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Chiropractic FAQ

body arms stretched

What is Chiropractic Medicine?

As written in the Florida Statues Title XXXII REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS Chapter 460:

“The practice of chiropractic medicine means a practice consisting of the science, philosophy, and art of the adjustment, manipulation, and treatment of the human body in which vertebral subluxations and other malpositioned articulations and structures that are interfering with the normal generation, transmission, and expression of nerve impulse between the brain, organs, and tissue cells of the body, thereby causing disease, are adjusted, manipulated, or treated, thus restoring the normal flow of nerve impulse which produces normal function and consequent health by chiropractic physicians using specific chiropractic adjustment or manipulation techniques taught in chiropractic colleges accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education.”

What is a spinal Subluxation?

normal vs subluxation

A spinal subluxation is a misalignment of a vertebra causing abnormal joint motion and local irritation to the surrounding tissues thereby causing interference with normal nerve flow to the organs and/or other tissues of the body.

How does a Chiropractor fix a Subluxation?

A Chiropractor administers an Adjustment, a calculated and specific manipulation of a subluxated vertebra to re-establish the normal joint mechanics, motion, and alignment thus re-establishing normal nerve flow to tissues.

correction timeframe

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is the result of impulsive stretching of the spine, often the result of a rear-end collision between cars or trucks or other traumas that may “whip” the head around injuring the neck.

Clinically, whiplash is described as an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of energy transfer to the neck. It may result from rear end or side-impact motor vehicle collisions, but can also occur during diving and other mishaps. The impact may result in bony or soft-tissue injuries (whiplash injury), this in turn may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations (Whiplash-Associated Disorders). The consequences of whiplash range from mild pain for a few days, to severe disability caused by restricted head movement and persistent pain. It is extremely important to seek immediate treatment for whiplash injuries to prevent permanent soft tissue damage and disability. Chiropractic treatment is a preferred method for treatment of these injuries.

How does a chiropractor treat whiplash?

Chiropractors are specialists in treating non-surgical spine injuries and commonly treat whiplash injuries from car accidents. The job of the chiropractor is to help the patient overcome pain and the disability associated with whiplash. The process of rehabilitation from a whiplash injury requires a concerted effort between the chiropractor, the patient and any other professional assisting in the case.

After a detailed review of specific information regarding the whiplash injury, the chiropractor will ask about any other symptoms that may be related to the pain, such as numbness, tingling, weakness, dizziness, or blurred or double vision. The chiropractor will conduct a neurological examination which involves a cranial nerve examination, sensory, motor and reflex examination of the extremities, and tests for injury in the brain.
Maneuvers will be carried out by the chiropractor that stresses certain tissues to see if they have been injured by the whiplash. The chiropractor will perform motion palpation, designed to assess the mobility and pain reactions in the joints of the spine. The muscles of the spine will be examined by the chiropractor for areas of congestion called myofascial trigger points, which are common sources of pain after whiplash.

Gentle spinal adjustments, physical therapy modalities rehabilitative exercise and nutritional supplementation will be given to the patient for proper healing and rehabilitation to occur. This healing protocol will reestablish normal joint mobility, and allow the injured joints to heal in the right position while rehabilitating injured muscle and ligaments.

red spine

What is low back pain?

Low back pain can be either an acute or chronic disabling condition. It will affect most people at some stage in their life and accounts for more sick leave taken than any other single condition.

An acute lower back injury may be caused by a traumatic event, like a car accident or a fall. It occurs suddenly and its victims will usually be able to pinpoint exactly when it happened. In acute cases, the structures damaged will more than likely be soft tissue like muscles, ligaments and tendons. With a serious accident, vertebral fractures in the lumbar spine may also occur.

Chronic lower back pain usually has a more insidious onset, occurring over a long period of time. Causes include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae or a lumbar disc herniation, or tumors (including cancer). Chiropractic adjustments will reestablish normal joint function and position allowing the injured muscles and ligaments to heal addressing the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.


What are headaches?

A headache (medically known as cephalalgia) is a condition of pain in the head; sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache. It ranks amongst the most common local pain complaints.

Headaches have a wide variety of causes, ranging from eye strain, sinusitis and tension to life-threatening conditions such as encephalitis, meningitis, cerebral aneurysms and brain tumors. When the headache occurs in conjunction with a head injury the cause is usually quite evident; however, many causes are more unclear. The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Some experience headaches when dehydrated; caffeine withdrawal is another common cause.

Treatment of uncomplicated headache is usually symptomatic with over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen, although some specific forms of headaches (e.g. migraine) may demand other, more suitable treatment. Chiropractic adjustments can resolve most headache issues due to abnormal pressure affecting the nervous system.

Why shouldn’t I just take drugs to relieve my headache?

Medication just masks the pain while the underlying cause is not addressed, not to mention the possible side effects that occur. Chiropractic adjustments resolve the cause of your problem, not just masking the symptoms

What causes neck pain?

There are many causes for neck pain. Some causes result from acute injuries which cannot be avoided, such as an automobile accident resulting in a whiplash-type injury. Other causes can be avoided and result from the use of “bad” or improper habits and techniques, such as poor posture and improper lifting. These “other causes” make up the majority of neck pain causes and can be effectively treated once the cause(s) is/are identified and the appropriate measures to avoid these “bad” and improper habits and techniques are implemented.

Some of the more common causes of neck pain include:

  • incomplete rehabilitation of past injuries
  • lack of proper and periodic spinal alignments
  • presence of cervical spine subluxations
  • whiplash-type injuries
  • improper workstation setup
  • poor posture
  • prolonged sitting
  • prolonged use of non-ergonomically designed equipment
  • excessive repetitive neck motions
  • improper telephone techniques
  • excessive mental stress
  • physical inactivity
  • Poor lifestyle choices
  • poor diet and nutritional practices

At Hornberger Wellness & Chiropractic we address the above issues and more so you get a complete healing experience. Our goal is for our patients to attain optimal Health and Wellness!


What are herniated discs?

Spinal disc pain terminology varies. There are many different terms to describe spinal disc pathology and associated pain, such as “herniated disc”, “pinched nerve”, and “bulging disc”. The intervertebral disc is the largest ligament in the body designed so the spine can be flexible. The annulus fibrosis (outer layer) a very tough ligament is designed for strength. In the center of this ligament there is a soft “jelly like” material called the nucleus pulposis which acts as a “ball bering” allowing the disc to move giving flexibility to the spine. However, the disc can be easily injured by bending and twisting motions which result in disc herniations or other disc injuries eventually causing nerves to being pinched resulting in health problems to tissues serviced by those “pinched nerves” including organs and muscles. Since discs do not have much of a nerve or blood supply, damage to discs can occur over time resulting in health problems as you get older. It is essential to reposition and rehabilitate injured discs to prevent osteoarthritis and remove nerve pressure treated by chiropractic adjustments. Some examples of terms used to describe spinal disc abnormalities include:

  • Pinched nerve
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc (or herniated disk)
  • Bulging disc
  • Ruptured disc
  • Slipped disc
  • Disc protrusion
  • Disc degeneration
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disc disease
  • Black disc


What is arthritis?

Arthritis (from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides) is a group of conditions that affect the health of the bone joints in the body. One in three adult Americans suffers from some form of arthritis, and the disease affects about twice as many women as men. Arthritic diseases include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, which are autoimmune diseases; septic arthritis, caused by joint infection; and the more common osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease. Arthritis can be caused from strains and injuries from repetitive motion, sports, overexertion and falls. Unlike the autoimmune diseases, osteoarthritis largely affects older people, and results from the degeneration of joint cartilage. Arthritic joints can be sensitive to weather changes. The increased sensitivity is thought to be caused by the affected joints developing extra nerve endings in an attempt to protect the joint from further damage. Chiropractic adjustments are very affective for the treatment of arthritic conditions. One of the main reasons people get osteoarthritis is that the joints of the body do not function as they should as a result of trauma, and misalignment. Chiropractic adjustments reestablish normal joint motion and alignment reducing the “wear and tear” allowing the joints to heal optimally and thus relieve pain


What are sports injuries?

In the past, sports injuries were mostly limited to professional athletes, young people participating in school sports programs, and men participating in weekend activities such as rugby. However more and more people of all ages and both sexes are doing regular sports and fitness activities. There are even women now doing traditional men’s sports such as soccer, basketball and rugby. However the majority of people are involved in such activities as golf, tennis, running and activities such as aerobic classes or weight training. No matter what activity one does, there is always the risk of injury. Injury can be broken down into two basic types, one from trauma such as a slip, fall or collision and the other being of the over-use or repetitive stress variety.

Of course it is important to get the injury properly assessed by a chiropractor so to know the extent of damage. Most of these injuries can recover though do need proper chiropractic care during the various stages of healing. If not manage carefully some sprains and strains can leave us with long lasting problems of joint instability, painful or weak joints and muscles, and lack of mobility. A Chiropractor who is trained in the management of sports injury can give you the proper advice and treatment to insure that your injury will heal in the best possible way.