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Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic

What Is Chiropractic?
How Does Chiropractic Work?
What Do Chiropractic Doctors Do?
What Are The Current Educational Requirements To Be A Doctor Of Chiropractic?
What Is An Adjustment?
Are All Patients Adjusted The Same Way?
Can I Adjust Myself?
Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?
Do I Have A Slipped Disc?
Is Chiropractic Care Safe?
Why Do Children Need Chiropractic Care?
Am I Too Old For Chiropractic Care?
How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?
What is Applied Kinesiology (AK)?

What Is Chiropractic?

Therapeutic CareChiropractic is a science, art, and philosophy that concerns itself with the relationship between the nervous system and the function (health) of the body.

The Science: Since its beginning, chiropractic has been based on the scientific fact that the nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ, and system of your body.

While the brain is protected by the skull, the spinal cord is more vulnerable, covered by 24 moving vertebrae. When these bones lose their normal motion or position, they can irritate the nervous system. This disrupts the function of the tissues or organs these nerves control, and is called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.

Chiropractic is the science of locating these areas of spinal malfunction, the art of correcting them, and the philosophy of things natural.

The Art: After a thorough examination and a review of your health history, your chiropractic doctor will recommend a specific care program. If yours is a chiropractic case, this will include specific spinal adjustments.

The word adjustment describes hundreds of ways of using carefully directed and controlled pressure to restore spinal bones to a more normal position and motion. When spinal function is improved, nervous system function (health) can improve too.

After years of training, chiropractic doctors become experts at using just the right amount of force in the right direction. This may require a quick movement or in other instances a slow and constant pressure. Chiropractic is truly an art.

The Philosophy: Besides the science and art, chiropractic has a philosophical aspect. Chiropractic doctors recognize that regardless of the type of doctor you consult, doctors don’t heal, only the body can heal itself. So your chiropractic doctor’s main purpose is to reduce interference to your inborn healing ability.

How Does Chiropractic Work?

Chiropractic works by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove interferences to your natural state of being healthy.

A common interference to the nervous system is the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system. This can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses.

With improved spinal function there is often improved nervous system function. Your chiropractic doctor can help remove interferences that may be impairing normal health.

Since the primary focus of your care is improved nervous system function, chiropractic can have a positive effect on many health conditions not normally thought of as “back” problems.

What Do Chiropractic Doctors (Chiropractors) Do?

Helping to restore proper spinal biomechanics and improved nervous system function begins with a case history. This gives Dr. Koop a background about your health, such as surgeries, accidents, the onset of your condition, and other details affecting your current health.

After reviewing your history and discussing your specific problem, a thorough orthopedic, neurological, and chiropractic examination is performed. X-rays may be taken to uncover structural and functional problems associated with the spinal column. These examinations help identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system deficit.

The findings of these examinations are explained and a plan of chiropractic adjustments are recommended. Progress is monitored with periodic examinations and follow-up reports.

Since the word “doctor” comes from the Latin word meaning teacher, regardless of your doctor’s unique clinical approach, she has a strong commitment to patient education.

What Are The Current Educational Requirements To Be A Chiropractor?

Today’s Doctor of Chiropractic is well educated.

Chiropractic colleges require a minimum of four academic years of professional resident study, including clinical experience under strict supervision, preceded by a minimum of two years of college work with a curriculum concentrated in the biological and basic sciences, and clinical disciplines. The remaining two years emphasize practical or clinical studies dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of disease with approximately half the time spent in college clinics.

Dr. Koop has earned a Bachelor of Health Science degree in Medical Technology, graduating summa cum laude from Duke University. She graduated magna cum laude from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, and has a post-doctorate specialty in Sports Injuries.

What Is An Adjustment?

Dr. Koop has selected from hundreds of adjusting methods and has become expert in their delivery.

When the 24 bones that protect the spinal cord lose their normal position or motion, delicate nerve tissue can become choked or irritated. If a thorough examination reveals malfunctioning areas of the spine, chiropractic adjustments are recommended to help correct this condition.

A chiropractic adjustment is the use of a specific force in a precise directions, applied to a joint that is fixated, “locked up”, or not moving properly. Adjustments help return the bones to a more normal position or motion, relieving pain and ill health.

There are hundreds of ways to adjust the spine.

Activator for Chiropractic AdjustmentUsually Dr. Koop’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly accurate thrust. After years of training, each doctor has selected a variety of methods and become skilled in their delivery. Regardless of the technique used, each chiropractic adjustment is tailored to the patient’s age, size, and unique spinal problem. Dr. Koop uses Applied Kinesiology, activator and diversified techniques. Her adjustments are gentle and effective.

Adjustments help normalize spinal function and avoid bone and soft tissue degeneration. When nervous system function improves in this way, the body can begin the natural healing process.

Are All Patients Adjusted The Same Way?

Dr. Koop evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience.

Some patients who complain of headaches, may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern.

Patients notice that their chiropractic care is delivered with confidence and precision. Each visit builds on the one before. And while visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient.

Can I Adjust Myself?

Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific spinal joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself.

It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound, like the sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more unsteady. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!

The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Chiropractor that is a trained Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.

Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?

Many patients consult a chiropractor because they think they have a pinched nerve.

Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function caused from physical trauma, emotional tensions, or chemical toxins can affect the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots.

While commonly associated with the spine, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually rare. Researchers suggest that only 10% to 15% of spine related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue! This can result in numbness, burning, or a “pins and needles” feeling.

More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesion). This is caused when nerve tissue is rubbed, scraped, stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or irritated by malfunctioning spinal bones.

Do I Have A Slipped Disc?

Technically, a disc can’t “slip.”

The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between spinal bones. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. A soft, jellylike center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending.

Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot “slip.” However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, as the soft center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.

While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problem.

Is Chiropractic Care Safe?

In the words of the New Zealand government’s inquiry, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.”

Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.

A thorough case history and examination help reveal areas of the spine that may be causing nervous system malfunction. This information will be used to determine the best course of care for each patient.

Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.

Why Do Children Need Chiropractic Care?

Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.

Later, learning to walk, ride a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the unseen damage to the child’s spine is the unique domain of a chiropractic doctor.

Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as “growing pains” can often be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults.

Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child’s spine. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children.

Am I Too Old For Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic Care is good at any age!More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.

Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process.

The adjusting technique used by Dr. Koop will be modified for maximum comfort and results.

As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.

How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?

Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.

Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventive care is helpful in the maintenance of good health.

Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time-consuming, our office stands ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.

References: 1993 and 1996 Back Talk Systems, Inc.

What is Applied Kinesiology (AK) and How Does a Chiropractor Use It?

Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a system that evaluates structural, chemical and mental aspects of health using manual muscle testing with other standard methods of diagnosis.

The doctor using AK finds a muscle that is unbalanced and then attempts to determine why that muscle is not functioning properly. The doctor works out the treatment that will best balance the patient’s muscles.

Treatments may involve specific joint manipulation or mobilization, various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian and acupuncture skills, clinical nutrition, dietary management, counselling skills, evaluating environmental irritants and various reflex procedures.

AK uses the Triad of Health. That is Chemical, Mental and Structural factors that balance the major health categories.

The Triad of Health is interactive and all sides must be evaluated for the underlying cause of a problem. A health problem on one side of the triad can affect the other sides. For example, a chemical imbalance can cause mental symptoms. AK enables the doctor to evaluate the triad’s balance and direct therapy toward the imbalanced side or sides.

AK skills are developed and approved by the International College of Applied Kinesiology Board of Standards. These skills are refined from many disciplines including Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Medicine, Dentistry, Acupuncture, Biochemistry, Psychology, Homeopathy, and Naturopathy etc. Members of these professions share knowledge through the publications and conferences of the International College of Applied Kinesiology (ICAK).

A Doctor using AK during an examination will add a new dimension to standard diagnostics.

References: 2010 International College of Applied Kinesiology

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