When should you see a chiropractor and when not to

Posted in Conditions on May 26, 2021

When should you see a chiropractor?

Nearly half of adults in America suffering from chronic conditions ask: When should you see a chiropractor?. Chronic means any health condition that will never get better but needs ongoing medical treatment. In fact, nearly a third of adult Americans have multiple chronic conditions with nearly a quarter of adults suffering from painful arthritis.

And the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis or wear and tear arthritis. Long thought a normal part of aging, we now see a disturbing trend of teens and young adults developing this “old age” arthritis. So what that really means is that arthritis isn’t just for seniors anymore. And people of any age suffering from neck and shoulder tension or back, hip, knee stiffness or cracking noises when they move should see a chiropractor.

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Why? Because some chiropractors don’t just crack backs.

But instead rehabilitate posture and balance to reduce the tension and strain on joints that cause them to age and break down prematurely. And it may surprise you to know that they do that without ever cracking anyone’s back or neck. More about that in just a moment, but first anyone who has chronic pain knows how it affects them. But some don't know how many side effects chronic pain can have, like a lowered immune system, indigestion, insomnia, loss of concentration, low energy, increased healing time, hormonal disruption and of course irritability.

When you should see a chiropractor

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When you can't move as freely as you used to. If you’re struggling with simple activities like putting your socks and shoes, reaching across to get on your seatbelt, or looking over your shoulder to back up, or even just getting out of bed – it’s time for chiropractic checkup.  Whether it’s more about muscle tension, joint stiffness, nerve irritation or balance for you, we have treatments that get you moving easier and safer, enjoying your life with more flexibility again! And rehabilitation (restoring balance, coordination, flexibility, posture and stamina) that goes beyond endlessly chasing temporary relief.


If you suffer from frequent headaches. As a child I had throw up, pass out migraines. Even with multiple medications. Until I woke up one morning and couldn't turn my head. And my medical family thought it might be okay to let a chiropractor look at that. So long story short, my neck got better but so did my migraines. And although assumed impossible (another chronic condition) in over 35 years, I only had a few migraines since I began upper cervical chiropractic care. (A specialty post graduate certification that relieves pain and tension, while restoring balance and posture. Without twisting or cracking the spine.) And I often help people get rid of their migraines when nothing else can.

Joint Pain / Muscle Pain

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And if you experience chronic pain in your joints or muscles, like I did also. Sometimes it felt like I had a knife in my shoulder, other times it was a hip or knee. I saw specialists, received physical therapy and pain management but it never got better for much longer than the treatment. And while upper cervical chiropractic care helped my body recover from every injury better and faster than anything else. But sometimes I needed a little extra help. And over the years I found some amazing therapies like low level laser and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. They both helped me recover faster and reduce the late effects (chronic) pain from old serious injuries to near normal. When I discover the importance of anti-inflammatory nutrition, both in diet and supplements I went back to school again and got three post graduate certifications in functional medicine and nutrition. So now, we can rehabilitate new and even old injuries with a more comprehensive approach to rehabilitation than pain management, which never really helped me.


Just because you didn't break anything and don't have internal bleeding does not mean everything's fine. Or that some muscle relaxers and pain killers will make sure that you don't develop a chronic pain pattern. In fact, that emergency room standard of care nearly guarantees chronic conditions. Even injuries that don't warrant a trip to the emergency room often lead to sprain strain late effects (chronic) that never get better. And sometimes those chronic conditions don't immediately stop you from doing what you love. In general, any fall or car accident should receive a functional evolution that looks a little closer at balance, coordination, flexibility, posture and stamina. To rule out the start of a life of unnecessary pain and endless drugs and therapies that can never get you better.

Desk Job

A recent Surgeon General warned that sitting kills more people than cigarettes. Unfortunately most of us have to work. And more than ever that work usually means sitting in front of a computer for several hours every day. And believe it or not sitting is a repetitive stress injury, plus leaning forward and reaching out to type creates a very stressful strain on your body. Even with hourly breaks or exercising every day, which can help prevent sitting related stress, but does not rehabilitate the most deadly repetitive stress injury. But the specific no twist or crack spinal adjustment helps in restoring balance, coordination, flexibility, posture and stamina. Even when just sitting around actually becomes the most dangerous thing you do all day. Crazy, I know.


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As mentioned before, I used to get migraines with extreme photosensitivity but instead of the classic visual aura, I'd get ringing in my ears. We used to joke about how that meant someone was talking about you. But that ringing is another incurable chronic disease called tinnitus. Which by the way I no longer have. And if you get tinnitus and vertigo or dizziness they call that Meniere's Disease. And while I rarely got vertigo, I did have horrible motion sickness. So maybe, eventually they may discover an overlap of Meniere's Disease and Migraine. But for me and all the people I helped that nothing else could, the problem was in the neck not the ear. And Upper Cervical Chiropractic now has a pretty good track record of success with Meniere's Disease, even if the specialists refuse to acknowledge it.

Nerve Pain / Numbness / Neuropathy

While I enjoyed great success for my sciatica and carpal tunnel patients, I found out about peripheral neuropathy the hard way. Long considered another incurable, chronic disease I believed the doctors when they told me they were doing everything the could for my father.

But they only treated his symptoms while his legs turned black, ulcerated and eventually killed him. I don't want anyone to ever go through what I did with my dad. So I started studying, again and found a few proven technologies that restore blood flow and even help the body regenerate damaged nerves and skin. None of which was offered to my father or any of my neuropathy patients, before the saw me. But now we consistently get great results. In fact the only people who don't get better are the ones who refuse to follow our recommendations.

When you should not see a chiropractor

While chiropractic and especially chiropractic that does not twist or crack the spine is thousands of times safer than aspirin. (Yes really)

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There are a few absolute reasons not to go to a regular chiropractor that twists and cracks the spine. If you know you have a fracture in your spine, you must let the chiropractor know exactly where. Because if they know how to adjust specifically without twisting or cracking the spine... They may treat other areas to reduce strain and improve healing of the fracture.

But they will need x-rays or MRI to confirm safety. And if you know you have an active bone infection or cancer in your spine, Again, only a chiropractor certified in some form of no twist or crack chiropractic may treat other areas to reduce spinal strain and stress to improve healing. But they will definitely need x-rays or MRI to confirm safety.

Who should not see a chiropractor

But more commonly people go to a chiropractor because it's "covered" by their insurance when they really just want a massage which is not covered. Then they get mad because the chiropractor tries to talk to them about health. And how balance and posture rehabilitation with anti-inflammatory nutrition has a higher value and long term benefit than temporary relief. We love helping people recover from injury and chronic conditions, and that requires a mutual agreement and understanding of expectations, which is not for everyone. And that's okay.

The best way to determine when you should see a chiropractor

So the best way to determine if you could benefit from seeing a chiropractor is to consult a chiropractor. Chiropractors are the best professionals to talk to if you want to know whether your condition can benefit from chiropractic care. A simple conversation to determine if you are a good candidate. Then if if feels like a good fit, a non-invasive functional exam to determine your next best step in getting better. Are you interested in learning more about the no twist or crack approach to chiropractic care and whether it’s right for you?

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The Consultation

Many doctors charge $200 or more just for a consultation. And too often that consultation feels more like a sales presentation than a determination of what’s best for you. I know that I experienced that feeling and so did my wife. Some people may feel more confident with an arrogant doctor, but I don’t. And I must admit that because I'm actually a pretty private and shy person by nature, at times I followed the advice of bad business consultants. So my best intention recommendations came off as salesy too. But now I don’t charge for a consultation. And I won’t even charge for an exam on a person unless I know I can help them. So we tend to get better than average results for our patients. Without dramatic scare tactic presentations, unnecessarily long term contracts. And of course without the unnecessary twisting or cracking.

When you need more than just a crack

Dr. Thomas Polucki is a Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic with post graduate certifications in Upper Cervical Chiropractic, Functional Medicine, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and Metabolic Typing. And provides these services in Santa Clarita. In the Valencia medical building at 25050 Peachland Avenue Suite 105 (across the hall from Valencia Pharmacy) in Newhall, California. And via telehealth virtual consultations with home treatment options.

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