Nope! Chiropractic care is scaled to each patient's needs but in general, for a single, specific complaint, a patient will have to come in to see us for two to four months. This is called a “care-plan.” The time a patient needs to heal depends on the nature and location of the complaint, how severe the pain is, and how long the pain has been going on. If your neck has been hurting for 15 years it is going to take a while to retrain your body to have a normal, non-painful neck. It won't take 15 years but it might take 15 weeks.
Usually a care plan starts off with you going to the chiropractor a lot; once a week, twice a week or even more and that frequency is in order to address what we call the “acute” phase of your injury. This is the time when you're hurting the most and we will have to adjust you more often until your body "calms down," for lack of a better term, and starts to “hold” the adjustment. As your muscles are retrained and your ligaments are stronger we decrease how often you come in to every other week, then to every three weeks, then to once a month. Some patients notice that during their care-plan as their main complaint starts to feel better so do many other things that have bothered them like seasonal allergies, headaches, sleeplessness or even trouble focusing or anxiety and they choose to continue seeing the chiropractor for bi-monthly or monthly visits to continue to enjoy the awesome benefits of being well-adjusted.
For some people; to quote Dr. Nikki: “After I get adjusted I want to take a nap and eat a steak!” Ha-ha! But in all seriousness an adjustment is a powerful healing force and after getting adjusted your body is going to jumpstart its immune functions and also inflammatory responses to start healing. What that means is that your immune system is going to start working hard to clear out any illnesses that have been hanging out in your body (like that pesky Humboldt crud you can't shake!) which can lead to runny noses, coughing, or interesting GI results after an adjustment. The inflammatory system in your body is going to start repairing the damage caused when your muscles were all tight and angry before the adjustment which can lead to muscle soreness the day after similar to how you feel the day after a workout.
All of this is normal but can be lessened by drinking lots of water, eating some healthy food and getting a good night sleep after an adjustment. Also, a few hours of minor muscle soreness and needing to blow your nose a few times is a small price to pay for getting rid of headaches or debilitating low back pain. Any unpleasant side effects of chiropractic care should be relatively minor and go away within a day or two after treatment.
No. When people feel like their necks or backs are stiff they sometimes do very acrobatic and drastic things to make their joints pop. Stop! This can be very dangerous! Basically what happens is two bones get “stuck” together and so to compensate for that people start “popping” the bones above and below the stuck place. This gives off a tiny rush of endorphins which feels great but ultimately just makes the bones around the stuck place move too much while the stuck place gets even more stuck. If this is done enough it can start to stretch the ligaments around the joint out which can lead to more pain and issues. There's even been cases of strokes brought about by people trying to crack their own necks.
What we do is a very specific and targeted thrust into the joint that frees up the original stuck segment and allows the spine to move freely again and doesn't overstretch and damage the surrounding tissues. So please don't pop your own neck!
Dr. Nicole started by getting a BA in Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University which took four years and then she got her DC (doctorate of chiropractic) from Palmer College of Chiropractic West which took 3 and a half years. So her journey to become a chiropractor took 7 years and six months.
Chiropractic school is similar to the schooling Medical Doctors (MD) or Osteopathic Doctors (DO) receive in that the first year is all science and learning how to understand the body from cell-level up, the next year is learning your “art,” which in chiropractic school is learning to adjust and in MD and DO school is the medications they use to treat symptoms and your final years are spent doing your clinical’s, working on real patient cases with real patients. Sprinkled throughout all three programs are National Board exams. Chiropractors take four national board exams during their schooling and then in order to practice in Florida Dr. Nicole took another state board exam. In addition to this Dr. Nicole spent hundreds of hours on weekends in additional seminars taking additional tests in order to become a Certified Cox Technic, which means she is well versed in low back and cervical radiating pain due to herniation's, bulges and stenosis. It's lots of studying and sitting in classes but Dr. Anna (mostly) enjoyed every moment because she loves being a chiropractor and helping people.
No! It's gentle. It stretches the spine. Patients with back pain often comment that it would feel good if someone just pulled them apart. Well, this is gentle application of this principle by a trained physician who has tissue tension sense and can feel the spine and its response to treatment. It's relaxing and effective.
Everyone's healing experience is individual making the answer to this question inexact. However, we do know that it takes 3 months to heal a disc. Like a broken arm, once casted (treated) the pain subsides and goes away, but the cast must remain in place while the arm heals. So pain is not the only indicator for healing. Back pain patients will find that the back pain will subside under treatment and even go away. When it goes away, we reiterate that it takes time for the body to heal and encourage continued home care and careful ergonomics. Bones heal in about 5 to 6 weeks. Ligaments and tendons take about 6 to 8 weeks. Discs and cartilage take about 3 months. A 1000 cases study revealed relief by conditions for 91% of patients.
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