- What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a therapy that involves restoring mobility and strength through hands-on treatment, allowing your body to become healthier. Although a lot of people think of chiropractic in terms of back and spine care, there is more to it than that; we treat not only the entire body but also the whole person.
What doctors of chiropractic do is correct subluxations, which is another word for misalignments in the spine, pelvis and cranium; when any of these body parts is out of alignment, imbalances in the surrounding soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) can ensue, throwing off your nervous system. Finally, once your nervous system—which allows your brain and body to communicate—is functioning properly and at its best, you can enjoy optimum health throughout your entire self.
- What are the benefits?
The holistic and chiropractic approach that is available at Diablo Chiropractic involves going beyond the symptoms and identifying—and then treating—the cause of health problems. As a result, our patients report renewed mobility and drug-free pain relief, allowing for a better overall quality of life.
- How is chiropractic different from physical therapy?
We deal with the entire structure of the body, both skeletal and soft tissue. Chiropractors directly address the realignment of the joints, which is absolutely necessary for proper rehabilitation and healing of the body. Chiropractors also differ from physical therapists in that we are trained to diagnose conditions, including neuromuscular conditions; this saves you the step of seeing a different physician before seeking treatment.
- Am I too young/too old/too fragile for chiropractic?
Not at all! Chiropractic is safe and effective for all ages; from very young children to elderly patients, everyone can benefit. We welcome wheelchair-bound patients and individuals living with osteoporosis, and adjust our techniques to provide maximum benefit and comfort for such individuals.
- Is chiropractic safe for pregnant women?
Very much so! Dr. Salem has worked with pregnant women and children for years. If you are pregnant and seeking chiropractic care for a non-pregnancy-related issue, your treatment will not move the baby into any unfavorable position. In addition, the mother-to-be can benefit from a reduction or elimination of back pain as the center of gravity of her spine changes as the baby grows; less morning sickness, headaches and indigestion; and improved sleep and energy—all components of a happier, more positive pregnancy.
Additionally, Dr. Salem is certified in the Webster Technique. Note that unlike "versions," the Webster Technique does not directly move or align the baby. It is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of subluxation and/or SI joint dysfunction. In so doing, the neurobiomechanical function in the sacral/pelvic region is improved. This may serve to relax the muscles and ligaments that support the uterus and avoid any tightening or tension that may impede the baby's optimal position for birth.
- Does chiropractic hurt?
The chiropractic technique shouldn't hurt, but the site of an acute, underlying injury may be swollen or painful. Because Dr. Salem is aware of the different levels of pressure and force needed to make adjustments in particular areas, discomfort should be minimal. Her adjustive techniques are gentle and effective. As part of your healing process, however, she may break up scar tissue, which can sometimes produce an achy feeling that is temporary. This is necessary to get the joint mobile again as it is readjusted and stabilized—and on its way to its full potential.
- Do you offer anything besides than chiropractic?
Chiropractic care is just one piece of the puzzle in alleviating discomfort and reaping the benefits of improved health—and we can help you put that puzzle together. We offer therapeutic massage, primarily as a part of your customized treatment plan; this helps manipulate the soft tissue into a healing position while lowering physical and emotional stress. Craniosacral therapy is a form of light massage that allows the fluids in your body, particularly those around your spine and brain, to flow freely and circulate throughout the central nervous system—a crucial factor in your body's ability to repair itself. Finally, nutritional counseling involves the use of nutraceuticals (essentially, vitamins, minerals and other natural supplements) that can boost your immune system, rid the body of impurities and optimize your body's natural healing abilities.
- Is there anything special I should do before an appointment?
Relax! Most people are surprised at how gentle the treatments are. Take note of any health concerns you have and be prepared to discuss them. Finally, be hydrated; drink at least two glasses of water beforehand and increase your water intake the day before your appointment. In any case, drinking lots of water is always a good thing!
- My grandmother always said that cracking my knuckles would cause arthritis.
Will the popping in my knee (or back, or neck) lead to disability down the road?
Cracking your knuckles will not cause arthritis, nor will any popping you experience at your appointment or in your daily life. The sound you hear is from a combination of carbon dioxide gas and synovial fluid (a liquid your body produces to lubricate your joints), so when the joint is brought to tension to make the adjustment, the gas escapes and is absorbed. Still, it's important to be hydrated; the fluid is 80 percent water and so the more water you drink the day before your visit, the less dry your joints and muscles will be—and the more effective the treatment.
- How soon can I expect relief?
You may feel better after your first appointment, but a longer regimen or an ongoing course of treatment may be required. That course may vary, depending on the severity and chronicity of your particular condition. It is crucial that you follow your treatment plan so your efforts have long-lasting, healing effects.
Think back to when you or, perhaps, your child had braces. It took some time for the teeth to align, and even then you had to wear a retainer to ensure that they wouldn't shift back. Similarly, you may feel good after one or two treatments, but the joints need more time to become stabilized and heal in the long run. Depending on your condition, you may need only a few visits—or a longer regimen consisting of a few months' worth of visits.
- What will my first appointment be like?
To help your first visit go smoothly, it is helpful if you download and fill out the New Patient Forms and bring them with you to your appointment. We ask that you fill these out as completely as possible so that we can best be of service to you.
We will take a complete health history, perform a chiropractic exam, and do hands-on neurological and orthopedic testing, if indicated. This noninvasive process involves testing the joints' range of motion and reflexes, all while looking out for inflammation and swelling. If you have not had x-rays in some time (or ever), we will order x-rays in advance of your second visit.
After Dr. Salem reviews the x-rays, performing a chiropractic analysis on them, she will sit down with you and explain the results' correlation with your health history, chief complaint(s) and physical exam. She will then create a treatment plan that will help you create a roadmap to achieving your health goal—such as living without pain, stabilization and wellness to make sure that the problem doesn't return. This plan may include chiropractic adjustments, therapeutic massage, craniosacral therapy, nutritional counseling or a combination.
- How often can I expect to have appointments?
Initially, most patients come to the office two or three times a week for several weeks, depending on the seriousness of their health condition. The frequency of the appointments is important because ligaments, particularly injured ones, are more apt to remain unstable during lengthy intervals between adjustments. Our certified massage therapists will make their recommendations based on how your muscles are responding.
- Will my insurance cover treatment?
Diablo Chiropractic is a fee-for-service practice. Many insurance companies cover chiropractic; our office staff would be happy to verify your coverage for you. Regardless of your particular health coverage, many patients use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs) to use tax-free dollars for their treatment. Also, we bill Medicare or MedPay through your auto insurance company, if needed.
- Do you have night/weekend hours?
Diablo Chiropractic is open until 7:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with Dr. Salem on call for acute (emergency) chiropractic care outside of regular business days. You can call (925) 933-1738 or use our webform to make an appointment, which we will then call you to confirm. However, if you need immediate assistance, it is best to contact us by phone.
- What is your appointment cancellation policy?
We understand that time conflicts come up, but we also appreciate your consideration of other patients on the schedule. Should you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please notify us at least 24 hours before your scheduled time; if this is not possible, you will be assessed a $25 fee.
- My question isn't listed here. How can I get in touch?
You can reach us at (925) 933-1738 or via our webform. We will respond to your message within one business day.