Frequently Asked Questions
A: When people hear the term Chiropractor, the first idea that comes to mind is A Neck and Back Doctor. Although it’s true that chiropractors treat neck and back problems, most people don’t know that the true purpose of our profession is to eliminate any nerve interference and enhance the nervous system to prevent future complications and rid of DIS-ease. In essence, the chiropractor is a Functional Nervous System Doctor. The best part is that we are naturally treating without over the counter or prescription medications.
Chiropractic is a Greek term meaning Done by Hand. When chiropractors adjust patients, they use their hands. Some may use an instrument to adjust, but it still requires the use of their hands.
The first chiropractic adjustment was performed by D.D. Palmer on September 18, 1895 on the janitor in his building, Harvey Lillard. Lillard had lost most of his hearing 17 years prior stating that after being bent over in a cramped, stooping position, he heard something “pop” in his spine and he immediately lost most of his hearing. After performing an adjustment at the T2 spinal region, Lillard reported back a few days later stating his hearing significantly improved and was almost completely restored. Thus, “Chiropractic” was born.
A: The chiropractic profession has over 200 different techniques that all have their own philosophy, but all have the same purpose: removing nerve interference. All of these chiropractic techniques are clinically proven to help patients.
At Wilkins Spinal Care, we specialize in a specific Chiropractic technique known as the Pierce Results System (PRS). PRS was founded and developed by Dr. Vernon Pierce of Dravosburg, PA in the late 1950s. PRS requires a chiropractic drop table, and a set of chiropractic hands. There are no twisting or turning motions, and there are no cracking popping sounds. PRS is deemed safe and very effective!
Just like any other chiropractic technique, the Pierce Results System has the same purpose: restore vitality to the human body. The adjustment is a manual technique done by hand (and sometimes with an instrument) that restores communication between the brain and a body part/organ by realigning the dysfunctional joint and removing pressure from the affected nerve.
A: Chiropractors treat/manage a long list of conditions. Some conditions we treat/manage are:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Numbness/Tingling down the arms and/or legs
- Sinus Issues
- Respiratory and Digestive Distress
- Extremity Pain
- Ear Aches
- Dizziness/Ringing in Ears
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Spinal Stenosis
- Facet Syndrome
A: Absolutely! Studies show that chiropractic is significantly more effective than over the counter and prescription medications. Please ask for references and research articles if interested. Another big misconception that many patients fear about chiropractic is that spinal manipulation will cause stroke. Multiple studies, especially a research article published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed that there is no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic care compared to primary care.
Over the past 45 years, we have seen the worst of worst cases. Patients who walk in using canes, walkers and wheelchairs have walked out 90%-100% better. Providing a thorough examination and a designed treatment plan is essential to help get the patient better and give them the best healthcare possible.
A: At Wilkins Spinal Care, Drs. Wilkins and Steinert work as team to perform examinations. An examination begins with a consultation with the doctors where they will get a history of the chief complaint. They will then take a hard copy of x-rays in the region of complaint, conduct a surface EMG and complete a thorough neurological examination to determine if the patient will be treated as a chiropractic, decompression or neuropathy patient. Cervical patients will also receive video fluoroscopy scan of their neck to look at the motion of their spine.
To learn more about our decompression and neuropathy treatments, please go to their pages.
A: An examination is absolutely crucial for each patient’s health because it helps the doctors determine exactly what is wrong. Some patients are musculoskeletal patients, some are disc patients, and some are neurological patients. The only way to determine this is by performing the examination. Without an examination, it would be a dis-service to the patient and we as doctors are not fulfilling our promise and duty to each patient whether we can help them or not.
Performing an examination is absolutely vital to our practice and because of it, we have been fortunate to help thousands of patients get out of pain and return to a normal lifestyle.
A: Just like the examination, x-rays are crucial by giving the doctors a visual of how the spine looks. Many chiropractors take x-rays to assure there is no pathology findings that are contraindicated to adjusting such as: fractures, tumors, aneurysm, instability, or bone weakness. At Wilkins Spinal Care, we too look at any abnormal pathological findings, but we also use the x-rays to look at rotation of the spine and determine which direction to adjust the spine based on region.
Many patients will state that they just had x-rays performed at their general practitioner’s or another chiropractor’s office and don’t need them. Usually, PCPs perform a x-ray series that most chiropractors do. The reason why we take another set of films even if you have been at another chiropractors office is because due to the technique we use, the x-rays need to be precise to assure all the angles are right and we are able to give the patient the best care possible.
A: A Surface EMG is instrumentation technology that scans the nervous system and looks for any inflammation. It is a great visual for patients and helps to explain why they are experiencing their pain. Inflammation produces hot spots, so the Surface EMG identifies heat waves detecting those hot spots on the skin. A Surface EMG is performed on the first visit and is repeated periodically to show patients their progress throughout care.
A: Even if a patient has been to a chiropractor before, most likely, the individual has never seen a Video Fluoroscopy machine. Only a few chiropractors in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area are fortunate to have one in their office. Any practitioner who uses the Pierce Results System such as our office, will more than likely provide this service. Video Fluoroscopy is a high-tech x-ray scanner to look at the cervical spine. It can also be used for extremities: shoulder, forearm, wrist, fingers, jaw, knee, ankle, feet. It shows what the cervical spine currently looks like and if there is bone degeneration, decreased disc space, abnormalities of the cervical curvature and most importantly, the mobility of the cervical spine. Finding any restriction when bringing the head forward and backward is an indication for an adjustment to the vertebra that has reduced or restricted motion. The coolest part about Video Fluoroscopy is that we record each movement so that we can show the patient what we see and why there is an indication for an adjustment.
A: Absolutely! In fact, women are encouraged to get adjusted throughout the entire pregnancy as the body begins the change as the baby grows. Lying on the stomach does not harm the baby in any way, shape or form. However, it may be uncomfortable which is why our tables have a swivel piece that drops down to take pressure off the belly while getting adjusted.
As the baby continues to grow, so will the body, both physically and hormonally. As the belly become wider, it forces the lumbar spine to have an increased curvature, therefore, causing tight muscles. The pelvic inlet also begins to shift well into the 2nd and 3rd trimester, as this is where the baby resides for 9 months.
Getting adjusted regularly through pregnancy will produce a comfortable pregnant mom and a smooth and comfortable delivery. Now why would the delivery be easier? Well, a regularly adjusted mom to be will keep the pelvis fairly balanced allowing for a easier delivery. A pregnant mom who isn’t regularly adjusted could produce an unleveled pelvis making delivery a little bit more difficult.
Childbirth can take a large toll on the human body whether the woman has or hasn’t seen a chiropractor during pregnancy. In either case, 9 months of a stretched belly and ligaments causes weak muscles that need strengthened. Regular chiropractic adjustments and a post-pregnancy exercise program is the best medicine to get your body back to normal!
A: Absolutely, and again, is encouraged! However, when is it safe to get adjusted? In all honesty, babies should be adjusted almost immediately after birth. The reason for this is because the baby has been confined to a small crammed space for 9 months and needs to be adjusted so the nervous system can function properly. The youngest child ever adjusted at our office was merely 2 days old.
As children learn to crawl, walk, run and play, there are bumps, bangs and falls along the way that can cause a disruption in the nervous system. Children typically don’t need as many visits as the average adult; however, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have children checked periodically so no future complications occur into the adolescent years and adulthood.
Some common childhood conditions that we treat are:
- Acid Reflux (GERD)
A: Yes. We do offer different treatment plans. Every patient’s treatment plan is different and is determined based on the results of the examination.
A: Yes, we accept cash patients. We accept cash, credit cards, checks and health savings accounts.