What follows is a brief description of what to expect on your first visit to my office and an introduction to the basics of what chiropractic is and how it works. This is only a starting point as it would take lifetimes to take in the entire body of chiropractic knowledge and practice. Anyone with questions, criticisms or suggestions is invited to send me e-mail. Thank you.
John Min, D.C.
Q. Where did you go to school and how long have you been practicing?
A. I graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic School here in Los Angeles in 1997 and have been practicing in Los Angeles since that time. I hold a California chiropractic license and an X-ray supervisor and operator license.
Q. What can you expect on your first office visit?
A. Your first visit to my office will first consist of a consultation to determine if a chiropractic office is where you should be. If you’re in the right place, you’ll be asked about your health history, I’ll do an examination, present a diagnosis and treatment plan (if needed), then proceed to treatment, which usually takes 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Occasionally, I’ll require an X-ray or other diagnostic test prior to treatment if there is a reason to suspect a serious problem. Your treatment will vary depending on the the nature of your problem(s). Additional therapies, such as electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, infrared heat or manual soft tissue therapy may be used in conjunction with Diversified Chiropractic Adjustments. Expect to be adjusted on your first visit.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. I am currently offering a CASH SPECIAL of $45 to new clients for their first examination and adjustment payable by cash, check or credit card at the time of treatment (this offer does not apply to insurance patients or medical-legal cases; use of physiotherapy modalities are charged extra). Follow-up treatments, if needed, will be $30. Insurance rates are different and your cost is based on your deductible and co-payment. I do accept injury cases on lien basis, please call me for more information about treating on a lien.
Q. What should you wear?
A. I’ll usually treat you in the clothes you come in with, so if possible, wear something loose and comfortable that will permit inspection and movement of the problem areas. Please consider that you will likely be laying face up / down, and on your side on a chiropractic table for most of the treatment. Please come as you are though, we have gowns if needed.
Q. What do chiropractors treat?
A. The primary condition chiropractors treat is the “subluxation”. A subluxation is less than a dislocation, it’s a mechanical misalignment of a joint in the body, usually in the spine or pelvis, that is in a fixed or a mechanically inferior position. Subluxations create a wide range of symptoms, commonly: inflammation, muscle spasm / weakness, headaches, high blood pressure, dizziness, digestive problems, neck pain, shoulder and low back pain, pain or numbness radiating into the arms or legs, and restricted range of motion. The conscious effects of a subluxation can vary from mild and annoying discomfort to severe and completely disabling pain, as anyone who has had their back “go out” on them can attest. Chiropractic is also the treatment of choice for most intervertebral disc pathologies; only a small percent (less than 5-8%) will require surgical intervention. I also treat the muscular component of a subluxation with soft tissue techniques and various physiotherapy modalities that reduce muscle spasms / trigger points, improve circulation, reduce scar tissue / adhesions, which reset (reboot) proprioception or the muscle tone (signals from the brain or local chemistry dictate how much tension a muscle manifests) to a healthy and normal level.
Q. How does chiropractic work?
A. Chiropractic works by restoring normal joint function by means of a chiropractic adjustment. This is important because a subluxated joint can have very significant impact on your health and well-being and sometimes you won’t even know it! The spasm and inflammation that results from a subluxation not only restricts joint motion but can also put pressure on or irritate major nerves (“a pinched nerve”) in the body that can have a negative affect on digestion, breathing, sexual function, circulation and sensation, to site a few examples. A healthy freely moving joint doesn’t produce an inflammatory response, doesn’t wear out prematurely (arthritis, degenerative joint disease – DJD) and doesn’t create imbalances and compensations that lead to other joint pathologies and muscle pathologies, which are usually expressed as muslce spasm or weakness. Chiropractic adjustments restore the normal biomechanical motion of the affected joint and enables the body to again manifest optimum health and function.
Q. What is an adjustment?
A. A chiropractor is in many ways a mechanic of the human frame and the main tool of the trade is the “adjustment” expressed by the hands and technique of the doctor. An adjustment is simply a force artfully imparted to a bone in a specific direction to correct a joint misalignment. In gross terms, if a bone is misaligned or subluxated backwards, the doctor will adjust (push) that bone to back into it’s normal position and restore the normal bony relationships and mechanical function. This maintains the optimal relationship and communication between the brain and the body via the spine and spinal chord. I do most of my adjustments with my hands using a Diversified technique, but I may also use SOT blocks (look like cheese wedges) or a Thompson drop table to adjust the back and pelvis. There are a great many techniques within the scope of chiropractic practice and some chiropractors use instruments to make the adjustment; I generally don’t. For more information about the different types of chiropractic techniques out there, please go to www.chirosavant.com for more information.
Q. What is that popping noise?
A. The popping sound, known as “an audible”, that usually accompanies a chiropractic adjustment, is the sound of a vacuum or cavitation created when the smooth wet surfaces of the cartilage that line the joint are rapidly separated and re-aligned. The same thing happens if you put liquid between two sheets of glass and then rapidly pulled them apart – you get a popping noise. This noise happens in a joint that is subluxated and locked up, healthy joints are springy and freely mobile and don’t normally make these sounds. These sounds are harmless and mean nothing other than a joint that was subluxated, now isn’t.
Q. Why do bones and joints misalign or subluxate?
A. The answer to this question is often obvious, but can also be quite elusive. The human body is constantly subject to many forces (gravity, environment, career, lifestyle) that cause imbalances in the body that can lead to subluxations (misalignments) in the joints of the spine or extremities. When you sleep, your body normally unwinds, realigns and repairs itself, but this ability to heal thyself can be impaired by repetitive work patterns, poor ergonomics, lack of sleep, diminished muscle tone, bad or poisnous diet or habits, illness, medications, high stress, over exertion, a bad mattress, poor posture, and etc., creating the conditions that necessitate the services of a chiropractor. Traumas, usually sprain (ligament) injuries, that occur in sports, car collisions, or falls, can cause all manner of subluxations and their attendant symptoms almost immediately. The causes of a subluxation can also be subtle and take time to become symptomatic; things such as slouching, sitting on your wallet, or wearing worn out shoes may take months to years to become painful or worse. Regardless the cause, adjusting these subluxations restores balance and allows your body to again manifest homeostasis or optimal health.
Q. How much treatment will I need?
A. The answer to this question for a specific individual with a specifice problem can be difficult to predict, even after the examination. Chiropractic care should be a regular part of the care and maintenance of the human body, much like going to the dentist, eating well and getting adequate exercise and sleep. The optimal frequency for chiropractic treatments is different for everybody. Some clients, blessed with good structure, overall good health and no (few) bad habits, need my services occasionally and may only come in for treatment or wellness care a few times a year. Other clients require treatment at a frequency of once or twice a week to control pain and remain functional. Injuries may require as few as a handful of treatments or may take months to complete treating at three or more times per week. Simple non-recurring problems such as sleeping wrong and waking up with a painful stiff neck or low back can usually be significantly improved or resolved in a few treatments, and frequently in as little as 1-2 treatments. Your body is constantly giving you feedback and if you pay attention, you’ll learn when it’s time for a tune-up (adjustment). There are two important points to consider here: first, the is body is good at adapting to bad conditions and we get used to living in pain or living with a deficit which is why it is recommended to come in regularly for check ups, or as I prefer to call them, ‘tune ups’ even if you think you are “just fine”. These small insults to the body and your health are cummulative and can impact the quality and quantity of your life. The other point I want to make is that the longer you wait to treat a symptomatic condition, the more treatments are usually required to correct and stabilize the problem; in this sense a subluxation is very much like a dental cavity, so why wait and go through days of oral surgery when regular care could have averted the problem to begin with (wellness care). These topics will be discussed with you after your examination and prior to treatment.
Q. Is chiropractic safe?
A. The answer is an unqualified yes! Nothing is without risk however, and bad things have happened after an adjustment (stroke, dissecting vertebral artery, disc bulge) but these events are exceedingly rare (1 in 1,000,000 to 1 in 3,000,000). There is also debate whether the adjustment caused these events or if these events were already occurring when the patient went to the chiropractor. There is a lot of misinformation about chiropractic out there. Every year some news station or magazine will run the predictable story about how dangerous chiropractic (usually neck) adjustments are. It isn’t true; the numbers say just the opposite. Don’t let this kind of irresponsible sensationalism deter you from a safe treatment that may have a profoundly positive affect on your life. Another risk that should be mentioned it the possibility of a fracture from a chiropractic adjustment, although this is still very rare and usually occurs in people with some other underlying pathology (i.e., hormonal – osteoporosis, cancer, infection). It would be rare in a person with good overall health as chiropractic adjustments are usually gentle and occur within the normal physiologic range of the joint. Part of the examination and history however, is to determine if you have any risk factors for bone and joint pathology. I have treated babies, people as old as 92 and all ages (and sizes) in between without incident over the last ten years and 100,000 plus adjustments. For those new to chiropractic, I will explain what I am doing from the beginning of the exam to the end of treatment so there will be no surprises and you understand fully the rational for the treatment you are receiving. I hope I have answered most of your questions. Please e-mail me or write down any questions you have and bring them to your appointment.