Frequently Asked Questions
Chiropractic is a medical profession focusing on treating people of any age who may have a disorder of the musculoskeletal and/or nervous system. Chiropractic uses a variety of non-surgical, hands-on approaches. Adjustments (spinal manipulations) are made to the spine or other parts of the body. The goal is to correct alignment problems, alleviate pain (usually back pain, neck pain, and headaches), and to support the healing process. Dr. Witherspoon will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.
A Doctor of Chiropractic cares for patients of all ages with a variety of health conditions. To treat those with back pain, neck pain, and headache, they use highly skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. In addition, they also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments, and joints. These injuries and painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, causing referred pain and dysfunction outside of the region of injury. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, because your body structure affects your body’s overall function. The goal at Fix the Cause Chiropractic is to help you create you the healthiest life possible, so Dr. Witherspoon also counsels patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification.
Educational requirements for a Doctor of Chiropractic are among the most stringent of the health care professions. The chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education, an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
A Doctor of Chiropractic is educated as a primary-contact health care provider, with an emphasis on diagnosing and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. A Doctor of Chiropractic is educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise and nutrition rehabilitation, as well as other areas of health.
The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology, and related lab work.
Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four academic years of professional study are the standard. Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures.
Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure in which the Chiropractor uses his or her hands–or an instrument–to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, to restore or enhance joint function. A chiropractic adjustment may help resolve joint inflammation and reduce pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes patient discomfort. Dr. Witherspoon adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. You may note positive changes in your symptoms immediately following treatment.
When a Chiropractor “adjusts” you, they uses their hands or a special tool to manipulate joints in your body to decrease pain and restore or increase joint function. This manipulation should not cause increased discomfort, although you may feel some mild soreness for a couple of days after treatment.
Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, making a popping sound. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort.
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of 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. Research shows Chiropractic is as safe as going to a medical office… but you won’t leave our Chiropractic office with a drug prescription!
Yes. Many children may benefit from chiropractic care. Young children lead physically active lives. They may experience many falls and blows from activities or participating in sports. These injuries such may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness, or discomfort. At Fix the Cause Chiropractic, we adapt care to the individual patient, considering age, weight, and medical history. With children, Dr. Witherspoon is especially gentle.
YES! Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy may help with pregnancy discomforts such as sciatica, it can improve the joint pains and discomforts of pregnancy, and it can help the woman’s body naturally prepare for the stresses of childbirth. As delivery nears, certain chiropractic techniques can be utilized to help the baby and the mother’s pelvis position properly for delivery.
The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor several times. Treatment must be in the chiropractor’s office, unlike the course of treatment from medical doctors – which often involves a medication plan conducted by you at home. A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care, and as each person is different, recommendations vary. Dr. Witherspoon never wants to see his patients lose the gains that they have achieved together, and as we continue to use our spines from day to day, he typically recommends some level of spinal maintenance. Just like landscaping a lawn or training for a marathon, once you put work in to achieve something, you must put at least a small amount of work in to maintain it. Once he knows the extent of the problems you are dealing with, Dr. Witherspoon can more accurately recommend what is necessary to both fix the cause of the problem and then maintain that success.
One thing that sets Dr. Witherspoon apart from many chiropractors is the fact that he almost always uses x-rays to assist in diagnosis and plan formulation for patients. Many chiropractors today do not x-ray, choosing instead to feel and, in Dr. Witherspoon’s opinion, make an educated guess at the underlying problems. As Dr. Witherspoon wants to Fix The Cause, he believes in having as much information as possible before moving the joints of the spine. And x-rays often provide information that an exam alone cannot provide.
Based on numerous studies, use of Chiropractic (especially as a first resort) improves long-term outcomes and drastically decreases the odds of opioid dependence. When compared with surgical interventions (which typically cost $40,000+ each) and injections, Chiropractic is cost-efficient as well as safe and effective. For a more thorough list of research about Chiropractic, see https://www.acatoday.org/Research/What-Research-Shows
Every patient is different. Dr. Witherspoon will design a care plan to meet your individual needs. Generally speaking, adjustments will be more frequent at the beginning of your care plan as you work with the doctor to address your primary issues. Dr. Witherspoon always wants to see you on a path of improvement instead of a path of gradual breakdown, so as your body heals, he will generally recommend a much lower frequency schedule to support your new level of improved health.
If you are within reasonable driving distance of our office, we would love to help you reach new heights of health at our chiropractic office in Duncanville, TX. However, if you are not within driving distance of our office, here are some tips to help you find someone good in your area:
- When you call, you should be treated with respect. The staff should be willing to answer your questions, or if they don’t know, they should put you on hold or offer to call you back with the answer.
- They should be thorough in your initial consultation and evaluation, and in Dr. Witherspoon’s opinion, they should utilize x-rays to ensure they have a detailed understanding of your spine.
- They should present a plan of care to you in the first few visits. If a chiropractor takes a “whatever you want” attitude, they are not using their training and expertise to your benefit. Pain is a lousy indicator of underlying health, and their plan for you should not have pain elimination as the only goal.
- They should be willing to discuss payment options. In any chiropractic or medical office, it is questionable if that office demands large sums of money from you before they even complete a thorough evaluation of you. Also, any office that truly cares about your health recognizes some patients need to fit their care into a budget, and they should be willing to create payment plans spread over time to help you get the care you need AND help them stay in business to help people.