Frequently Asked Questions

Chiropractic patient in Milwaukee WI

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the largest natural healing art in the world. Chiropractic works because millions of instructions flow from your brain, down your spinal cord to every organ and tissue in your body. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine, called a subluxation, can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments can help improve your nervous system's communication with your body, diminishing or releasing symptoms. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.

What is Gonstead Chiropractic?

Gonstead chiropractors use a unique and refined art of skeletal analysis to detect any harmful vertebral misalignment/subluxation and then specifically correct the misalignment by hand, thus restoring nerve function and health. When nerve function is restored, pain disappears, headaches are gone, stomach and intestinal problems are healed...optimum health is achieved. Intense study and practice are required to accomplish and master the Gonstead technique of adjusting. However, when the art of the Gonstead adjustment is correctly applied, prompt and predictable results ensue.

What is a subluxation?

This is a misalignment of one or more of the 24 vertebrae in the spinal column, which causes alteration of nerve function, resulting in interference of the body's natural ability to heal itself and function at its maximum health potential. There are three basic causes of subluxations. There may be physical causes, including slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions, improper lifting, and birth trauma. Emotions such as grief, anger, and fear may cause subluxations. There may also be chemical causes, including alcohol, drugs, pollution, and a poor diet.

What is nerve pressure?

Another term for this is nerve interference. This is when a misalignment of your vertebra and/or swelling compresses against your spinal nerves, limiting your body's ability to function at an optimal level. When nerve pressure is relieved, your pain will disappear and your nervous system will be working at full health potential.

What is an adjustment?

A gentle, specific thrust delivered by hand to correct vertebral misalignment and remove nerve interference. Gonstead adjustments do not involve twisting or rotation to the body or spine when correcting these vertebral misalignments.

Does it hurt to get an adjustment?

No. Great care is taken to find the most comfortable adjusting table or position, reducing any discomfort during an adjustment. While many people are afraid of the unknown, the most common response after an adjustment is "That's it, that didn't hurt at all and I can already feel a difference." When you allow the vertebrae in your spine to return to their proper position, you will notice less stress and tension.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Yes. Chiropractic care is one of the safest types of healthcare in the world. By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. Adjustments are over 100 times safer than taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Gonstead chiropractors take great pride in delivering the safest and most effective chiropractic care available.

Can I have chiropractic adjustments after back surgery?

Yes. The surgically modified areas of your spine will be avoided. However, the surgery often causes instability above or below the involved area. These areas will more than likely be the areas chiropractic would focus on.

Will I see results right away?

Some patients may notice a difference after their initial visit, and most after 2-3 visits. This depends on a number of factors, including the nature and history of the problem. Sometimes, chiropractic results may be achieved very quickly. Other times, it may take weeks to a coupe of months because of changes that have occurred in the body in response to the vertebral subluxations. If you keep your appointments as recommended by your chiropractor, within a short period of time most patients will begin to regain function and live with less pain.

Why do my children need chiropractic care?

The birth process is often the cause of your child's first subluxation. The very soft and undeveloped spine of an infant can suffer trauma during delivery. It is estimated that as much as 80 pounds of pulling pressure can be exerted to remove a baby from the birth canal. Then, as children grow up and become more adventurous, the number of injuries to their spines becomes countless.

The repeated falls as children learn to walk, as well as the running, jumping, twisting, bumping, and falling while they play in the yard or on an athletic field, often cause your children to become subluxated. However, children frequently do not show any signs or symptoms of being subluxated until later on in life. Some signs of spinal distress may include colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections, erratic sleeping patterns, and bed wetting. Chiropractic care offers your child a more responsive body, a more balanced flow of energy, and overall increased performance as she/he passes the milestones of development. A subluxation-free child also minimizes the risk of future health challenges.

What causes the sound made during a chiropractic adjustment?

That sound is not your spine "cracking" or "popping" as most people think. The sound is created by gas rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. Another example of this phenomenon would be the "pop" sound you hear when the cork is taken out of a champagne bottle. The sound is interesting, but it is not a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.

Is it bad to "crack" your back or neck a lot?

This question is frequently asked because people associate the "cracking" or "popping" of one's back or neck with a chiropractic adjustment. The two are not the same thing. If a person has a desire to crack their neck or back, it is often because one area of their spine is a fixated or jammed area that needs to be properly adjusted by a chiropractor, so that the other parts of the spine will not be hypermobile and noisy.

When you crack your back, you may be relieving the tension for a little while. Do you notice how it keeps coming back? that is because you are not giving yourself a specific chiropractic adjustment. The cause of the spinal tension, the fixated or jammed vertebrae, has not been corrected. A person who makes a habit out of "cracking" or "popping" their back or neck should schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation to have their spine checked. Even a chiropractor cannot adjust themselves.

Once you see a chiropractor, do you have to go for the rest of your life?

No. The extent to which you choose to benefit from your chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. Each and every one of us is solely responsible for the quality of our health and well-being. However, we do strongly urge all patients to consider lifetime, wellness chiropractic care. Chiropractic is similar to dentistry. Do you regularly visit your dentist and why? Most people want to avoid cavities, gum disease, and root canals. In order to avoid degenerative disks, numbness or tingling, bulging disks, and pinched nerves, your spine also needs regular checkups and maintenance through visiting your chiropractor. Even if you feel you have waited too long to benefit from chiropractic care, it may not be too late. Only a chiropractor can properly evaluate and determine if you are a chiropractic case.

Should I continue care if I don't have any symptoms and I feel better?

Yes. Just because your symptoms disappear does not mean your subluxations are corrected. Many of the patients seen in our office have spinal degeneration (decay) which has taken years to develop. The trauma of the birth process, slips, falls, accidents, and countless other stresses over the course of your lifetime adversely affects the health of your spine. The longer your wait to have your spine checked by a chiropractor, the longer it will take to correct your subluxations. How you choose to use chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. It has been our experience that those who stop care when they are feeling fine return with the same health challenges which brought them to our office in the first place. On the other hand, those patients who commit to regular monthly or quarterly checkups will find their health challenges rarely return and they enjoy a higher quality of life.

Do I have a slipped disk?

Technically, a disc can't "slip." The intervertebral disc is a pad of cartilage-type material situated between spinal bones. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and a shock absorber for the spine. A soft, jelly-like center is contained by outer layers of fibrous tissue. Healthy discs help allow normal turning and bending of the spine.

Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below, a disc cannot "slip." However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to tear, bulge, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, as the soft, jelly-like center of the disc leaks, putting pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.

While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing chiropractic care for their disc-related health problems.

For more information or if you have questions of you own, call South Shore Chiropractic in Milwaukee WI today!


8:00am - 11:30am
2:30pm - 6:00pm

2:30pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 11:30am
2:30pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 11:30am
2:30pm - 6:00pm

8:00am - 11:30am

By Appointment 9:00am - 11:00am

South Shore Family Chiropractic
1113 College Avenue Suite A
South Milwaukee, WI 53172
(414) 762-8441