Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is Chiropractic?

The word chiropractic is of Greek origin meaning "treatment by hand". It arose as a distinct health care profession in 1895 and was founded by Daniel David Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. Chiropractic focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and the effects of these disorders on general health. Today, more than 110 years after its birth, chiropractic has earned broad acceptance for its role in the health care system. There is currently a wealth of scientific research that supports the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment.


2. What is an Adjustment?

The most common procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is the "chiropractic adjustment" or "spinal manipulation". The adjustment is applied manually to joints, primarily the spine, that have become hypomobile or restricted. This restores joint mobility thereby alleviating pain and surrounding muscle spasm. Doctors of chiropractic have more training and experience in spinal adjusting than any other health care profession.


3. How Educated are Doctors of Chiropractic?

Chiropractic education has standards and licensing requirements similar to medicine. It generally takes four years of pre-medical undergraduate college and four years of graduate college to receive a degree in chiropractic. Before they are allowed to practice, doctors of chiropractic must pass national board and state licensing examinations. Once in practice, they are required to take 24 hours of continuing education per year to maintain licensure.


4. Is Chiropractic Scientific?

More than ever before, chiropractic treatment is receiving wide spread recognition and support in the scientific community. There is a wealth of research and scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness, safety and cost effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. Please see our Chiropractic Research section to review excerpts from a few of the more recent studies.


5. How long will it take for Chiropractic Treatment to Work?

The schedule of care will vary from case to case. There are many factors that affect the length of care. These factors include: severity, duration of condition, compliance with the treatment schedule and recommendations, pre-existing arthritic or disc conditions, occupation and lifestyle. Many patients usually feel improvement within a short period of time. Simple cases may take days to treat and complicated cases may take a few weeks or even months.


6. Does an Adjustment Hurt?

Under normal circumstances an adjustment is painless. The chiropractor will adapt the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Chiropractic adjustments are very specific, safe and effective movements of the joints to restore mobility and range of motion.


7. Does Chiropractic Treatment Require a Referral from an MD?

No, a patient does not need a referral from an MD to visit a chiropractor. Chiropractors are licensed as primary care physicians by the federal and state health regulatory agencies.