Frequently Asked Questions

What is chiropractic?


Chiropractic is the philosophy, science, and art of things natural by adjusting the segments of the spinal column, by hand only, of the correction of the cause of dis-ease. As chiropractors, we want to help remove the interferences to the nervous system to promote proper healing and optimal health. Chiropractic can be tailored to all types of patients, therefore, it is our belief Chiropractic care is vital and necessary for everyone.




What is physical medicine?


The integration of all modalities designed to improve the overall well being of the patient. Chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, and nutrition are all avenues we use at Highland Park Physical Medicine.




What is multi-disciplinary care?


We understand that no one treatment can help and that everyone is different to how they respond to care. That is why at Highland Park Physical Medicine we have a variety of professionals and treatments to best serve our patients for their specific needs.




Is chiropractic treatment safe?


Yes. Chiropractic care is a safe, drug-free, non-invasive therapy for neuromusculoskeletal complaints. No health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. There are small risks with chiropractic care, that is why we take precautions to rule out red flags and do a thorough orthopedic and neuro exam. Adjustments should only be performed by a licensed chiropractor.




Is chiropractic care ongoing and how many adjustments do I need?


Our goal is to get patients moving and feeling better as quickly as possible. Typically in the beginning of care, we would want to see a patient more to address the problem and then decrease in the amount of times coming in. This is also dependant on what the patient does when they leave the clinic and a variety of other factors like diet, lifestyle, stress, etc. Depending on the severity of the case (acute, chronic, and/or preventative care) esablishes the appropriate plan of care individualized to patients.The chiropractor will let you know how long treatments are recommended and the extent of them. Most patients see the value in getting adjusted so they come in regularly or come in for maintenance every so often.




How do you select a doctor of chiropractic?


You want to find a chiropractor that will be tailored to your specific needs, conditions, and techniques. Discuss what you want in a chiropractor with us and we can point you in the right direction.




Does chiropractic care require a referral?


No referrals are needed from a MD (medical doctor). Your health plan however may have specific referral requirements. You may contact your insurance plan directly or your employer's human resources department to find out any requirements with referrals.




Is chiropractic safe for children?


Absolutely, children can most defintely benefit from chiropractic care. With most children being very physically active, they experience falls and injuries from daily activities and sports. These kinds of injuries may cause symptoms now or show up in the future. Adjustments are gentle and very specific with children. Get your children checked and adjusted early to prevent future problems.




Is chiropractic safe for a patient with osteoporosis?


Yes, chiropractic care will be tailored to your specific needs. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to be brittle and have the tendency to break easier. Treatment is gentle and can be done with different techniques like Activator (hand held tool that is gentle to adjust). Physical therapy and supplementation are important in the treatment of osteoporotic patients.




Am I too old for chiropractic?


As we age, our body goes through changes including the spine. Spinal discs, facet joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and other tissues weaken as we age. The normal stresses and forces our bodies used to handle, are not able to handle it like before. We are less able to handle the wear and tear throughout the years. Chiropractic in conjunction with diet and exercise is vital to staying healthy. Increasing flexibility and mobility will help decrease stress on our body to help slow down the degeneration process. As chiropractors we cannot fix or get rid of the degeneration but just slow down the progression of it.




Are chiropractors in hospitals or in a medical outpatient facility?


Yes to both, this was put into effect in 1983.




Does insurance cover chiropractic care?


Yes chiropractic care is covered by most health insurance plans (Workers' comp, Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, UHC, and Cigna along with others).




What is the doctor of chiropractic's education and training?


We are seen as primary-contact health care providers, with emphasis in treatment and diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions and the related nerves. A Doctor of Chiropractic receives 4,665 total educational hours.




How is a chiropractic adjustment performed? Does it hurt?


A chiropractic adjustment is a specific, controlled low force in a specific direction that is applied to a spinal joint that is not functioning properly or "stuck". The purpose is to correct structural misalignments and remove any nervous system interference. When getting an adjustment, the controlled gentle low force rarely causes discomfort. Most patients feel immediate relief after the the first adjusment. If there is discomfort after treatment drinking water, using an ice pack (10 minutes on and 10 minutes off), and light stretching should alleviate symptoms and promote healing. In most cases your physician will recommend home care for you relating more specifically to you.




What is the "popping" or "cracking" sound?


All that "popping" or "cracking" sounds are nitrogen gases being released from the joints. The sound is similar to when your knuckles "pop" or your back "crack" when you move in a certain direction.




Can I self-adjust? Can chiropractors self-adjust?


You cannot properly self-adjust neither can a chiropractor, it is virtually impossible. Self-adjusting does not correct the specific cause for your discomfort and/or pain. It may cause temporary relief but it does not address the specific cause of the problem. Chiropractic adjustments are very specific in direction and location.




Are chiropractors doctors?


Yes. Doctors of Chiropractic are not medical doctors but go through a similar education curriculum to become licensed in the field of chiropractic. Educational requirements for chiropractors are among the strictest in the healthcare profession. After undergraduate studies, chiropractoric school takes 5 years to complete along with 5 Board exams to get licensed in a state. A Doctor of Chiropractic has 4,620 total educational hours.




What are the the types of pain you treat?


Chiropractic care goes beyond treating spinal complaints and musculoskeletal pain. Disorders involving soft tissue, muscles, ligaments, joints, sports injuries or traumas, and extremities can benefit from chiropractic care.




Are all patients adjusted the same?


No. Each patient has an individualized care plan specific to their symptoms, conditions, and concerns. The chiropractor will accomodate and modify his adjustments based on your specific needs and conditions.




Will an adjustment get rid of my pain completely?


Pain, in general, can become chronic if left untreated. How a patient responds to care is completely different from each person. There are many other factors that can delay the healing process like diet, exercise, lifestyle, stress, etc. Studies have shown that chiropractic can help alleviate, ease, and even eliminate back pain.




Can I get adjusted if I'm pregnant?


Yes, we encourage pregnant women to get adjusted since the wonderful process takes a toll on the body as well as on the babies. Chiropractic can help alleviate common symptoms that come with pregnancy like back pain, foot pain, improve pregnancy experience and delivery, constipation, indigestion, and other related symptoms. Two large ailments associated with pregnancy are sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome. Both of these can be addressed here in our office. At any stage of the pregnancy we can accomodate the adjustments to the needs of each patient.




How common is back pain?


80% of people experience or complain about back pain. It is also the most reported reasons why people miss work and also the second most common reason why patients visit a medical doctor. Our goal is to reduce the amount of time you are injured and prevent the frequency of injury.




Do chiropractors see value in surgeries and drugs?


Chiropractic care is non-invasive and drug free. We also recognize that no single health care profession can ultimately attend to every health need. There is a time and place for surgeries. When we have done all we could with all the state of the art non-invasive treatments, a referral will be made to the appropriate health care professional. We work as a team with other health care professionals with your best interest in mind!




What are the benefits of chiropractic care?


There are many benefits of chiropractic care. Chiropractic may decrease pain, restore optimal and proper nerve function, alleviate stress and tension. In addition to helping restore to proper function it is also vital in reducing occurences of further injury, either to that specific area or another.




Do athletes use chiropractic?


Absolutely, about 90% of all world-class athletes use chiropractors. All 32 NFL teams, 72% of PGA golfers, 93% of MLB teams, and the majority of the NBA and NHL teams have chiropractors. Some of the benefits seen with chiropractic care decreased pain, faster quicker time, injury prevention, enhance performance, non invasive and drug free treatment, and many more. You do not have to be an athlete to receive these benefits.




If I had back or neck surgery can I see a chiropractor?


Yes it is safe to come see us. We will do a thorough orthopedic and neurological exam to find the safest and best treatments. When you come in for an intial consult we will want to know more about the surgery and look at any imaging/reports (x-rays, MRIs, CTs, etc.) you have. Knowing this will determine the most appropriate and safe treatments for you. For example, if you had low back surgery and complained of neck pain we would be able to treat the neck since the surgery was not there. Also for example, if you had a fusion to a specific location that hurts, we will not be able to perform chiropractic adjustments to that area. With that being said, we can do other treatments that will help that surrounding area to help alleviate pain and get proper function. Some of these treatments available to specific complaints and conditions would be electrical stimulation (reduces pain, inflammation, and loosens muscles), traction table (helps stretch muscles and can alleviate disc irritation), Cox flexion distraction (gentle hands-on treatment on a table that can go in flexion and extension and circumduction to stretch the back), muscle work, dry needling, acupuncture, cupping, physical therapy, and massage therapy.




Can I workout before or after my adjustment?


The body was designed to move, in addition to improving function it is also great for recovery. The simple answer here is either is encouraged, however, if you're currently dealing with an injury your chiropractor will give you instructions on how to move forward with your workout regimen.




Is chiropractic care addictive?


Once you have felt your body functioning at a higher level and reduced pain it may become more apparent when you are not feeling your best, at which point you may find making additional appointments necessary. This is termed maintenance care, where we look to reduce the risk of injury and prevent the onset of chronic pain.




Why do you take x-rays?


Most patients do not require x-rays, however, some take them to rule out any "red flags", pathologies (tumor, cancer, fracure, etc.), and in determining where to adjust the spine in regards to alignment and structure.




What is a "pinched" nerve?


A "pinched" nerve occurs when there is some sort of irritation or compression on that nerve when it comes out of the spinal column. This can be perceived as neck pain, shoulder, or arm pain. The irritated nerve can cause a decrease in your range of motion (turning head while driving or leaning your head back in the shower, getting dressed in the morning, looking down at a phone or tablet etc). Some of the symptoms but not limited to are numbness, tingling, "ant crawling" sensation, pain, and decreased grip strength.




What is a "slipped" disc?


A "slipped" disc is also referred to as a herniated disc or a ruptured disc. The word "slipped" is misleading since a disc cannot slip or move since they are firmly attached to your vertebra (bones in your back). The gel-like material inside the disc is actually what "slips" or herniates out. Your discs have a protective outer layer called the annulus fibrosus. This serves as protection for the inner disc called the nucleus pulposus. With everyday wear-and-tear and aging of the vertebra, the annulus fibrosus (outer protective layer) can weaken and create tears. When the annulus fibrosus tears it causes the nucleus pulposus to herniate or "slip" out. These symptoms related with the degeneration (wearing down and damaging) of the disc is called degenerative disc disease. (DDD) This happens to everyone since it is part of the natural aging process but not to the same degree and not everyone will experience the same symptoms as others.




Can I speed up the healing process?


Absolutely! Getting proper rest and sleep, diet and exercise, scheduling routine and maintenance adjustments, and lifestyle modifications all help towards recovering quicker.




At what age should chiropractic care begin?


It is safe and recommended to start the first day you are born! Chiropractic offers a solid foundation for health and wellness for infants. Infants especially can benefit from care since the birthing process is a very strenous and stressful. Infants with hip, collarbone (clavicle), neck, colic, gastrointestinal (digestion), sleeping problems, immune system problems, and other development milestones may experience success with the relief of symptoms and pain. Adjusting infants is different from treating adults where less force is required. Just a small amount of gentle pressure is needed to adjust an infant. Since it is easy for infants anatomy to go out of alignment due to their growing process, it is easily put back into alignment. Getting checked and adjusted early will give that child an advantage in his or her future. It is better to address a cause early on then having to deal with it in the future with further complications.




Is chiropractic care like massage?


Chiropractors practice soft tissue techniques in addition to alignment of the spine and extremities. Some of the treatment may include massage type techinques. In addition to chiropractic care a massage therapist may also be recommended to help decrease tissue tension in specific areas. Decreased tension equals increased movement and less discomfort.




I don't like the "popping" or "cracking" sound, is there another way to adjust?


Yes there are many other ways to adjust you without those "popping" and "cracking" sounds. Other techniques like Activator and Cox Flexion Distraction are gentle, non-invasive treatmens that do not make those sounds. More treatment options are available as well, just ask and we will be more than happy to let you know what else works for you!




What is sciatica and how do you get it?


Sciatica is not a condition, it is a symptom people feel. Sciatica is the pain that is caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is located in the lower back. This irritation is usually caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica should not be confused with low back pain. Since it is the longest nerve in the body, it goes through the low back, buttocks, legs, and ends above the knee. It also controls sensation to the foot as well as muscles in the lower leg so it explains why some patients have symptoms in their feet.




How can my wrist and/or hand pain be caused by my neck?


You have spinal nerves that start in the neck and exit into the arm. For sensory sensations, each cervical vertebra corresonds to a different part of your arm and hand. So if there is a problem in the hand or wrist, it will most likely follow a pattern that can be traced back to a corresponding vertebra in the neck. This is called dermatomal mapping. If there is no pattern, then more in depth analyzing will be done.




If specific treatment options don't work, what do I do?


When we have exhausted the conservative route, we will refer you to our pain specialist Dr. Paul Marsiglia D.O. Working in conjuction with additional disciplines we are able to provide you the best path to healing. Whether it be the traditional chiropractic route or a more advanced treatment we are equipped to handle it.




Can you adjust someone with scoliosis?


Yes, in fact chiropractic treatment is recommended for those who suffer from scoliosis. From mild cases to severe our treatments are designed to gently coax the spine in a corrective fashion, preventing worsening of the curvature.




How can bad posture create back and/or neck pain?


Bad posture in both the neck and back can cause a mulititude of problems. Excessive stress on your vertebra in your spine can cause muscles to become tight and shorten over time. For people who do excessive sitting (slumped over) can lead to tight hip flexors and pull your pelvis forward causing "anterior pelvic tilt" or "lower cross syndrome". Also, the glutes compensate for this and cause them to be weak and inactive. This can strain and cause pain in the low back. "Forward head posture", "upper cross syndrome", and "text neck syndrome" are attributed to pain in your neck. Your neck is protruded forward, shoulders are rolled forward, and the upper back is rounded. The weight of your head being pulled forward puts more stress and weight on your cervical vertebra. There are a variety of exercises that one can do to help stretch and strengthen muscles. Exercises along with adjusting and other treatment modalities will benefit and help alleviate patients that suffer from this. Recovery is dependant on the patient's willingness and dedication to a treatment plan.




Can you treat whiplash?


Yes. Any sort of accident can cause whiplash like a car crash, high impact sport, falling injury, etc. When whiplash happens, all of your muscles surronding the area of injury tighten up in order to protect the injured area. This in turn can misalign the spine and cause discomfort and pain.




What should I wear to an appointment?


Wear comfortable clothes similar to workout clothes. We ask that if a specific area of the body needs to be exposed like a shoulder for therapy, please bring a spare shirt or tank top to expose the area.




Should I use ice or heat?


Depending on the injury or trauma, either ice or heat will be recommended. For acute injuries (0-48hrs) ice is recommended to help constrict the blood vessels and decrease swelling. For chronic injuries (>72hrs), heat is recommended to help dilate the blood vessels to bring new oxygen and blood into the area promoting healing. Check with your professional before deciding on what to do for your injury.




What are some contraindications to care?


Contraindications will be determined upon exam, if you have additional concerns prior to appointment please call and we would be happy to answer any questions.




So if I can "pop" and/or "crack" my back or neck, why do I need a chiropractor?


When you "pop" and/or "crack" your back, neck, or knuckles it is a general or global release of the joint. There may be a sound that occurs but it does not mean you addressed the specific joint while "popping" or "cracking". As chiropractors, we administer a specific adjustment that focuses on that specific joint misalignment thus addressing the cause of the discomfort. Over time self-adjusting can be hazardous to your health in the future. Self-adjusting causes ligament laxity (lack of stability) needed to stabilize joints, improper alignments, can lead to improper nerve function, and chronically irritated and painful joints. You are not actually fixing the problem by "popping" or "cracking" your back, neck, etc.




What is functional medicine?


Functional Medicine looks for the root cause or mechanism involved with any loss of function, which ultimately reveals why a set of symptoms is there is the first place, or why the patient has a particular disease label. Once identified, protocols in place will help guide you back to health in a natural way.





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600 Central Ave

Suite 144

Highland Park, IL 60035