2060 E Tangerine Rd Ste 182
Oro Valley, AZ 85755-6251

Chiropractic FAQs

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat common musculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches

What is spinal manipulation?

The purpose of spinal manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile, or restricted in their movement, as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for an individual. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, allowing tissues to heal.

Chiropractic adjustment rarely causes discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves quickly. Compared to other common treatments for pain, chiropractic’s conservative approach offers safe, effective and drug-free options.

What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) practice a hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. 

DCs may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient’s condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other health care providers. 

In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be a patient’s primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic services may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal pain associated with the condition. 

Like their medical colleagues, chiropractors are subject to the boundaries established in state practice acts and are regulated by state licensing boards. Their education in four-year doctoral graduate school programs is nationally accredited through an agency that operates under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education. After graduation, they must pass national board exams before obtaining a license to practice, and then must maintain their license annually by earning continuing education credits through state-approved CE programs.

Is chiropractic safe?

Chiropractic services are some of the safest drug-free, noninvasive therapies available for the treatment of back pain, neck pain, joint pain of the arms or legs, headaches and other neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small.

Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Patients typically notice a reduction in pain, soreness and stiffness, along with an improved ability to move the neck. Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated high-velocity, upper-neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, research suggests that patients are no more likely to suffer a stroke following a chiropractic neck treatment than they are after visiting their primary care medical doctor’s office.

Can chiropractic care help with headaches?

The central nervous system, which comprises of our brain and spinal cord, is the only system that is directly protected by bones. These bones make up our spine. When specific bones in your neck are out of position and unable to move properly, it can put stress on your nervous system and on surrounding muscles which can result in headaches. Chiropractic care can be a very effective and non-invasive approach to preventing and relieving headaches regardless of the type of headache (tension vs migraine) or cause (stress vs posture). It is important to get a chiropractic evaluation to determine the best course of action to not only reduce the frequency of these headaches but to get rid of the headaches all together.

Can Chiropractic care help with neck pain?

Chiropractic care has been shown to be effective at helping both acute neck pain and chronic neck pain. Acute neck pain may be felt as a sharp pain in the neck, and you may not be able to turn your head. Chronic neck pain can also arise from poor posture and sedentary work, such as sitting at a desk working on a computer. This type of pain is often described as a dull achy discomfort which is often accompanied with stiffness. In both situations, specific vertebrae in the neck and upper back may be problematic resulting in neck pain. Supporting our spine are muscles, ligaments and tendons; all of which can form scar tissue, further complicating the healing process. Chiropractic adjustments are aimed to help keep the joints working properly, reduce stiffness, reduce pain, reduce muscle tension and increase function. Most patients don’t want to just mask the pain with just medication, unfortunately that is all that most doctors offer. At The Back Alley we treat neck pain with advanced techniques that focus on repairing function to your nervous and musculoskeletal system. This is the best way to reduce pain and return to normal function.

Can chiropractic help with shoulder pain?

When people experience shoulder pain, it can radiate all the way down the arm and cause the person to have limited movement. Whether it’s from a sports injury or sleeping on it the wrong way, pain in the shoulder can be quite painful. Often shoulder pain can be accompanied by neck and back pain. When the shoulder hurts, it can cause the body to respond in a negative manner such as poor posture or restricted range of motion resulting in poor biomechanics elsewhere. Therefore, it is important for the chiropractor to accurately diagnose the problem before any treatment can start. Shoulder issues are tricky because it is typically multifaceted and require one to look at the entire shoulder girdle, not just the shoulder joint itself. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or severity of your condition, you should seek advice before beginning any self-treatment.

Can Chiropractic help with lower back pain?

Many things can cause lower back pain ranging from: sports or work injuries, sleeping on a poor quality mattress, household chores or something as simple as picking up your baby or child 10 times a day can cause lower back pain. Low back pain can occur if your job involves lifting and carrying heavy objects, or if you spend a lot of time sitting or standing in one position or bending over. It can be caused by a fall or exercise. Whatever the cause is, lower back pain is usually caused when a vertebrae or spinal segment is out of its normal position and puts stress on one’s nervous system. Additionally, the muscles or ligaments in the lower back can become weak, the spine loses its stability, resulting in pain. Because nerves reach all parts of the body from the spinal cord, back problems can lead to pain or weakness in almost any part of the body. Chiropractors are skilled in lower back pain and can pinpoint your problem and get you back to a healthy and pain-free state. Most patients don’t want to just mask the pain with medication, unfortunately that is all that most doctors offer. At The Back Alley we address back pain with advanced techniques that focus on repairing function to your nervous system and musculoskeletal system. This is the best way to reduce pain and return to normal function.

What is sciatica and can chiropractic care help alleviate some of the symptoms?

Sciatica is generally caused by nerve compression in the low back. Sciatic nerve compression may result in sensory loss, loss of bowel and bladder function, and loss of strength. Sciatica typically occurs when a vertebrae or soft tissue is impinging on the sciatic nerve due to repetitive stress, poor ergonomics or even due to a trauma. The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help restore the body’s potential to heal itself. It is based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain, reduced function and performance. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and drug free. The type of chiropractic therapy depends on the cause of the patient’s sciatica. Don’t just put a band aid over sciatic pain by relying on medication. Correct the cause of sciatica by getting an evaluation and address the underlying cause. Discover and see if chiropractic care can benefit you.

Can Chiropractic Care help with hip pain?

Walking (gait) changes due to biomechanical injury such as an ankle sprain or knee strain can generate hip pain. Your gait may also shift to counterbalance new body demands such as a job change, an alteration in the way you sit, a new sport or activity, or if you start driving for long periods of time on a regular basis. The point is anything that generates an asymmetry or imbalance when you are in motion can cause painful hip problems. Many times, hip pain is also related to lower back discomfort. Your Chiropractor can help in many of these areas. Along with your adjustments, as part of the chiropractic management of your hip problem, they will also offer appropriate progressive rehabilitative exercises that include muscle stretching and strengthening. The fact is hip pain won’t disappear on its own. Hip pain indicates that something needs to be corrected. Get out of pain, get back in balance, and get your life back now! Call our office. We know what to do to help you!

Can Chiropractic help with elbow discomfort?

Elbow pain is commonly due to overuse involving the muscles and tissues of the outside of the elbow (tennis elbow) or the inside of the elbow (golfer’s elbow). Through repetitive strain, the muscles and tendons of the forearm become tight and irritated. Pain comes from tiny tears in the muscles and tendons. As the body tries to heal these tears, scar tissue forms, which causes the tissues to become tighter, weaker and more pain sensitive. Your chiropractor will make sure that this is the correct diagnosis and that the problem is not bursitis, a radial or ulnar nerve entrapment, or another condition.

Can chiropractic help with carpal tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is in your wrist and the nerves going through this structure may be irritated causing lots of problems such as pain, tingling, numbness and weakness of the fingers, hands and wrist. One out of 10 people suffers from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), usually affecting domestic workers, secretaries, computer users, musicians and others who do repetitive tasks with their hands. Your wrist problem may be a misalignment of one or more joints in your neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist. Chiropractic techniques that work so well with the spine can be applied to other joints of the body. Virtually every joint is susceptible to fixations and malfunctions that impair function and range of motion. Trauma, micro-traumas, vibrations and repetitive motions are often culprits. Carpal tunnel is often the go to diagnosis for any type of wrist pain, tingling/numbness or weakness. Many times, the cause of wrist pain/challenges originates in the neck. Therefore, it is important to get a proper chiropractic evaluation to see what the best course of action is.

Can Chiropractic Care help out with dizziness and vertigo?

Vertigo can be defined as a sense of motion while one is stationary. The condition normally originates in the vestibular system in the middle ear but can also be caused by dysfunction in the brain. Because of the severity of the symptoms that can ensue such as nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, excessive sweating and unsteady gait, a person’s quality of life can be severely affected. Many times, vertigo and dizziness can be linked to upper neck dysfunction which can be helped through chiropractic care. There is no drug or pill that can correct vertigo if it is due to upper neck involvement. Seek out professional advice to see if chiropractic care can help out with your vertigo.

Once I go to the Chiropractor, will I have to go forever?

Pain is a common reason why people initially go to the Chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment helps people to function and feel better. People report having less pain, greater freedom of movement, better sleeping patterns and an improved sense of well-being. Due to daily stress such as work, commuting, emotional stress and lack of time for one’s self can all be hard on the body. Many people use chiropractic “maintenance care” to function at an optimal state of health. The frequency of treatment depends on lifestyle factors such as exercise, stress reduction and nutrition to name a few. At The Back Alley our goal is to correct and stabilize your spinal condition with the intent of you feeling better faster. Once that is accomplished, continued care is up to you.

Should I let my medical doctor know I’m considering Chiropractic Care?

If you have health care insurance, check with your carrier to see if your health care coverage includes chiropractic benefits. If not, our office offers self pay options to make your care affordable. Finances don’t have to be a hindrance for you to get the care that you may possibly need and deserve.

When Should I go?

If you have a spine, call today. You should get your spine checked whether you have pain or not! Do you see a dentist every 6 months? Why? To check for cavities you can’t feel! So why wait until your spine hurts to see if your spine is out of place? GET CHECKED TODAY!