6616 D Clark Road #330, Paradise CA 95969 | Phone: 510-657-6366

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Most Asked Questions of Dr. Richard K. Skala

We listed here the questions we are asked most often. If you should have a question not answered here, please call our office for Dr. Richard K. Skala.


Is Chiropractic Care safe?
Absolutely. Compared to other medical treatments, which include medication and surgery, chiropractic is by far the safest. It is estimated that 140,000 people in the USA die each year from drug-related reactions and nearly 100,000 people die as result of medical errors. Insurance companies evaluate the risks of all professions and charge a premium based on the risk the profession poses. Chiropractors have significantly lower malpractice insurance premiums than medical providers. In fact, Chiropractic treatment for spinal problems is proven safer than the continuous use of Ibuproflen or Tylenol.

What is an adjustment?
A gentle, carefully placed thrust which improves spinal motion and can move vertebrae into their proper position. The chiropractor usually delivers the adjustment by hand. The purpose of the adjustment is to correct a spinal subluxation.

What is a subluxation?
Subluxation refers to a spinal bone (vertebrae) that is not in its right position or not moving in its normal range of motion. Misaligned vertebrae can lead to irritation of nerves and blood vessels, which in turn affects the way your body communicates with your brain. Subluxations are the cause of many pains and dysfunctions in muscles and organs. The body’s natural ability to heal itself can be greatly improved following the removal of the subluxation. 

Does the adjustment hurt?
Most chiropractic adjustments are not only painless, they actually feel great and relieving. In cases of a recent injury, adjustments may irritate inflamed tissue and cause some discomfort. Application of ice after treatment will soothe the irritation. 

What causes the “cracking” sound during an adjustment?
The sound is of no reason to be concerned; it is not coming from the bones themselves. It's coming from a lubricant called synovial fluid that's found in every joint. That fluid contains dissolved gases. During the adjustment the joints are slightly separated to move into proper position. This releases the built-up pressure on the fluid and gasses and creates a “pop” similar to the release of pressure when the cork comes off a bottle of champagne. Not all patients “pop” and not all adjusting techniques produce the noise, which means an adjustment can be proper and effective, even if you do not hear any noise.

Will repeated chiropractic adjustments lead to arthritis?
There is no evidence to suggest that manipulation of the spine or other chiropractic care can lead to arthritis. On the contrary, chiropractors often care for people with arthritis by maintaining joint health. Motion is life when it comes to joint health.

Is it safe to crack my own back or neck?
This question is often posed to chiropractors and concern has been raised over its safety. While people might have the right idea by trying to relieve pressure on the joints, the "cracking" or "popping" of one's back or neck is not the same as a chiropractic adjustment. The problem usually keeps coming back, which should be a clear indication that there has been no real adjustment. The cause of the spinal tension, the fixated or jammed vertebrae, has not been corrected. Even a chiropractor cannot adjust him/herself. You should not try to do it yourself, either.

Is there a minimum or maximum age for a person to receive chiropractic care?
There is no age excluded from chiropractic care. Even babies can have subluxations, due to the rigors of birth. In Denmark, for example, Chiropractic Doctors are part of the birthing team. Children's subluxations should be treated early, as they may interfere with nerves that control developing muscles and organs. of the body consist of cartilage growth centers that the bone grows from. Abnormal stresses on a rapidly developing spine and other bones and joints can cause them to develop abnormally. Your chiropractor can detect these problems while they're easy to correct.

Can chiropractors refer patients to other specialists?
Chiropractors are part of a network of healthcare professionals. Like other doctors, they will make referrals for patients when necessary. Chiropractors are trained to recognize risk factors and signs of disease that are outside their scope of treatments and they will not hesitate to make a referral when it's in a patient's best interest.

Dr. Richard K. Skala works very closely with neurosurgeons and pain management physicians to be sure that the best treatment plan for you is provided.

Can chiropractors prescribe medication or perform surgery?
Chiropractors believe in the body’s ability to heal itself and for that reason they don't prescribe medication or perform surgery. They focus on providing your body with the right elements for self-restoration by restoring more normal spinal function.

Should chiropractic care continue even after I feel fine?
Chiropractors are trained to detect problem areas in your spine before they develop into problem conditions or symptoms. Just because symptoms disappear, does not mean your subluxations are corrected. Regular adjustments help to maintain or support a healthy spine and nervous system. Maintenance or wellness spinal care programs, which may include advice on posture, nutrition and exercise, can effectively prevent pain and lessen recurrences. However, how you choose to use chiropractic care is ultimately up to you. If your spine wears out, there is no solution. Because your spine can directly influence the function of your nervous system, spinal decay permanently damages the nerves and spinal cord. Nearly everyone flosses and brushes their teeth even though their teeth don't hurt. Spinal adjustments are like flossing the spine. Lifetime care of the spine should be a priority!

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