Common Questions


What is a chiropractic adjustment

A chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is the quick movement of a joint to restore or enhance its function, which reduces inflammation and decreases the patient’s pain. Adjustments are typically performed with the chiropractors hands or an instrument. Chiropractic manipulation is a very precise yet gentle procedure that rarely causes discomfort. Adjustments are tailored to address the unique needs of each patient and many times patients notice results immediately.

Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

An adjustment of a joint causes the pressure within the joint to rapidly change, which results in the formation of gas bubbles inside the joint. The popping sound is just the gas being released from the joint. There is often no discomfort with the adjustment and if there is, it is minimal.

Why do I have to keep coming back for treatment?

Adjustments are performed manually by the chiropractor, which requires treatment to be done in a chiropractic clinic. In contrast, treatment from a medical doctor often involves medication, which can be taken at the patient’s home. Treatment plans vary in length from 4-8 weeks for acute conditions, to 6-12 months for severe chronic conditions. Some chronic conditions are incurable requiring these patients to get supportive care to control exacerbation. Studies have shown that regular chiropractic treatment once every 4-8 weeks can reduce arthritis and prevent injury, which is known as preventative care. We will be able to tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long it is expected to last.

Is chiropractic treatment safe?

One of the safest conservative therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints is chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic has an excellent safety record with small risks. However, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. Some patients may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise, other patients report immediate relief with no soreness. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24-48 hours.*

Cervical manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure, often called a neck adjustment, which works to improve joint mobility by restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm.

Some reports indicate high-velocity upper neck manipulation can cause a certain type of stroke or vertebral artery dissection. However, recent evidence suggests that an arterial injury often takes place spontaneously, or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or getting a shampoo in a hair salon. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare – about 1 case in 5.85 million manipulations.*

Be very specific about your upper neck or headache symptoms when you visit us. This specific information will help us offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.

There are risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). It is important for patients to understand that these risks are significantly greater than those associated with chiropractic treatment. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.*

Does chiropractic treatment require a referral from an MD?

To schedule an appointment with one of our Vancouver Chiropractors a referral is usually not needed. Please contact your insurance company directly to find out if your plan requires a referral or to check your chiropractic coverage. You may also call our office at (360) 693- 3030 and our friendly staff can check your coverage, or answer any other chiropractic related
insurance questions.*

Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?

Yes. Chiropractic care at our Vancouver Washington Chiropractic Clinic is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, motor vehicle insurance-PIP, workers’ compensation, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among many others. Our office is a preferred provider for most major medical plans, if you are having difficulty confirming their participation as a preferred provider for your insurance company, please call our office and our friendly staff can answer your questions and address any insurance concerns. If you do not have insurance, please don’t hesitate to call our office and ask about our time of service discount rate.

What type of education and training do chiropractors have?

Chiropractic education involves training as primary health care providers with an emphasis in diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the neuromusculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them (examples: spine and extremity sprain/strain, headaches, thoracic outlet syndrome, carpal tunnel, postural fatigue syndrome, knee and foot injuries, and many others).

Our chiropractors have received 5 years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work before attending Chiropractic College. The doctor of chiropractic curriculum consists of four to five academic years of professional study in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more. A significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master manipulative procedures because chiropractic care requires highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques. In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.*

Are chiropractors allowed to practice in hospitals or use medical outpatient facilities?

Chiropractors are allowed to admit and treat patients in hospitals and to use outpatient clinical facilities (such as labs, x-rays, etc.) for their patients. Hospital privileges were first granted in 1983.*

*American Chiropractic Association Website. 2012 American Chiropractic Association. 3 May 2012