Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) receives about chiropractic care.
What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches…particularly with their highly skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause pain; and dysfunction both at or distant to the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
How do I select a doctor of chiropractic?
One of the best ways to select a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is by getting a referral from a friend, family member, colleague, or another health care provider.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, non-invasive treatments available for neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, recent evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously, or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare – about 1 case in 5.85 million manipulations.
If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider. It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) — as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.
Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled and gentle treatment.
Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others. Chiropractic care is also available to active-duty members of the armed forces at more than 60 military bases and is available to veterans at 36 major veterans medical facilities.
What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Doctors of Chiropractic are educated as primary-contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the neuromusculoskeletal system (the muscles, nerves, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities). Educational requirements for Doctors of Chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.
The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of Chiropractic are educated in pathology, orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition, rehabilitation and more. Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures.
In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands–or an instrument–to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint and nerve function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.
Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.
Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?
Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.
About Our Services
Watson Chiropractic Center offers a selection of Chiropractic Services depending on your specific needs or injuries. To book an appointment or for more information on our services please call our office during practice hours at 407-774-3311.
- Emphasis on the proper diagnosis.
- Pain relief is the initial priority, correction is encouraged to avoid a return of symptoms.
- Expect thorough history, examination, diagnostic studies, requests for outside medical records, more intensive, frequent care. (e.g., daily to 2-3 times/week)
- Requires full cooperation between the doctor and the patient.
- Often requires time off from work, rest, extensive homecare, co-treatment with other specialists.
- We do not assume all conditions can be treated effectively by chiropractic. Appropriate and timely referrals therefore can be expected.
- Dr. Watson has an excellent reputation in the medical community. Working together provides the best care for patients.
- Emphasis on correcting identified biomechanical, positional, and postural errors.
- Expect thorough review of postures in work, sleep, daily living and recreational/sport activities.
- Less intensive, less frequent care (e.g., from 2x/week to every 2 weeks) with emphasis on homecare: stretching, strengthening, changes in faulty postures.
- Improving eating and exercise habits requires cooperation and willingness to make positive changes.
- Often requires an open mind and patience with oneself when changing bad habits (e.g., sleeping on your stomach, increasing exercise, and eating properly).
- This is fun and rewarding care! Often, a few simple changes can make a huge difference in one’s health and happiness.
- Emphasis on staying well and enjoying good health while continuing proper habits established in the corrective phase.
- Expect to reduce your risk of injury, improve spinal function, feel better, save money and time and continue to learn.
- Expect less frequent care of every 2-4 weeks.
- Requires a mindset of health and wellness and an understanding of why maintaining anything-especially your health- is a good investment.
- Most of our patients “graduate” to maintenance care and enjoy improved health and well-being. They look forward to reconnecting with people who truly care for them each month.
- Manual Adjustments
- Activator Method
- Cox, flexion/distraction
- Thompson Drop Technique
- Anterior block
- Active Release Technique
- Intersegmental Traction
- Interferential Current
- High Volt Galvanism
- Hydrocollator packs
Your Health Starts Here
Dr. Watson's patients are seen by appointment. Please remember to call in advance so that time with the doctor may be reserved especially for you.
Appointments are available by calling the office at 407 774-3311 during practice hours.
Call — 407-774-3311