What to Expect? Frequently Asked Questions

What Might I Expect on My First Visit, as a New Patient?

As a new patient, one of the ‘unexpected’ things is to be included as part of our patient-centered approach. Patients play an active role in their treatment and recovery. For many people, the first visit to a new health care provider is a step into the ‘unfamiliar.’ Please allow us to give you an outline of what to expect:

Your first visit will allow us to gather as much relevant information about you as we can, in order to determine how we can best serve you. This visit may take up to one hour, so please allow enough time. Be sure to bring a copy of any past history and test results that may better explain your situation. If you wish, you may download and fill out the new patient forms, and bring them on your first visit to reduce waiting time.

Following the completion of paperwork, you will meet Dr. McKinney, to discuss the relevant details of your health. In order for us to gather a complete picture we may ask questions regarding previous injuries, postural habits, sports, medication usage and results, diet, repetitive stress, etc. If we feel that your problem is outside of our expertise we will let you know. Following our consultation, we will then begin our exam.

Various movements, palpation (touch), and other relevant testing procedures are used to determine which part of your body is responsible for generating the discomfort you are experiencing. Your body is a ‘chain link’ system, and we will look for all the contributors towards your particular symptoms. Some or our tests may reproduce some of your symptoms and some may also provide relief. We will also ask questions and use procedures to rule out serious disease and pathologies that may need to be treated elsewhere.

X-rays are sometimes needed to assess and help diagnose certain conditions. If they are needed we have x-ray facilities within our office to ensure that we get the best possible films in a timely manner.

Once the diagnosis is established, Dr. McKinney will formulate a treatment plan that best suits your needs. This plan can include everything ranging from chiropractic adjustments, to massage therapy, physical therapy, and physical conditioning. It is our goal to see you live a lifestyle of health and wellness.

Call our office or contact us today to set up an appointment.


What is the “No-Obligation Consultation?”

The ‘no obligation consultation,’ is the private consultation arranged with the doctor. The time together is used to describe your health issue and share your goals. This is often helpful in determining if you’re likely to be a good candidate for chiropractic care.

The sooner you take action, the sooner we may be able to help you. Contact us and get started living better today! Enjoying a long and healthy life is important to everyone. Chiropractic care unlocks your body’s true potential and natural healing process to ensure your life is a healthy life.


What is “Chiropractic?”

Chiropractic is a safe and effective form of treatment that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic care and physical medicine is used most often to treat complaints such as back pain, neck pain, extremity pain, headaches, and sciatica. Doctors of Chiropractic, often referred to as chiropractors, practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes a thorough patient examination, diagnosis, and treatment. A care plan might include education, stretching, exercise recommendations, daily activity modification, spinal manipulation, and physical therapy. The goal is always to eliminate pain, return to full function, and the development of self-care programs so patients can care for themselves.


What is a ‘Chiropractic Adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment adds energy to your spine that is used by your body to help right itself.

After a thorough examination, a chiropractor adds energy to your spine at an opportune time and place to help your body “right” itself. Think of a chiropractic adjustment as a gentle “nudge” to help restore better movement to the spine.

While the word chiropractic comes from the Greek meaning “done by hand,” there are many ways to adjust the spine. Whether done with actual hands, various types of handheld instruments, blocks that harness the effect of gravity, or by other means, a chiropractic adjustment is distinguished by the chiropractor’s intention.

It surprises many to learn that the intent of chiropractic adjustments is NOT to treat a disease, reduce pain, or any other symptom. Granted, that’s a frequent result, but that’s not the purpose of chiropractic adjustments! Instead, the intent of chiropractic adjustments is to help revive your spine’s ability to function more normally.

Helping your spine and nervous system to function to the best of its ability is the century-old basis of chiropractic. Treating symptoms and curing various diseases is the practice of medicine. Both have their place.

What do chiropractic adjustments feel like? They are usually quite pleasant, with patients often mentioning that not only do they move better, but that they feel more “connected.” Many report a pleasant sense of ease and wellbeing. This is important, because repeated visits are often necessary. Contact us today to set up an appointment.


Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Chiropractic treatments are considered safe for most people and carry an extremely low risk of complication. The most common complication is muscle soreness and/or tension following a patient’s initial adjustment. This usually goes away after approximately 24 hours.

The risk of serious or life threatening complications is rare. The latest estimate for serious complications following neck manipulations is approximately 1 in 5.85 million. It is important that you discuss any possible concerns you have with your treating chiropractor before receiving treatment.


Does my insurance company cover chiropractic?

Yes, most health insurance carriers reimburse chiropractic services in a similar manner as any other specialty care provider. We highly recommend you call your health insurance carrier to confirm your chiropractic benefits. Our office will contact your insurance carrier on your first visit to verify your coverage.


Is it true that once I receive chiropractic treatment I have to come back forever?

No. Most patients come back while they receive care for a set period of time, as outlined in their individual treatment plan described by the treating chiropractor. Some patients, however, elect to continue chiropractic care after they are well because it helps them feel better. Chiropractic treatment has become an integral part of the ‘health management plan’ of many people; similar to eating the correct diet, exercising, and proper sleep habits.


Should I tell my Medical Doctor that I am receiving chiropractic care?

We encourage our patients to inform their medical doctor and other care providers that they are receiving chiropractic treatment. In fact, our practice is built by working closely with contemporary minded, patient-centered medical practitioners in the local community. Collaboration and communication between a patient’s medical providers is essential in order to better serve the patient’s individual needs.

As a courtesy to our patients and their caregivers, we gladly forward a copy of each patient’s initial evaluation to their primary care physician. Many of our patients have asked us to contact their primary care providers to introduce ourselves, or to provide information about our practice.


What is the noise or “popping” that occurs during the adjustment/manipulation?

Chiropractic adjustments often elicit an audible “pop” or “crack” sound. Chiropractors refer to this noise as “joint cavitation” or the “audible release” of the joint. Spinal joints contain synovial fluid, which lubricates the inside of your joints. Synovial fluid contains dissolved gasses, mostly carbon dioxide. When your spine is adjusted a vacuum is created and the gasses come out of the synovial fluid forming a gas bubble. This vacuum is what causes the “pop” you might hear during the adjustment. Although this sound is very common it is not essential in determining treatment success.


What Are Vertebral Subluxations?

A vertebral subluxation is the result of spinal bones with improper motion or position affecting nerve communications between your brain and your body.

sub = less than | luxation = dislocation

A vertebral subluxation is a stress response. Muscles go into spasm. Spinal bones lock up. And adjacent nerves are choked or chafed. This interferes with the control and regulation of your body. This garbles communications between the brain and parts of your body.

Distorted nerve communications can be an underlying cause of many health problems beyond just headaches and back pain. For example, the interference of nerve impulses going to or from your stomach can be the underlying cause of stomach problems.

Your nervous system controls every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body. These nerve impulses travel through your spine. So having a spine free of vertebral subluxations is essential for optimal health.

Only a chiropractic examination can detect vertebral subluxations. And only chiropractic adjustments can reduce their effect to your nervous system, naturally. Find out if you have vertebral subluxations before they become more serious and more difficult to correct. Contact us today to set up an appointment.


How come I’ve never heard of vertebral subluxations before?

True, vertebral subluxations have not received the same amount of media attention as AIDS, cancer, cholesterol, or heart disease. However, vertebral subluxations are just as important and are often the underlying cause of a wide variety of health problems.


How does someone “get” vertebral subluxations?

There are three basic causes of vertebral subluxations. Physical causes include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions, and improper lifting. Stress, anger and fear are examples of emotional causes of vertebral subluxations. Alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet can be chemical causes of vertebral subluxations.


How can vertebral subluxations be corrected?

The primary form of care to reduce vertebral subluxations is a schedule of chiropractic adjustments. By applying a specific and precise force, in the right direction and at the right time, over time, changes in the position and motion of spinal bones can be made.


How can I tell if I have vertebral subluxations?

You can have vertebral subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, vertebral subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of any vertebral subluxations you may have.


Can vertebral subluxations clear up on their own?

Sometimes. Today’s hectic lifestyles are a constant source of vertebral subluxations. It is good that our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these minor problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When vertebral subluxations do not resolve on their own, you’ll want to see a chiropractor for an adjustment.


When Is a Wrist Pain Not a Wrist Problem?

Using the wrist as an example, sometimes what seems painfully obvious is not actually correct. Take a pain in your wrist. The problem “must” be in your wrist, right? Not always. There can be nerve interference elsewhere that is causing or adding to that pain.


How is Carpal Tunnel in the Wrist a Chiropractic Problem?

Let’s look at carpal tunnel syndrome. Feel along the back of your wrist for the carpals, those eight small bones grouped in two rows. Held together with ligaments, they form a “tunnel” or passageway for your median nerve. When swelling narrows the tunnel, the nerve gets compressed and causes pain, tingling, and more.

But pain, numbness, or tingling in the wrist also can be caused by nerve interference elsewhere, a phenomenon called the “double crush.” In this scenario, the median and other nerves running through the wrist are being compressed, but the compression sites might also be in the spine, shoulder, neck, or elbow.


Can Chiropractic Help with Carpal Tunnel?

Resolving carpal tunnel problems requires looking beyond the wrist. A thorough chiropractic examination of the upper spine, shoulder, and elbow can help determine the origins of your problems. Contact us today to set up an appointment.


How do I Begin Chiropractic Care?

Call us! You don’t need a referral to begin chiropractic care. Our knowledgeable staff can help by answering questions over the telephone. If you are ready to explore a concern more privately, just ask. You may also message us on our CONTACT page directly with your questions or concerns. We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions, clear up concerns, and put prospective patients at ease before their first visit.

Giving BACK Quality of Life

Call us directly at McKinney Family Chiropractic: (304) 722-BACK(2225).