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Frequently Asked Questions

 


What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health care discipline that emphasizes the innate ability of the body to heal when nothing is interfering with this process. Chiropractors do not use drugs or surgery. Chiropractic recognizes that structural, chemical, and emotional factors can all play a role in interfering with the natural, self-healing mechanisms of the body. For this reason, chiropractors look to identify and reduce these impediments to healing so that the body can return to a more balanced, optimized state.
Historically, chiropractic has focused on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system and how this relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. Since chiropractic physical treatment usually centers around the structures of the back, the majority of chiropractic patients first seek care for problems that relate directly to the back, including low back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Other problems typically seen in a chiropractor's office include injuries from accidents or sports. Most Doctors of Chiropractic are well versed in diagnosing and treating injuries or dysfunction anywhere in the body such the shoulder, knee, elbow and ankles.
Additionally, many chiropractic patients also come to feel that regular chiropractic adjsutments enhance their overall health, allowing them to function at a more optimal level.
Finally, as chiropractors receive much training in nutrition, Dr. Zimmerman also offers nutrional advice and supplement recommendations when appropriate, as a natural alternative or to enhance conventional medical therapy for a variety of problems.

 

What Can Chiropractic Do for Me? 
Simply put, chiropractic can help get you out of pain fast while gently coaxing your nerves/joints/muscles to regain their normal function. While pain killing drugs and muscle relaxants generally work only on the symptoms of these kinds of problems, while also posing a significant risk from potentially dangerous side effects, chiropractic aims to eliminate the actual source of the problem. Although chiropractic is used most frequently to relieve low back pain, studies have found it to be effective for a variety of conditions, such as migraine headaches, neck and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and even infantile colic.

 

Does it hurt? 
A person who has never been adjustmented before may feel understandably apprehensive. We recommend that you first speak with other chiropractic patients to alleviate any anxiety.

Most patients will tell you that, if done correctly, there is seldom any discomfort during chiropractic treatment. If there is any discomfort at all, it is usually as a result of the patient tightening up their muscles during an adjustment due to anxiety. After a pratient learns to relax and trust the doctor, they will then find an adjustment to cause no discomfort.

For those patients who are too apprehensive to be comfortably treated by hand, Dr. Zimmerman may decide to perform an adjustment with the use of a mechanical device. Since this instrument moves many times faster than possible by hand, the muscles have no time to tighten and cause discomfort.

 

Is Chiropractic safe? 
Chiropractic adjustments or manipulations are extremely safe, especially as compared to drugs or surgery.

 

What kind of education and training do doctors of chiropractic have? 
Before attending chiropractic school, potential doctors of chiropractic must fulfill basic science course at the college level, along with a number of other college level courses. At present, approximately half of all candidates for chiropractic school have earned a bachelors degree before matriculation into chiropractic school.

Chiropractic school education includes four academic years of coursework. In most respects, chiropractic education is remarkably similar to the pre-clinical education received at a medical school. The basic difference is that medical schools provide instuction in pharmacology and surgery. Since doctors of chiropractic neither prescribe medications nor perform surgery, chiropractic schools devote these hours to teaching the principles and techniques of chiropractic manipulative therapy and adjunctive therapies.

Chiropractic education includes many hours of instruction in biochemistry, nutrition, biomechanics, adjustive technique, physiologic therapeutics, orthopedics, circulation and respiration, digestion, endocrinology, histology, embryology, microbiology, pathology, neurophysiology, gynecology/obstetrics, public health, pharmatoxicology, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, first aid and emergency, and x-ray principles.

This comprehensive and intensive study enables the doctor of chiropractic to deliver competent, safe health care within the scope of chiropractic practice and to recognize which conditions may require a referral to the appropriate medical doctor.

 

Have any studies been published showing what chiropractic is effective for? 
Several studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic in relieving back pain. More recent studies have shown chiropractic to be effective in treating infantile colic and migraine headaches.

For Long-term problems:

"Improvement in all patients at three years was about 29% more in those treated by chiropractors than in those treated by the hospitals. The beneficial effect of chiropractic on pain was particularly clear."

British Medical Journal, Meade et al. (1995)

"Manipulative therapy and physiotherapy are better than general practitioner and placebo treatment. Furthermore, manipulative therapy is slightly better than physiotherapy after 12 months."

British Medical Journal, Koes et. al. (1992)


For Pain:

"For the management of low-back pain, chiropractic care is the most effective treatment, and it should be fully integrated into the government's health care system."

The Manga Report (1993)

"Patients suffering from back and/or neck complaints experience chiropractic care as an effective means of resolving or ameliorating pain and functional impairments, thus reinforcing previous results showing the benefits of chiropractic treatment for back and neck pain."

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological
Therapeutics. Verhoef et al. (1997)

For Headaches:

"The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches." "Four weeks after cessation of treatments...the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baselines values."

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological
Therapeutics, Baline et al. (1995)


Patient Satisfaction:

"Compared with those who sought care from medical doctors, those who sought care from chiropractors were more likely to feel that treatment was helpful, more likely to be satisfied with their care, and less likely to seek care from another provider for that same episode of pain."
Spine, Carey et al. (1996)


"Patients positively endorsed all items on the satisfaction questionnaire, indicating a high level of satisfaction with the care they received."

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological
Therapeutics, Verhoef et al. (1997)

None out of ten chiropractic users felt their treatment was effective.

The Gallup Organization, Alhstrand (1991)

"Those who sought care from a DC were more likely to be very satisfied (63%) with their care than those who were treated by a PT (56%), MD (52%), or DO (50%)."

Americans' Perception of Practitioners &
Treatments for Back Problems (1995



 

What can I expect on my first visit? 
First, after we greet you, we'll have you fill out some detailed information including a comprehensive health history. It will take about 15-20 minutes to full this out completely. The doctor will then take a few minutes to review this information. Afterwards, he'll take down a history of your problem and perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of your symptoms. In some cases, x-rays or other laboratory tests may be necessary.

In certain cases you will not be treated on the first day, as the doctor will need to review your history, examination, and x-rays before determining the best treatment plan for your individual case.

 

How Much Treatment Will I Need? 
The amount of treatment required depends on a number of factors including the type of problem, severity, the patient's age and general health, lifestyle, complicating factors, and many others. Dr. Zimmerman will thoroughly explain these factors to you. Our goal is twofold. We want to get you out of pain as quickly as possible. However, our second goal is to eliminate the source of the problem so that the problem is less likely to return. Meeting this second goal sometimes requires much more of a commitment to care than just getting out of pain. However, it is always up to you how long you wish to continue care. We simply present with our recommendations, but you always have the final say how you want to proceed.

 

How Does Chiropractic Work? 
While the human body is breathtakingly complex and marvelous to behold, the basic premise of chiropractic manipulation is simple enough for almost anyone to understand. The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Through it's various branches, the nervous system controls and coordinates every action in every tissue and organ of the body.

It is easy to understand, then, that any interference or irritation to this system may cause adverse and sometimes dramatic effects, including such obvious symptoms as pain and tingling while also playing a possible role in numerous other problems such as indigestion, constipation, menstrual pains, and so on.

When motion in the spinal bones is restricted or abnormal, the nerves in the area become irritated resulting in pain and many other symptoms. It is the job of the chiropractor to detect areas of the spine in which there is restricted or abnormal movement, and to restore this movement so the spine can regain normal function.

Clearly, correct biomechanical function of the spine is essential for treating musculoskeletal problems, i.e. problems of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and bones. However, due to the relationship between the nervous system and the entire body, including the internal organs, chiropractors believe that taking care of the spine is also important for the maintenance of health from the whole-body or holistic point of view.

 

What is a Chiropractic Adjustment? 
As explained above, one major cause of pain and debilitation is the improper motion or fixation of movable joints in the body especially in the spinal joints. Although this problem has been given various names by the health professions, the chiropractic profession has historically referred to this phenomenon as the "Subluxation Complex". While doctors of chiropractic may utilize many techniques to help normalize musculoskeletal function in the body, the majority of chiropractors agree that it is their principle job to detect and correct the subluxation complex.

Once the chiropractor has determined where the problem is, he/she will then employ a technique called an adjustment to help normalize joint motion. Again, many different types of adjustments may be utilized depending upon the patient's needs and the chiropractor's individual preference and expertise. The most commonly employed adjustment is performed by hand. It involves positioning the patient to contact the involved joint complex and then inducing or encouraging normal movement in the joint with a "high velocity/ low amplitude thrust". In other words, this means that the chiropractor will position the joint at it's normal, voluntary, end range-of -movement and then thrust quickly to make the joint surfaces separate very slightly. Performed expertly, this type of technique is very safe. Following the adjustment, the formerly "stuck" joint complex will temporarily regain more normal range-of-motion and quite frequently will cause an immediate reduction in pain and other symptoms. However, a series of adjustments over a period of time is ordinarily required to achieve long lasting effects.

Another way of performing an adjustment is by utilizing an instrument. This is called a mechanically induced adjustment. Many chiropractic doctors will choose to use this type of adjustment when an adjustment by hand is not safe or is not warranted. Dr. Zimmerman utilizes mechanical adjusting when adjusting by hand is contraindicated or in cases where patients do not well tolerate an adjustment by hand.

Finally, there are many alternative techniques, which do not involve any type of thrust at all. A doctor may specialize in a particular technique system or employ a wide variety of techniques and utilize them depending on a particular patient's needs. Dr. Zimmerman employs a wide variety of techniques depending on a particular patients needs.

 


 



 

 



 

 

Our Patients Speak!

 

 

“I was in excruciating neck pain and arm pain….the treatments Dr. Z provided soon helped bring my pain under control…I feel like I have the old me back.” 

Christine N., Real Estate Agent 

 

“Better posture…regained balance…increased strength…less tired and able to function with normality…..quality of life improved. 

             Linda F., Housewife 

 

“At first, my back was killing me as well as my driving foot. I would literally limp after getting out of the car to get in the house. Your chiropractic adjustments helped me recover almost immediately.” 

 

“I tore my right shoulder rotator cuff..You treated my shoulder with adjustments and the laser and it is better. The doctors at my work are astonished. I teasingly tell them all the time that the only true medicine is Chiropractic medicine. Thank you Dr. Zimmerman-you’re the best.                  Liz R., Manager 

 

“Chiropractic care eased my neck ache and lower back ache felt after my car accident...I would truly recommend chiropractic care for those who feel that they need to correct posture or those who suffer from back aches, headaches, neck aches, or to just better a lifestyle. I feel that your services are terrific.”-             Ricardo D., 

 

“Working with Dr. Zimmerman has showed me how much better I can feel without taking medication. This is the only treatment that I have had which has offered me immediate relief.”-Aaron G., Programmer

 

Dr. Zimmerman's complete approach to wellness is, I think, the way forward for modern medicine. He treated my symptoms and the causes simultaneously, this helped me to correct problems with my posture that were causing my discomfort."-

          Tim W, music producer

 

Your assistance in ridding myself of bone spurs on my heels worked like a miracle. I have had no pain ever since using your advice and techniques. I have now lost over 50 lbs. and continue to loose slowly. Today I can walk for 2-4 miles comfortably..I continue to tell my friends of your assistance and expertise and refer them to you for services whenever possible. I really do appreciate all you've done for me.-       Linda R., Teacher

 

 

 

The above are all true testimonials from patient’s of Zimmerman Chiropractic and available for viewing in our office. We have not included full last names to protect our patients’ privacy.