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  • Writer's pictureKevin Fong

Common questions I get asked as a chiropractor from new patients.

Its not uncommon for me to get asked the same questions repeatedly from different patients on their first visit. Here are some of the most frequently asked that I've had in clinic.

What is the "cracking" sound that happens during an adjustment?

The technical term for the "popping" or "cracking" sound that you hear during an adjustment is "tribonucleation". The simple explanation is that the sound heard are the gas bubbles forming within the liquid portion in the joint being adjusted. These bubbles then naturally dissolve back into the joint fluid. The common misconception is that something is being torn or damaged.

I'm a bit scared, do I have to be adjusted?

No. There are many different ways for someone to be treated by chiropractic. Adjustments just tend to be the most common approach. However there are alternate ways that can be achieved through tools, soft tissue work, or mobilizations to name a few. As a patient, you are always in control of your own treatment plan and if you aren't comfortable with being adjusted you can always discuss with your practitioner different methods that can be tried.

My foot/ankle/shoulder (non spinal area) hurts, can chiropractic help?

Most definitely. The common misconception is that chiropractic is only helpful for injuries related to the spine. While this is the most common area most chiropractors treat, chiropractors are trained to treat all areas of the body including the ankle, knee and shoulders.

Should I use ice or heat on my injury?

Unfortunately there is no strict rule for using ice or heat on an injury. Typically trying both and seeing which feels best is a good approach because both have pros and cons. As a general rule of thumb, ice is commonly used during the acute phase (first 72 hours) to assist in reducing the inflammation occurring and heat is used chronically (>72 hours after injury) to improve blood flow to an area to assist in recovery. If it can be done, icing a joint while heating a muscle is a good approach.

How many treatments and how long will this take? How much will it cost me?

The answer for this will be different for everyone. It will depend on many factors including age, sex, fitness levels, severity of injury, mechanism of injury and duration of injury to name a few. The generic answer is that within 4-6 weeks you should see noticeable, if not significant, difference from when treatment began. For some this is as fast as 1-2 weeks and for a few it takes the full 6 weeks. Frequency of treatment varies but will typically be higher in frequency early on and decrease in frequency as treatment progresses. Those that recover fastest and with the best outcomes are those who are compliant with the rehab exercises that are prescribed.

These are just a few of the questions I commonly receive from new patients. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions that you'd like answered. You can reach me via email at info@kfchiropractic or by phone at (778) 917-0112.

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