Frequently Asked Questions of Dr. Smith and his staff
Chiropractic - [ki"ro-prak'tik] means "done by hand". Chiropractors blend the drugless, non-surgical art of hands-on therapy with the science and technology of modern medicine and physical rehabilitation. It is a branch of health care that concentrates on naturally balancing and optimizing the function of the body in order to promote and maintain health.
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. Millions of instructions flow down from your brain, down the spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if you body is working right. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine, called a subluxation, can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments can help and improve mind/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body. Most chiropractors prescribe exercises, stretches and lifestyle modifications to maintain optimal health. Some also provide nutritional counseling and acupuncture. The title "DC" stands for "Doctor of Chiropractic". "Doctor" literally means "teacher". Therefore, in keeping true to our title, we educate our patients about their condition, how to improve their health and how to stay as healthy as possible. Similarly, your MD [Medical Doctor] should be doing the same.
DABCI stands for Diplomate in the American Board of Chiropractic Internists. This post-graduate degree program of 300 hours teaches diagnosis and treatment of internal disorders. In addition, training in the use and assessment of medical diagnostics (laboratory testing, EKG's, lung studies, venous studies, etc) and the utilization of natural treatments is included. Because of this training and experience we are uniquely qualified to provide our patients with both sound medical assessment and the best in "alternative" analysis and treatment. The Diplomate designation is bestowed upon less than 450 Doctors of Chiropractic throughout the World.
Dr. Smith is the only chiropractor in Louisiana to have achieved this distinction.
We take a "whole person" approach to your health care. When you visit our office, you will not be treated as a disease but rather as an individual (possibly with a condition or disease) who is in need of better health and healing. Dr. Smith is a Board Certified Chiropractic Internist which allows him to be uniquely qualified to assess and treat ailments that occur within the human body.
We base your diagnosis and treatment program on hard scientific medical data gathered by traditional medical testing and blend it with the non-traditional approaches of herbal medicine, nutrition and lifestyle management, natural homeopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine and allopathic medicine. Dr. Smith correlates all this information with his many years of experience to develop a personalized plan of care that is safe and highly effective.
Whether you hurt, suffer with chronic pain, have been injured in an accident, unhappy with your current state of health, or would like to improve your physical or mental performance, Dr. Smith has the tools to help you.
Please consult our Presentation Videos for more information about our services, which include:
- Adrenal Gland Stress Testing
- Auto Injury or Whiplash Care
- Body Fat Analysis
- Chiropractic Adjustments
- Clinical Nutritional Assessment
- Customized Nutritional Therapy
- ELISA Allergy Test
- Exercise Training and Conditioning
- Hormone Testing
- Laboratory Blood Services
- Lifestyle and Diet Recommendations
- Medical or Surgical referral if necessary
- Nutritional Supplements and Support Recommendations
- Osteoporosis Testing
- Physio Therapy
- Physical Examination
- Science Based approach to nutritional healthcare
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Weight Loss, Gain or Maintenance Programs
Dr. Smith's focus is an all-inclusive holistic approach to his patient's health. Proper diagnostics and a detailed treatment plan are essential to restoring normal physiology. The root cause of the disease must be found and fixed.
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The chiropractor will apply his hands to the area of your body to be treated in such a way as to mobilize your joints. Commonly, a short impulse is applied to the joint. This may cause an audible "pop" or "click," similar to when you "crack" your knuckles. You may sense movement of the joint. The goal of the adjustment includes the following:
1. Increase the joint mobility / range of motion
2. Relieve pain
3. Reduce muscle spasm
4. Restore optimal joint function
Are Chiropractic adjustments safe?
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are remarkably safe. By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuitable. Compare the statistics. Adjustments are about 100 times safer than taking an over-the counter pain reliever. In general, chiropractic treatments carry a very low risk of complication. Approximately 25% of patients will experience short-term [24 hours] or local soreness following the initial adjustment. This may represent short term muscle tension or low-grade inflammation from the treatment. The risk of serious, irreversible complication is rare. Estimates for neck adjustments are between 1 in 400,000 to 1 in 5.85 million. With regards to the low back, estimates for serious complication is "1 in many million". It is important that you discuss any specific concerns with your treating chiropractor prior to receiving treatment.
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Will adjustment make my spine too loose?
No. Only the spinal joints that are "locked up" receive adjustment. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal. How many treatments will I need? That depends on the nature and severity of your condition, age or other health variables, and length of time that symptoms have persisted. Some conditions can resolve in very few treatments. However, a specific treatment plan is developed for each individual patient.
Does insurance pay for chiropractic treatment?
Yes, many health insurance companies reimburse for a portion of chiropractic treatment. We will call to confirm your benefits and highly recommend that you do the same. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident or work related injury, personal injury and worker's compensation insurance will pay the care that you require. Each insurance company has rules that must be followed in order to ensure payment. If you were involved in a car accident, please bring with you a copy of the accident report and your insurance policy declarations page. Patient's involved in a work related injury must supply the claim number and insurance company information in order to initiate an initial evaluation.
Is it true that once you have chiropractic treatment, you must keep going back?
No. Actually, many people elect to continue their chiropractic treatment after feeling well. Why? Because periodic elective "maintenance care" makes them feel better. Chiropractic treatment is an integral component to many healthy people's "health maintenance" plan; similar to diet, exercise and proper sleep.
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I was told that cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. Will chiropractic adjustments cause arthritis?
Contrary to what your mother may have told you, knuckle cracking actually does not cause joint arthritis. However, knuckle crackers tend to experience more joint stiffness later in life. Regardless, spinal adjustments / manipulations are quite different than cracking one's knuckles. When a spinal adjustment is performed, the joint is slightly gapped momentarily; opening the joint surfaces. Knuckle crackers actually grind the joint surfaces together, potentially irritating the joint. There is no current evidence to suggest that chiropractic manipulative therapy is detrimental to your spinal joints.
How long does it take to receive a treatment?
Most treatment sessions require between 15-30 minutes; depending upon the depth and scope of care necessary. The initial examination typically lasts 60-90 minutes, depending on the complexity of a patient's condition, and whether a treatment is received immediately after the initial evaluation.
I hear that chiropractors "crack" your back. Is this common?
Chiropractic adjustments most commonly elicit an audible "pop" or "crack" sound. Chiropractors refer to this as an "audible release" or "cavitation sound". Treatment success is not contingent upon this noise.
What is the popping noise that occurs during an adjustment?
Your spinal joints contain a fluid known as synovium. The synovial fluid contains dissolved gasses; mostly carbon dioxide. When your spine is adjusted, a vacuum is created within the joint and the dissolved gasses come out of solution, forming a gas bubble. This vacuum creates a "pop".
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Should I tell my medical doctor that I am receiving chiropractic treatment?
We encourage our patients to inform their medical doctor that they are receiving chiropractic treatment. In fact, our practice has been built through working together with contemporary minded, patient centered medical providers. We will gladly forward a copy of our initial evaluation report to your primary care physician as a courtesy to you and your caregivers. Many of our patients request that we contact their primary care provider in order to introduce ourselves, or to provide them with information about our practice. The key to comprehensive care is communication.
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