Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a chiropractor?
What is a spinal subluxation?
Can pregnant women benefit from chiropractor care?
What should I do if I hurt myself and I can’t make it to my chiropractor immediately?
How does the body work?
How does chiropractic work?
Who needs chiropractic care?
How much education does a doctor of chiropractic receive?
What degree are chiropractors given?
Are chiropractic colleges accredited?
Do chiropractors need a special license to practice?
How many chiropractors are there?
Do chiropractors and medical doctors refer to each other?
Will my insurance reimburse me?
Do chiropractors have hospital privileges?
Do all chiropractors use the same techniques?
How can I find a chiropractor?
What is the chiropractic oath?
How long will it take?
Do children need chiropractic care?
How well do children respond to chiropractic care?
When should a child have their first chiropractic visit?
What can I do to help my child?
Celebrity Quotes

What is a chiropractor?
Chiropractors are portal of entry providers who are qualified to diagnose and refer for conditions outside their scope of practice. They study four years after college and are licensed and recognized by all fifty states. Their primary purpose is to diagnose and treat spinal subluxations through gentle, manual spinal manipulation and occasionally with adjunctive physical therapy.

What is spinal subluxation?
A spinal joint problem that is irritating the associated spinal nerves and soft tissue  Decreased or painful spinal range of motion is a certain indication of a spinal subluxation. Return to top of page.

Can pregnant women benefit from chiropractic care?
Since pregnant women release hormones which relax ligaments, to ease delivery, only the mildest techniques are needed to relieve the severe spinal stress and backache associated with pregnancy.

What should I do if I hurt myself and can’t make it to my chiropractor immediately?
If it is truly an emergency (i.e. broken bone, loss of bladder control) go to the emergency room. If it is serious, but not an emergency, you should rest, ice the area (20 minutes on/twenty minutes off), if possible compress the area and elevate it. Most chiropractors leave an emergency number, beeper or check their messages regularly. Contact your chiropractor or leave a message so that he/she can advise you. Return to top of page.

How does the body work?
The spine is a movable organ encased in bone to protect it. Almost all the nerves of the body must pass through this bony structure. This bony structure (made up of many separate bones called vertebrae) is controlled by ligaments and muscles, which are subject to fatigue and trauma. When the joints of the spine become unstable due to muscle or ligament fatigue or trauma, they lock up to prevent damage to the precious organ they protect. This locking of the joints is called a subluxation and is accompanied by soft tissue swelling and inflammation. It is this inflammation that usually causes the first symptoms indicating that something is amiss. Unfortunately, these symptoms may disappear, when the muscles are no longer fatigued, when the inflammation has passed, or when an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin is taken. Although the symptoms are no longer present, the joints may still remain locked. This locking of the joints will cause improper movement of the spine, eventually causing nerve irritation, arthritis, and muscle fatigue. Since, as we learned earlier, almost all the nerves of the body must pass through the vertebrae, this nerve irritation can affect almost all parts of the body, from muscles to organs, from sciatica (leg pain) to ulcers (high stomach acid).

How does chiropractic work?
This is where the chiropractor comes in. He applies a gentle force that unlocks the joints that are not moving properly. No drug in the world can accomplish that! After the joint is movable, it is up to you, the patient, to follow the doctor's advice, exercise, rest and eat properly. Otherwise the subluxation, or improperly moving joint, will return. Sometimes, it may take a number of adjustments over several weeks before the muscles and ligaments are stable enough to prevent the subluxation from recurring. Your doctor of chiropractic has gone through four academic years of chiropractic training, after undergraduate college, to learn human anatomy, physiology, and radiology in depth. All for the sole purpose of learning how, when, why, and where to apply that gentle force called a Chiropractic Adjustment, and to help you, the patient, prevent your subluxations from recurring. Return to top of page.

Who needs chiropractic care?
Everyone can benefit from modern, safe, effective, and painless chiropractic care. If you're still not sure if you're a candidate for chiropractic care, ask for the name of a chiropractor from your medical doctor or a friend.

How much education does a doctor of chiropractic receive?
A minimum of six years of college study (the same legal requirement as for medical doctors) including internships go into the making of a chiropractic physician. Post-graduate specialties include sport injuries, nutrition, neurology, orthopedics, internal medicine and radiology, and each require up to an additional three years of training.

What degree are chiropractors given?
Licensed chiropractors are entitled by law to use the title, "Doctor of Chiropractic." They may also add the degree's initials "D.C." to their name. Most states allow chiropractors to use the title "physician." Return to top of page.

Are chiropractic colleges accredited?
The CCE (Council on Chiropractic Education) which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, is responsible for setting, evaluating, and enforcing high educational standards.

Do chiropractors need a special license to practice?
As a licensed and regulated health professional, the doctor of chiropractic must pass a rigorous national exam, and a state exam for each state he chooses to practice in.

How many chiropractors are there?
There are almost 50,000 chiropractors in the U.S., serving tens of millions of patients, and their use is growing rapidly as new research revalidates the effectiveness of chiropractic care.

Do chiropractors and medical doctors refer to each other?
While drugs may alleviate symptoms and surgery may be necessary to remove a diseased organ, they do not address the reasons why the symptoms occurred, or why the organ became diseased. Although they may at times be necessary, doctors recognize the limitations and risks of drugs and surgery. Today's doctors and chiropractors realize that no healing art has all the answers. A good doctor will always work as a team with other health care professionals for the benefit of the patient. Return to top of page.

Will my insurance reimburse me?
Chiropractic care is authorized under Workman's Compensation, Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial health care policies.

Do chiropractors have hospital privileges?
Chiropractors may send patients to hospitals for special tests, but until recently chiropractors have not had formal hospital privileges. In the past year, several chiropractic colleges have become affiliated with local hospitals, and over 300 hospitals nationwide now grant D.C.'s formal hospital privileges. Return to top of page.

Do all chiropractors use the same techniques?
As with all professions, chiropractors have a large number of various methods to evaluate and treat patients. It is more important to find a chiropractor you feel comfortable with, rather than choosing one based on his/her choice of techniques.

How can I find a chiropractor?
The best way to find a chiropractor is to ask a friend, the Georgia Chiropractic Association, or the Georgia Council of Chiropractic

What is the chiropractic oath?
"To hold in esteem and respect those who taught me this chiropractic healing art; to follow the methods of treatment which according to my ability and judgment I consider necessary for the benefit of my patients; to abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous; to stand ready at all times to serve my fellow man without discrimination of race, creed or color.
With purity I will pass my life and practice my art; I will at all times consider the patients under my care as of supreme importance; I will not spare myself in rendering them the help which I have been taught to give by my alma mater; I will keep inviolate all things revealed to me as a physician.
While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the chiropractic healing art, respected by all men at all times." Return to top of page.

How long will it take?
How quickly you respond to chiropractic care can vary greatly, though most people feel immediate improvement. It is important to remember that even though you may feel better, the underlying condition may take much longer correct. If the injury is minimal, no obvious objective findings, it will usually be corrected within 10 weeks. If the injury is slight, with only decreased motion, it will usually be corrected within 29 weeks. If the injury is moderate, decreased motion, ligament injury, neurological signs, it will usually be corrected within 56 weeks. If ligament instability, fracture, disc derangement or surgery are present, long term chronic care will be required. In any case, regular chiropractic visits can correct new problems before they become chronic and improve the overall quality of life.

Do children need chiropractic care?
Due to their active nature, children tend to undergo more jolts and falls than adults. Although a child's spine is more resilient, constant bumping around of the spine may lead to misalignment of the vertebra. If left untreated, these misalignments (or subluxations) can cause major health problems in later life. Return to top of page.

How well do children respond to chiropractic care?
Children, because of their inherent recuperative powers, usually respond to chiropractic care with amazing speed. Often one or two adjustments can correct a problem that would require a multitude of chiropractic treatments for adults.

When should a child have their first chiropractic visit?
The earlier the better. Remember, the techniques used to adjust an adult are not the same as those used for children. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been linked in part (according to several European studies) to subluxations of the atlas/axis (the first two cervical vertebrae.) The birthing process is not only the first spinal shock we undergo, it is also one of the most traumatic. A simple test in the first few weeks after birth can tell if your child is at risk. For an older child, with no diagnosed spinal problems, several times a year for a spinal check-up is sufficient. They should be checked immediately after any falls/accidents. Return to top of page.

What can I do to help my child?
Stress good posture: Good posture puts the body in a balanced position. This allows the organs enough room to function properly, enables the blood to circulate efficiently, and relaxes muscles. Help your children become posture conscious. Have them practice walking, sitting and standing properly.
Require regular exercise: It's not easy to resist the urge to become a "couch potato." But a tendency toward inactivity can be overcome by developing an interest and desire to become physically fit. Encourage your children to engage in regular, vigorous exercise that develops the heart and lungs. If possible let them walk or bicycle to school or friends' houses. Regular exercise also relieves tension and stress.
Provide a well-balanced diet: Nourishing food that builds bone and muscle is essential to good health. Stress lots of fresh fruits and vegetables with plenty of water.
Regular spinal check-ups: Regular check-ups are important for attaining and maintaining good health. Spinal checks, with close attention to body posture, will reveal defects or distortions. These problems should be corrected before they can lead to physical impairment.
Set a good example: Young people learn by example. Establish a family program of healthful activities and join your children in carrying it out. A physical fitness program tailored to the ages and abilities of the various members of your family will help build life long good habits and gain the valuable rewards of good posture and better health.
Return to top of page.

Celebrity Quotes

"I was wrestling this big guy last April. He picked me up and jammed me head first onto the mat. My third, fourth, and fifth vertebrae were messed up. It was an accident that I should never have let happen. The doctors wanted to operate, but I decided to go with a chiropractor. It seems to be working." Hulk Hogan, professional wrestler

"Bodybuilders and fitness people have been using, very extensively, chiropractors in order to stay healthy and fit. Whenever I had a little problem with my body, I always ran to one of my dear friends [Franco Columbu, D.C.], he was always right there with the adjustments. This is how I found out the best way of going, is to use chiropractors, not only after injuries, but also before injury." Arnold Schwarzenegger, professional bodybuilder/actor

"My mother used to go to a chiropractor because she had rheumatism. Since she would regularly go in for adjustments, I grew up thinking that chiropractic was the best way to treat certain ailments." "Usually, the first thing I do when I get home from a trip is bring out my table and have my chiropractor come over and give me a total adjustment-from the top of my head to the tip of my toes." Phyllis Diller, actress

"Medical doctors can be helpful for some things, but generally when it comes to dance injuries, they don't really have a therapy program for you where they actually fix anything." "Chiropractors are great for dancers because they work on you-you can see the results. Chiropractic is a more personal kind of treatment, more immediate." Heather Watts, prima ballerina

"I think there's no question that chiropractic is one of the greatest needs of any football player,... I would say that 80 percent of the Vikings utilized chiropractic care." Fred Cox, football place kicker

"I probably wouldn't even be here now if it weren't for chiropractic."
Merle Haggard, country singer

"I had taken a fall down about sixteen steps when I was only three years old. It took until I was eight years old for the injury to manifest itself." "Now, through getting adjustments, I no longer get the headaches; and the dizzy spells are very, very few and far between." Jayne Kennedy, actress. Since age eight, she had suffered from a mysterious condition which causes headaches, dizziness, and even loss of consciousness. After undergoing various medical tests and treatments, no cause was ever found until she met a chiropractor.

"... when I over-exert myself and throw my back out. I just go to the chiropractor and get straightened out." Richard "Jaws" Kiel, actor/stuntman

"There were a couple of accidents where I had whiplash or apparently jammed my spine around. The only relief from the pain that ever really worked for me was through chiropractic." Victoria Principal, actress

"When a problem occurs... I want to see about getting it taken care of, and chiropractic helps." Vikki Carr, singer

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Heritage Chiropractic Clinic         Dr. Geoffrey A. Sandels

HCC


Specializing in Spinal and Nerve Rehabilitation in Snellville, Georgia since 1983

2407 Lenora Church Road      Snellville, Georgia 30078       770-979-2731

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Heritage Chiropractic Clinic
Dr. Geoffrey Sandels, D.C
2407 Lenora Church Road
Snellville, Georgia 30078

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Office:  770-979-2731
Fax:  770-982-1350

email: drgeoff@heritagechiro.net

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