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Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Winchell is dedicated to his profession and patients.  As a fervent researcher, he believes that knowledge is key to the tremendous success he has with his patients’ treatment.  And also believes in the importance of educating his patients about their condition, their involvement with healing, and in prevention.  As a team, Dr. Winchell helps his patients reach their optimum level of health and well-being.

About Chiropractic

What Conditions do Chiropractors Treat?

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 care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints, arms or legs, and headaches.

What is Chiropractic?

Each of us is designed to be healthy.  Chiropractic care helps restore optimum health. Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulation, self-healing organism.  These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord and all the nerves of the body.  The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain.  The moving bones of the spine protect the vulnerable spinal cord and nerve roots.  If the nervous system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body.  Doctors call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.  Chiropractic is the science of locating offending spinal structures, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and the philosophy of all things natural.

How Does Chiropractic Work?

Today’s chiropractic doctor looks for the underlying nervous system involvement that can be the cause of many health problems.  Chiropractic works by restoring your body’s own inborn ability to be healthy.  When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health.  The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove interferences to your natural state of being healthy.  A common location of interference to the nervous system is the 24 moving bones of the spinal column.  A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system.  This can disrupt the transmission for controlling nerve impulses.  With improved spinal function there is often improved nervous system function.  Your chiropractic physician can help remove interference’s that may be impairing normal health.  Since the primary focus of your care is improved nervous system function, chiropractic care can have a positive effect on many conditions not normally thought of as “back” problems.

What is an Adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixed, “locked up”, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is improved spinal function, nervous system function and health.

Are All Patients Adjusted the Same Way?

Regardless of the adjusting technique, chiropractic care is tailored to each patient’s age, condition and spinal problem. The doctor evaluates each patient’s unique spinal problem and develops an individual course of care. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience. Some patients who complain of headaches may actually have a lower back problem that is causing a compensation reaction at the base of the skull. Other patients may be experiencing numbness and tingling in their fingers, when the actual problem is in the neck. Every patient presents a uniquely different spinal pattern. Patients notice that their chiropractic care is delivered with confidence and precision. Each visit builds on the one before. While visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient’s.

Can I Adjust Myself?

You cannot effectively adjust yourself.  Just like you cannot fix your own teeth. Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific correction, applied in a specific direction, to a specific spinal joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself.  It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “popping” sound, like the sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more unsteady. The best way to enjoy the healthful benefits of chiropractic is to receive adjustments from a Doctor of Chiropractic. Even your doctor must seek out the services of another colleague to help restore and maintain proper spinal function.

Is Chiropractic Care Safe?

Chiropractic care is safer than back surgery, muscle relaxers and even common aspirin.  In the words of the New Zealand government’s inquiry, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe”. Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.  A thorough case history and examination help reveal areas of the spine that may be causing nervous system malfunction. This information will be used to determine the best course of care for each patient. Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is proven safe and effective.

Why Do Children Need Chiropractic Care?

Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as “growing pains” can often be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic checkups can identify these problems and help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults.  Common conditions for which children visit a chiropractor are:  earaches, neck pain, headache, colic, upper respiratory, back pain, allergies, asthma, colic, torticollis, and insomnia. Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for Vertebral Subluxation Complex.   Later, learning to walk, riding a bicycle and other childhood activities can cause spinal problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the unseen damage to the child’s spine is the unique domain of a chiropractic doctor. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child’s spine.  Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and seem healthier than other children.

Am I Too Old for Chiropractic Care?

Regardless of your age, chiropractic care can help improve mobility and maintain vitality. More and more people are consulting chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity. Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, endurance and appetite. Many patients report improvement with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.  And Dr. Winchell’s laser-assisted chiropractic treatment technique is perfect for children and seniors — very gentle, with maximum effectiveness.

How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?

Periodic chiropractic checkups, like brushing and flossing, getting regular exercise, and eating wholesome foods is part of a healthy lifestyle. Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These longstanding problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine. Most patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventive visits is helpful in the maintenance of good health. Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time-consuming, our office stands ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.

If You Start Going to a Chiropractor, Do You Always Have to Go?

NO.  I encourage a patient to choose from one of three types of care.  If you want relief of symptoms, choose relief care for a short-term program.  If you want to correct the cause of your symptoms at the source, choose corrective care.  This is a more extensive program.  If you want to prevent problems from occurring, choose preventive maintenance care.   In this program, you plan regular checkups to stay as healthy as possible and prevent problems from occurring as a result of untreated misalignments. Either way, it’s your choice.  And it’s our promise to you that you will never be pressured to continue care.

Does Chiropractic Care Hurt?

Dr. Winchell prefers a gentle and safe non-force adjustment for his patients. Chiropractic care should not be painful during or after an adjustment.  However, some temporary stiffness may occur.

Should I See if My Body Will Heal on its Own Rather than Rush to a Chiropractor?

Unfortunately, in most acute injury cases, waiting can make your condition worse.  Affected muscles can weaken, atrophy, become tight or spasm.  Swelling or inflammation can occur and may cause delicate tissue to tear or degenerate.  Soft tissues may suffer permanent damage.  Sometimes bone spurs or other bony growths may occur.

Should I Go to a Chiropractor if I Feel Fine?

Chiropractors can recognize and detect problem areas in your spine before they develop into problem conditions. Chiropractic adjustments may help to maintain or support a healthy spine, and maintenance spinal care programs, which may include advice on posture, nutrition and exercise, can effectively prevent pain. Regular checkups will also ensure that small stresses on the spine don’t become major misalignments. However, people have different approaches to their healthcare and our office will never nag you to get treatment.

Common Questions New Patients Ask

Do I Have a Slipped Disc?

Technically discs do not “slip”, however like the shock absorbers on your car, they can leak or rupture. The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between spinal bones.  Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine.  A soft, jelly-like center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue.  Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending.  Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot “slip”.  Trauma or injury to the spine, however, can cause discs to tear, bulge, herniated, or worse, rupture.  This can be quite painful, as the soft center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.  While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on damaging pain pills by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problems.  See Degenerative Disc for more information.

What Will My Chiropractic Care Cost?

Quality chiropractic care doesn’t have to be expensive.  In fact, many of our insured patients pay nothing at all, our services are covered by most insurance plans.  No insurance?  We created an exclusive payment plan just for you, where you can get the specialized state-of-the-art care you deserve…affordably.  Either way, our staff will explain the simple details and get you set-up.

Do You Bill Insurance?

Yes, unlike most chiropractic offices, we do all the work for you.  Our highly skilled insurance coordinator will work with you and your insurance company to assure you get all the coverage as outlined in your plan.

What is Low Level Laser or Cold Laser therapy?

Low Level Laser Therapy has been proven to penetrate tissue and to be absorbed at a cellular level. A series of reactions occur resulting in enhanced tissue healing, pain control and stimulation of the vascular, immune and lymphatic systems. It is the only therapeutic modality with a cumulative effect in the cells and tissue. Low Level Laser Therapy is safe, painless, and non-invasive; the results are often immediate and are long lasting.  See Cold Laser Therapy for more information.

Why Should I Continue Care if I Don’t Have Symptoms and I feel Better?

Our first goal is to get you out of pain.  But that is the just the first step in your recovery and does not mean that your problem is gone.  You have likely heard someone complain of a significant injury that was attributed to very little, like bending over to pick up a shoe.  We hear that all the time.  Until the root of your problem is resolved, not only will degeneration continue, but also you are at a great risk for a recurring painful injury.

For additional information about chiropractic:

American Chiropractic Association (ACA)

The leading national association representing Doctors of Chiropractic. www.acatoday.org