What does a chiropractor do?

A chiropractor is a neuromusculoskeletal specialist, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with back pain, neck pain, and headaches, among other problems. Chiropractors do not use medications or surgery as treatments, but rather utilize natural, hands-on methods along with exercise and lifestyle modification. Although most cases can be diagnosed through discussion of the problem and physical examination, chiropractors utilize blood tests, MRI, CAT scans, X rays, and other diagnostic tests when necessary. Dr. Allison works in cooperation with medical physicians and other practitioners to provide high quality, well-rounded care to each patient.

What types of problems do chiropractors treat?

Chiropractors are neuromusculoskeletal specialists. Therefore, any disorder that involves joints, muscles, discs or nerves can potentially be appropriately addressed by a chiropractor. This includes:

  • Lower Back Pain
  • Mid Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Pregnancy Pain

  • Whiplash Injuries/Auto Injuries
  • Work-Related Injuries
  • Shoulder Arm and Leg Pain
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Muscle Tightness, Weakness, and Imbalance
  • Numbness and Tingling

Do I have to have my back “cracked?”

Not necessarily. Manipulation is a technique used to correct joint dysfunction, which is a condition in which there is loss of normal movement of a joint – a common cause of spinal pain and dysfunction. If you do not have joint dysfunction then there is no need for manipulation. Even if you do have joint dysfunction, if you’d prefer, there are “non-cracking” techniques that can be used to correct it, which are often equally effective.

What is the cracking noise that often occurs with manipulation?

Often when a joint is manipulated, it makes a “popping” sound. There is fluid inside all joints, and within this fluid there are bubbles. When the manipulation is performed, the bubbles pop, producing an audible sound. Although this is not necessary for manipulation to be effective, it is simply the sound of the joint suddenly moving or releasing from its restricted state.

Will manipulation hurt?

Most of the time, manipulation is very comfortable. Slight to moderate discomfort has been reported in about 1/3 of patients, with 10% reporting more noticeable discomfort. In the majority of cases, any discomfort that does occur is gone within 24 hours.

How long does chiropractic care take to work?

This is a very commonly asked question, and unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to this because the amount of time needed for recovery is variable, not only for each different condition, but also for each individual patient. Generally speaking, conditions that have been present for a longer period of time will logically require a somewhat longer recovery time, although there are always exceptions. Our approach is such that the immediate goals are to help you get relief from pain and disability as quickly as possible, while at the same time, addressing the underlying dysfunctions that caused the pain and teaching you strategies to manage and reduce any future episodes that may occur. In this way we attempt to help you expeditiously reduce pain and return to normal function.

Do you think people should come in regularly to have chiropractic check-ups?

Although there are certain uncommon instances in which regular, periodic treatment may be recommended, this is the exception rather than the rule. There will likely be certain exercises that are recommended to you to do regularly, and these have been shown to prevent re-occurrences of back pain. Dr. Allison places much emphasis on teaching patients self-care strategies so that they can manage conditions themselves, only needing to return to the doctor if these strategies are not successful.

Why do I have to exercise?

Besides all the benefits of regular aerobic and strengthening exercise, your chiropractor may prescribe other exercises designed to keep joints moving properly or to improve the ability of muscles to stabilize the back or neck and prevent re-occurring pain. For many of these, it will be recommended for you to continue long term, while others are to be used only temporarily while you are having pain. In other words, certain exercises will help you to heal faster, and others will prevent the pain from coming back, as well as making you feel more fit and flexible from day to day.

Can children be treated by a chiropractor?

While spinal and other musculoskeletal disorders are less common in children than adults, certainly they are not rare. There is no reason why children cannot be seen at Allison Family Chiropractic. If manipulation is required, the techniques used will be modified for the size of the child.