FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Chiropractic Care?
Are you new to chiropractic care? If so, here are some frequently asked questions that might help you understand what we do. Don’t see your question? Feel free to call our office and ask any additional questions. We’re here to help!
Your first visit will be the longest visit. During this time we collect as much data from you as we can. We not only want to discuss what is currently bringing you into the office, but also background information, including your health history. Once we have collected all of the necessary information from you, we will then perform an examination directly related to the reason for your visit. This is done to help us try and pinpoint why you are having the symptoms you are experiencing. Then, we determine where to go from there. Sometimes X-rays may be necessary and sometimes not. If we feel that we can help you, we will proceed with treatment.
Treatment looks different for everyone. Several factors are taken into consideration when determining treatment for you. These may include your current condition, your age, or your treatment preference. Generally speaking, we will often incorporate a soft tissue modality into your treatment before you get adjusted. This may include one of the following: electrical stimulation, ultrasound, or low level laser therapy. One goal of these treatments is to allow the surrounding tissues to relax, making you feel more comfortable and more relaxed as well. Oftentimes people adjust better after addressing their soft tissues first. Once that is completed, we will proceed with the adjustment.
The most common way to get adjusted is manually, meaning the practitioners use their hands to provide a specific force to the joints that are restricted. Here at Fetzer Family Chiropractic, we use drop tables in each of our treatment rooms. With these tables, patients lie on their stomach on top of sections that drop down. The chiropractor will apply a quick thrust at the same time the section drops. The dropping of the table allows for a lighter adjustment without the twisting positions that can accompany other techniques. There are also other tools that can be used if people prefer a lighter force. One tool that we use here is called an activator. There are different ways to get adjusted and we will work with you to figure out which way works best.
The first visit is the longest because we are mainly gathering as much information about you as we can. Subsequent visits do not take as long. They will typically involve a soft tissue modality, followed by your adjustment. This can take around 30 minutes.
There are a variety of reasons to seek chiropractic treatment. Some common reasons for seeking care are lower back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, headaches, fatigue, and many other conditions. Another very common reasons for visiting a chiropractor is also due to motor vehicle accidents – even a small collision can result in some shifts in your spinal alignment and muscular performance.
Chiropractic medicine isn’t all about treating the injury, it is about treating the patient. We look at all factors that could be affecting your health, and work with you and your lifestyle to find the best health and wellness solutions.
Your recovery is personal, and that’s why the number of visits you need can vary greatly. That said, most patients see results from consistent care within a few weeks or less. Some factors that closely relate to your recovery include:
- Duration of ailment – Spinal injuries can be ignored for long periods of time, especially if the pain was minor enough for you to put off seeking treatment.
- Overall health – Have you made efforts to take care of your immune system? Does your day-to-day life require you to sit for long periods of time or skip out on quality sleep? Our environment and habits have a long-term impact on our health, which then influences how we recover from injuries.
- Age – Like it or not, the older we get, the slower it takes for us to heal. Your chiropractor will create a care plan that takes your age into account and will manage your expectations of recovery time realistically.
- Lifestyle – Give your body the best opportunity to heal. Your habits can help or hinder your progress. Your chiropractor will likely have some suggestions on habits to incorporate or remove from your life. Some of these changes could relate to your diet, exercise, and other home care procedures or work modifications.
- Stress levels – Quite simply, greater stress – whether it is physical, emotional or chemical – has a negative impact on the way that your body recovers, making it take longer for your body to heal.
- Attitude – Mind-body connection is a powerful influence on your overall health. Your outlook on your injury, your belief in your ability to get better, and your dedication to your care plan are essential to your health and well-being. Invest time and effort into your health, and you will see results.
- Visit schedule – We design your treatment plan with your best interests in mind, including the number and frequency of your visits. Regular visits are vital to steady progress and missing an appointment can affect your road to recovery.
Factors like your physical condition (from new injury to maintenance care), the length of time your condition has been present, your health and age, and your lifestyle all play a role in the type of care and number of visits that you will require to see results. You’ll never be in the dark about how many visits we think you will need. At the beginning of and periodically throughout a patient’s care, we do our best to estimate how many visits will be beneficial. We will also recommend stretches and home care habits or instructions that will further support your progress.
In evaluating your progress along the way, we can also determine if some methods are working better than others, and what other adjustment techniques we can use to get you closer to your best physical well-being.
What Types Of Conditions Do Chiropractors Treat?
Chiropractors provide treatments which can effectively reduce or eliminate pain, helping countless individuals who are suffering from acute and chronic joint and muscle pain.
Chiropractic techniques can include manual manipulations, instrumental adjusting, drop table, soft tissue release, and rehabilitation exercises.
Conditions Our Chiropractor Treats
Chiropractic techniques are well known for helping patients with back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Beyond these areas, chiropractors can also treat injuries related to muscles, ligaments, and joints. Below are some of the top reasons that patients seek help from the talented chiropractors at our Fargo clinic:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Headaches & migraines
- Disc injury
- Work injuries
- Arm & leg pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Shoulder pain
- Babies with colic
- Chiropractic care for kids
- Pregnancy pain
- Overall wellness
What Techniques Are Used During Treatment to
Relieve Your Neck and Back Pain?
Neck and back pain can be chronic or episodic, and can be due to trauma or repetitive stress. Sudden damaging movements like whiplash from a sports injury or car accident can be the source of a lot of pain in the neck, and sometimes the back. Activities involving repetitive movements or prolonged abnormal positioning can be equally traumatic.
Neck and back pain can be the result of simply spending too much time at the computer, starting a new exercise routine, heavy lifting, or other common manual labor tasks. Even poor posture can have negative long-term and short-term effects on the health of your neck and back.
For neck pain, chiropractic treatment often involves manipulation of the vertebrae within the neck or upper back, a hands on approach to restoring motion within the joints. By restoring the motion or eliminating the restriction in these joints, it is common to see a reduction in pain quite quickly, causing there to be reduced muscle spasms and less pressure or pinching on the nerves.
Treatment for back pain is similar and involves manipulation of the vertebrae to correct for misalignment and lack of motion within the back. Mild direct pressure on key parts of your back can help shift the misaligned vertebrae back into place. By restoring them to their proper position, pressure on the spinal nerves is reduced, and nerves that have been injured or irritated can begin to repair, alleviating pain in your upper and lower back.
Headaches & Migraines
Perhaps you have been suffering from migraines or tension headaches for years and have only been taking pain medication to ease discomfort temporarily. But did you know that migraines and headaches are often closely related to the alignment (or misalignment, more specifically) of your spine? According to a study in the Journal of BioMed Research International, headache symptoms significantly decreased with vertebrae realignment, resulting in a higher quality of life.
Even a smaller fender bender can leave you with lasting injuries. Though you may not realize it, your neck, back, and joints could be suffering. Often times the extent of an injury is not fully realized until later due to all the stress and adrenaline in the moment. If you begin to notice painful symptoms, it may be time to have your spine looked at by one of the chiropractors in our clinic. We can help to reduce the initial discomfort, inflammation, muscle tightness and reduce the buildup of scar tissue.
Pregnancy & Children
During pregnancy, women experience many changes. As a fetus grows, it places increased pressure on the mother’s spine and during pregnancy a woman’s body creates a hormone called Relaxin that actually makes the joints more loose, but often times also less stable as the body prepares for delivery. The chiropractors in our office work with many pregnant mothers to help relieve some of the discomfort that comes with pregnancy and to ensure that the spine and pelvis is properly aligned before delivery.
Children go through growth spurts and occasionally experience a few bumps and bruises along the way; it’s important to ensure that a healthy spine is maintained through these periods so that children can remain active and supported by their body in these formative years.
For injuries or conditions listed here, or not, we’d be happy to discuss your specific health concern and see how we can increase your quality of life through chiropractic care. The philosophy at Fetzer Family Chiropractic is to help you get back to doing the things that you love through achieving a healthier, happier, pain-free you.
Can I See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a wonderful, exciting time in a woman’s life, and it is important to stay healthy and strong through every trimester. While many women focus on eating right and staying active, it’s easy to overlook the tremendous strain that pregnancy can put on the body, particularly the spine and pelvic region.
While all chiropractors have been trained to treat pregnant women, some will go on to receive additional certification in order to specialize in this area of treatment. Here at Fetzer Family Chiropractic we can help you.
In addition to ensuring that the body is properly aligned throughout pregnancy, a prenatal chiropractor will also provide information about how to prepare the body for labor and birth, as well as postpartum care.
The benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy far outweigh the risks, but it is important to understand everything about it before undergoing treatment. In addition to the most obvious benefits, which include relieving pain in areas such as the lower back, chiropractic treatments have been shown to significantly improve the quality of life for mothers during pregnancy while reducing the need for prescription or OTC pain medication.
Some of the numerous benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:
- Controlling urinary incontinence
- Reducing pregnancy-related nausea
- Aligning the pelvis for easier delivery
- Alleviating sciatic nerve pain
- Eliminating the need for pain medications
- Reducing labor and delivery time
There is very little risk associated with prenatal chiropractic treatment; however, it is not recommended for pregnant women with certain health complications such as vaginal bleeding or ectopic pregnancy.
Pregnancy Chiropractic Techniques
As with regular treatment, the chiropractor’s job is to manipulate the pregnant patient’s spine, joints, and muscles into alignment. However, in addition to applying gentler pressure than usual, a prenatal chiropractor will adjust their techniques accordingly and may focus more on the pelvic region and the reduction of stress on the uterus and ligaments.
The chiropractor will also take care not to exert undue pressure on the abdomen, and some may even employ equipment specifically made for pregnant women.
Intrauterine Constraint During Pregnancy
One common reason a woman may see a chiropractor during her pregnancy is due to intrauterine constraint, a condition whereby the baby’s movement is restricted due to pelvic misalignment. If left untreated, this condition can result in complications during birth or the need for a C-section.
Similar to the Webster technique, the chiropractor adjusts the pelvis so that the baby can assume an optimal birth position. While the technique can be applied in any trimester, consistent chiropractic care throughout the pregnancy can drastically reduce the need for such an intervention in the first place.
Pregnancy and Sciatica
Sciatica is common during pregnancy, especially in the later months, due to the pressure exerted on the sciatic nerve by the ever-growing baby. The sharp, burning pain from the hip to the foot can make walking, sitting, and even sleeping extremely uncomfortable for the sufferer.
While some women will be fortunate enough to experience relief of this pain if the baby simply moves off the sciatic nerve, most will require some form of treatment to deal with it. The good news is that chiropractic treatment is one of the best ways to relieve sciatic pain, and your chiropractor will work with you to develop the best course of action. Often, this will include a series of adjustments, hot and cold therapies, and stretches to reduce the pain.
Remember, your chiropractor can continue to help you after the birth of your baby, providing post-natal care while your body returns to its pre-pregnancy state. Here at Fetzer Family Chiropractic we will help you and your baby every step of the way, ensuring that you enjoy optimal health during pregnancy and beyond.
Why Should Children Have Chiropractic Care?
Your child’s health is your number one priority. Beyond packing lunches and making sure your child gets physical activity, another preventative wellness practice for your child is chiropractic care. Before making an appointment, it’s normal to have some questions about how chiropractic care affects your child. Below are our most frequently asked questions when it comes to treating children.
Chiropractic care is non-invasive, gentle, and tailored to your child’s specific health condition and needs. In fact, an article from the American Chiropractic Association states that about 3% of children have been treated with chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation. The same article cites a scientific study that found 0.53% to 1% of pediatric chiropractic care patients experience mild adverse events from the treatment, which is a low risk for negative effects from care.
Your child is in the hands of a medical professional who is equipped with the proper techniques and knowledge to practice children’s chiropractic care.
Children are typically very active from day to day, from playing sports to racing around the playground. Even small falls during daily activity can shift the musculoskeletal system, which can then lead to misalignments in the spine and joints.
Even earlier than the toddler stage is infancy, which presents its own risks of health conditions and physical trauma. For example, newborn health complaints, such as colic sleep disturbances and chronic infections, can often be linked to interference in the nervous system from spinal misalignments, according to an article in Pathways to Family Wellness.
Through chiropractic care, your child can combat reduced mobility and physical function in the near and far future.
Your toddler’s unpredictable sleep patterns can be attributed to a variety of factors. However, chiropractic care can sometimes be a solution for infants and toddlers who are experiencing discomfort, pain, or even ear infections as well. Chiropractic care opens airways, restores natural mobility, and optimizes nervous system function, which in turn reduces pain and stiff joints and muscles.
There are often symptoms that children and adults experience that are seemingly unrelated to anxiety but are often a manifestation of a mental health issue. Examples of this occurrence are tension headaches, difficulty breathing, and simply “feeling out of it.” These symptoms can indicate a link between anxiety and the skeletal structure and are certainly something that your child’s chiropractor can work into the care plan.
Chiropractic care works to manipulate the muscles and joints throughout the body, primarily along the spinal column, which experiences a great amount of pressure, even in children. Gentle adjustments that work to balance the nervous system and remove interferences around joints allow children to function at their fullest potential. These issues can also affect coordination, focus, and vitality in children.
A chiropractor’s expertise goes beyond spinal manipulation. When a child is displaying extreme behaviors, such as aggression or sensitivities, a chiropractor can help. They can assess the child’s overall health by delving deeper into diet, hydration, lifestyle, and overstimulation, as well as assessing the child’s nervous system. Chiropractors can help your child regain coordination through physical treatment, diet, and many other healthy lifestyle choices. Afterward, you may notice an improvement in your child’s behavior and interactions with others.
If your child experiences discomfort or seems fussy and sensitive, your child may be in pain. Chiropractors are able to use gentle adjustment techniques to relieve joint pressure or even relax a baby’s parasympathetic nervous system.
In terms of age, many women begin chiropractic care during pregnancy and continue the care right after birth. As doctors of Chiropractic we will be able to assess the frequency and type of care that is best for you and your child.
If your child is involved in sports or other physical activities, chiropractic care is a valuable way to prevent injuries through proactive body conditioning. As mentioned by the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractors are trained to provide advice on sports training, nutrition, and injury prevention for all athletes, including children.
Other General Questions
The intention of a chiropractic adjustment is to affect or correct the alignment, motion and/or function of a vertebral joint. Depending on your presenting condition, there is often little to no pain involved with an adjustment. Generally patients report feeling better after an adjustment and describe feeling looser with better range of motion after treatment.
No. Treatments are tailored to individual patient to take into consideration patient presentation, age, muscle tightness, and preference.
Some chiropractic offices will take X-rays on all new patients; however our office policy is to evaluate the condition and gather the necessary information to determine whether an X-ray will assist in the diagnosis or treatment of the patient. In most cases of non-traumatic musculoskeletal conditions causing pain, an X-ray is not needed like in the example of back or neck pain that has developed after repetitive use or from having lifted a heavy object. Many factors are considered when making this decision.
Our office will be more likely to request or send patients out for X-rays in instances of trauma or a suspected fracture, when there is an onset of new symptoms without a clear cause, if a patient is not responding to care as expected, and especially when there are “red flags” that could indicate something more serious may be going on.
The popping noises are caused by small pockets of air or gas bubbles that form and are trapped within the fluid of the joints. As the joint is stretched, gas exchange occurs and causes this popping noise, as often noticed when someone cracks their knuckles.
Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of most back and neck problems.
Yes, if needed. Even “fender-benders” can cause hidden injuries that can develop into pain, headaches or arthritis. Oftentimes people who have been involved in an auto accident may not even know that they’ve been hurt. Chiropractic care can help restore proper motion of spinal joints. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.
Ice reduces inflammation and swelling. It is used for acute pain and injuries. ice is a natural anti-inflammatory. If you applied heat, the swelling would increase and so would the pain. There are four phases to icing:
- Aching (which can be more intense than the pain)
You must get through all stages for icing to have a therapeutic effect.
Is it ever Ok to use heat?
Heat tends to be most effective when used on more chronic injuries and aches to keep them flexible and comfortable. Use it on areas of chronic muscle tension, to reduce achiness from chronic arthritis, or as a means of improving body flexibility prior to exercise and activity. Avoid heat in the initial stages of an acute injury or pain flare-up.
The majority of all insured American workers have coverage for chiropractic services in their health care plans.
Chiropractors are being recognized to admit and treat patients in hospitals and to use outpatient clinical facilities (such as labs, x-rays, etc.) for their non-hospitalized patients. Hospital privileges were first granted in 1983.