Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How Does My Spine and Nervous System Work?
A - The spine is our body’s central support structure and houses and protects our nervous system. It is made up of a chain of 24 bones called vertebrae and is flexible due to elastic ligaments and spinal discs. The discs keep the spine flexible so that we can move our body, they provide a space for spinal nerves to exit, and they also absorb shocks that are transferred into the spine when we have impacts.
The nervous system consists of your brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of your body and it controls the function of every cell, muscle, and organ. The nervous system coordinates virtually every function of your body such as when your heart beats, when your lungs fill with air, when your food is digested, how you grow and develop, how your immune system fights an infection, how you feel, etc. Your nervous system also coordinates the release of hormones, neuropeptides, digestive enzymes, stomach acid, and much more.
So needless to say, it is essential that your spine and nervous system stays healthy so that your body can function properly.
Q - What Is a Spinal Subluxation and How Do They Affect Your Health?
A - Normal function of our nervous system requires proper movement and alignment of our spinal vertebrae. The condition of your spine where a vertebral segment has become out of alignment, fixated, and is causing compressive pressure on a spinal nerve and/or the spinal cord is called a subluxation.
Subluxations have three negative effects on our body. First, research has clearly shown that subluxations cause nerve irritation that chronically elevate your stress hormones. This will affect our body’s ability to adapt to our environment, causing fatigue, breakdown, and eventually chronic illness. Symptoms can include increased pain sensitivity, poor concentration, memory loss, anxiety, depression, low energy, poor sleep, insulin resistance, decreased immune function, poor digestion, low fertility, trouble sleeping, weight gain, bone loss, and more.
Secondly, subluxations cause accelerated spinal arthritis and disc degeneration. This is a permanent and progressive process that can only be reduced when normal spinal motion and alignment is restored. Although you cannot reverse spinal degeneration once it is present, you can prevent more damage from progressing by getting regular and consistent chiropractic care.
Thirdly, subluxations pre-dispose us to pain and injury. Subluxations cause nerve interference between our brain and our body. This can directly affect the function of the part of your body that the nerve controls. Common symptoms include headaches, migraines, neck and back pain, muscle tension, nerve irritation, shoulder pain, sciatica, hip pain, numbness/tingling, painful menstrual cycles, and many other issues.
Q - What Causes Spinal Subluxations?
A - Subluxations are primarily caused by the cumulative effects of too much sitting, poor posture, and repetitive motions, which have become commonplace in our modern and sedentary lifestyle.
Other causes of subluxations include stressful birth processes, childhood falls, traumas, car accidents, sports injuries, poor nutrition, lack of fitness, and emotional stress. Most often you cannot feel when your spine is subluxated until it has accumulated for months or years.
Q - How Do You Know If Your Spine Is Healthy?
A - In order for your spine to be healthy, it must move properly at every individual segment as well as having healthy alignment and posture from the front and side. From the front, the spine should be straight and from the side, the spine requires 3 healthy curvatures, one in the neck, one in the mid-back, and one in the lower back. The discs need to be equal and full height and vetebrae should have smooth edges. All of this is required for you to have proper healthy nerve and spinal function.
If you cannot feel subluxations, then how do we know if our spines are healthy or not? The only way to know for sure is to be checked by a qualified doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are the only doctors that specialize in the detection and correction of subluxations.
Q - How Bad Are Spinal Subluxations Actually?
A - The bottom line is that subluxations are a significant stressor to your body. People fail at maintaining good spinal health because they do not understand that subluxations can be present in their spine for years or even decades before they notice symptoms.
Most doctors will not properly check your spine or refer you to someone who will. And if you do have a symptom, you will likely be recommended medication, therapy, or surgery to relieve the symptom. However, health is not about the absence of symptoms, it’s about optimal function. Masking symptoms with drugs, therapy, or surgery while leaving subluxations unaddressed will only make sick people feel better as they get sicker and sicker. There is a better way!
Q - How Will Chiropractic Care Improve Your Life?
A - There are numerous benefits for families who utilize chiropractic care. Almost all of these advantages are associated with reduced nerve interference from subluxations. Many people report:
- feeling much better – less pain
- moving better
- better posture
- being more agile and flexible
- sleeping better
- getting sick less often
- feeling less anxious and depressed
- better digestion and elimination
- less stress
- more energy
Q - Who Is Eligible for Chiropractic Care?
A - Chiropractic care benefits anyone with a spine – even without symptoms! Regular maintenance care helps prevent subluxations from accumulating due to daily lifestyle stress. Children should be checked and should receive chiropractic prevention care from birth. This allows the best chance for a healthy spine and nervous system for their future. Many adult problems begin as childhood problems that were never addressed.
Q - What Exactly Does My Adjustment Do?
A - There are two parts to your adjustment. The first is a “manual” adjustment to release any spinal fixations and restore mobility to your spine. This is done with a small, gentle thrust into a subluxated vertebrae. With this adjustment you may hear a “cracking” or “popping” sound which is simply a release of gas from the fixated joint. Your adjustment may alternatively be done with an “impulse” instrument or a gentle “drop” piece on the chiropractic table. It is important to note that this sound is not the goal of the adjustment, and is not necessary for the adjustment to be successful.
The second part of your adjustment is what sets Life Chiropractic apart from traditional chiropractic care and that is to correct posture abnormalities. Dr. Jeff uses a specialized adjustment called a Mirror Image Postural Adjustment. This is a gentle “drop” table adjustment made to your spine while you are positioned in the opposite (mirror-image) of your abnormal posture. These adjustments reset your nervous system’s regulation of postural muscle balance by triggering improved muscle and nerve reflexes. This adjustment will be the same every time you are adjusted unless your posture changes. The goal with Mirror Image adjusting is to make a permanent correction to your spine and nervous system.
By restoring normal alignment and reducing nerve interference, your body is able heal itself. This is why adjustments have such profound success in relieving so many different conditions that people experience, as well as improving overall health, function, and performance.
Q - Is Every Adjustment the Same Each Time and Are They the Same for All Patients?
A - No. Your chiropractic adjustments are specific to the unique needs of your spine on each adjustment. Each visit, Dr. Jeff will palpate and assess your spine for subluxations and will only adjust the subluxated areas of your spine. Some areas of your spine may be chronically subluxated due to previous injury or repetitive stress from your daily lifestyle. Those areas may need to be adjusted on most visits.
The Mirror Image Postural part of your adjustment will look and feel the same as this adjustment is continuously focusing on correcting your abnormal postural pattern. And because most people have similar postural issues, this adjustment may look similar from one patient to the next.
Q - How Long Should an Adjustment Take?
A - Once Dr. Jeff is familiar with your spine after the initial examination and first few adjustments, it will only take a few moments for him to palpate and adjust your subluxations on each visit. The truly amazing thing about chiropractic adjustments is that they only take a moment to perform, but they produce extremely profound results. The important factor is not how long each of your adjustments take, but how each of your adjustments adds and builds on the one before. This is how your spine and nervous system heal with chiropractic care. If you have any concerns or new issues, be sure to communicate this with Dr. Jeff and he will take the appropriate time to assess your concern.
Q - How Long Will I Need to Be Adjusted and Stay Under Care?
A - There is a myth that once you start getting adjusted you have to keep getting adjusted. Chiropractic wellness care however, is like brushing your teeth, eating healthy, or exercising. You do it initially to GET healthy, but you continue doing it regularly because you want to STAY healthy. The fact is, our current modern lifestyles are stressful and they cause subluxations to accumulate if we are not keeping our spine maintained.
Chiropractic care has one purpose and that is to remove subluxations. So when a patient first starts chiropractic care, in many cases subluxations have been building up in the spine for many years. Therefore, in the initial phase of care, the objective will be to restore as much normal function to the spine as possible. This phase of care is called intensive care and typically responds best with an adjustment frequency of 2-3 adjustments per week for 1-4 months. This allows sufficient time and repetition for the soft tissues to correct and heal.
Once relief and stabilization is achieved, chiropractic care is best used as a preventative strategy. For wellness care, Dr. Jeff generally recommends 2-4 chiropractic maintenance check-ups/adjustments per month along with daily “spinal hygiene” exercises. How often you need to be adjusted to stay healthy depends on your current level of spinal health, the amount of sitting you do, your stress level, how fit you are, and the overall quality of your lifestyle. Most people function best with weekly adjustments – including Dr. Jeff!
Q - How Does Massage Therapy Benefit My Chiropractic Care?
A - While chiropractic care deals with subluxations in your spine, massage therapy can help with the soft tissues that support your spine and aid in the healing process. As good as massage is however, it cannot replace the chiropractic adjustment. Massage therapy does not correct subluxations and is best used as a compliment to chiropractic care rather than an alternative for pain management.
Q - Should I Still Continue My Care If My Symptoms Are Gone and I Do Not Have Any Pain?
A - Maintenance check-ups are just as important when you do not have pain or symptoms. As you cannot feel subluxations as they accumulate silently from our daily lifestyle stresses, the best time to be adjusted is when you are feeling great.
Q - What If I Do Not Have the Time in My Schedule or I Cannot Afford Dr. Jeff’s Best Recommendation?
A - Dr. Jeff will always give you his best recommendation for the fastest and most efficient way to correct, stabilize, and maintain your spine. If your finances or schedule is a limiting factor, it’s always okay to start your care at a slower frequency. The results may just take a little longer to achieve. The most important thing is to find a frequency of adjustments that will allow you to get started with chiropractic care and to sustain it over the long-term.
Q - Should Kids Be Adjusted?
A - Children should be checked and should receive chiropractic wellness and prevention care from birth. This allows the best opportunity for a healthy spine and nervous system for their future. Many adult problems are the result of childhood issues that were never addressed.
Q - What If My Medical Doctor Recommends That I Do Not See a Chiropractor?
A - Although a chiropractor will listen and take another professional’s concerns into consideration, understand that the healthcare professional that is the expert in the inter-segmental motion and function of the spine is a Doctor of Chiropractic. No other professional has more expertise or is more qualified to advise you on the indications or contraindications of being adjusted than a chiropractor. The fact that chiropractic care is safe, evidence-based, effective, and necessary is not controversial. If a medical doctor, or anyone else for that matter, ever discourages you from receiving chiropractic care, ask them what evidence their opinion is based on and to show you the research that supports their opinion. Unfortunately, personal bias, dogma, and unscientific opinion is common in health care. Do not let this get in your way of getting well.
Q - What If My Symptoms Are Not Going Away or If I Feel Worse After an Adjustment?
A - Some patients report that their symptoms go away immediately, others don’t feel any immediate difference, and some feel more discomfort after their first few adjustments. If your spine has been subluxated for a long time, it is possible for irritation to occur in the beginning. If this happens, let Dr. Jeff know at your next appointment so that any necessary modifications can be made. In most cases, this will resolve after the first few adjustments.
In some cases, where significant damage is present from years of lack of spinal maintenance, it may be unrealistic to expect a return to normal function. If this is the case and chiropractic can not help that specific symptom, Dr. Jeff may refer you to another health care practitioner. But remember that chiropractic care will still remain very important to ensure no progression of your spinal damage.
|Monday||7:30am - 12:00pm|
2:00pm - 6:00pm
|Tuesday||2:00pm - 6:00pm|
|Wednesday||7:30am - 12:00pm|
|Thursday||7:30am - 12:00pm|
2:00pm - 6:00pm
Life Chiropractic Wellness Centre
120-6 Clearview Market Way
Red Deer, AB T4P 0M9