Dr. Gregory Vanvakaris

   Certified Strength &
    Conditioning Specialist

   Qualified Medical Examiner

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Q: What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the second largest of the primary health care providers in the United States. It's focus is on total body health care and the prevention of the disease process. Chiropractic treatments are drugless and non-surgical. The core of chiropractic science is based on the premise that optimal health depends on a normally functioning nervous system. Parts of the nervous system (the spinal cord and peripheral nerves that supply energy to the body) are protected by the spine. There are many causes of stress to the spine: poor posture, auto collisions, work injuries, nutritional deficiencies, sports activities, pregnancy (and carrying young children) to name a few. These can cause vertebrae (spinal segments) to move out of alignment (subluxation) and irritate the nerves causing pain, spasms and dysfunction to related organs. Chiropractors mobilize the spine to restore proper bio-mechanics to the spinal joints to decrease neurological dysfunction, alleviate muscle spasms, decrease pain and swelling and promote healing. Doctors of Chiropractic are educated in other specialties and will refer a patient to another health care provider, when appropriate, for conditions that require care outside the scope of chiropractic.

Q: Are chiropractors real doctors?

Yes, a Board qualified and licensed chiropractor is titled by law "Doctor of Chiropractic" (D.C.) The Council on Chiropractic Education Accreditation assures the highest quality education for candidates for the chiropractic profession and is based on criteria very similar to those required of medical schools: basic curriculum, faculty qualifications, faculty to student ratio, library holdings and educational facilities. The Worker's Compensation System recognizes Chiropractic doctors as "Primary Care Physicians" for treating injured workers.

Q: Is it safe?

Yes, chiropractic adjustments are very safe. Chiropractic treatments are non-surgical and drugless and therefore don't bring about the side effects associated with traditional medical treatments. Chiropractors have some of the lowest malpractice insurance rates in the health care professions. The statistical analysis done by insurance companies shows an increase in costs as the risks from traditional treatment are increased.

Q: What do I expect during my visit?

Your first visit to the office will involve a few steps. You should plan to arrive about 15 minutes early as you will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire on your current problem along with present and past medical history. Next, you will see Dr. Greg for a more detailed history on your health concern. He will discuss your case and explain your options for treatment. There are certain cases that may require x-rays and these can be done at his facility. Treatment may consist of chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation), physiotherapeutic modalities such as ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, traction, moist heat, proper rehabilitative exercises, postural correction, nutritional advice and other pertinent lifestyle changes to improve your health.

Q: How long is the treatment?

Each treatment is specific to the patient's problem. This is influenced by how severe the problem is, how long she/he has had it and if there are any pathologies which may decrease healing time. There are usually three phases of care:
1) Relief care to reduce pain, inflammation and muscle spasms.
2) Correction care to remove nerve pressure and restore normal joint mobility and function.
3) Strengthening care to rehabilitate the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the spine. Exercise restores tissue strength and integrity and prevents new injuries from occurring. Muscular balance is extremely important in order for adjustments to hold longer and for all joints to be safer.
Through all stages, the patient will be educated on what they can do at home and/or at work to facilitate the healing process. The treatment process is always seen as a team effort.

Q: Once I get adjusted, will I have to keep getting adjusted for the rest of my life?

After a proper treatment program finishes, many patients want preventative care or maintenance care (usually once every 4 - 6 weeks) to keep a periodic review of their exercises, postural stretches and lifestyle changes. Some patients will only get adjusted when they are in pain, but remember, prevention is the best plan for health.

Q: Is it going to hurt?

Typically treatment does not hurt although each individual reacts differently. Very few patients experience mild soreness because of muscular and ligament changes, but it usually subsides within a day or two. Most often people feel enormous relief because their body is now working at its optimum state and without pain.
It's always best to find a doctor whose knowledge and experience you trust, that way working together as a team with a common goal, a lot of your trepidation and fear will go away.

Q: What is that cracking sound I hear?

That cracking or popping noise that you may hear when being adjusted is mostly a result of natural gases that build up in the joints escaping when the joint is re-aligned. This gas is reabsorbed into the blood stream and areas surrounding the joint.

Q: Do chiropractors only work on the back?

No, chiropractic is concerned with treating the whole body. These are some of the other common ailments Dr. Greg treats:

   Sports injuries to all joints (sprains/strains)
   Auto collision injuries
   Work related injuries
   Personal injuries
   Repetitive trauma injuries (like carpal tunnel syndrome)
   Digestive disturbances
   Neck pain
   Postural problems

His office also offers massage therapy and custom orthotics.

For more information on whether Chiropractic can help you, visit the   contact page.  

"Men who are occupied in the restoration of health to other men, by the joint exertion of skill and humanity, are above all the great of the earth. They even partake of divinity, since to preserve and renew is almost as noble as to create."

- Voltaire

Copyright 2005 - 2013 Dr.Gregory Vanvakaris. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted: All photos by Mariana Tosca