Frequently Asked Questions
Are chiropractors opposed to medical treatment?
Absolutely not! Chiropractors recognize that there are many things that can go wrong with the body and frequently either medication or surgery are the only appropriate option. Each chiropractor is trained to know when they can help and when it is time to refer the patient to another healthcare provider.
Is chiropractic treatment effective?
Scientific evidence proving that chiropractic care work is overwhelming. Over the past 20 years, many controlled and independent research studies have shown again and again that chiropractic care is safe and effective for treating low back pain, neck pain, headaches and other conditions relating to the spine and other joints in the body. Based on these scientific studies, the consensus is that chiropractic care is the preferred treatment for most spinal (joint) problems.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation, when performed by a skilled and well-educated professional such as a doctor of chiropractic, is a remarkably safe procedure.
Some reports have associated high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain rare kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection. However, evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously in patients who have pre-existing arterial disease. These dissections have been associated with everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare—about one to three cases in 100,000 patients who get treated with a course of care. This is similar to the incidence of this type of stroke among the general population.
What is chiropractic spinal manipulation?
This is a manual procedure that uses highly refined skills developed during the intensive years of chiropractic education. The technique involves the chiropractor applying thrusts of varying speed and forces to the joints of the body, particularly the spine in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint function. A chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure and rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.
Why is there popping/cracking when a joint is adjusted
Adjustment of a joint may result in release of a gas bubble between the joints that makes a popping sound – it’s the same as when you “crack” your knuckles. Your bones aren’t actually cracking. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint that results in gas bubbles being released. There is no pain involved. The best way to describe it is when you open a coke bottle for the first time you get that explosion of gas, as it moves from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area. That is the same as the popping after an adjustment. The sound has nothing to do with the quality of the adjustment.
Do medical aids cover chiropractic treatment
Most likely, yes. In South Africa, many of the medical schemes make provision for the reimbursement of chiropractic services. The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act provides for complete reimbursement of cases treated by registered chiropractors. However, it also does depend on each person’s payment plan as to the extent to which they are covered. The best option to find out if you are covered to receive chiropractic care is to contact your medical aid for further information.
However, Dr Samson is contracted out of medical aid. We are a cash-based practice. The patient is required to settle their account after each appointment. The patient is responsible to submit their invoice to their medical aid.
Are there any risks associated with chiropractic care?
As with all medical intervention, chiropractic care does have its own set of risks. These can include an aggravation of any inflammatory condition, neuromusculoskeletal sprain or strain, fracture and, VERY RARELY, vertebral artery syndrome. However, it is important to know that you are at greater risk of being struck by lightening than suffering from a complication of a chiropractic adjustment.
Is chiropractic safe for children?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.