Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that if you have never seen a chiropractor for adjustments previously, it may be a scary thing to think about. We’re here to answer all of your questions about chiropractic care, including who can receive it and if your insurance covers it. With the videos you’ll find below, you’ll have all of your questions answered without a problem.
We make it a point to help you understand as thoroughly as possible what chiropractic care is, how it can help you live a better and healthier life, and what the treatment length is so that you can feel comfortable scheduling your first appointment with our doctors of Chiropractic in Pittsburgh.
Questions, including, “What’s that popping sound?” and, “Do I need a referral to schedule a chiropractic appointment?”, are all questions that we are all too familiar with. Questions are highly recommended, and we have no problem with answering any that may not be on our list below. Feel free to contact us online or give us a call to have any of your questions answered without hesitation. If you are ready to schedule your appointment with the talented chiropractors at Morreale Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, fill out the short form to the right of the screen. Get a free consultation and a complimentary 15 minute massage today!
We understand that the sound during a chiropractic treatment can be a scary thing, which is why we want to let you know that not all of our patients get the same type of treatment. While the adjustment is the cornerstone of what we do as chiropractors, chiropractic care is much more comprehensive and includes rehabilitation, stretching, massage and nutritional advice.
To help clarify what that cracking or popping sound is, it’s the release of gases (nitrogen and carbon dioxide) in between your joints and bones. These gases have a tendency to build up between joints and bones, which can create that "popping" sound that you hear during your adjustment. Note that the build up of these gases is normal and harmless.
If you are someone who is concerned about the "cracking or popping" sound, don’t worry! Our primary focus is to make sure that we find a solution to your problems, even if that means using another technique that makes you feel more comfortable. About 10% of our patients request to have their backs adjusted with a non-osseous technique. So if you’re part of the 10%, know that we can still provide you with techiniques, adjustments and chiropractic care that best fits your wants and needs, in the quickest amount of time possible!
Under our FAQ for our back cracking page, we briefly touched on that popping or cracking sound that isn’t very pleasant to our ears. First off, it is important for you to understand that the popping sound you are hearing when getting adjusted is a very normal occurrence. Nearly every patient who has an adjustment with our chiropractors will hear this popping sound.
The popping sound that you hear is a release of gas that gets trapped in between your joints and/or bones. The gases are either carbon dioxide, nitrogen or oxygen, all of which are healthy gases that your body produces naturally. Because of this, don’t be concerned about these popping noises that movement in your joints and bones creates, it’s completely normal and healthy!
How are these gases created?
Your joints and bones are surrounded by a lubricant that is called synovial fluid. This fluid contains healthy gases like nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen. When you stretch or get adjusted during your chiropractic visit and you hear that popping sound, gases around these joints are being released at a rapid rate. These bubbles of gases are what cause the popping sound that you hear, and to hear it again, you’ll have to wait until nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen return to the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints and bones.
We get asked if chiropractic adjustments are painful. To answer this question, you must be aware that every patient is different; therefore, the answer for each individual person will vary. In most cases, patients do not experience any discomfort after their treatment.
It is important to understand that after the few few treatments, you may be a little more sore. This is normal. If you had braces as a child, you remember when the orthodontist had you come in to tighten your braces. Sometimes you were sore after this but it was a normal part of the healing process. The same holds true with chiropractic. Our doctors are certified in many different techniques and will use the one that will help you reach your goals as quickly as possible.
Is your problem a new problem or is this a chronic condition? Do you have healthy discs or joints or are they wearing out? These are all factors that determine how fast you will respond to chiropractic care.
Chiropractic care has been known to treat many different conditions, but most commonly they’re known for healing back and neck problems. More often than not, patients don’t realize that chiropractors can adjust anything in the body. From head to toe, chiropractic care can help treat many different conditions from which you are suffering.
Many patients have reported improvement when having regular chiropractic adjustments from our chiropractors in Pittsburgh. The most commonly treated conditions include the following:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Tension Headaches
- Joint Pain
- Blood Pressure
- Organ Function
- Surgery Prevention
- Ankle Pain
- Knee Pain
- Hip Pain
- Wrist Pain
If you don’t see a condition above that you believe our chiropractic care can help heal, just give us a call! Because chiropractic care is a non-invasive way to heal the body, the body can respond better from small adjustments made from appointment to appointment. Let your body heal on it’s own with a little bit of our help!
We have treated athletes with injuries, soon-to-be mothers in distress, and the average Joe who feels out of whack from day to day activities. No matter what your situation or how active you are, we know that our chiropractic adjustments may be able to increase your quality of life by decreasing pain.
We often get asked how long a treatment takes. Chiropractic visits will vary from patient to patient, so to us, this is a really good question. Our office here in Pittsburgh is pretty busy. We see patients consistently throughout each day. We have started to keep track of our appointment lengths to better answer these types of questions we are asked.
On average, each appointment takes around 30 minutes. You may be thinking that this is a long time for a chiropractic adjustment, but there are many different reasons your appointment could take up to 30 minutes. Each adjustment can take anywhere from 2 to 3 seconds, which is very fast, but having the patient move into different positions for each adjustment can take some time.
We also want to point out that we take the time to understand your body and what is causing you pain or discomfort in order to make the proper chiropractic adjustments. Understanding each patient is highly important. We want to know how your bones move, how you walk, and better understand you as the patient. The more we know about your hobbies, work, posture and workouts, the better your adjustments will be tailored.
If you are a first time chiropractic care patient, you should expect your appointment to take approximately an hour or so. So plan accordingly, and even speed up the appointment by filling out proper paperwork before your appointment, looking over any questions you may have, and getting to know us!
Do doctors refer to chiropractors? Did you know that 20% of our patients, here at Morreale Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, have been referred to us by their medical doctor. We work closely with different doctors all over town to better serve you as the patient. If you are coming to us as a referred patient from a medical doctor, know that we will always be sending your doctor the documentation of chiropractic adjustments completed during your visit, as well as any other modalities that you have had at our office, like massage, physical therapy or acupuncture. We want your medical doctor to know your status and progression, and we are more than willing to provide any information to them that they may need.
Information that we will share with your medical doctor include your exam reports and re-exam reports. We want you, your medical doctor and our chiropractic team that is helping heal your body to be on the same page. One of the easiest ways we can do this is by sharing your medical history and exam reports with them.
We get this question quite often, are chiropractors real doctors? The answer is yes and no. There are differences between a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic. Here at Morreale Chiropractic, we are Doctors of Chiropractic. This means that chiropractors are generally not allowed to prescribe medicines, except in a few states. However, these few states usually allow homeopathic and nutritional prescriptions.
To get a general overall sense of what the differences are between a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, check out the information we’ve provided below.
|Comparison Chart||Doctor of Chiropractic||Medical Doctor|
|Residency & Internship||1 Year intership is required that coincides with clinical courses. However, no residency is require, though there is the option to complete one if desired.||1 Year internship is required, followed by 3-8 years of residency in a specialized field.|
|Practice||Most commonly private practices and clinics. There are some hospitals that employ chiropractors. Generally orthopedic or neurology related.||Private practices, with a larger focus on clinics and hospitals.|
|Can Prescribe Medications||No- Limited prescription rights for DCs in New Mexico||Yes|
|Medical Licensing Exam||National Board Exam (NBCE), Parts I, II, III IV State boards and practicals.||COMPLEX or USMLE, in addition to any specialty boards after completing residency.|
|Treatment Techniques||Grade I-V chiropractic adjustments. These can range from joint adjustments to soft tissue mobilization. Also includes pain management, acupuncture and electrical stimulation.||General medicine knowledge. Knowledge includes cardiac, gastrointestinal, vascular, HEENT, pulmonary, neurological, endocrine, musculoskeletal, psychiatric, genitourinary and dermatologic medicine.|
|Years of Schooling||4-5 years of undergraduate and Bachelor’s required/state dependent. 5 years Chiropractic school, 1 year residency. Overall- 10 years minimum.||4 years of undergraduate required. 4-5 years medical school with 3-8 years of Residency. If desired, additional fellowship for specialized medicine. Family Physicians- 11 years minimum. Specialty Physicians- 13-16+ years minimum.|
|Status||Doctor of Chiropractic or DC. Although DCs are not medical doctors, in some states they are considered health care providers for insurance purposes.||All physicians are actual medical doctors. However, there are some who are considered Primary Care Physicians, while others may be specialists.|
|Surgery||In some states, minor surgery. Although most DCs are non-surgical clinicians, some are are in a surgical setting, allowing for surgery.||Full surgical rights in their specific area of expertise.|
|Specialization||Sports Medicine, Forensic Sciences, Orthopedics, General Rehab, Internal Disorders, Pediatrics, Neurology, Nutrition, Occupational Health||Family Medicine, ENT, Anesthesia, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pulmonology, Neurology, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Urology, Gastroenterology, Pathology, Nephrology|
|Board Certification||Diplomate Speciality Boards, National Exam, Chiropractic Board at State level.||National specialty boards and Medical Board at State level.|
A question that we hear all too often at our office in Pittsburgh is, “Once you start going to a chiropractor for adjustments, do you have to go for the rest of your life?” Although we hope that you will commit to us as your go-to chiropractor for the rest of your life, it doesn’t mean that you have to come in all the time to keep yourself aligned. When you visit a chiropractor, our job is to help your body function better by aligning bones and joints correctly.
As a new patient of ours, you may notice that you will be coming to us much more frequently than you anticipated, which is completely normal. However, it is important to realize that the muscles around your bones will take note to these adjustments and over time they will start to recognize that the alignment we keep correcting the bones to. This will become an everyday postural alignment that hopefully won’t need adjusting down the road.
As a new patient, you may come see our chiropractors anywhere from 1 to 3 times a week for a month or so. It all depends on the condition you’re in. With that being said, it doesn’t hurt to keep your body in check every few months to make sure your body is aligned properly. Ultimately the choice is up to you. If it makes it easier, here are some terms you may hear us speak to you about during your consultation.
Acute Care- Pain relief
Sub Acute Care- Rehabilitative care, making a specific part of your body stronger
Supportive Care- A long term treatment care option to help you reach your maximum therapeutic benefit.
Depending on how much you know about chiropractors and the schooling that they complete to become a Doctor of Chiropractic, you could have some questions, such as, “ How educated is a chiropractor?” To give you an idea of what a chiropractor’s education looks like, here’s some more information on the residency and internship length of a Doctor of Chiropractic
Residency, Internship, & Schooling
- 4-5 years of undergraduate schooling with a Bachelor’s degree.
- 5 years of chiropractic schooling
- Usually 1 year of residency. No residency is required, however, there is an option to complete one.
- Overall minimum education for a Doctor of Chiropractic is 10 years minimum.
- 1 year internship required, this internship must coincide with clinical courses taken.
Each of our chiropractors have been to specialized chiropractic schools, here’s some more information:
Dr. Vincent J. Morreale graduated from Duquesne University in 1989, and continued his education at the Parker University College of Chiropractic in Dallas, where he graduated in 1994. He has been practicing chiropractic for over 20 years in the Pittsburgh area.
Dr. Philip A. Didomenico graduated from New York Chiropractic College, and is also a member of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association. He has been practicing chiropractic care in the Pittsburgh area since 2000.
“Are chiropractors limited to only treating back and neck problems?” Believe it or not, chiropractors treat more than just backs and necks. This is a common question that we receive often, which is why we’re going to explain to you what we treat on a daily basis.
Chiropractors have the ability, education and experience to treat every joint in the human body. Though we are really great at and are sometimes even specialized in treating the back and neck in particular, but it is not the only form of treatment we provide. Chiropractic care can help with someone who has a shoulder injury, tendinitis in various joints and even someone with whiplash. In fact, here are some of the conditions and injuries that chiropractic care can treat:
- Disk Herniation
- Muscle Spasm
- Pinched Nerve
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Discomfort Caused by Pregnancy
- TMJ Syndrome/Dysfunction
- Upper, Mid, and Lower Back Pain
- Neck Pain & Stiffness
- Shoulder Pain
- Chest Pain
- Knee Pain
- Ankle/Foot Pain
- Sports Injuries
- Slips & Falls
- Work Injuries
- Car Accidents
It’s important to keep in mind, that just like our medicine counterparts, we all have different specialties we’ve chosen to concentrate on, but that also doesn’t mean we can’t treat your condition with adjustments in areas of the body you’re not used to having adjusted.
Chiropractors and medical doctors work hand in hand, and we can say for ourselves that we would never go to a chiropractor for care if they were not referred by a medical doctor. A good chiropractor will take care of all your problems that can be treated with chiropractic care. If your condition isn’t responding to our chiropractic adjustments, we’ll send you to see one of our refered medical doctors.
You can also expect the same in return from many medical doctors in the Pittsburgh area. The doctors we work with will refer you to chiropractic care from us, here at Morreale, if they believe that it can help your condition. Believe it or not, there is a lot of crossover in care when receiving chiropractic care and medical care from doctors in our area. We work hand-in hand and are on the same page with your medical doctor, or vice versa when you receive treatment from us. In fact, 20% of our patients at our Morreale Chiropractic come from referrals from medical doctors in the Pittsburgh area.
We are frequently asked if chiropractic care can cause you to have a stroke. Although you may hear or read many different things saying that having your neck adjusted by a chiropractor can increase the risk of you having a stroke, these risks are highly unlikely.
Of course there is validity in this statement that chiropractic adjustments have caused strokes before, but it’s time that you hear the facts surrounding these instances. Currently, research out there states that you’re chances of having a stroke that is caused by a chiropractic adjustment is anywhere from one in a million to one in eight million. This only means that you are more likely to have a stroke from looking over your shoulder while backing up in your car or while you’re having your hair washed in the hairstylist’s sink, than from a chiropractic adjustment.
We want you to understand that chiropractors go through years of training in preparation to heal patients with different techniques and forms of chiropractic adjustments. As a professional you can trust that we mitigate stroke risks as much as possible, while giving you the amount of treatment you need to feel better.One of the newest studies show that you’re not putting yourself more at risk to a stroke by going to a chiropractor when compared to going to your normal medical doctor.
For most people, surgery is something they want to avoid at all costs. If you are someone who’s been battling back and forth with an injury, you’re probably willing to do anything you can to avoid having surgery, and chiropractic care in Pittsburgh is exactly where you need to be.
At Morreale Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, we will do everything possible to keep you out of the operating room. To put a simple answer to the question, “Can chiropractic keep me from having surgery?”, our answer is absolutely. In fact, at our office alone, we’ve treated over 11,000 patients, which equals out to be over 350,000 appointments. With this astounding number, you would think that the number of surgeries would be quite high, but it’s not. Only 100 of our 11,000 patients have gone on to have surgery because chiropractic care was simply not enough.
It’s important for you to understand that, just because a very minimal amount of our patients have moved on to have surgery, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are exempt from surgery yourself. We want you to know that every patient's case is different, but we will treat you with the amount of care that you need to allow your body to heal again.
When it comes to chiropractors, many people believe that they need a referral from a doctor to come see us. Fortunately for you, you don’t need any type of referral from a medical doctor or primary care provider to come to see us for chiropractic care, massage or rehabilitation in Pittsburgh.
Believe it not, chiropractors are primary care doctors! This means that you will get to reap the benefits when you come directly to us for care. Make your appointment with us and get treated like a patient. Our chiropractors are dedicated and educated to diagnose followed by a detailed treatment plan.
Here is more food for thought- for auto and workman’s compensation, your care is covered at 100%. So really, the question you should be asking yourself, “why haven’t I made an appointment with the leading Doctor of Chiropractic sooner?”
Believe it or not, most health insurance plans cover most of the expenses of chiropractic care, this includes many major medical plans, medicare, some Medicaid plans, workers' compensation and Blue Cross Shield plans for federal employees. In fact, did you know that active-duty members of the military can receive chiropractic care at more than 60 military bases around the world, and veterans who are in the care of major veteran medical facilities have chiropractic care available also?
To put it simply, yes- we take insurance and we can check with your health care coverage plan to see if your insurance qualifies for care at our office too!
But more often than not, we’re getting asked with the question, “is chiropractic care too expensive?” As you may be able to guess, this question can be extremely difficult to answer, because it may be different for everyone. For someone who has chiropractic care insurance coverage included in their health care plan, chiropractic care may be more affordable. However, to someone who is out of work, chiropractic care can seem a little pricey.
Overall, know that the chiropractors here at Morreale are willing to work with you! We understand that care can be expensive, which is why we won’t ever turn someone away.
A question we get often is, “Is chiropractic care expensive?” To us, this is a tough question to answer. For those who have a steady job, chiropractic care can be more affordable. However, if you are someone who is out of a job, it can be more difficult. But we do want you to keep in mind that at Morreale Chiropractic, we do try to make it as affordable as possible. In fact, we are always willing to work with our clients if you are in need of care.
On average, each chiropractic visit ends up being around $40. It is also worth mentioning that new patient exams for individuals without insurance coverage for chiropractic care are offered a great deal of $99. We do what we can to make seeing our chiropractors for the care you need affordable for you, no matter if you have insurance or not.
It is good to remember that every patient’s care will be different. There will be patients who will come to Morreale in Pittsburgh 2 times a week for 6 weeks, and others that are in their “maintenance” phase, who only come to us for a chiropractic adjustment every few months.
No matter if you’re pregnant for the third time or the first time, chiropractic care can seem scary! We understand this, after all, there are many different old wive’s tales out there saying what you can and can’t do while you are pregnant. We’re here to tell you that chiropractic care during pregnancy is a great thing, and more women should be taking advantage of it.
With our special chiropractic tables and experienced technique, we can provide you with the comfortable and pain relieving care that you need. In fact, our tables are specialized just for women who are pregnant. The abdominal midpiece area has the ability to drop away, leaving you lying on your stomach with your belly dropping away comfortably. We also have drop tables, these tables will allow us to provide the chiropractic adjustments you need without having to twist you in any uncomfortable or awkward positions. It’s great to mention that you won’t be hearing any popping sounds with this safe and effective technique.
Being pregnant can induce many changes in your body, and these changes can result in misaligned joints and spine. Pelvic changes, postural adaptations and a protruding abdomen will only increase your back curve and put pressure on joints that you’re not use to. So, here are some benefits to receiving prenatal chiropractic care:
- Helps to maintain a healthier pregnancy
- Decreases and controls symptoms, like nausea
- Reduces time of labor and delivery length
- Relieves neck, back and joint pain
- Helps to decrease the potential of a cesarean delivery
Chiropractic care isn’t just for adults! Any person at any age can see the chiropractors at our office in Pittsburgh. In fact, chiropractic for kids is highly recommended. The way we see it is, if they have a spine and that spine has been injured, chiropractic care can only benefit the healing process. We stand behind our motto, which is, “Chiropractors adjust the spine from the womb to the tomb!” So, it doesn’t matter the ages of our patients are, because we understand that children may need chiropractic care too.
Keep this in mind when you decide to schedule an appointment for your kid at Morreale Chiropractic in Pittsburgh: we won’t prescribe your child any medication because chiropractic adjustments are safe and effective. After all, chiropractic care can help heal your child naturally if they are suffering from any chronic or acute conditions. We all know kids, they play hard and expect their bodies to hold up. When they need a helping hand, chiropractic care is on their side!
Chiropractic for kids can also help to prevent injuries before they happen. So, if you are an individual who has always benefited from chiropractic care and you want your child to reap the benefits too, it’s time to schedule an appointment!
Does chiropractic care make you feel great? With all of the major benefits that chiropractic adjustments are proven to provide, it’s no wonder that many people want to continue their care here at Morreale Chiropractic in Pittsburgh. Chiropractic care is a treatment that you are more than welcome to continue receiving. It’s up to you if you want to schedule an appointment with us or not. We’re not the type of chiropractors that are going to prescribe you adjustments if you don’t need them, but with that being said, if receiving regular adjustments makes you feel great, you are more than welcome to schedule them whenever you would like!
Below are the few different phases of chiropractic care, which may lead you to continuing your care:
- Acute care is considered pain relief.
- Rehabilitative care is considered strengthening up the area around the problem.
- Supportive care is considered maintenance.
No matter which phase you choose to concentrate on, they will all lead you to feel great.