Silver Spring Chiropractor | Silver Spring chiropractic care | MD | Frequently Asked Questions

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KINDRA J. INGRAM, M.S., D.C.

8555 16th St. - Suite 240
Silver Spring, MD  20910
Phone:  (301) 562-0390

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FAQ

 

What is Chiropractic?

 Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health.

 

What is a Subluxation?

 A Subluxation is a misalignment of one or more of your spinal bones (vertebrae), which causes an interference to your nervous system. If your nervous system is interfered with, your body’s natural ability to heal itself & function at its optimal potential becomes impaired. A Subluxation is a perfect example of how structure affects function.

 

What is an Adjustment?

 A gentle, specific “thrust” delivered by hand or instrument. The purpose of the adjustment is to correct your spinal Subluxation(s) thus removing the nerve interference in your body.

 

Does an Adjustment hurt?

 No. Under normal circumstances, adjustments are painless. Patients who are extremely tense during an adjustment or who are suffering from significant muscle spasm may experience some minor discomfort. Occasionally you may feel sore as the body is changing. This is normally a good sign – healing may be taking place. There are many different ways to adjust the spine and the extremities. Dr. Ingram will choose a technique that is effective and comfortable for you to reduce your discomfort during an adjustment.

 

What causes the sound made during a Chiropractic Adjustment?

 That sound is not your spine “cracking” or “popping like most people think. That sound is created by gas (in this case, Nitrogen) rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the “pop” sound you hear when the cork is taken out of a champagne bottle. Not all chiropractic adjusting techniques produce this noise. In fact, some adjusting techniques use little force and thus produce no noise at all.

 

What does an Adjustment do?

 A chiropractic adjustment has many specific effects on the body, some of which are mechanical in nature and others that are reflexive in nature, but all of which are extremely beneficial. The results of an adjustment include:

  • Increased joint range of motion
  • Reduction of pain
  • Relaxation of paraspinal musculature
  • Loosening of joint adhesions
  • Release of connective tissue trapped in joints
  • Stimulation of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
  • Relief of chronic nerve compression and irritation

 

What does a Chiropractor do?

 Not all chiropractors are alike. Although they go by the same name, chiropractors today differ greatly in philosophy and technique. The two main types are: 1) Musculoskeletal Chiropractors, who work on symptom relief, and 2) Wellness Chiropractors, who work on the long-term health of a patient, which includes attention to adaptability to stress, nutrition, exercises, postural awareness, attitude, and a consciousness of living a healthy and vital lifestyle. The ALIGN SPINE HEALTH CENTER offer both aspects so that you can make the ultimate choice of what type of care is best for you.

 

Is a Chiropractor a Doctor?

 Yes. Chiropractors (DC), along with dentists (DDS), optometrists (OD), physicians (MD), and psychologists (PhD, DPsych), are entitled to use the title “Doctor”. The common denominator to all of these professions is the right and responsibility to diagnose. As with all students in the health sciences, students of chiropractic are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in science (BS) before entering Chiropractic College. Before graduating and becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic, the student will have completed more than 4,500 hours of classroom study. Also, following the course of a student’s chiropractic studies, they must pass clinical proficiency examinations and national and provincial board examinations in order to practice.

 

Do Doctors of Chiropractic Prescribe Medication?

 No. The Doctor of Chiropractic is trained in treating human illnesses without drugs or surgery. Each health profession has its specialty: for dentists – teeth; for optometrists – eyes; for physicians – medication and surgery; for psychologists – counseling; and for chiropractors – spinal care and manipulation. Just as you would never consider going to anyone but a dentist for expert care of your teeth, the chiropractor by education, training and practice is the one to seek for expert spinal care and manipulation.

 

Is Chiropractic care safe?

 Yes. Statistics prove that chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. You only need to compare the malpractice premiums paid by Chiropractors to those paid by medical doctors. Doctors of Chiropractic pay only a small fraction (approx. 1/20) of the price medical doctors pay in malpractice premiums. 250,000 people will die this year as a result of bad medicine, making this the third leading cause of death in the United States of America (The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA; Vol.284, July 26, 2000). Of the millions of people receiving chiropractic adjustments each year, only a handful will even make a complaint.

 

Is it bad to “crack” your back or neck a lot?

 This question is frequently asked because people associate the “cracking” or “popping” of one’s back or neck with a chiropractic adjustment. The two are not the same thing. If a person has a desire to “crack” his/her neck or back it is often because one area of their spine is fixated or jammed causing another area to move too much and “pop”, sometimes by itself. It’s the fixated or jammed area that needs to be properly adjusted by a chiropractor so that the other parts of the spine will not be hypermobile or noisy. When you “crack” your back you may be relieving the tension for a little while. Do you notice how it keeps coming back? That is because you are not giving yourself a specific chiropractic adjustment. The cause of the spinal tension, the fixated or jammed (subluxated) vertebrae, has not been corrected. Any person who makes a habit out of “cracking” or “popping” their back or neck needs to go to a Doctor of Chiropractic to have their spine checked. Even a chiropractor cannot adjust him/herself.

 

Can Chiropractic offer treatment and care for conditions that appear unrelated to the spine?

 Many conditions and symptoms that patients experience begin at the spinal level, but manifest in other areas of the body. For example, many headaches, joint problems, and even carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by a misalignment of the vertebrae and impingement of the nerves in the neck. In addition, numbness, tingling, and pain in the leg can often be traced to the lower back. By gently manipulating and balancing the spine, along with soft tissue work to the muscular system to enhance flexibility, chiropractic has been extremely successful in treating the following symptoms: Stress, Chronic Fatigue, Headaches (Migraines), Shoulder Pain, Neck Pain, Back Pain, Carpal Tunnel, Sports Injuries, Fibromyalgia, Poor Posture, and Sciatica.

 

Should I continue Chiropractic care if I don’t have any symptoms?

 Many patients believe that if they do not have any symptoms that they are healthy. Unfortunately this is not true. Most patients seek help from a health care professional when they begin experiencing symptoms or are in pain. Your goal is to get relief or feel better. Now that you are feeling better, that does not mean that you are healthy or well. The goals of the ALIGN SPINE HEALTH CENTER are to give patients choices as to whether they wish to feel better, or achieve wellness and true health. Getting people to feel better is relatively easy. The challenging part is the commitment and focus that a patient needs to achieve wellness.

Most of the patients seen have spinal degeneration (decay) which has taken years to develop. The trauma of the birth process, slips, falls, accidents and countless other stresses over the course of your lifetime adversely affect the health of your spine. The longer you wait to have your spine checked by a chiropractor, the longer it will take to correct your subluxations. However, how you choose to use chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. It has been my experience that those who stop care when they are “feeling fine” return with the same health challenge(s) which brought them to our office in the first place…only it’s only gotten worse. On the other hand, those patients who have committed to the long-term, wellness chiropractic are find their health challenge(s) rarely return and enjoy a higher quality of life and health.

Most injuries that can be treated by a Chiropractor respond relatively quickly. However, in certain instances, a long-term treatment program may be necessary. The process of initial care may be lengthy because chiropractic adjustments work by moving the vertebrae only a small distance. Immediately after treatment the joints, muscles, ligaments, and other structures change their function. Each time the vertebrae are adjusted, they change a little more until eventually they function has returned to normal. This process only works with repetition over time: the more significant the dysfunction, the longer the resolution will take. It is rather like getting a rusty hinge to start working again. Once the original condition that caused the pain and discomfort has been resolved, it may still be necessary to have follow-up care from time to time to “fine-tune” your spine’s function. Many people find that they feel better on a regular program of preventative care. There is no easy answer to this question. Each case is different. It depends on the length of time you have had the concern, the severity of the concern, and your willingness to change while following the advice of the doctors.

 

Why do my children need Chiropractic care?

 The birth process is often the cause of your child’s first Subluxation. A very soft and undeveloped spine of an infant can suffer trauma during delivery. It is estimated that as much as 80lbs of pulling pressure can be exerted to remove a baby from the birth canal. Then, as children grow up and become more adventurous, the number of injuries to their spines becomes countless. The repeated falls as children learn to walk, the running, jumping, twisting, bumping and falling all over the place while playing in the yard or on an athletic field will often cause your child to become subluxated. However, often children do not show any signs and symptoms of being subluxated until later on in life. Chiropractic care offers your child a more responsive body, a more balanced flow of energy and over all increased performance as he/she passes through their window of development. A Subluxation free child also minimizes the risk of future health challenges.

 

Should I use Ice or Heat?

 Immediately following an injury, it is recommended that you use ice. Ice is a natural analgesic, which means that it will numb the pain. Additionally, ice decreases the inflammatory response by causing the blood vessels to constrict, thereby limiting the amount of swelling and additional tissue damage. Finally, ice can slow nerve impulses in the area, limiting the reflexive muscle spasm that often accompanies an injury. Ice is generally most helpful during the first 48 hours following an injury.

Never apply ice directly to your skin – use a damp cloth, t-shirt or paper towel between your skin and the ice. Icing should be performed for 10 to 20 minutes (never more) depending on the thickness of the tissue. Never use ice on areas of impaired sensation.

After the initial 48 hours following an injury once signs of inflammation (swelling, redness) are gone, it is usually more appropriate to use moist heat. Moist heat causes dilation of blood vessels, allowing for nutrients and cells that repair damaged tissues to enter the injured area while also removing damaged tissue and dead cells. Moist heat also relieves muscle tension by promoting relaxation of muscle tissue.

 

Is Chiropractic covered by Insurance?

Chiropractic care is covered by most insurance plans. If you are not sure you can either call your plan provider or call our office and we can verify your insurance for you. If you do not have insurance, affordable cash payment plans are available.