety of factors. In general, the sooner you seek chiropractic care the faster you will heal. Problems can be resolved quickly, if you don't wait too long for treatment. If you have been suffering with a problem for many months or even years, improvement can take some time. A significant proportion of the pain relief and restoration of spinal function is under your control so if you stick to the treatment plan and follow our advice and lifestyle plans, you will get positive results.
4What is the difference between a Chiropractor and an Osteopath?
The most important consideration when decided to use the services of a chiropractor or an osteopath is to ensure that they are members of a professional body, and are therefore regulated and insured. All our chiropractors at Milton Chiropractic Clinic are members of the regulatory body in the UK, the General Chiropractic Council. The primary treatment objective of both Chiropractic and Osteopathy is to remove body aches and pain where the both of them would use hand on techniques. There is a difference in the type of techniques used between Chiropractors and Osteopaths, whereby Chiropractors tend to use more of a short lever technique than Osteopaths. However, it should be remembered that each Osteopath or Chiropractor is an individual practitioner and has his own unique style of practice. Where it comes down is: Are you comfortable with the practitioner and are you confident in their ability to diagnose and treat your condition? The majority of our patients come to see us after a recommendation via a friend or family.
5Do I need a Doctor's referral?
No, you don't need a doctor's referral. Chiropractors are trained as primary health care practitioners so we are able to spot a variety of conditions, including those which are not suitable for Chiropractic treatment. We will refer you to the right specialist if this is the case.
6Is it going to hurt?
No, chiropractic treatment does not hurt. During an adjustment a very careful, gentle and specific force is used to restore motion of spine. We use just the right amount of force to restore motion. You might hear a "popping sound" which is merely air escaping from the joint. This popping noise is similar to the noise you hear when "cracking" your fingers, and it doesn't hurt. You are in safe hands, we have given many thousands of adjustments.
7What can I do to improve my condition?
A lot!! The treatment plan we provided involves your corporation. You will achieve much better and faster results if you comply with the advice given. As soon as possible, we will give you exercises for you to do at home, again to speed up recovery and advise you on activities like walking or swimming which help to prevent future episodes of pain.
8What Is An Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment involves using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixed, locked up, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this procedure is to improve spinal function, nervous system function, remove muscle tension, and enhance health. A chiropractic adjustment is not painful. There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually, the chiropractors' hands are used to deliver a brief and highly accurate thrust, although specially designed instruments, or tables may also be used. After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractor at Milton Chiropractic Clinic is highly skilled in delivering a variety of adjusting approaches.
9What Is The Sound Heard During An Adjustment?
Recent research on this subject shows that a gas (in this case nitrogen), which is normally dissolved into the surrounding tissues of the spine, rushes in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joint surfaces are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the "pop" you hear when you take the cork out of a champagne bottle. The carbon dioxide in the champagne rushes out of the bottle when the cork is removed. This phenomenon is called a cavitation. It is not always necessary to cause a "crack" or cavitation in order to gain the desired effect of an adjustment. The main aim is to increase movement at the specific segment of the spine to positively influence the surrounding tissues. In fact, some chiropractic adjustment techniques use little force and thus produce no sound.
10Am I Too Old For Chiropractic?
Despite common belief, getting older does not mean you have to endure aches and pains! People often disregard treatable joint and muscle problems by saying "I'm just getting old". This is often not the case, and these aches and pains of getting old may be treatable. Regardless of your age, chiropractic care can help to improve mobility and function of your body. More and more people are consulting chiropractors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity. Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, and endurance. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting technique used by the chiropractors at Milton Chiropractic Clinic will be modified for maximum comfort and results. Even patients with osteoporosis and other ailments can receive treatment with the right modifications.
11Is it wise to crack my own back and neck?
In short, NO! Some people crack their own necks and backs in order to gain some relief or a 'pressure release'. There is no denying that it can give some relief in the short term, but in the long run, it may be detrimental to your spinal health. If your neck cracks by a simple turn or bend of the head, or your lower back by a twist, it is likely that the joints are actually hypermobile (moving too much). This means that you are self-manipulating and increasing the movement of joints that are already moving too much. These joints may be moving too much in order to compensate for a lack of movement in other joints. If joints of the spine are restricted, other joints will attempt to make up for the lack of movement. These are the joints that will crack easily, and not the joints that are causing the problems. Spinal pain is often due to this phenomenon. If a joint has to increase its movement due to a restriction somewhere else, more stress is placed upon the supporting ligaments. With this extra movement, the joint is more prone to sprain and resultant pain. Cracking these joints will give short term relief only. In order for sustained improvement the actual cause must be addressed. This is where a chiropractor comes into play. Chiropractors are trained to locate and treat the cause of your problems.
12Are All Patients Treated and Adjusted the Same Way?
Regardless of the adjusting technique, chiropractic care is tailored to each patient's age, condition and spinal problem. In addition to varying the amount of force used, treatment frequency will also be customised to the individual. Different conditions require different intensities in treatment schedules. The chiropractors at Milton Chiropractic Clinic will tailor the amount of treatment needed depending on a number of factors. These factors include (but are not limited to), your age, what tissue is involved (e.g. ligament, tendon, muscle, disc), how long you have had the condition, the amount of inflammation and intensity of pain being experienced, and the presence of any unavoidable aggravating factors to your condition (e.g. your occupation and lifestyle). The chiropractor evaluates each patient's unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. Each visit builds on the one before. While visits may seem similar, each patient's care is uniquely different from every other patient's.
13Is Chiropractic Care Safe?
Yes, chiropractic is safe. In fact, in a study comparing a course of chiropractic care with a course of anti-inflammatory drugs, chiropractic was shown to be 250 times safer (1). As with any form of health care, there are some risks. Some people may feel slight soreness following their first few adjustments as the body begins to realign. This is usually very mild, and lasts only a short time. Then there are the very rare risks of infrequent strain/injury to a ligament or disc in the neck (less than 1 in 139,000) or the low back (1 in 62,000). There is also an extremely rare risk of stroke associated with adjustments of the neck. All studies published found the risk to be very low (3,4,5), with the most recent research published in 2001 putting such an event at one in 5.85 million adjustments (6). Despite the many benefits of medical care, there are some risks associated. Specifically, neck surgery has a three to four % rate of complications which in turn leads to 4,000 to 10,000 deaths per million cases (7).
14How does Chiropractic help disc problems?
Since the intervertebral discs are so close to the nerve roots, nerve pain is quite common in disc problems. Chiropractic adjustments restore the motion in the spinal bones, thereby increasing the blood flow to the interverbral discs and decreasing surrounding muscle and ligament tension. By doing so, the damaged tissue can heal itself and pain starts to decrease.
15How much Chiropractic care will be needed for my Sciatica?
Since in most cases sciatica originates in the lower back, treatment of the lower back will result in an increase in spinal motion and therefore a decrease in sciatic pain. The result of treatments varies per patient but in the majority of cases, relief comes quickly. Relief comes even quicker when additional advice is followed carefully.
16Isn't some back pain normal?
No, pain in general is not normal; it is a sign that something isn't right. Pain is the signal that a limit has been reached or a problem has developed. Minor aches and pains are often shrugged off, but while they go away, the underlying problem can slowly worsen! Eventually, the problem might become more difficult to resolve.
17Can Chiropractic cure sciatica?
Actually, chiropractic doesn't cure anything! Only your body can do that. The chiropractic approach to sciatica (and other health problems) is to help restore the way your spine works, reducing nerve irritation and revitalizing your own healing ability.
18Do all headaches originate from the neck?
No, not all headaches originate from the vertebrae and muscles in the neck. There are numerous causes for a headache. That is why we do a thorough examination to identify the most likely cause.
19How can I get a headache originating from the neck when I've had no trauma?
There are numerous causes for lack of motion of the cervical spine leading to headache. Emotions or prolonged poor posture are amongst the most frequent causes. But slips and falls or accidents in the past might also be a cause for headache, since the body might have been able to adapt for a long time.
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