Frequently Asked Questions in Cedar Rapids
Find the answers below to the most frequently asked questions about chiropractors in Cedar Rapids. Having the answers to these key questions can help you choose the right Cedar Rapids chiropractor for you. If you don't see the answer below to a question you have, reach out to ActiveLife Chiropractic at (319) 383-3281 and our team can help!
A chiropractor is a doctor who evaluates the alignment of the spine as well as the surrounding soft tissues including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Chiropractors also correct misalignments of other joints within the body, all to maintain optimal function throughout the entire body.
Taking a step backward for a moment, the definition of doctor is teacher. Chiropractors spend time teaching their patients about preventative healthcare and non-invasive pain management. Chiropractors earn their doctorate after completing a bachelors program as well as 3+ years of advanced training in the subjects of anatomy, physiology, neurology, biology, and embryology. Chiropractors also have to complete 4 parts of national board exams and 5 trimesters of internships to ensure competency.
The chiropractic health field has a fascinating history. It first began in 1895 with a spinal adjustment to a deaf man. After only two corrections, this man regained 80% of his hearing. Keep in mind- this man had no pain, only loss of function of his ears. In the years following, this story of healing traveled far and wide and chiropractic colleges began opening their doors to teach this technique. Patients traveled hundreds of miles to be treated by chiropractors and reported incredible benefits such as improved digestion, decreased breathing problems, and improved immune system. In modern times, people seek out chiropractors for help in relieving pain along the back and neck, headaches, and sleep disorders. Many patients are thrilled to report overall body function improvement and overall ability to recover more quickly.
Chiropractors are experts in musculoskeletal function and dysfunction. They are trained to know how a bony joint is supposed to move and determine quickly if there is improper motion. After determining that a joint is moving in an aberrant way, chiropractors deliver a specific low amplitude, high velocity force to that area in order for the joints to regain a proper alignment, motion, and function. After the adjustment, the chiropractor checks again to make sure the proper correction has been made.
After a chiropractic adjustment, it is common for a patient to feel flushed and sleepy. Because of the spinal adjustment, blood flow is increased to that area to help it heal; and healing takes energy! Often patients report seeing brighter, more clear colors, a better ability to focus, and stronger, more efficient workouts. Patients are normally advised to up their hydration to decrease possible inflammation.
We tend to say that ActiveLife is more than “just chiropractic”. During your time at the office, you will be evaluated for movement mechanics, active and passive range of motion, postural alignment, and muscle balance. There are several warm-up exercises that every patient performs before the adjustment, as well as specific exercises after the adjustment to correct imbalances which were discovered during the evaluation. The chiropractic adjustment is precise and specific to your spinal alignment needs. Valuable time is spent ensuring you, the patient, receives maximum benefit both in the office as well as once you return home.
I could leave it at that, but I’d love to go into more detail. Chiropractic for infants and children can have profound and immediate health benefits ranging from helping with colic, ease/prevention of ear infections, difficulty latching to feed, torticollis, skull deformation from in utero or delivery, constipation, and so many more! A chiropractic adjustment for babies and children is, of course, much different than a treatment for an adult. The pressure is slight- think of pressing on your eyeball- but the rewards are great! There are post-graduate certifications specific to pediatric techniques that chiropractors may choose to pursue- but all chiropractors are trained for this special patient base. No matter the type of delivery, it can be traumatic and dramatic for the newborn. Chiropractors ensure that the nervous system of your new babe is working the way it should- that the brain can talk to the body and tell it exactly what to do and when to do it. If you think your child is delayed on certain milestones, we’d be happy to evaluate him/her and help your child thrive.
There is not a single person who has the same posture, lifestyle, diet, job, car, sleeping pattern, shoes, weight of purse, injuries…..as you- therefore the adjustment cannot be the same! All of the aforementioned factors, and so many more, contribute to the symptoms you may be experiencing, and therefore need to be addressed in specific ways. Some patients also have certain preferences for adjustment style which contributes to the individuality of each treatment as well.
The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in our whole body! It exits the spine and travels the entire lower half- from our butts to our toes. When there’s pain that “shoots” or “zings” or “burns” across your butt, down the back of your legs, or into your toes, it likely means that the structural alignment of your low back or pelvis is no longer maintained. When the bones are not in the correct position, surrounding muscles and soft tissues also react by creating more tension and inflammation. Correcting the alignment of your spine and hips reduces inflammation and excess tension of these soft tissues. There is always a bone and muscle component to this type of symptom, and your chiropractor is trained to correct alignment as well as improve muscle function to prevent this injury from happening again.
Chiropractors are experts at spinal alignment and the movement of joints. During a thorough exam, chiropractors determine if the individual bones in your spine, or your vertebrae, are in the proper position, or if one or more has shifted. When a misalignment exists, you may experience symptoms such as: pain/discomfort, headaches, trouble breathing, dizziness/light headedness, difficulty sleeping, and more. But most importantly, when there is a misalignment, your body cannot heal, and the symptoms continue to get worse. By applying a small force to that misaligned bone or bones, chiropractors help restore proper alignment and allow your body to recover from the injury and get stronger for the future.
Not every chiropractic adjustment will cause an audible sound! The sounds you typically hear are tiny air bubbles being released within the joint fluid. These bubbles are a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, all naturally occurring gasses within the body, and all present to help keep the joints healthy. If an adjustment doesn’t product the audible noises, it simply means there wasn’t enough gas pressure in that joint. People who active and constantly moving throughout the day have a lower likelihood of pressure build-up, and therefore may not produce audible noises during chiropractic adjustments.
You are always able to call your insurance company ahead of time and ask what your chiropractic benefits are, as each plan is different. Every office is also different in their decision to accept insurance or not. At ActiveLife Chiropractic, we are currently out of network with insurance, but can provide an invoice that you can turn into insurance for partial reimbursement. We also know that many people have high deductible plans, and therefore offer monthly membership pricing to help make regular chiropractic care affordable for you and your family. We can also accept HSA payments.
Chiropractic is the least invasive healthcare that exists. We do not prescribe medications, we do not perform surgery, and there are no needles. With years of technique education, chiropractors are able to feel the smallest misalignment of a bone with his or her hands and help restore the body to its proper positioning.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy should be a crucial part of your healthcare. As the body changes to help develop a baby, it is even more important that the alignment of mom’s spine and pelvis is maintained. The slightest tension of a muscle from a bony misalignment can decrease the amount of room the growing baby has to move around in the womb and may lead to less than ideal positioning for baby. Moms who utilize chiropractic care during pregnancy report experiencing less low back discomfort, less round ligament pain, and quicker less complicated deliveries. Specialized equipment is used for chiropractic care during pregnancy to allow for superior comfort for both mom and baby.
There is a great chance that after experiencing the benefits of a chiropractic adjustment you’ll want to keep going back, but that is solely your choice! Often times I hear patients say that the discomfort they came in with is decreased or gone AND they’re noticing other symptoms improving too! There is no risk of addiction to chiropractic, but I do believe you’ll love the benefits!
Chiropractors first go to undergraduate college for a Bachelor’s Degree fulfilling the requirements for Chiropractic College entry. Once admitted, students spend 3.5 years deepening their understanding of anatomy, physiology, embryology, neurology, nutrition, physiotherapy, radiology, pharmacology, and of course the various chiropractic adjustment techniques. Many students choose to spend time outside of class time to learn specialty techniques to help their future patients.
Special care must be taken after back surgery, so always let your healthcare provider know- no matter what you’re being seen for. That being said, patients absolutely see benefits from chiropractic after a back surgery. I myself can vouge for this. I had low back surgery for an injury that was not healing and causing potentially life-long problems. Immediately after surgery I resumed my chiropractic wellness routine because I needed to give my body the best possible chance at healing. When any area of a spine is surgically repaired, the bones above and below that area have a higher chance of becoming misaligned and causing other pain/symptoms. Surgery also causes scar tissue to build up, which may prevent muscles from working as well as before surgery. At ActiveLife Chiropractic, we utilize several soft tissue techniques, laser therapy, and gentle strength training for patients following back surgery.
Every single patient is different in how long they’ve waited to come in and get better. Some people seek help immediately after they experience symptoms like pain, others wait to see if it gets better on its own. The longer you wait to see a Chiropractor after an injury, the more time it could take to feel back to normal. Factors such as level of activity, nutrition, age, work environment, and stress all play roles in how quickly your body will respond as well.
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