I know there is so much controversy between chiropractic and medical care, but if it were not for chiropractic I would still be in pain. A car accident left me with constant lower back pain. I tried everything from painkillers to preparing to have surgery. I heard stories from my friends who had surgery and to this day wish they never had it. So I decided to go to a chiropractor before the surgery and I am so thankful that I did. My back pains are gone and I am living my life to the fullest and pain free.

Jeffrey Harris
FAQ's Print E-mail


What is chiropractic? The philosophy of chiropractic recognizes that the body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. Stress may create interference to the healing and regulating processes of the body. Chiropractors refer to this interference as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). At Heffernan Chiropractic Clinic, our procedures are geared toward removing interferences to the body’s ability to heal and mend itself. Rather than treating diseases and symptoms, our emphasis is on restoring health by boosting immune function and removing pressure and irritation to the nervous system. The nervous system is the master control center of the body. It adapts each of us to our environment. Removing nervous system interference allows your body to operate at its optimum potential. 

What is a subluxation/Vertebral Subluxation Complex?

Vertebral Subluxation Complex (sometimes shortened to VSC or subluxation) is, most simply put, an interference to the nervous system. This interference is caused by physical, chemical and emotional stresses. These stressors create spinal misalignments (VSCs) that can lead to loss of normal motion, irritation to the nerves exiting at that level and altered function to the muscles, glands and organs supplied by the nerve. The nervous system is the information superhighway of the body connecting the brain with the spinal cord and an intricate pathway of nerves that go everywhere in your body. VSCs alter the ability of messages to travel efficiently between the brain and the body, or in some cases change the message being sent so that your body is unable to function to its fullest capabilities.

How does chiropractic work?

The aim of chiropractic is to remove interferences to the nervous system so that the body can heal and regulate itself. Chiropractors detect Vertebral Subluxation Complexes by examining posture and gait, assessing range of motion, feeling for inflammation and spinal misalignment, and confirming misalignments using x-ray films. Once the areas of irritation have been located, a specific chiropractic adjustment is given to the patient to restore proper motion in the spine. If your body has recognized a misalignment as “normal”, it may take multiple visits to retrain the spine into the proper position. As the spine accepts the new position, the interference is removed and function is restored. Each patient is given an individualized care plan based on how quickly he/she responds to care. At Heffernan Chiropractic Clinic, we provide each patient with rehabilitative exercises so that they are empowered to strengthen their spines, heal with complete range of motion, and maintain spinal hygiene.

What is an adjustment? The doctors at Heffernan Chiropractic Clinic utilize a full spine adjusting technique. Patients are placed in a position that provokes the bone in the direction that it needs to move. The doctor’s hand contacts the misaligned bone and, using his/her body and the weight of the patient’s own body, applies a specific force in a specific direction to restore proper motion. Each adjustment can be modified for the patient’s age and condition. Who can chiropractic help?

Since the goal of chiropractic is to improve communication between your brain and body, anyone can be helped by chiropractic care. Though many first experience chiropractic care when symptoms occur, it can be used preventatively to keep your body in balance and improve quality of life. You are never too young or too old for chiropractic care. Special attention is paid to each individual, and adjusting techniques are modified for babies, children, seniors and those with special needs. For example, a newborn is not adjusted the same as a 35-year-old man is adjusted.

How safe is chiropractic?

Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. They pay the lowest malpractice premiums of all healthcare professionals. Chiropractic is extremely safe for people of all ages (infants to elderly).  We x-ray patients and screen x-rays for osteoporosis, degenerated discs, arthritis, congenital anomalies and a host of other conditions. The doctors at Heffernan Chiropractic Clinic have always referred our patients to MDs and other healthcare practitioners when appropriate.

Is chiropractic safe for children? This is a valid and common concern among parents who mistakenly believe that their child will receive adjustments like the ones they receive. Adjusting techniques are modified for each person's size and spinal condition. Infants' and childrens' spines rarely have the longstanding muscle tension seen in adults. This makes childrens' chiropractic adjustments gentle, comfortable and effective.

Can chiropractic help health problems other than back and neck pain?

Chiropractic care has been very successful in addressing many conditions, though it is often sought after for back pain and headaches. Chiropractors detect and remove interferences to your nervous system, and since the nervous system sends messages to every inch of your body, clearing the body of interference can improve all of its functions. Chiropractic care has been known to help people with all of the following and more without the use of drugs or surgery: Acid reflux, ADHD, allergies, arthritis, asthma, autism, behavioral/learning disabilities, bedwetting, birth trauma, breastfeeding difficulty, breech babies, carpal tunnel syndrome, cerebral palsy, chest pain, chronic fatigue, colic, constipation, digestive disorders (IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis), dizziness, ear infections/prevention of tube implantation in the ears, eczema, epilepsy/seizures, fibromyalgia, headaches, hearing problems, heartburn, high blood pressure, immune function, impotence, infertility, menstrual pain, migraines, panic disorders, pregnancy support, sciatica, scoliosis, sinus/respiratory infections, sleep disorders, speech disorders, sports performance, TMJ Syndrome, Tonsillitis, Torticollis/Wryneck, vision problems, wellness. How long will it take? Will I have to go for the rest of my life?

Each patient’s ability to heal is different, so results vary. Some patients feel changes after one visit; others may not notice progress for weeks. After the Intensive Care phase is complete (symptomatic relief), we recommend a course of Corrective Care intended to stabilize your spine and promote healing. After this point, it is up to you whether you choose to continue with periodic Wellness Care for maintenance and prevention.

Will I receive any medication for my pain?

By law, as well as by choice, chiropractors are drugless practitioners. Dispensing medications and managing their complex chemical interplay can be very challenging. In our experience, it is important to monitor the side effects and cross-reactivity of drugs that a patient is taking. In many cases, patients benefit from improved health by making lifestyle changes including better nutrition, exercise, and chiropractic adjustments that allow them to get off of medications. 

Why don't medical practitioners and chiropractic doctors get along?

It has been our experience over the past 34 years that the cooperation and sharing of patients has progressively improved. The education of today’s chiropractor includes a bachelor’s of science undergraduate degree and a 4-year Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Both the medical profession & chiropractic profession share a great deal of common terminology. The communication between MDs, PTs and chiropractors continues to improve to the benefit of the mutual patient. At this clinic we’ve enjoyed close working relationships with Orthopedic Surgeons, PTs, OB-GYNs, Pain Specialists, Podiatrists, TMJ Specialists, and other types of care providers. 

What if my insurance company doesn't cover chiropractic?

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if chiropractic care is of value to you. Though insurance companies may try to dictate your healthcare choices, it is your responsibility to decide what’s best for you. We offer affordable cash plans for those without insurance coverage.

Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery? Yes.  Your chiropractor will examine your x-ray films and history and make recommendations for care as indicated. Chiropractic care can offer relief for patients with failed back surgeries.  If I have x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or imaging studies from other providers should I bring them along? Yes. Anything you have could give us valuable information about you and how to proceed with your care.

Request Appointment Your Feedback Email Doctor
Site Map | Copyright © 2008-09 ChiroBuilt by Doyle Advertising