Frequently Asked Questions Common Questions Concerning Breathe Chiropractic & Our Care Q: What is chiropractic care and how does it work? A: This healthcare discipline brings your brain and body into harmony and good health through optimal spinal alignment. Stress, injury, poor ergonomics, and posture habits pull vertebrae out of correct alignment, which can aggravate many systems in the body; when nerves traveling from the spinal cord between the vertebrae are pinched, they cannot properly communicate or direct function in the area of the body they are responsible for. This leads to pain and dysfunction. Our chiropractor coaxes the spine back into alignment with extremely gentle, precise, stress-relieving adjustments. Q: How does your chiropractor perform spinal adjustments? A: Dr. Scott Piller, DC uses a gentle and effective technique called “Network Spinal Analysis.” Through careful spinal analysis and patient history, he identifies triggers and stress points in the spine. By applying gentle pressure to these points, energy and pressure are released. The spine gently reorganizes, accumulated stress dissipates, and the patient will feel better. Spinal adjustment provides pain relief, stress relief and improves clarity, stamina, energy and boosts overall wellness. Q: What conditions do chiropractors treat? A: Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. They are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches using their highly skilled manipulations or chiropractic adjustments. DCs also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions may involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. In addition, chiropractors offer advice to patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification. Q: What kind of results can I expect at Breathe Chiropractic? A: You can expect to immediately feel more relaxed, loose, and flexible in your body. Your breathing will become deeper and easier. You will develop more somatic awareness, which means a greater body intelligence. In most cases, your pain and tension levels will be significantly reduced within a short time. That is really just the beginning! As your body shifts out of “fight or flight” or chronic stress mode, you’ll begin to experience more clarity, a sense of inner-calm and peace and a straightening of your posture. This is only a little of the life-changing benefits that Breathe Chiropractic has to offer. Q: What should I expect during an appointment with Dr. Piller? A: Appointments are very comfortable and relaxing. You will lie down on a specially designed, padded table, fully clothed, while our chiropractor uses the Network Chiropractic technique to evaluate your spine, muscles, posture and breathing. This gives him the information necessary to know what points to press along the spine. He will also ask you to breathe, adjust your position and otherwise participate in your healing process. You will start to feel more relaxed, comfortable, and alert during the process. Also, if there are elements of your lifestyle that are aggravating your spinal stress, she can advise you on ways to reduce these pressures when you are not in our office. Appointments generally last around 15-20 minutes. Q: Are your chiropractic adjustments painful? A: Not at all. Network Spinal Analysis is extremely gentle and freeing. There are no popping or cracking sounds, or post-adjustment sore muscles. This form of chiropractic is known for its ability to reduce both pain and mind/body stress at the same time. Q: I feel like the stress of working, my family, and trying to stay fit is affecting my whole life right now. How can you help me with all this stress? A: The stress over having too much to do and not enough time to do it is epidemic in our culture. Chronically high stress levels trap the body in a “fight or flight” mode, making muscles tighter, rounding shoulders, making breathing difficult, and limiting blood and oxygen to the parts of your brain and body that are responsible for relaxation, rejuvenation, creativity, connection, and growth. We find that a stressful, busy life is typically not the problem. Fully participating in life is the ultimate goal of a wellness lifestyle. The problem lies with the inability to shift gears and unwind from the stress-causing factors that are overwhelming you. Network Spinal (NS) care will help you release tension from your body and learn how to adapt to and handle the stress that you’re under without taking it home with you. Expect to work with us at least twice a week for about 8 weeks to get things moving along in a positive direction. We’ll help you release tension from your spine and nervous system, teach you helpful exercises and give you plenty of recommendations to decrease your stress levels quickly and naturally. Q: I work at a desk all day and I have constant pain. Can you help with this? A: When it comes to their computer station, most people in have a far from optimal ergonomic setup. In fact, we find that even people with excellent workstations often get neck and back pain from long hours in front of the screen. With our Central Phoenix location, we see a lot of people with technical, computer station jobs. The problem is that most people in either aren’t aware of, or just ignore their body’s cues and feedback telling them to move, stretch or reposition themselves. They regularly push through to finish a project, even though their bodies are building up considerable tension in the process. Network Spinal (NS) care will help you get so connected to and in tune with your body’s cues and feedback that you’re able to stay present and attentive to the exact positions you need to be in. Then you will stretch or reposition in the moment instead of later when you already are in pain! Instead of staying still at your desk and waiting for pain to let you know that you’re not being attentive to your body, with our care, you’ll be able to stay fluid and flexible instead. Q: I’ve suffered from back pain, neck pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, insomnia, or other pain, sypmtoms, or conditions for years. I’ve tried lots of doctors in Phoenix, but none of the treatments or medications they have prescribed have helped. Can you help me? A: Although we don’t claim to diagnose and treat any symptoms directly, we’ve worked with hundreds of patients in Central Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, and Glendale, AZ with many types of illnesses, or symptomotology ranging from migraines, Parkinson’s Disease, herniated discs, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive issues, fibromyalgia, attention deficit disorder and depression. In most cases the severity and frequency of the symptoms significantly diminishes or vanishes altogether when the spine and nervous system is free of interference and able to access its innate healing potential. Medications only provide temporary relief for symptoms. We seek to understand the factors contributing to the problems and help you make the necessary life changes to keep the symptoms from recurring. Experience has shown us that symptoms, like any other pain signals, are a sign that your body is asking for a change in your behavior, your perceptions, or your body structure. We help you develop the awareness and discover the resources to change the way you’re living. The by-product of that lifestyle could very well be a symptom-free life! Q: I heard once you start going to a chiropractor you have to go forever. Is that true? A: First of all, no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do. We find that at Breathe Chiropractic, our patients often choose to stay under care for many years. The unique results of Network Spinal (NS) will “spoil” people with regards to how great you can feel. In addition, the results of the research showed that there was no ceiling for how people’s health improved over time. In other words, the longer people were under care the better they felt! That is the feedback we have received from our practice members, in that they only experience more wellness in their lives over time, regardless of the age group. How about that for an American culture buster! Q: Is chiropractic treatment safe? A: Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest non-drug, non-invasive forms of health care available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours. Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation, when performed by a skilled and well educated professional such as a doctor of chiropractic, is a remarkably safe procedure. If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another healthcare provider. When discussing the risks of any healthcare procedure, it is important to look at that risk in comparison to other treatments available for the same condition. In this regard, the risks of serious complications from spinal manipulation for conditions such as neck pain and headache compare very favorably with even the most conservative care options. For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain (i.e. over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and prescription painkillers) are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that overuse and abuse of prescription opioid pain medications is among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Doctors of chiropractic are well trained professionals who provide patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education prepares them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to ensure those patients receive the most appropriate care, even if that requires referral to a medical specialist. Q: Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children? A: Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. In the case of children, it is very gentle. Q: Do insurance plans cover chiropractic? A: Yes. Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others. Chiropractic care is also available to active-duty members of the armed forces at more than 60 military bases and is available to veterans at more than 60 major veterans medical facilities. Q: What type of education and training do chiropractors have? A: Doctors of chiropracticare educated as primary-contact healthcare providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the healthcare professions. The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already obtained an undergraduate degree with a concentration in pre-medical college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more. Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation and adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures. In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by the Council on Chiropractic Education, an accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Q: How is a chiropractic adjustment performed? A: Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands or an instrument to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment. Q: Is chiropractic treatment ongoing? A: The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last. Q: Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted? A: Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.