Frequently Asked Questions

Chiropractic Morrison Chiropractic FAQS

Learn more by reading about the most frequently asked questions at our Ellicott City and Clarksville offices.

Q. I don't want to be adjusted. Is this a necessary part of the treatment?

A. Every patient is unique. Chiropractic adjustments are appropriate for certain conditions, but are not absolutely necessary. The signature treatment is the education you will receive about the spectrum of treatment options that are recommended for you.

Q. How long is the typical visit?

A. Usually 30 to 60 minutes.

Q. Can you help with a pinched nerve?

A. Yes. Pinched nerves in the neck or low back cause arm or leg symptoms such as numbness, tingling or weakness. We will perform the necessary examination to diagnose this condition. The first line of treatment includes ergonomic or lifting advice, physical therapy, and exercise. Often anti-inflammatory medicine prescribed by your medical physician is important too. About 20% of the time pinched nerve symptoms worsen in the first month or fail to resolve over a 1 to 3 month period. Such cases require additional testing such as with an M.R.I. and more invasive treatments such as epidural injections or surgery. We will make appropriate referrals in these instances.

Q. Do you treat headaches and migraines?

A. Absolutely! Chiropractic along with postural/ergonomic advice is a proven approach for many headaches. Occasionally, multidisciplinary management with other specialists is required and a team approach is utilized.

Q. If I can't raise my arm over my head should I see an Orthopedist?

A. Typically, we will evaluate you and begin a physical therapy/pain management program. However, an orthopedic consultation and M.R.I. evaluation will be necessary if no progress is seen within a few weeks. Soft tissue mobilization, gentle exercises, electrical muscle stimulation, and heat or ice treatments are usually quite effective.

Q. Do you treat repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow?

A. Bracing, icing, specific exercise, manipulation of the affected joint, ergonomic advice and soft tissue mobilization using Graston® instruments usually resolves these stubborn conditions. For more information click here.

Q. How long does it usually take to get better from a back pain episode?

A. About 80% of people with lower back pain are 80% better within 2-4 weeks.

Q. If I have sciatica do I need surgery?

A. If your sciatica (moderate to severe leg pain extending below the knee to the ankle or foot) is persisting for 2-3 months then you are likely a surgical candidate. If it is causing progressive muscle weakness you would be a surgical candidate even sooner. If you have any bowel or bladder incontinence or both legs are "giving way" then a more urgent surgical consultation is required. However, 90% of people with sciatica will improve with conservative care. An interesting scientific study showed that in the "long term" at 2 years or 10 years there was no difference in outcome in those having surgery vs. those that did not. An eminent neurosurgeon Edward Caragee, M.D. from Stanford University wrote that the decision to operate is not a medical one, but is a social one. If you are not improving within 12 weeks then you may get better quicker with surgery. But, eventually even without surgery if you can manage the pain you will have the same result either way.

Q. If my MRI shows a herniated disc can you help me?

A. Herniated discs are very common. It has been found that they are present in people who have no symptoms - even 20 year olds! Experts now say that spinal changes such as herniated discs and arthritis are related to age (like graying hair or wrinkling skin) not symptoms. It appears that the difference between a person with a herniated disc who has no symptoms and one who has symptoms has to do with how their body is coping or stabilizing their back. At Morrison Chiropractic we specialize in enhancing your functional ability to stabilize your back so that the disc bulge is not as relevant.

Q. If I have had surgery can I see you post-operatively?

A. Yes. We have seen many patients after their surgery. We work closely with each surgeon to forge a team approach to the timing and intensity of your rehabilitation program.

Q. What is the most important thing I can do myself for back pain?

A. Stay active!