Frequently Asked Questions in Columbia

Find the answers below to the most frequently asked questions about chiropractors in Columbia. Having the answers to these key questions can help you choose the right Columbia chiropractor for you. If you don't see the answer below to a question you have, reach out to Pro Active Chiropractic Center - Columbia at (573) 607-2727 and our team can help!

What is a chiropractor?

Chiropractors focus on the neuromusculoskeletal system through correcting misalignments of the joints of the spine.   In addition to neck and back pain, which is the focus of most chiropractors, Dr. Scott Stiffey helps patients improve function with knees and shoulders.  He also focuses on improving the nervous system.

How Does Chiropractic Care Help?

Chiropractic Care helps people get better for several different reasons. Chiropractic focuses on the structure and function of the body. One aspect of chiropractic is to determine if any of the vertebrae or other joints are misaligned. If so, then we adjust those areas and that normally results in an increase of range of motion, a decrease of pain, and much better function.

Are chiropractors safe?

Yes, Chiropractic care is recognized as one of the safest, drug-free options, and cost-effective solutions for many health conditions. Chiropractic care should only be practiced by a trained and licensed chiropractor. This type of treatment improves the quality of life through non-invasive therapies which help patients avoid dangerous surgeries and addictive pain medicine. There are very few side effects compared to the traditional medical route and much better results.

What does a chiropractor treat?

Chiropractors treat many things such as: Misalignments of the spine in which the position, restricted mobility, and physiological functions are compromised due to functional, structural, and/or pathological articular changes.

As well as:

  • Back Pain
  • Car Accident Injuries
  • Chronic Pain
  • Herniated Disc
  • Migraines, Headaches
  • Neck Pain
  • Sciatica

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

Just like everybody is different, the method to adjust a patient will be different based on their age, condition, and overall health.  Dr. Stiffey is trained in Gonstead and many other techniques. Dr. Stiffey also uses the Activator and other gentle adjustment methods.

Can I learn to adjust myself?

It is absolutely not advised to adjust yourself or anyone else.  Chiropractic adjustments should only be done by trained and licensed chiropractors in order to avoid serious injury.

What is the history of chiropractic care?

Chiropractic started in 1895 by D.D. Palmer who is considered the father of chiropractic.  He started the first school, Palmer Chiropractic, which is where Dr. Stiffey earned his degree in 2001.

How does chiropractic work?

Your body is a self-healing organism that is controlled and regulated by your nervous system. Information flows from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue. The brain then receives signals to confirm your body is working properly.  If the bones in the spine are not in the proper position, this may cause irritation to the nerves and tissues they control. Chiropractic adjustments improve the nervous system’s control of the body.

Do I have a slipped disc?

Discs are jelly-like tissue that separates each spinal bone. Think of this as a "ball bearing" for joint movement. The discs attach above and below the vertebrae which can cause the disc to bulge, tear, herniate, thin, prolapse and dry out.  The discs do not slip, but they can herniate and bulge.  Even if that happens many times surgery can be prevented with proper conservative treatment.

Do I have a pinched nerve?

Spinal bones may irritate, stretch or rub a nearby nerve root causing a subluxation which is more common than pinched nerves. A subluxation will distort nerve signals from and to the brain causing a variance in the way affected organs and tissues are able to function.

How do you get subluxations?

Physical, emotional or chemical stresses can cause subluxations. Accidents, repetitive motions, falls or improper lifting are examples of physical stress that can cause subluxations. When a person experiences anger, depression, or grief, this can also cause subluxations.  Chemical stress is caused by preservatives, alcohol or drugs.

How do I know if I have a subluxation?

When a chiropractor does a thorough exam, he or she will determine the location and severity of your subluxations if they exist.  Just like decay in a tooth, you may have subluxations without any symptoms.

Does Insurance Cover Chiropractic Visits?

Most insurance does cover chiropractic care. We are in-network with almost all insurance companies.

Is Chiropractic Care Safe While I'm Pregnant?

A recent study found that more than 75 percent of pregnant women experience pregnancy-related low back pain, pelvic pain, or a combination; and that this pain increases as pregnancy progresses. Chiropractic care is a safe, effective, and drug-free way to manage these and other musculoskeletal symptoms during pregnancy. Chiropractic is very safe and effective for many of the effects of pregnancy. Chiropractic helps low back pain, sciatic nerve pain, sacroiliac pain, pubic symphysis pain, and round ligament pain. Chiropractic helps to relieve pain with pregnancy.

Can I Become Addicted to Chiropractic Adjustments?

No. There is nothing addictive about chiropractic. Many patients get used to feeling better, feeling out of pain, having more energy, and sleeping better so that is why many patients continue with their treatment.

Is Chiropractic Safe for Children?

Yes, it is very safe for a child to go to chiropractors. Many chiropractors have also been trained in working with children. There has even been research that shows that chiropractic can help children with earaches and colic.

I Didn't Hear A Sound. Does That Mean the Adjustment Didn't Work?

Sometimes there is cavitation made (popping sound). There are also many times that the joint moves and is adjusted but there is no sound. The main thing is that the chiropractor is getting motion into the restricted joints. Sometimes there is a loud sound and sometimes there is not, but as long as the joint motion is occurring then the joints will heal. That will help restore motion and decrease pain.

How Much Schooling Does A Chiropractor Have?

Chiropractors have a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate courses relying heavily on science courses like biology and chemistry. Most chiropractors have a 4-year degree before entering chiropractic college. The completion of a Doctorate in Chiropractic is an accumulation of around 4-5 years of course work. Chiropractors have around 4800 hours in Chiropractic school, and Medical Doctors on average have around 4700. The courses are very similar except when Chiropractic focuses on adjusting, nutrition, and x-rays, the medical school focuses on pharmaceutical drugs.

Can I See A Chiropractor If I've Had Back Surgery?

Most patients that have back surgeries still have a lot of back pain. Yes, you can see a chiropractor after back surgery, and unfortunately, many patients only go to chiropractors after their back surgeries didn't work. It is more difficult and more specialized to work on patients after they have had back surgeries.

How Long Will It Take To Work?

It depends on many factors like how long you have had the condition, how severe it is, what caused it, what you do for work and daily activities, and many other factors like that. Most of the time within the first month you will see noticeable progress. It may take longer to see more improvement and to stabilize the progress.