Frequently Asked Questions

Michael Lell at the office

I can pop my own back. Is that the same thing as what you’ll do?

Usually when a person “pops” their own back, they’re getting the joint segments that are easily moved. A while of repeatedly moving the same joint in the same direction will cause it to move too much or become hypermobile. Reflexively, this causes the neighboring joints to stiffen up and become hypomobile. These stiff joints can be uncomfortable can make you feel like something in the area needs to be moved of “popped” but as it was just explained, you’re more likely to repeatedly move the joint that moves too much making the overall problem worse.

I heard once I start chiropractic, I’ll have to keep going forever. Is this true?

Not at all. Some conditions can take a little longer to heal but most can be greatly improved within a few visits. Some people choose to have semi-regular care (a visit every 1-3 months) even if there’s nothing wrong just because they notice that they feel better and live better with regular “tune-ups”.

Do I have to get x-rays?

The need for x-rays and/or additional lab work is determined after the exam.

Do I need a referral to see a chiropractor?

No. In Oregon, Chiropractors are primary care physicians and you do not need a referral or pre-approval to make an office visit.

How safe is chiropractic?

Remarkably safe. Let’s put it into perspective using chiropractic adjustments to the neck, since that is usually a source of worry for most new patients. The odds of an adverse event following an adjustment to the neck is 1 in 2 million or .0000005%. How small of a risk is that? Comparatively, you’re 800,000 times more likely to be seriously harmed by taking an NSAID (like ibuprofen) than by an adjustment.

What’s that popping sound when I get adjusted?

Inside your joint capsule is a fluid. When the capsule is stretched, the area of the liquid expands and then collapses into itself creating a sound and the feeling of a pop. This is called a cavitation. It’s just a side effect of the adjustment and doesn’t indicate whether or not the adjustment was good or if it worked; some people don’t cavitate at all.

What will my first visit be like?

Paperwork will be followed by a comprehensive history and a thorough physical exam. At this point, imaging may be taken or lab work may be ordered. If no contraindications are discovered, treatment begins the same day. Plan for a couple of hours from start to finish for the first appointment; follow-up visits are shorter.

Do you have to adjust my neck?

Not if you don’t want me to. I employ a variety of effective tools and techniques to accommodate most preferences.

How long are the appointments?

The first appointment can be anywhere from 1-2 hours from start to finish. This includes the intake, exam, report of findings, and treatment. Subsequent visits can be anywhere between 16-45 minutes depending on the complexity of your problem. I appreciate that people have busy lives so I try to make the experience as efficient as possible.

How many visits will it take to fix me?

This largely depends on what I’m fixing. Someone with postural headaches may only need to be seen a few times where as someone that has been in a serious accident may take a few months to recover.

How expensive is care?

Through most of my life, I lived by the motto “I can’t afford to be sick or hurt right now.” So I appreciate the need for quality and affordable care – today more than ever. And that’s what I strive to offer. The cost of the typical visit varies with insurance plan but generous self-pay discounts are offered to those without insurance. I take all the patient’s needs – and limitations – into consideration when I create a treatment strategy. I promise to offer the most affordable care I can without sacrificing quality.

Do chiropractors only treat the spine?

Nope! From your nose to your big toe, we can help you with most everything inside and out. One of my clinical focuses is knees and shoulders, for example. Check out this blog for a more in-depth look at everything a chiropractor can do.