Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine called a “subluxation” can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments can help improve mind/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions, such as grief, anger and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet.
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have.
True, vertebral subluxations have not received the press that say, AIDS, cancer, cholesterol or heart disease have. However, vertebral subluxations are just as important and are often the underlying cause of a wide variety of health problems.
It is very rare. In most cases if a subluxation occurs, the body is designed and has the ability to adjust in order to compensate for the misalignment. So that is why you may slip and fall and have a sore back and then three days later it feels better. However, the problem is, it is very unlikely that the body actually corrected the subluxation, it was only able to compensate for it. Therefore, the original problem still exists even though you may not feel pain. Down the road, this can lead to problems. A chiropractor can correct the misalignment so the body is not forced to compensate!
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren’t moving right. Adjusting the spine is far more intricate than it may appear. There are 24 segments in an adult vertebra and each segment can move in seven different directions. That is a lot of different combinations that your back could be misaligned. A good chiropractic adjustment is specific in this manner and is tailored to each individual spine.
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” receive adjustments. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.
Yes. Imagine that you fell down and it resulted in a subluxation or misalignent in your spine. The segment is now stuck and can’t move correctly so the body must find a way to compensate or this so you are still able to continue to work and be active ect. Therefore what can happen is the spinal segments on either side of the one that is “stuck” will become hypermobile (move more than normal) in order to compensate for the segment that is not moving. Over time, this can become a problem. For example, one reason the body will form spurs is to try to hold those overly-loose segments in place. Chiropractic adjustments only focus on the “stuck” joints so they can function properly so the adjacent segments don’t have to pick up the slack!
Lubricating fluids separate the bones of each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It’s much like opening a bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting, but isn’t a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.
No. Each patient’s spine and care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine (that can each move in seven different directions!) we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient’s care is custom tailored for their age, condition and health goals.
No. Some people can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits become less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases, complete healing can take months or even years.
Even today’s “natural” childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine. Preliminary studies suggested that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
The disc is a soft pulpy “shock absorber.” It has a fibrous outer ring which holds in a jelly-like material. A “slipped disc” is a common way to refer to a wide variety of disc problems. However, a disc can’t slip because of the way it attaches to the spinal bone above and below it. But a disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniate. It can thin. It can dry out. And it can collapse. But it can’t slip.
In general, surgery consists of fusing spinal segments together to prevent them from moving too much and putting pressure on nerves. Sometimes back surgery also consists of shaving disc buldges to help give patients pain relief. Unfortunately, although patients may feel great after surgery, many relapse years later because the true cause of the back problem was not corrected with surgery. Chiropractic care deals with the cause of the pain, not just the effects. Chiropractic gets the spinal segments moving in the right manner again so there is no longer nerve pressure and therefore, pain created. Some cases are surgical cases but the vast majority of people can be greatly helped with chiropractic care and many will avoid having to go under the knife at all!
Yes. Rest assured that your chiropractic doctor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
Of course. When developing a care plan, your chiropractic doctor considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and health.
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time most patients sense enough progress to fully complete their doctor’s recommendations.
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for their visits feeling great. These visits can help support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious. We recommend getting your spine checked regularly, similarly to dentistry. Our job is to offer the very best care and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
No. Chiropractic doctors do not dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic effect without the side effects of pain medications. There are also some nutritional and herbal methods we can suggest to help with pain. If pain becomes unbearable and pain medication is prescribed through your medical doctor, we make it our top priority to fix the cause of the pain so the medication is no longer needed as studies have shown the addictive nature of the long-term use of pain medication.
Chiropractors have the same level of education as medical doctors, and are licensed as primary health care doctors. The difference between chiropractors and medical doctors has to do with how they treat the human body. Where medical doctors rely on external chemical compounds to treat ailments, chiropractors focus on the structurally correcting the internal conditions, which causes the misalignments and incoordination in the first place. Because of this, chiropractic is highly effective in treating a wide range of conditions without resorting to taking drugs.
That’s changing. Years of prejudice and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of chiropractic care. Attitudes are slow to change. However, as the public demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical practitioners are referring their patients to our office.
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is one of your most valuable possessions. Yet, each of us is free to place a different value on our health. It’s convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill. But be careful! Don’t allow the profit motive of a huge corporation to make the decision for you. Think about it, insurance companies don’t pay for gym memberships and bottled water but it certainly doesn’t mean they are not extremely important for your health. Insurance companies tend to cover procedures they deem medically necessary (aka you are already in pain) but the nice thing about chiropractic and nutrition is that it can also be a preventative. Deal with the problem before allowing it to get worse! We make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.
Patient results vary. Many report improved spinal curves and the total resumption of their life. Those who have neglected or delayed seeking care often see slower progress. After improvement, many patients discover that periodic chiropractic checkups can help avoid a relapse.
If we’re unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our only goal.
Whole food nutrition means the nutrients are derived from quality foods rather than manufactured in a chemistry laboratory. The food is considered “whole” if the original nutrients packages (vitamin complexes, minerals, and enzymes) remain intact. So much of the original nutrient diversity of food available to the American public has been destroyed or significantly compromised in its growing, processing, and storing. Whole food provides the nutrients that the body is designed to know how to use in order to maintain optimal health.
The best source of nutrition is from whole food. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet is a far cry from delivering these nutrients as they were originally packaged in the food. Processing, chemical additives and high heat are only a few ways the quality of our food supply has been affected. Therefore, in addition to educating on the importance on whole, organic and GMO – free food, we offer a line of high-quality whole food supplements in order to enhance the nutritive input. In most cases, this greatly reduces the time it takes for one to reach his or her health goals.
No. In fact, most supplements on the market are pharmaceutical-grade supplements that use high amounts of only a handful of nutrients that are made in a chemistry lab. Lawlor Chiropractic offers whole food supplements derived from whole, organically grown food, therefore providing thousands and thousands of important nutrients rather than just a few. Lawlor Chiropractic primarily uses a professional line of supplements and herbs from Standard Process and MediHerb, which are only available through health professionals. Dr. Lawlor is specifically trained in the use of these supplements. Each patient is evaluated and his or her supplemental protocol is uniquely designed to support each unique case.
Free of charge, Lawlor Chiropractic offers patient education classes, designed to help patients, family members and friends gain a thorough understanding of spinal hygiene and the effects of lifestyle choices on the spine. These classes take place on Monday evenings from 6:30-7pm at Lawlor Chiropractic. We also offer various other health talks on a variety of topics. We like to take input from our patients on topics that are important to them. In addition, we will travel to different locations to give health talks on a variety of health-related topics. Please call the office for more information on our patient education presentations.