What can I expect on the first visit?
When you first arrive, there will be a small amount of paperwork to complete. After that, you will meet with one of our doctors, usually Dr. Gilbert, for a thorough consultation regarding the history of your specific health concerns, and your goals. At least a brief examination would be performed in an effort to determine the cause of your health concern(s), what, if any, diagnostic testing might be appropriate, and what the appropriate course of care might be for you. This usually takes between 20-40 minutes. Typically, if we can help you, and if you so choose, you’d start care on your first visit. Additionally, on this first visit we will briefly review your insurance benefits and explain what your exact financial responsibility would be toward your care before any care were to commence.
Does chiropractic care require a referral from a medical physician?
No, a patient does not need referral by a medical doctor before visiting a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are “portal of entry” providers, as so defined in federal and state regulations. This means that following a consultation and/or examination, the doctor of chiropractic will arrive at a differential diagnosis and make a determination as to whether or not referrals to any other care providers are required. Having been in practice since 1979, we have developed excellent referral relationships for just about any conceivable health scenario.
What is Chiropractic care?
Chiropractic care is a natural method of health care that focuses on finding and correcting the cause(s) of certain health concerns, rather than focusing solely upon managing symptoms. Everything we do is based on a deep respect for the body’s innate ability to heal itself, prevent health issues and function at an often untapped high potential. Not that there is not a time for medications and surgeries, …of course there is, however most people these days, when the situation is appropriate, choose nature first, drugs second and surgery last. They also understand that it is the brain and nerve system that is the “master” system of the body, innervating all tissues, organs and systems, transmitting signals from the brain to the body, and body to brain, maintaining homeostasis and stimulating all the different areas of the body into life. All of this is done, while also directing the formation of new, healthy tissues, and allowing the body to communicate with itself and adapt to the environment. By freeing interferences to the nerve system so that “Nature’s Plan” can better express, chiropractic is a powerful, practical, conservative method of giving your body its best ability to heal and function at its best. When the skull, neck or spinal bones lose their ideal alignment due to stresses we’ve endured, be they physical, chemical, mental, emotional, postural, or any combination thereof, these displaced skeletal structures can interfere with what they are supposed to protect, …the nerve roots that emanate from between the vertebrae of the neck and spine, thereby affecting the proper transmission of impulses along these nerves, which subsequently impairs the functioning of the tissues, organs, muscles, glands or systems those particular nerves enliven. When the skull and spinal segments lose their proper alignment there is always malfunction, inflammation and either immediately, or over time, pain and degeneration. When these problems are detected, chiropractors use hands-on, gentle spinal mobilization techniques (chiropractic adjustments) to help free spinal joints and restore their normal movement patterns. This, combined with personalized home care to strengthen weak areas, ensures the restoration of (as close to normal as possible) spinal alignment and nerve transmission for each person, setting one firmly on the road toward healing and optimal health.
Will I need x-rays?
If it is determined in one’s initial history and examination that spinal imbalances are at the root of your health concerns, we will need to quantify those imbalances and measure how far from ideal balance your spine is. Since structure determines function (square wheels don’t work very well!), a “blueprint” is often needed to see exactly what your spinal structure is, so we can know where we have to go, and the best way to get there. Precision spinal x-rays give us this necessary information. The decision as to whether or not to have these radiological measurements performed is partly in the hands of the patient seeking care so in some cases, and after notifying the prospective patient that we might not be able to achieve our optimal results without radiological study, we might accept the case of a person seeking our help for care. It is important to note that although it is never our intention to insist that a patient undergo any specific procedure, that at the same time we must work within certain clinical guidelines that are followed to insure that we never hurt, and only help.
What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Chiropractors are educated as primary contact health care practitioners, with an emphasis on musculoskeletal, particularly spinal diagnosis and treatment. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding, where four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training. In total, the chiropractic 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.
Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
The hands-on nature of chiropractic care is essentially what requires patients to visit us a number of times in the beginning. Making permanent positive structural changes of one’s spine requires certain laws of physics, such as “force over time.” Similar to braces on a child’s teeth or lifting weights at the gym, lasting biomechanical changes take time. To institute a spinal correction, a patient needs to be in our office more frequently at the beginning of the care. Since we specialize in creating a personalized home care program to make the necessary postural and spinal corrections, time in our office is kept to a minimum. We will let you know out the outset, exactly what type of time commitment you can expect. Our practice philosophy is to empower you to “fix,” or improve your own spine without becoming dependent upon us.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest, drug-free, and non-invasive methods available for the care of neuromusculoskeletal (nerve, muscle and bone) issues. Although chiropractic has a superb safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The percentage of risk associated with chiropractic however, is minute, less than the chance of being struck and killed by lightning. Imbalances in the vertebrae of the neck, which may be associated with neck pain, as well as some types of headaches and other neurological symptoms described in this website, often require realignment of these imbalanced vertebrae. Gentle mobilization of the bones in the neck area, a neck adjustment, improves the joint mobility of the neck, helping to restore range of motion, and reducing muscle spasm and irritation of the nerves. This helps to relieve pressure and tension in the neck area and allows optimal functioning of the organs and tissues under the control of those nerves. Neck mobilization is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated, specifically “high-velocity neck manipulation” with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, there is no clear, scientifically based understanding of any such connection. The occurrence of such is extremely rare: 1 in 5.85 million “manipulations,” not even the kind of gentle adjustments most doctors of Chiropractic perform, based on the clinical reports and scientific studies to date. While being evaluated by us for neck pain or headache, we will look to get very specific about your symptoms. This will help us offer the safest, and most effective care including if necessary, referral to another health care provider. It is also important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common other treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) — as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic procedures. 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, such as ibuprofen. It’s also a telling fact to note that professional liability (malpractice) insurance costs a chiropractor between $800 and about $3000 dollars yearly for millions of dollars of coverage. The average costs for the same coverage for a physician practicing internal medicine, range between $30,000 to $65,000 yearly, depending upon the scope of procedures they perform. These malpractice insurance companies, who’d have to pay out damages to an injured patient, clearly know from their own actuarial studies, that the practice of Chiropractic has an extremely high level of safety and effectiveness when compared with routine medical care. And, practically all of us receive care from medical physicians.
Who can benefit from chiropractic care?
Quite honestly, …everyone! Chiropractic is based on a deep respect for the body’s ability to heal itself and express a vast degree of often untapped health potential. Having a nerve system free of irritation is an extraordinarily simple, powerful and practical wellness solution that can improve health in every aspect of one’s life, and with no deleterious side effects. Whether for an existing condition or general wellness, most everyone can benefit from chiropractic care. In our personal clinical experience, the following have responded well to chiropractic care:
Asthma and Sinusitis
Anxiety and Stress
Chronic Headaches and Migraine
Arthritis and Inflammation
Fatigue and Insomnia
Herniated or Bulging Discs
Inflexibility and Deteriorating Posture
Neck and Back pain
Colic, and “Failure to Thrive”
Poor Immune Response and Chronic Ear Infections
Shoulder, Leg and Arm Pain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome/symptoms
Muscle/Ligament Sprains and Strains
Does chiropractic care hurt?
In most situations, chiropractic care is completely painless. There are times however, though rarely, when a patient must be moved through various positions in an attempt to make spinal corrections, and when in some of these positions, previously inflamed areas can be reactivated, In these cases the patient usually feels no more pain than they’d been feeling “on their own.” In the beginning as we’re asking the body to hold itself in a new, more proper spinal posture, a patient might experience some shifting soreness, stiffness, aches or discomforts in areas in which they’ve never felt any of this before. This is much akin to working out, after not having exercised in many years and is actually a good sign that the body is trying to hold a new alignment.
Can chiropractic care help my arthritis?
Yes. Arthritis is a common condition affecting the cartilage in between two bones. This cartilage provides shock absorbing properties in order to distribute the weight of gravity in our bodies. In arthritic conditions the fluid within the cartilage tends to dry out. When this happens, the friction between the two joints increases. There is no direct blood supply to cartilage, so the only way cartilage maintains its fluid content is through motion. Cartilage needs movement in order to have fluid pumped into it. When a joint becomes stiff or arthritic, the lack of movement in that joint worsens the condition because there is then no fluid being mechanically pumped to the cartilage. With our use of gentle spinal, and joint mobilizing techniques to restore normal ranges of motion in the spine and joints, there is an increase in the amount of fluid that the joints receive. Using this, combined with specific exercises and proper nutrition, we can often achieve outstanding results.
Will my insurance cover chiropractic care?
Many insurance companies cover chiropractic care to some extent. Some policies offer more benefits than others. Some rarely require a primary care physician referral, but for the most part most people have access to chiropractic care. We will be happy to check on your benefits for you even before your making an appointment to come in. We are happy to work with most all insurance policies. If you do not have insurance coverage, we think that you’ll find care in our practice quite affordable. Since there is no surgery nor invasive procedures involved, the cost of care is kept reasonable in contrast to what you might be accustomed with conventional medical treatment. It is also important to note that your car insurance and Worker’s Compensation insurance fully cover chiropractic care regardless of whether or not your personal insurance covers the incident. If you are hurt on the job you have the right to seek care from a chiropractor. Always feel free to call our office and ask to speak with a doctor so we can get a sense of what’s going on with you and what might, or might not be covered with your insurance, or what the fees might look like for you should you have health insurance or not.
Can a Chiropractor prescribe medication?
Chiropractors are not licensed to prescribe medication, nor is the prescription of medication part of our professions philosophy of care, however in the rare instances that pain medication might be necessary to provide some level of comfort while we seek to correct the cause of your pain or other health concerns, we are happy to work closely with your physician to review our findings and discuss recommendations of any medication possibly needed. Medical physicians do not perform spinal adjustments, nor do dentists perform your yearly physical. We chiropractors specialize in hands-on methods that assist your body to heal on its own and function at an often untapped level. As such, the study of pharmacology for the purpose of prescribing medication is not part of the chiropractor’s professional education. We do feel that mostly all people should be under the care of a medical physician who will perform certain screening tests to check for underlying health issues, prescribe medications when urgently needed symptom management is required, and preferably be open minded with respect to the many health options available today that can be effective, non toxic methods to improving one’s health. These options include, and are certainly not limited to: homeopathy, acupuncture, clinical nutrition, yoga, massage, physical therapy, biofeedback, meditation, psychotherapy, rolfing and exercise. We have excellent professional relationships with over 50 such physicians here in New York City and are happy to offer you a referral whenever needed.
Do children need chiropractic care?
Since 1979, we have cared for literally thousands of children in our practice, some of whom have actually gone on to become chiropractors! Many of the parents for whom we care bring their children in regularly to maintain their child’s spine and nerve system health. Poor immune response (chronic colds, coughs, sore throats), ear infections, scoliosis, playground injuries, sleep issues, bedwetting, colic, ADD/ADHD, some learning disorders, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, asthma and allergies are some of the health issues to which children under our care have had good responses. Kids tend to like chiropractic because its pain free, drug free and a fun experience all around. One important aspect to remember is that many nerve related problems that are seen in adults actually start from injuries that occurred as young children and teens. Even minor traumas can have a lasting effect. We have a saying in health care that “your body keeps score,” meaning that even small problems add up over the years, decreasing the body’s overall ability to adapt to daily stressors as we age. So, it’s best to find and correct any spinal imbalances early.
What if I’m pregnant? Can I/Should I receive Chiropractic Care?
We are quite adept at pregnancy care, and have extensive experience with addressing all of the discomforts that women face during the various stages of pregnancy, labor and postpartum. Chiropractic provides greater comfort and flexibility, helps to maintain energy, and eases spinal, lower back and leg pain. Our work can also foster optimal alignment of the pelvis, which can provide for a shorter, easier delivery; and when needed, we can utilize a specific procedure (The Webster Method) that can sometimes assist in turning breach presentations. Postpartum also, lessening of any pressures on the nerve system will assist with easing the rebalancing of the mother’s hormones, minimizing the possibility of postpartum depression. Oh, and babies don’t tend to get lighter as they grow 🙂 so, chiropractic adjustments help moms with adapting to the greater and greater demands of lifting and carrying our precious loads.
How quickly will my symptoms subside?
In our clinical experience, most patients’ symptoms (whose “cases” fit the criteria of that which will respond well to the specific protocols we offer) will begin to subside within a few days to a few weeks. It’s important to note that progress and results can also depend on a number of factors, such as the severity of the condition, the person’s age and ability to heal, the daily demands placed on their bodies, as well as one’s compliance with their individualized care plan and recommendations. We schedule re-examination visits with all our patients so we can closely monitor your progress. If it seems you are not progressing as quickly as we would expect, we may make changes to your care plan, recommend further testing, or consult with/refer to, one of the specialists with whom we work closely. While we cannot predict exactly how rapidly a patient will respond, if you are accepted as a patient in our office, we do expect progress, and will not allow care to continue indefinitely should progress not be seen.