Dr. Frazetta answers your most frequently asked questions:
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic is based on the premise that your body is a self-healing organism controlled by your nervous system. Nerves tell your body how to work. For example, they help with food digestion, breathing, and controlling your heart rate. Sometimes these nerves can have pressure on them. When that happens, the nerve is not working at its full capacity. In turn, messages that tell your body what to do don't get relayed as effectively as they should. First, you usually experience pain and discomfort, but if the problem is there a long time, your body may respond with sickness and disease. Chiropractic works by removing nerve interferences that cause pain and sickness. Chiropractic helps your nerves function at 100%. Enhancing your nervous system helps your body heal itself from pain, sickness, and disease without having to use drugs or surgery. This is why chiropractic has been known to help many types of conditions other than pain.
What conditions can be helped with chiropractic?
Most people think chiropractors are pain doctors to help get rid of neck or back pain. But because chiropractic helps your nerves work at their best, people start to notice their body working at its best with regular check-ups, so problems like heartburn, indigestion, asthma, allergies, sinus problems, headaches, and numbness and tingling in the arms and legs have all shown improvement with chiropractic care. Even children with bedwetting, colic, and ear infections have gotten better with chiropractic. This just names a few of the many problems that have been helped by a chiropractor.
How do I know if I have a problem that can be helped by a chiropractor?
The best way to figure this out is to see a chiropractor for a complete, thorough examination. Medical doctors aren't trained the same way that a chiropractor is, so even if your medical doctor doesn't think you have a chiropractic problem, you could. It's best to find out for yourself and get a complete examination by a chiropractor. Once examined, if your doctor of chiropractic doesn't think your problem is chiropractic related, he/she will send you somewhere you can get the proper care you need.
What is a subluxation?
Doctors of chiropractic refer to problem areas as subluxations. Subluxations occur when bones in the spinal column move out of their normal alignment. As a result, several things happen. First, there is a decrease in motion of the spinal joint. You may notice that you aren't as flexible and don't have as many ranges of motion that you used to have. When a bone is misaligned, it can put pressure on the nerves surrounding it. You may start to experience pain and discomfort. These nerves control your body and tell it how to work, so over time, the nerve will not work as effectively as it should and other problems could arise. Subluxations can affect your muscle function and your soft tissues as well. Subluxations are a danger to your health because they cause abnormal function of the spine and body. Subluxations are caused by physical traumas (exercising, auto accidents, birth trauma, etc.), emotional stress, and chemical stress (smoking, drinking, poor diet, environment toxins, etc.). Subluxations can be found in newborns to seniors which is exactly why anyone of any age should be checked for subluxations and treated with specific chiropractic adjustments.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments are ways to correct subluxations. The doctor uses his/her hands and works directly on your skin. A controlled force from a specific direction is put into a specific spinal joint space, removing the cause of the problem. Proper motion is restored at the fixated area and pressure is removed from the nerves. It is normal to hear a small "clicking" noise and you may feel the bone move.
Does it hurt?
To many, chiropractic adjustments do not hurt and in fact, some notice an immediate change. By removing nerve pressure, that causes pain and disease, chiropractic adjustments relieve tension and restore proper motion. You will begin to look forward to visiting your chiropractor for regular check-ups!
Is chiropractic safe?
Yes, chiropractic, when performed by a licensed chiropractor, is safe. In fact, chiropractic is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. This year alone, millions of people will experience the wonderful benefits chiropractic has to offer.
Why should my child see a chiropractor?
Children make the perfect chiropractic patients because they respond very quickly. Many times, spinal problems can start during the birth process, especially if pulling, twisting, forceps, or a vacuum device was used during delivery. Children may have many falls and accidents in their life, which can create spinal problems. Getting your child checked by a chiropractor while he/she is young is a great way to ensure a healthy life. Correcting misalignments early in life can prevent problems later on. And, yes, chiropractic is safe for children! The amount of force needed to correct problems is much less than that of an adult.
Will I have to go for the rest of my life?
That's your decision. Some people choose to see a chiropractor for a specific problem and when the problem is gone, they stop going. Others chose to visit a chiropractor regularly to "tune-up" their spine just as you would "tune-up" your car. Regular visits help keep you feeling great and perform at your best. Once you realize how good you feel under chiropractic care, you'll begin to wonder how you lived without it!
What makes Gonstead chiropractic different?
The Gonstead System of Chiropractic is often considered the "Gold Standard" of chiropractic. The Gonstead approach is to be as thorough and specific as possible. A complete, detailed history is taken on your first visit. This information is an important step to familiarize the doctor with your case. Special criteria are used at each office visit to examine your spine. These include: Visualization - looking at your posture and watching you move helps the chiropractor detect spinal problems. Instrumentation - all Gonstead doctors use a Nerv-o-scope, an instrument that is able to detect temperature differences of the skin over the spine. This can indicate swelling and pressure on the surrounding nerves. Static Palpation - your chiropractor will feel for inflammation, tenderness, and differences in muscle tone around the spine. The presence of any of these could indicate possible problems. Motion Palpation - this is the process of moving and bending your spine while you are seated. Every joint space in your spine should have proper motion. Motion palpation helps the doctor detect fixations, areas that are locked-up and need corrected. X-rays - these help the doctor see the alignment of the bones in your spine. X-rays also help detect arthritis, curvatures, and posture abnormalities. Once your doctor finds the problem areas, motion will be put into specific spinal joint spaces with just the right amount of force needed to correct the problem. All Gonstead adjustments are done with the doctor's hands directly onto your skin. With Gonstead chiropractic, you can be assured you are receiving the highest quality; the most scientifically based and well researched documented chiropractic care available.
Why does my neck "pop" when I turn it?
When your neck or back "pops" just from you turning or bending, it's a sign something is wrong and a spinal joint space is unstable. When bones in your spine become misaligned, they typically lock-up and become fixated. This causes a loss of motion within that area. Because that area is not moving, the areas above and below it must work harder to make up for the area that is locked-up. Those areas become hypermobile, meaning they move too much too easily. When you hear the "pop" from twisting or turning, they hypermobile segment is moving, not the fixated area that needs corrected. Anytime your neck or back "pops" on its own, it is a warning sign something is wrong and you should visit your chiropractor to get the problem corrected. With proper chiropractic care, the popping noises will go away because the fixations are being corrected.
What causes that popping sound?
The "pop" or "crack" that you hear during an adjustment is simply a release of gas in the joint space being corrected.
Can I adjust myself?
No, you cannot adjust your own spine. The purpose of the Gonstead adjustment is to be as specific as possible. The force put into the spine must come from a certain direction into a certain spinal joint space, and for this reason, it is impossible to adjust yourself. Even chiropractors have chiropractors!
Is chiropractic different from medicine?
Chiropractors do a series of complete, thorough examinations and spinal analysis to determine where your problem is coming from. No drugs or surgeries are involved with chiropractic care. Chiropractors get to the cause of your problem and remove it. Medical doctors treat your symptoms, not the cause. By removing the cause of the problem you eliminate the symptoms. If you are looking for answers of where your problem is coming from, then chiropractic is for you!
How well educated are chiropractors?
After completing several years of pre-medical studies at undergraduate schools, most students start chiropractic school with a BS. The student then completes a 4 year accredited chiropractic college. After graduation, like other types of doctors, chiropractors must pass a series of strict board examinations. They then must obtain a license from the state they wish to practice in, which usually requires more extensive testing. Once in the field, chiropractors are expected to attend various seminars to keep their education up to date. Your chiropractor goes to school just as long as your medical doctor. The difference is the classes studied. Dr. Frazetta completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University in New York and completed his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree at Life University in Georgia.