Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Chiropractors go to school?

Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.) comprise the second largest health care profession with over 50,000 practitioners in the U.S. They earn the title “doctor” along with Medical Doctors (M.D.), Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.), and Dentists (D.D.S. and D.M.D.).

The educational process leading to the title Doctor of Chiropractic is similar to that of an M.D. or D.O. In order to obtain a D.C. degree, a student must complete several years of pre-chiropractic studies at a college or university followed by four academic years of Chiropractic education (totaling a minimum 7 years of study). The Chiropractic student’s last year is spent in a clinical internship (similar to M.D. or D.O. “rotations”). During this time the Chiropractic intern, under the supervision of a licensed D.C., will consult, examine and treat patients in a clinic setting. Upon graduation and earning the Doctor of Chiropractic degree 4 national board examinations as well as a state licensing exam must be passed in order to practice.

Chiropractic students study many of the same textbooks as Medical and Osteopathic students. As a matter of fact, a Chiropractic student accumulates more course hours in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics (how the body moves), neurology, and nutrition than their Medical and Osteopathic colleagues.

Cooper RA, McKee HJ. Chiropractic in the United States. Milbank Q. 2003;81(1):107-38, table of contents. doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.00040. PMID: 12669653; PMCID: PMC2690192.

Does Back Pain Go Away on Its Own?

Until recently, researchers believed that back pain will “heal” on its own. We have learned, however, that this is not true. A recent study showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily but will most likely return. The study demonstrated that in more than 33% of the people who experience low-back pain, the pain lasts for more than 30 days. Only 9% of the people who had low-back pain for more than 30 days were pain free 5 years later.1

Another study looked at all of the available research on the natural history of low-back pain. The results showed that when it is ignored, back pain does not go away on its own.2 Those studies demonstrate that low-back pain continues to affect people for long periods after it first begins.

1Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Engberg M, Lauritzen T, Bruun NH, Manniche C. The course of low-back pain in a general population. Results from a 5-year prospective study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003 May;26(4):213-9.

2Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Manniche C. Low-back pain: what is the long-term course? A review of studies of general patient populations. Eur Spine J 2003 Apr;12(2):149-65.

How Can I Prevent Back Pain?

Don’t lift by bending over. Instead, bend your hips and knees and then squat to pick up the object. Keep your stomach engaged, back straight, and hold the object close to your body. Don’t twist your body while lifting. Push, rather than pull, when you must move heavy objects. If you must sit for long periods, take frequent breaks and stretch. Wear flat shoes or shoes with low heels. Exercise regularly. An inactive lifestyle contributes to lower-back pain.

If you sit for long periods at a desk, driving etc., it’s imperative to properly set up your workstation. Raise your monitor to be at least at eye level and adjust your chair height such that the desk top is at elbow level when seating properly. If driving adjust your seatback such that the headrest positions your head directly over your shoulders.

We can help with any questions or if you’ve tried everything with no help schedule your appointment at Pittsburgh Spine & Injury today!

How can an experienced Chiropractor help me?

The short answer: Chiropractors utilize a variety of conservative approaches. A Chiropractic adjustment has been shown to decrease inflammation and reduce pain in 96% and 67% cases of acute and chronic back pain, respectively .1

The long answer: Results demonstrated from a chiropractic spinal adjustment (CSA) that target and adjacent motion segments undergo facet joint gapping during manipulation and that intervertebral ROM is increased in all three planes of motion after CSA. The results suggest that clinical and functional improvement after CSA may occur as a result of small increases in intervertebral ROM across multiple motion segments. 2

Current Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend the use of CSA for the management of LBP and NP.

1Gevers‐Montoro, C., et al. “Neurophysiological mechanisms of chiropractic spinal manipulation for spine pain.” European Journal of Pain (2021)

2Studin M., Capoferri D. (2022), Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments Increases Facet Gapping and Functional Outcomes, Dynamic Chiropractor, 41(10) Pgs. 51-54

How much does it cost?

We accept most major insurances including: UPMC, Highmark, Aetna, United Healthcare, Auto Insurance, Workers Compensation, Attorney Liens and others. Call our office and ask what your insurance benefits are. A recent study showed that when patients initiated care with a chiropractor rather than a medical doctor, overall costs were much lower.

There are common reasons patients come to our office however each patient is unique and at Pittsburgh Spine and Injury Center we treat the patient not the condition, we won’t know if it will take a few or many treatments until we perform your initial evaluation. The longer a condition is present typically the longer it will take to manage so don’t delay, book your evaluation today!

Dagenais S, Brady O, Haldeman S, Manga P. A systematic review comparing the costs of chiropractic care to other interventions for spine pain in the United States. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Oct 19;15:474. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1140-5. PMID: 26482271; PMCID: PMC4615617.

What is adhesion?

Adhesion is one of the most common, most misdiagnosed, and most mistreated conditions in the human body. Adhesion is a substance that acts like glue on your muscles that makes them less flexible, weaker, and eventually causes pain. If you have had pain for months or years and have tried multiple doctors, chiropractors, and other therapies — adhesion is very likely a part of the problem.

The good news is that it can be fixed with expert treatment! Call today for a free consultation!

How long will my appointment take?

Initial evaluations typically take 30-45mins, this allows our doctor to perform a thorough exam as well as review of your history. The more thorough an evaluation the better your outcomes typically will be! The doctor may also take x-rays of the area if necessary.

Are X-rays safe?

Yes. Despite the political rhetoric, diagnostic x-ray is safe and has no carcinogenic effect. A recent study reported, “Among humans, there is no evidence of a carcinogenic effect for acute irradiation. Diagnostic x-rays have had virtually no negative adverse health sequelae based upon this and the totality of other literature.”

Tubiana, M., Feinendegen, L. E., Yang, C., & Kaminski, J. M. (2009). The linear no-threshold relationship is inconsistent with radiation biologic and experimental data. Radiology, 251(1), 13-22