Your Top Chiropractic Questions Answered with Dr. Jay Greenstein

Your Top Chiropractic Questions Answered with Dr. Jay Greenstein

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, chiropractic care is often a specialty that people have a lot of questions around. So we sat down with the Founder and CEO of Kaizo Health, Dr. Jay Greenstein, to address some of the most commonly asked questions. This candid conversation aimed to shed light on the science, philosophy, and benefits of chiropractic care, providing insights that might just open your mind to the possibilities of chiropractic!

If reading isn’t your thing, you can watch the full video here:

How do chiropractors know where to adjust the spine?

Dr. Jay: That’s a great question. So it’s pretty simple. Actually, the way that we know where to adjust the spine is based on

  1. The patient’s history.
  2. Our physical exam of the condition that the patient is coming in for or presenting for.
  3. And, most importantly, when we’re placing our hands on the spine, or even on the extremities, we aim to find where is the joint or joints that we’re treating not moving correctly.

Many times, if you go to a chiropractor, you might see a chiropractor palpating or moving the spine around, feeling where the spine is not moving through its full range of motion, specific joints or bones not moving through its full range of motion. And the chiropractor might not even be looking at the patient, maybe looking off to the distance or sometimes even closing their eyes. When we close our eyes or when we’re looking off into the distance, we’re actually really focusing on what these babies, our hands, can feel.

Are we feeling that joint locked? What direction are we feeling that joint not moving through its full range of motion? And so we know how to adjust the spine and or extremities based on joint play of that particular joint or that particular bone.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Dr. Jay: I love this question. And the answer is 100 percent. Chiropractic adjustments are extremely safe. In fact, a systematic review talking about the wide variety of interventions around treating back pain [said that] the most effective and the safest [is] spinal manipulation.

Now, why is it so safe? Well, the first reason is because we, as chiropractors, do a very thorough history and we do a comprehensive examination to understand the diagnosis of the patient. If you don’t understand what’s going on with the patient, how can you treat appropriately? And then, of course, that could present a safety issue.

Once we actually step in and do the adjustments, here’s what we know from the science. Doing an adjustment creates no additional strain on the vertebral arteries in the neck or any other vascular structure in the body. So we know that through full ranges of motion, we are adding no significant stress to some of the structures, the arteries, the nerves, the lymphatic vessels to the body.

When a chiropractor provides an adjustment, what we’re doing is providing a high velocity, meaning very quick, low amplitude, meaning a short distance traveled, short lever, meaning we’re on that joint right there where it needs to be moved, not at some distance away from the axis of rotation of the joint, how the joint is moving.

That happens to create a very, very safe intervention. So, we know from the evidence that it’s safe. We know from over 125 years of clinical experience collectively in chiropractic that it’s very, very safe. And we also know based on malpractice premiums, what we’re charged for our malpractice insurance, which is one of the lowest for all healthcare providers across the board, that there’s very, very low risk for a chiropractic adjustment.

What is that popping sound that we hear when the spine is being adjusted?

Dr. Jay: it’s really simple It’s actually a gas bubble being formed inside the joint when we do an adjustment to the spine We’re literally separating the joint surfaces so that they move better in creating that increase in volume It actually allows a gas bubble to form inside that vacated space That’s the popping or cracking sound that we hear.

Another very common question is, does it mean that the adjustment wasn’t successful if we don’t hear that sound? And the answer is, no. While we do hear that sound very, very commonly, The number one goal of a chiropractic adjustment mechanically is to restore full range of motion of that joint. Sometimes you may not hear that sound, that’s okay.

If we’re gaining range of motion for that joint, for those two bones that make up that joint, we’ve gotten a successful adjustment. And no, the popping sound does not give you arthritis of your spine or any other joint that exists in the body. That’s an old grandmother’s tale.

How long does it take to see results from chiropractic care?

Dr. Jay: They’re in pain, they have symptoms, they want to feel better and get back to their regular life. And the answer is, it really varies. However, most patients with uncomplicated conditions, meaning no neurologic deficits, no serious injuries, serious trauma, severe pain, typically will respond somewhere between four and six weeks.

Many times patients will feel better right after the first adjustment. There are also times when patients will get their first treatment and be sore afterwards. In fact, according to the scientific evidence, soreness is one of the most common side effects of your initial chiropractic visits. But that’s okay.

It’s like going to the gym and being sore afterwards. It’s just your body’s response to experiencing something new. The goal in chiropractic is not just to listen to your symptoms when it comes to getting a good long term outcome. It’s making sure that you follow your doctor’s instructions. And you’re doing not just your adjustments, but your corrective exercises and making sure that you’re doing all the right things at home, breaking those bad habits to ensure you get a long term outcome that’s super positive.

Do I need a referral to receive chiropractic care?

Dr. Jay: So the great thing about chiropractic is we are portal of entry providers and typically most insurance plans do have some level of chiropractic coverage and most do not need a referral. So one of the many conversations that we have with patients when we’re doing our day to day and seeing them is I didn’t realize that you treat X, whatever X is, knees, shoulders, ankles, elbows.

I just thought you treated spines because that’s what chiropractors do. The chiropractic profession has expanded broadly over the last 125 plus years that we’ve been around. And while we started as primarily treating spine conditions, we now focus on the entire body. So whether it’s an ankle, a shoulder, an elbow, a neck, a back.

We are treating those patients using conservative care, using adjustments, soft tissue techniques, other modalities like dry needling, cupping, rehabilitative, functional exercises, nutritional counseling, ergonomic counseling. All of these things can help create a more holistic, healthier neuromusculoskeletal system.