Q: How should I feel after my treatments?
A: It is not uncommon to feel sore after a treatment, especially in your first week of care.  It is much like the soreness you may feel after exercising a new muscle group in a gym.  It is not unusual to feel sore after a treatment, but then notice an improvement in your condition that evening or the next day.  Most patients, however, do not feel any discomfort after a treatment.
Q: Why is it necessary for me to be seen multiple times per week?
A: In order to resolve most conditions, an initial burst of multiple visits per week may be necessary for the first few weeks of your care.  Part of your care is designed to improve joint motion and relax tight muscles.  This process involves remodeling tissue.  If too much time elapses between visits, the joints and muscles will return to their original status, without making any progress.  With frequent visits, the treatments can build upon the success of the previous visits, and, therefore, speed recovery.  As symptoms improve, visit frequency will decrease.
Q: How long will it take before I am finished with care?
A: Your treatment will continue until one of three things happens.  Your treatment will stop when: 1) your symptoms have resolved or, 2) if you never respond to care after two or three weeks of treatment or, 3) if you respond to care initially but then plateau (two weeks of unchanged symptoms).  Most patients who do not suffer from chronic pain or a severe injury are released from care after three to six weeks of treatment.
Q: Will I need treatments after my symptoms have gone?
A: That is your choice.  Dr. Bivrell’s primary focus is to resolve your symptoms as quickly as possible.  When that happens, you will be given two options.  You can call our office when, or if, you have another episode, or you can commence a preventive care program.  Preventive care typically involves monthly visits where the goal of care is to prevent future episodes from occurring (or at least lengthen the time between episodes and reduce their severity), and to promote a healthy spine. Just as a dentist promotes healthy teeth with periodic cleanings, or a mechanic prolongs the life of your car with periodic maintenance checks, a chiropractor promotes a healthy spine with preventive care. The major difference, however, is you can always get new teeth or new parts for your car, but not a new spine.  The choice is yours, but it is advisable to invest in your health today instead of fixing a problem later.  It will most likely be less costly and less painful to act proactively.
Q: Does Dr. Bivrell only treat the spine?
A: Dr. Bivrell is trained to correct any musculoskeletal problem.  That means he has the potential to fix a problem related to any muscle in the body or any joint in the body.  This includes such conditions such as migraines, disc injuries, tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, jaw pain, post-surgical pain, numbness and tingling symptoms, knee pain, foot and hand pain.
Q: What are my financial responsibilities?
A: If you have healthcare insurance with chiropractic benefits, we will bill your insurance company for you.  You are responsible for any co-payments or deductibles associated with your policy.  As part of our service, we will contact your insurance company in order to verify your benefits.  Affordable cash payment plans are also available.
Q: What is different about Dr. Bivrell’s method of treatment?
A: Dr. Bivrell is different than most chiropractors in that he pays a lot of attention to the muscles in your body.  If only the joints in your body are addressed, it will only be a matter of time before the muscles around the injured joints recreate your symptoms.  Dr. Bivrell uses several soft tissue techniques in order to relax tight or injured muscles.  Also, targeted stretches and exercises are employed to resolve any muscular imbalances found during the examination using the principles of core stabilization rehabilitation.  Dr. Bivrell uses floor exercises, gym balls, and proprioceptive devices such as wobble and rocker boards as part of the rehabilitation.  The result is both quick recovery from your condition, and longer lasting symptom-free periods after care is completed.  This type of care is especially effective for patients with chronic pain or who have suffered a severe injury.
Q: What causes the popping sound from the adjustment?
A: The current theory is that the adjustment creates a change in the pressure in the joint that in turn causes gas to “escape” from the joint.  The process is similar to the fizz sound you hear when you change the pressure of a soda can by opening it.  Some patients find this sound or force of an adjustment unpleasant.  If this is the case with you, please inform the doctor since he has several other “non-popping” or light force techniques available to him.
Q: What does an adjustment do to my spine, and can it hurt me?
A: The chiropractic adjustment is used to improve the motion in a particular joint.  During your examination, the doctor has found certain joints that have poor or abnormal movement.  These joints are also usually painful to touch.  By normalizing the motion in that joint with the adjustment, the pain will diminish, or better yet, resolve after enough treatments are administered.  Picture these restricted joints as rusty hinges.  The adjustment is trying to break through the rust, and with enough treatments the hinge will be able to move well on its own.  Minor soreness after a treatment is not unusual; however, serious complication from spinal manipulation is exceedingly rare. Besides that, Dr. Bivrell performs screening tests during the examination that minimize the chance of a negative outcome even further.
Q: How does the doctor know my pain is not caused by something more serious?
A: Every patient receives a comprehensive examination before treatment commences.  The examination allows Dr. Bivrell to determine a diagnosis.  Part of the examination is devoted to ruling out various conditions that create pain but are not caused by problems with muscles or joints directly.  If, however, after a few weeks of intense care (typically, six to nine visits) have passed without seeing a change in your condition, the doctor will re-examine you and take further action which may include x-rays, a MRI, or a referral to another type of healthcare provider.
Q: What educational background is required to become a chiropractor?
A: Typically, doctors of chiropractic go to chiropractic college for five years.  A pre-medical education is required prior to entrance to the college.  Some of the schools are independent and private, others are university based and publicly funded.  The basic sciences curriculum during the first two years is very similar to medical school.  Thereafter, the education is specialized to the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.  Toward the end of their education, students enter internship rotations where they begin to apply their knowledge in outpatient clinics.  Every student must pass individual school requirements, national board examinations, as well as state board examinations from the state in which they plan to practice.  For more information visit www.logan.edu.