Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic

Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic

Below are some frequently asked questions that we hear in our office or from potential patients about chiropractic. Use the links below to jump to each question. We will be adding more as time goes on! Let us know if you would like to see a specific question answered. If you have any additional questions or you would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 773-665-4400, or you can email our Chicago chiropractic office at

What is Chiropractic?

By dictionary definition, chiropractic is the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column. ‘Chiropractic’ comes from the Greek word ‘Chiropraktikos’, meaning “treatment by hand."

Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the body's main structures (the skeleton, the muscles and the nerves) and your health. Health can be improved and maintained by making adjustments to these structures, particularly to the spinal column, which houses the spinal cord and is the main line of communication between your nervous system and your whole body. Chiropractors identify and correct spinal misalignments. Minor misalignments of the spinal bones, known as vertebral subluxations or misalignments, can cause stress to the spinal cord, which acts as the main line of communication for the whole body. These misalignments are the cause of many health conditions and issues including allergies, a weakened immune system, and back or neck pain.

Chiropractic has become a well-recognized and highly respected health care field.Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.Chiropractic services are covered by most health insurances, including Medicare, and chiropractors are bound by the same regulations and ethics as medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy. Chiropractors in Illinois currently do not prescribe drugs or perform surgical procedures, although they do refer patients for these services and procedures if they are medically indicated.

Most people seek chiropractic care in our Lakeview chiropractic office for back pain, neck pain and joint problems. However, many patients choose a chiropractor as their primary care physician, because they prefer treatment plans that do not rely on medication or surgery.

Wouldn't I be in pain if I had improper spinal function or a misalignment?

Not always. Your body is very adaptive and pain is hardly ever associated with the early onset of a spinal misalignment. If pain is present, many times it will diminish or disappear completely even if corrective action isn't taken - emerging months or years later as a far worse problem! Have you ever heard someone say that all they did was bend over or sneeze and their back went out? This is what happens if you ignore the problem when it first occurs. It’s exactly what happens when you get a cavity and ‘all of a sudden’ it hurts and you’re in terrible pain. The cavity didn’t happen overnight, it was the result of a long standing issue of disease or decay within that tooth. For the same reason, you should get your spine checked as often as you get your teeth checked.

What is an "adjustment"?

An adjustment is the action of the chiropractor, using his or her hands, to deliver a light force to a vertebra. In doing so, chiropractors put the bone or joint back into alignment and relieve nerve interference, enabling the body to function properly. It’s similar to taking pressure opff of a garden hose and allowing it to flow at 100%.

Do adjustments hurt?

The actual adjustment should not hurt. In fact, most people say that the adjustment feels very good, and there is good reason for it- the adjustment actually causes endorphins, the body's "feel-good" chemicals, and your body’s natural pain reliever, to be released. However, after the first adjustment, some people do experience a little discomfort or soreness. Some people do not notice any change after just one adjustment, and some people feel immediate relief. Each person's body responds differently. Those who feel slight discomfort will be instructed on home care, such as using ice, and applying Biofreeze.

What is the "cracking" or "popping" sound you hear when you get adjusted?

There is fluid between each of your joints. When you hear that sound (which is called a "cavitation"), it is simply gas being released from that fluid. It’s not the bone cracking. It’s just like the sound you hear when you pop the cork on a bottle of champagne or open a can of pop - that sound is also gas being released. Not all adjustments create this sound,so the effectiveness of an adjustment should not be judged by the presence or lack of this sound. Again, this is something in which everybody’s body responds differently.

Why is that sound louder when you get your neck adjusted than when you get your back adjusted?

The sound seems louder when you get your neck adjusted because your neck is closer to your ears!

Are all patients adjusted the same way?

No. Your Chicago chiropractor at ReAlign Chiropractic evaluates each person's spine and develops a personalized treatment plan based on years of schooling, experience, and continuing education.

If you're interested in discovering what chiropractic can do for you, or if you have any additional questions, please give our office a call at 773-665-4400 today!


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8:45 am-11:45 am

1:45 pm-6:00 pm




8:45 am-11:45 am

1:45 pm-6:00 pm


8:45 am-11:45 am