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Chiropractic FAQ Sheet: The Basics

Reviewed by: Dr. Steven Knauf, D.C.

By Martha Michael

Chiropractic FAQs

At The Joint Chiropractic we partner with you to provide opportunities to optimize your health. We are happy to educate our patients throughout the process, providing expertise and health guidance while offering chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care is for everybody – from infants and children to seniors at any age. Let’s look at some frequently asked questions.

What Is Chiropractic and Is It Based on Science?

Healthcare professionals have wide-ranging approaches, from targeted expertise such as dentists to holistic providers such as chiropractors. Medical science supports the idea that various methods and modalities benefit individuals and promote public health.

Some forms of medical treatment address specific parts of the body -- podiatrists treat foot problems, dermatologists focus on the health of your skin, etc. The benefits of chiropractic care and its impact on the overall wellness of patients is supported by research, most notably the effectiveness of manipulative therapy for acute low back pain. Manual manipulation has proven to reduce neck pain and the frequency of headaches as well.

Chiropractic treatment was initiated by Daniel David Palmer in 1895; all 50 states in America, as well as numerous countries outside the U.S., require licensing for practicing chiropractors. They are adept in treating musculoskeletal issues, reducing symptoms for patients suffering from injuries, chronic illness, or other circumstances.

Is Chiropractic Safe?

As a drug-free, non-invasive treatment option, chiropractic is extremely safe for patients of all ages and stages. By contrast, there are high risks to many forms of medical care such as surgeries, experimental treatment programs, and pharmaceutical prescriptions.

Because treatment is individualized, chiropractic patients have a safer, more targeted approach to healing. Through a proper diagnosis and effective treatment, you’re able to see measurable differences in your overall health rather than theoretical outcomes from guesswork involving standard medical care.

What Does Chiropractic Treat?

There are a lot of moving parts where your physical well-being is concerned. Chiropractic care helps keep your body’s systems balanced as treatments address issues affecting various pain points.

Neck Pain

Nearly everyone experiences neck pain at some point in their lives, and most people face some form of neck ache every year. A chiropractor can safely address your symptoms and help you avoid the snowball effect of headaches and back pain that can emanate from an untreated neck injury.

Back Pain

Anything affecting your ability to sit and stand is debilitating and millions of Americans who suffer from chronic back pain can attest to it. From injuries to loss of mobility due to age, a chiropractor can diagnose the cause and recommend treatment to help you regain pain-free movement.

Shoulder Pain

Injury to the rotator cuff is often the cause of shoulder pain and it typically involves the muscles and tendons. A chiropractor can offer relief to patients suffering from stiffness due to frozen shoulder and pain resulting from bone spurs, shoulder impingement syndrome, and other damage.


Whether you develop elbow pain from swinging a golf club or overuse on the job, a chiropractor can diagnose symptoms and help you determine the best treatment plan. Elbow pain may be caused by conditions including the following.

  • Arthritis
  • Torn ligaments
  • Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Bursitis


If you’re active or you have a job that keeps you on your feet, you’ve probably suffered from knee pain at times. From taking the stairs to playing pickleball, there are plenty of threats to your knees. A chiropractic adjustment is an effective, non-invasive means of treating joint restrictions or “misalignments” affecting knee function.


If you suffer from ankle pain for any reason, early intervention by a chiropractor is one of the best ways to minimize the chance of developing a chronic problem.


Because of today’s reliance on technology, more people are developing wrist pain from everyday activities. Your chiropractor can address texting thumb, tendonitis, and other causes of pain in your hand and wrist.


Hips are used for nearly every stance you take -- even sitting down. Age, overuse, and excess weight can cause you to experience hip pain, but chiropractic care can improve range of motion and reduce symptoms. Early treatment is advised in order to lessen its effect on your lifestyle.


Aside from the obvious need for areas of your face to remain pain-free, your jaw affects the most obvious necessities in life -- eating and talking. Jaw pain is sometimes the result of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, a condition your chiropractor can address. If it’s coming from your teeth or gums, reach out to a dentist. A chiropractor will help you regain proper alignment and discuss treatment options to keep you from developing chronic pain.

Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Hurt?

Like any other manual treatment from physical therapy to massage, a chiropractic adjustment is a hands-on method for reducing symptoms. Patients may hear a popping noise and they may feel a sensation from the adjustment, but it’s not typically painful.

Chiropractic adjustment is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort because minimal force and gentle pressure are used. In fact, most patients feel relief immediately following treatment. The amount of pressure used varies from patient to patient, so the force used on an adult would not be the same used on a senior or toddler, for example.

Will I Be Sore Following a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Some people describe a chiropractic adjustment as similar to beginning a new exercise program. Before your first visit, drink plenty of water and do some stretching to reduce the chance of discomfort. Depending on how you feel physically, you may want to do some light stretching before and after your first office visit.

A chiropractic adjustment is not meant to cause pain, but to align your spine and provide the space your internal organs need to work properly. When your backbone is properly aligned, you gain relief, not more painful symptoms.

How Should Patients Dress for a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Comfort is one of the goals when you dress for a chiropractic appointment, so it’s a good idea to keep that in mind when you choose what to wear. Soft, loose clothing is ideal, and many people feel comfortable in fabrics that stretch such as lycra. Sweats, leggings, and other activewear are some of the best options; avoid wearing jeans, outerwear, and articles of clothing that are stiff and unforgiving.

Your chiropractor needs to effectively palpate areas of the body, so thin fabrics are best. Shorts or yoga pants are easier to work with than a skirt or dress.

Do I Need Insurance for a Chiropractor?

The Joint Chiropractic doesn’t accept insurance; if you’re having an issue and need pain relief or advisement, you can drop in without an appointment and see a doctor in very short order. They discuss with you the possibility of spinal adjustment to treat your pain points. If you’ve never been before, The Joint offers a $29 new patient special, and there are affordable plans and packages to ensure you have access any time you need a doctor. If you need anything beyond the services that The Joint provides, such as X-rays, you’ll be referred appropriately.

What’s the Advantage of Routine Chiropractic Care?

It’s one thing to seek out a chiropractor when you’ve been injured. Everyone wants speedy, low-cost treatment, but finding an accessible, inexpensive means of getting relief from painful symptoms due to illness or injury is challenging.

People who see a chiropractor regularly, however, have a baseline of their overall health; this baseline makes it easier to detect health issues when they develop. With routine visits you can get feedback about your nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle choices affecting your wellness. Your chiropractor can detect changes to your overall health and use it to design a plan with your goals and priorities.

Through every phase of life -- from childhood through adulthood, including pregnancy and beyond -- making chiropractic care a regular part of your routine can offer you health advantages. You become aware of any issues cropping up and have the kind of guidance that keeps you informed and supported. You also have an expert you can reach out to when questions arise.

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