Frequently Asked Questions

Adjustments feel great in a healthy spine with proper curves. If you are an adult with decades of living and you have never been adjusted, there may be slight, short term tenderness. It is important to understand that when your spine is healthy the adjustments will not hurt.

When you have not taken care of your spine and there is osteoarthritis or improper curves present, unfortunately one may have to go through some tenderness to regain proper spinal health.

People of all ages are candidates for chiropractic adjustment. Even babies can have subluxations, due to the rigors of birth. In general, it's best to treat children's subluxations early, as they interfere with nerves that control developing muscles and organs.

We advise that maintaining a structure as intricate and vital to the whole health of the organism as the spine should begin shortly after birth and continue for as long as you would like your spine to be healthy. A rapidly developing spine and all other bones and joints of the body consist of cartilage growth centers that the bone grows from.

Abnormal stresses on these growth plates can cause the bones to develop abnormally. Remember that 65% of neural development occurs within the first year of life and that your child's spine grows 50% of its length within the first year. With an early check-up, your chiropractor can detect any problems that exist and prevent problems from developing.

Children who are colicky, get sick often, and have numerous ear infections should be checked for subluxation. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

Recent research has shown that a spine that has NOT developed properly degenerates 300 times faster than a spine with proper alignment.

People who see a chiropractor on a regular basis believe in the vitalistic health care model. The vitalistic health care model focuses in a proactive approach to maintaining health by exercising, eating right, taking supplements, monitoring your stress and getting adjusted to insure a healthy spine and allow the central nervous system to work without any dysfunction (subluxations present). Do you wait for symptoms (i.e. a blown engine before you change the oil in your car)? Should you wait until you have a heart attack to start eating properly? Let's take a look at a high performance race car; getting your spine adjusted periodically, once your problems have been fixed, is no different than a "Pit-Stop".

It keeps your body functioning properly and decreases your chances for cumulative injuries. The reason people go to their chiropractors when they don't have symptoms is to maintain optimal health. Unfortunately, some people's idea of preventative care is "hoping" that they don't wear out.

It is much wiser to "ensure" that you don't wear out by treating your body like a high performance race car. Most people treat their bodies like they have another one in the bank. Unfortunately, our health care system is based on a mechanistic model that requires something to go wrong with your health before getting it dealt with.

It is also based on the premise that in order for the body to get better the healing must come from an outside source like a prescription drug or a surgical procedure. We practice vitalism with our car - regular oil changes and maintenance appointments, our house - regular cleaning, painting and insurance coverage yet we don't keep our car and or house for life like we do our body.

Chiropractic adjustments remove subluxations of the spine and eliminate nervous system interference so that all the organs, tissues and cells in the body are in constant communication with the brain. Your chiropractor locates and corrects any misalignments, which can alleviate painful symptoms elsewhere in the spine and facilitates the body's ability to function properly and heal it self.

A subluxation free spine allows 100% function of the nervous system resulting in a healthy, efficient body that is able to manage the physical and mental stressors in life.

While some people may get nervous about the "pop" that an adjustment can produce, the sound is not coming from the bones themselves. It's coming from a lubricant called synovial fluid that's found in every joint. That fluid contains dissolved gases.

Shifting the joint with an adjustment into proper motion and alignment releases the built up pressure that has resulted from the joint being subluxated. This causes a shifting of the fluid and a change in pressure within the joint. The result is a release of gases (carbon dioxide and nitrogen) from the synovial fluid causing a "popping" sound.

This has been scientifically proven through motion x-rays during an adjustment. If a health care practitioner or someone else is telling you otherwise they are lying to you, trying to scare you or are seriously under educated about the facts of chiropractic.

It's not a good name. It is not really a disease it's more of dis-ease. You see, your discs are like shock absorbers between each vertebra.

If the vertebrae are incorrectly positioned (subluxated), the motion segment (two or more vertebra) doesn't move properly causing wear and tear on the disc. As abnormal forces apply undue stress on the disc it will eventually wear out, "bulge" or "herniate". Here is a good analogy to help you understand - If a tire on your car was misaligned for 6 months and when you compared it to the others it was worn unevenly you wouldn't assume that the tire "caught" the wear.

It's no different than a disc wearing abnormally due to a misaligned spine. You don't 'catch' Degenerative Disc Disease. Have you ever noticed how some people shrink with age? A big cause of this is disc degeneration.

Think about it…you have 24 discs, some as much as ½ inch thick. Some of us may have up to a foot of our height attributed to our discs! If several of them are wearing abnormally you can get shorter.

Pregnancy places additional weight and stress on women's bodies. Chiropractic treatment can help relieve pregnancy-related low back, leg, neck and shoulder blade pain. It may also reduce incidence of headache and nausea.

It has also been shown that women under chiropractic care while pregnant have significantly less labour time and the chances of complications with delivery. How about a 50% decrease chance in episiotomy and epidural or a delivery time most likely below 10 hours (average time for first delivery is 26 hours without Chiropractic).

For all you Mom's out there, doesn't that sound good?

Yes. Chiropractors don't prescribe medication or perform invasive procedures. They believe in the vitalistic health model that the body has the ability to heal itself, and therefore focus on providing it with the right elements for self-restoration.

This makes chiropractic one of the safest of all treatments. If your doctor of chiropractic identifies a problem that should require immediate medical attention you will be referred out to the proper provider. Your health and safety are always our main concern.

Should you rotate your tires before they wear out unevenly? Should you brush and floss your teeth only when they are bad enough to hurt? Should you lube your bicycle chain before it gets rusty? In fact, that last example is very similar to what happens to joints once they lose their proper motion patterns, its called spinal degeneration or osteoarthritis.

Your chiropractor can recognize and detect problem areas in your spine before they develop into conditions or symptoms. Chiropractic adjustments help to maintain or support a healthy spine and nervous system. Maintenance or wellness spinal care programs, which may include advice on posture, nutrition and exercise, can effectively prevent pain.

Regular checkups will also ensure that small stresses on the spine don't interfere with the nervous system's function or become major problems down the line (i.e. back surgery or spinal decay). This type of program of prevention actually optimizes the day-to-day function of your body.

Most people take much better care of their teeth than they do their spine. In fact, most people spend more money on their hair than they do on their spine! If your teeth wear out, they can be replaced with artificial ones that will allow you to function (chew your food), as well as the original teeth and give you a nice smile. If your spine wears out, there is no solution…it's wheelchair or walking cane time.

Because your spine directly influences the function of your nervous system, spinal decay permanently damages the nerves and spinal cord. Nearly everyone flosses and brushes their teeth even though their teeth don't hurt. Spinal adjustments are like flossing the spine.

Adjustments break up the plaque that develops along the spinal joints when those joints are subluxated. Lifetime care of the spine should be a priority!

Chiropractic is recognized as one of the safest types of health care in the world. Numerous studies, including those funded by governments, universities and non-profit research institutions, have proven it to be a safe and successful primary therapy for neuromusculoskeletal conditions -- a therapy that is much safer, in fact, than most medical procedures used to treat the same conditions.

Chiropractic is also widely used as a complementary mode of care for a variety of other conditions and diseases and to promote overall health, function and well-being. The journal of the Canadian medical association (October 2001) published risk ratios for different health care procedures.

Here are a few examples of safety issues for perspective.

  • Death from a treadmill exercise test 50 deaths per million
  • Death from taking anti-inflammatory drugs 7000 deaths per million
  • Death from low back surgery 3000 per million
  • Death from a fall at home 90 deaths per million
  • Stroke from chiropractic adjustment 1 per million chance
Would you think twice about cradling the phone on your shoulder, checking your blind spot while backing into a parking space or getting your hair shampooed at a salon? The risk of stroke from chiropractic care is no greater than it is from any of these everyday activities.

The source of public concern in this regard is a condition known as vertebral artery syndrome (VAS), which occurs when sudden head movements disrupt the blood flow in the vertebral artery, possibly leading to stroke. As the above examples illustrate, the risk of this complication arising from upper cervical (or neck) manipulation by a chiropractor is extremely remote.

According to the 1996 RAND report, "The Appropriateness of Manipulation and Mobilization of the Cervical Spine," only one out of every one million chiropractic patients experiences VAS. Other analysis of studies over the last several decades put the risk at between one in a million and one and five million adjustments. To put it another way, you are five to twenty-five times more likely to get hit by lightning than to suffer VAS at the hands of a chiropractor.

Chiropractic is the safest of all types of medical care. Insurance carriers that provide malpractice coverage keep very close statistics on the risk to people receiving different medical procedures. The insurance companies then "rate" the amount of risk that different medical specialties and procedures have for people receiving that form of care.

They then charge the doctors that put people at the highest risk the highest premiums. Chiropractors pay by far the lowest premiums for malpractice insurance of any type of medical provider. In fact, most chiropractors pay less for malpractice coverage than the average person pays for automobile insurance.

Up to 75% of chiropractic patients receive cervical manipulation as part of their individual chiropractic care. It may be performed as part of your care for total spinal health and wellness, or for specific causes such as muscle tension and stiffness, headache or injury. After a detailed history and examination, if there is any indication that you would be at risk, your chiropractor will not include a neck adjustment in your treatment. Dr. Darren Poncelet takes your health very seriously.

He will do a thermal scan, a sEMG, and x-rays of your spine to ensure you are a candidate for chiropractic care.

An inquest was held in 2002 and the following is the media statement from the Lawyer Mr. Tim Danson

In comparison to allopathic medicine, which uses drugs and surgery as an integral part of treatment, chiropractic presents far less risk. For example, in the United States an estimated 140 000 people die each year from drug-related reactions. And the risk of death due to gastrointestinal complications from taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen is 7 000 times greater that the complication rate for people who receive cervical manipulation, while the mortality rate for people who undergo cervical spine surgery is 7 000 times higher.

Human error is another factor that tilts the safety balance in chiropractic's favour. In the United States, it is estimated that up to 98 000 Americans die yearly from medical errors -- a doctor accidentally making the wrong incision, a nurse administering the wrong medication, and so on.

But with all forms of treatment, whether allopathic or alternative, any risks, however slight, should not be ignored. While the methods used by chiropractors have proven to be safe in almost all cases, it is a constant concern for chiropractors to evaluate their patients to determine if treatment will cause an adverse reaction.

The problem occurs when other health professionals try to adjust your spine without any formal training. For some reason they think a weekend seminar is the equivalent to 4 years of training and education that your chiropractor receives regarding the art of adjusting and the knowledge behind how the spine functions.

The answer is no. In fact the evidence shows clearly that chiropractic manipulation can actually prevent arthritis by maintaining joint health. It does this by restoring the proper motion to the joint.

Medical textbooks will tell you that it is loss of motion of a joint that causes damage and arthritis to the joint. Motion is life when it comes to joint health. Restoring proper function to the joint provides the cartilage and disc (in the case of the spine), with improved blood supply.

Better blood supply means better nourishment and the ability to dispose of waste products. Most chiropractic adjustments are painless. Often, the adjustment may feel good and can provide immediate relief from stiffness or tension.

The bottom line is that Chiropractors adjust with knowledge and intent. Never let anyone else other than a Chiropractor adjust your spine.

Concern has been raised over the safety of people who try to adjust themselves, by cracking their own knuckles, for example. While people might have the right idea by trying to relieve pressure on the joints, only chiropractors can ensure an adjustment is performed safely, and in the right direction without possibly weakening or causing harmful friction to surrounding joint structures. The best advice: Don't try to do it yourself.

Seek the expertise of your chiropractor. You, your spouse, friend or other health provider tries to move vertebrae and other bones with hope! Don't underestimate the power of an adjustment.

If your shoulder comes out of the socket; that's a Dis-location. Let's break down the word subluxation; Sub: meaning 'less than' and lux: meaning 'light or energy' ation: meaning 'a condition of. So a subluxation is: a condition of less than enough energy.

Two vertebrae that are misaligned causing interference in nervous system damage are therefore subluxated.

Watch a two year old for 3 hours-how many times do they fall down? Go observe an elementary recess playground - any chance that a child who may play too hard can misalign one of the 24 movable vertebra? Absolutely. Accidents, injuries, improper lifting or body mechanics and inherited spinal weaknesses are common causes of subluxations.

Other causes include prolonged sitting, poor sleeping habits, poor posture, obesity, slips and falls, car accidents, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, sports injuries, internal organ dysfunction and not enough rest or sleep. A vertebra can easily get misaligned and, unknowingly to the patient, put slight pressure on a nerve.

Since you can't feel your nerve roots you don't even know its there. It's sort of like stepping gently on a garden hose…whatever is on the other end doesn't get its life force, in this case water. If it were a garden, the flowers or plants would slowly wilt or even die.

If it's your body, the effected tissue, whether a muscle or an organ, gets deprived of its life force or nerve impulses and can slowly become dis-eased. Often, damage is accumulated slowly without symptoms. That's why some refer to subluxations as "The Silent killer".

Very carefully. In all seriousness, chiropractors treat subluxations with a hands-on manual therapy technique called a spinal adjustment, a procedure that involves applying specific directed thrusts (intent) to return vertebrae (the bones that compose the spine and protect the spinal cord) to their proper position and motion. Its just like the word implies: the definition of 'adjustment' is 1) To fine tune or 2) to make right.
Like other doctors, chiropractors belong to a large and growing network of health-care professionals and make referrals for patients when necessary. Chiropractors are well educated to recognize risk factors and signs of disease and will not hesitate to make a referral when it's in a patient's best interest.
I am going to be brutally honest with this answer. If it sounds like a rant then I apologize but people need a wake up call on this one.

Do you need to go to your medical doctor….forever? Do you need to go to your Dentist…forever? Do you need to get your car serviced…forever? I heard that if you want to keep your teeth you have to brush them daily….forever! I heard that if you don't want to die of heart disease then you will exercise 3 times per week…forever? I heard that if you don't want cancer you will eat healthy and manage your stress…forever?(Cancer and heart disease are 10%genetic and 90% lifestyle) I heard that if you want to keep your car running you have to maintain it…forever!

People seem to be more diligent about maintaining a proper service record for their vehicle, water softener, furnace etc. even though they won't be keeping it for their whole lifetime like their body. The fact is symptom based care is more expensive and more painful than Wellness care. This is why our healthcare system is inefficient and a huge tax burden to the government.

An unhealthy spine will degenerate 300 times faster than a healthy spine. No wonder osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, herniated discs, muscle spasms, joint irritation, spinal stenosis, vertebral spondylolisthesis and abnormal curvatures of the spine are rampant in our society and low back pain is the number one cause of lost work days. There, I said it. I feel much better now.

Now YOU have to decide what you want your Golden years to be like.


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