2009 – December Newsletter

Posted on: December 1st, 2009

Dr. Brian Baker

Dr. Brian C. Baker
133 Reef Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
Healthy Living
 December 10, 2009

Patient Questions About Chiropractic

This month I thought I’d address some common questions about chiropractic.  These were limited to the most typical questions, so if you don’t see your question, please ask when you’re in or respond at the bottom of this newsletter.
How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue.  Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right.  Improper motion or alignment of the vertebra of the spine can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating the nerves and compromising their function.  Specific spinal adjustments can help improve this interference eliminating pain, restoring function and optimizing health.
Do I Have A Slipped Disc?
The discs are soft pulpy shock absorbers between the spinal vertebrae.  They have a fibrous cartilaginous outer ring which holds a jelly-like material in it’s center.  A slipped disc is a common way to refer to a wide variety of disc problems.  However, a disc cannot slip because of the way it attaches to the spinal bones above and below it.  A disc can bulge.  It can tear.  It can herniate.  It can thin.  It can dry out.  And it can collapse.  Disc problems can be very well managed with chiropractic care.  The majority of our disc patients never go to surgery.
Do I Have A Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve is rare.  It is more likely that an adjacent spinal joint has become inflamed and swollen which irritates, stretches, rubs or chafes a nerve.  These problems are called subluxations and they can distort the nerve function between the brain and the body.  This can produce abnormal function to other parts of the body causing referred pain down the legs, arms and hands.  One of the most common causes of headaches involves an irritation of nerves between the skull and the fist cervical vertebra.
How Do You Get Subluxations?
There are three basic causes of subluxations.  Physical causes could include slips and falls, accidents, sports injuries, repetitive motions and improper lifting.  Emotions such as grief, anger and fear can cause subluxations.  Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollutions and poor diet.  Sometimes these subluxations can clear up on their own because our body has the ability to self-correct.  When they don’t resolve you may need a spinal adjustment.
What’s An Adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick thrust that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren’t moving right.  Some methods use the doctors hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine.
Is Chiropractic Safe?
By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, cchiropractic enjoys a excellent safety record.  A thorough exam and screening can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited.  Statistically, adjustments are about 100 times safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. 
What Makes The Sound During An Adjustment?
Lubrication between the spinal joints is called synovial fluid.  Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when carbon dioxide gas is released from the fluid when the pressure in the joint is reduced.  It’s much like opening a bottle of champagne or soda.  This immediate release of pressure may aid in loosening the restriction of motion in the spinal joint.
Is It OK To Adjust Myself?
No.  Some people can make their joints “pop”.  I have had new patients demonstrate taking their head in their hands and twisting.  More common are some who will habitually “crack” their neck all day long.  Eventually their head
will fall off.  That’s hard to fix.
….OK. Not really.  What can happen is damage by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments.  Typically this makes spinal joints that are already loose even more unstable.  Specific adjustments are focused on joints that are not moving correctly. Consider that even I consult a colleague to get my spine adjusted.
How Many Adjustments Will I Need?
The number and frequency of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals.  Many patients sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits.  Visits become less often as your spine stabilizes.  In chronic cases, complete healing can take months or even years.

How Long Will I Need Chiropractic Care?
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care.  These patients show up for their visits feeling great.  These visits can help support the final stages of healing and can help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious.  My policy is to offer the very best care and let you decide how much of it you want.
Can I Have Chiropractic Care After Surgery?
Yes.  Rest assured that I will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine.  Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level.  These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
Can Patients With Osteoporosis Get Chiropractic Care?
Of course.  When developing a care plan, consideration of each patient’s unique circumstance is taken.  There are many ways to adjust the spine.  The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and condition.
Will I Receive Any Medication For My Pain?
No.  Chiropractic physicians don’t dispense drugs.  Chiropractic was developed and designed to be a natural, drug-less, non-surgical healing art.  Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use heat, ice or natural anti-inflammatory nutrients to control painful symptoms.  We also use bracing and home traction during the acute phase of injury.
Why Don’t Medical Doctors and Chiropractic Doctors Get Along?
That’s changing.  In my experience years of prejudice and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of chiropractic care.  Sometimes attitudes are slow to change.  However, as the public demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical doctors are referring patients to our office.  We always send reports to patient’s primary care doctors and take pride in our office reputation within the medical community.
If you have questions I haven’t answered here please call.  The more you learn about chiropractic, the more confidence you’ll have that it will work for you.  It’s safe.  It’s natural.  And it works.  It’s a simple idea that has stood the test of time and helped millions enjoy relief and better health.

Tempurpedic Neck Pillows

Lately, patient requests for Tempurpedic NeckPillows to give as X-mas gifts have come in. 

Our office has a medical account with Tempur-pedic and
we are able to order their products at savings that we pass on to our practice

We offer the pillows for at least 10% off SRP, and
when a cervical pillow is prescribed there is no sales tax.  I have placed an order for a dozen pillows that should be arriving early next week.  If you’re interested for your personal use or as a gift, please let us know.



  • Bad decisions make good stories.
  • How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2
    trips to bring my groceries in.

  • A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of
    mono and the flu. Yeah, if you stink at it.
  • Was learning cursive really necessary?

  • Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all
    I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.
  • What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how
    to get out of my neighborhood.

  • Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and
    say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? I know my
    name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem….

  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when
    you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the
    rest of the day.

  • There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die
    after leaning your chair back a little too far.

  • I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want
    to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make
    any changes to.

  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone
    of importance the entire day. What a waste.

  • Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know
    what time it is.

Thanks for reading.  Please be sure to forward to any friends or family.  Know what would really make me happy?  Feedback!  Let me know what you think.  Drop me a line!!

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