Chiropractic Frequently Asked Questions
What is a chiropractor? How are they trained?
A chiropractor is a doctor who uses manual and physical therapies to treat their patient. Patients are seen for a number of musculoskeletal conditions. Pain is usually the reason a patient seeks a chiropractor, but chiropractors can also help restore normal posture to the spine and full ranges of motion to the body’s joints. A chiropractor goes through an undergraduate program in science before entering a chiropractic graduate program. After spending four years in graduate school and clinicals, a chiropractor undergoes national board exams and state licensure before entering practice. While in practice in North Carolina, every chiropractor must complete 18 hours of continuing education each year to maintain their license.
What is a typical treatment? What can I expect to happen during my appointment?
A typical treatment usually lasts 15-30 minutes. A focused examination is performed at each visit. The doctor will use her hands to move your body into certain positions and may deliver a small, quick thrust with her hands through the joint (this is called an adjustment). Depending on your issue, the doctor may use her hands to stretch or massage tight muscles. You will likely go home having some specific movement to work on until your next visit.
When can I expect to feel changes?
Patients often report feeling “looser” or “less tight” immediately following adjustments. Depending on your issue, you may feel your pain significantly decrease after your treatments. For chronic issues it may take 3-4 weeks of consistent care to begin to experience relief. Usually more active people experience relief faster than sedentary individuals. Removing the cause of the issue and correcting the movement pattern is essential to resolving musculoskeletal problems.
Will it hurt? Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic treatment is safe and generally well-tolerated by most people. It is not painful for most patients, and treatment is usually modified to be as painless as possible according to the patient’s needs. More rigorous treatments, like deep tissue and fascial release techniques, are often painful. However these treatments are not needed for every patient and is dependent on the diagnosis and the plan that the patient and doctor have agreed upon.
How often do I need to be treated?
This is dependent on your issue. A typical treatment plan consists of 2-4 weeks of treatment 2-3 times weekly. As the patient improves, treatments are reduced and spread out over time. After resolution of the issue, sometimes the patient elects to have regular follow-up visits every 4-12 weeks to address small complaints or just to maintain normal movement and alignment. Some patients return only when they have a flare up or new issue. Treatment is dictated by the patient’s needs.
Do you accept insurance?
At our office we accept and bill all insurances, but are only in network with Medicare and Medicaid. Check with your insurance provider to see if you have out of network benefits and what your specialist copay would be. Our cash fees are usually at or below normal specialist copays. Call our office to talk to our staff for more information: 704-663-5142
Nutrition Frequently Asked Questions
What does nutrition have to do with my issue?
Maybe something, maybe nothing. The foods you eat daily are the raw materials your body uses to function and heal. If the foods you choose are low-quality or inappropriate for your issue, your body will not have the right things it needs to function, and your body becomes dysfunctional.
Will I need to go on a diet? Can I still eat out at my favorite restaurants?
Dietary changes are usually the first thing your nutritionist will recommend for you. Depending on your goal, these changes may be permanent or temporary. Your nutritionist will work with you to help you choose healthy meals while eating out at restaurants. Sometimes your nutritionist will tell you it is ok to treat yourself to your favorite unhealthy foods.
Do I have to take a bunch of pills?
Usually no–supplements are chosen based on your need for certain nutrients. Sometimes herbal supplements are recommended to help support certain body processes or suppress uncomfortable symptoms. Depending on your issue, you may take up to three supplements per day, and sometimes patients require no additional supplements at all.
How quickly will I see results? What can I expect to feel?
If your plan requires a dietary change, you will usually feel differently within the first few days of eating healthy. For things like food sensitivities and allergies, it can take up to 2 weeks to feel significant changes. Depending on your symptoms and health complaints, when you change your diet to healthier, whole foods, you will end up feeling less bloated and fatigued, and will feel more energetic and alert.
Isn’t it more expensive to eat healthy? How about buying supplements?
It is not more expensive to eat healthy, depending on what foods you are choosing. If you are choosing only organic produce and organic, free-range, wild-caught meats, fish, and dairy, then yes your grocery bill will be more. However, most nutrition programs do not require this level of diligence. Switching from eating processed fast foods and packaged snack foods and meals to eating whole foods will be cheaper and healthier. Your nutritionist will work with you to figure out which foods are best for you. Supplements may be recommended by the doctor, but ultimately deciding what budget you have for supplements will be up to you. Dr. Serena works with patients who have a tight budget and can recommend frugal alternatives from trusted retailers.
Is it hard to follow nutritional advice?
Nutritional therapy requires some kind of lifestyle change–this may be as simple as eating one particular food more often, taking a certain supplement, or as involved as avoiding a certain class of foods, or decreasing your caloric intake. Dr. Serena will work with you to help you figure out what is practical for your life, and how to implement small changes to make the biggest impact.
Do I need to know how to cook?
A basic understanding of how to prepare food will be helpful for anyone trying to modify their diet. During your consultation your doctor will ask you questions about the foods you typically eat and know how to prepare in order to create a program that is not too hard to adapt.
How expensive is nutritional therapy? Does my insurance cover it?
Your initial consultation and examination will be your longest and most expensive appointment at $100. Follow up appointments are a half hour and are $50 each session. Nutritional programming, if chosen by the patient, is an additional fee that is dependent on the level of programming you need. Most insurances do not cover nutritional therapy. Medicaid does not cover it, and Medicare will cover based on individual stipulations for which you should call Medicare to learn your eligibility. Our practice offers a selection of payment options if you require more financial flexibility. Call our office staff for any further clarification or questions: 704-663-5142
Have more questions?
Ask them in the comments below and the doc will be happy to answer them for you, or call our office to talk to staff directly.