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Chiropractic is the movement of joints that are misaligned or subluxated, performed by a Chiropractor. This movement is called an adjustment. While the focus can usually be the spine, most joints in the body can be adjusted (see the extensive list at the bottom of the page).
Adjustments not only help the joints move better, but they take tension off the surrounding muscles, decrease local inflammation, and can calm the nervous system. This is where pain-based care turns into wellness care.
Signs of Spinal Misalignment
Sign 0: No issues, no problems. The brain is not registering that any body part has an issue. Visits to your chiropractor at this point are considered maintenance care. 1visit a month is a typical maintenance schedule. Patients report feeling great, a feeling of "lightness", better ability to handle stress, better sleep, and less headaches. This is how we want all of our patients to feel, all of the time!
Sign 1 of a spinal misalignment: Tightness. The feeling that something is "off" or "not moving well" or just plain "tight". This feeling is noticeable to the average chiropractic patient because they are not used to it most of the time. Inflammation is typically present at this time, but not enough so to cause pain. Pain may be evident with pressure. Visits to your chiropractor at this point are still considered maintenance care, but this may be a maintenance patient under extra stress. 1visit/month may not be enough at this point, 1 visit every 2-3 weeks is typical, until we can get back to 1/month with no issues.
Sign 2: Achy or Sore. Without an adjustment, inflammation will continue to build and low-grade pain becomes present. Not enough to stop or slow a person down, many call this an ache or soreness. Visits to the chiropractor at this time are considered active care because there is a problem to fix. Treatment plans at this point are more spaced out and shorter. 1x/week is typical until your soreness is gone and functional activities are restored to normal.
Sign 3: Pain. This is noticeable. It may or may not "stop you". This begins intermittently, then progresses to daily, then is constant. Massages can help at this stage, but the relief only lasts a week or less. Your misaligned joints just keep pulling those muscles into tension. If you are a person who sees your chiropractor only when in pain, the chiropractor can shorten your pain cycle, but over time these painful episodes will become more frequent or more intense, or both, over time. It's not because chiropractic doesn't work, it's because you are waiting too long and letting too much inflammation and resultant damage occur between chiropractic visits. Visiting your chiropractor only at this sign can help this episode, but isn't great in the long run due to long-term joint damage that can occur over time. This is an active care visit, and the treatment plan easily includes 2-3 visits per week for 2-4 weeks to begin with.
Sign 4: Misaligned spinal segments may develop enough inflammation around the nerves that exit the spine and create radiating pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness into the arms or legs, or head. With continuing inflammation building and irregular joint motion from a joint misalignment, a spinal disc may be pushed out of place or may burst, creating even more pain and joint and nerve pressure. Permanent joint, bone, muscle, and or disc damage is occurring in small or large amounts. Patients at this stage can still be adjusted, and discs may return to their regular position, but treatment plans will be more extended, as functional activities and feeling great can take longer. Treatment plans are typically 3x week for several weeks to begin with.
Patients come to our office at various stages in this spinal misalignment cascade. We are happy to help anyone at any stage, but we recommend seeing us earlier rather than later!
Fun fact: there are over 200 adjusting techniques used world wide. Dr. Ellis uses Diversified (her hands), Thompson technique (table drop), and Activator (hand held instrument) depending on the patient and area to be treated.
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New Patient Visit: $125
Membership Adjustment: $55
Chiropractic care encompasses a regular treatment plan of adjustments aimed initially at helping to relieve pain and discomfort, then to help prevent future problems.
Chiropractic care can treat many musculoskeletal conditions including (but not limited to):