Chiropractic Care at the Osher Clinical Center

The chiropractic profession is the third largest healthcare profession in the world today. Contemporary chiropractors blend the art of hands-on therapy with the science and technology of modern medicine and physical rehabilitation.

Most chiropractors focus on the evaluation and treatment of disorders affecting the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Treatments may include spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapies, rehabilitation and nutritional and lifestyle counseling. As a conservative care profession, chiropractors elect not to prescribe medications or perform surgery, and work closely with medical colleagues to provide a full spectrum of patient care options.

What is chiropractic care used to treat?

Dr. Kowalski and Dr. Mecke routinely treat the following musculoskeletal-related conditions at the Osher Clinical Center for for Integrative Medicine:

  • Disc disorders in the spine and neck
  • Cervical and lumbar radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the neck and lower back)
  • Lumbar stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Headaches
  • Temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction
  • Sprains and strains
  • Whiplash
Does chiropractic care hurt?

Well-skilled practitioners are generally able to carry out chiropractic adjustments with little, if any, pain.  Patients with acute muscle spasms or other chronic conditions may feel some soreness following adjustments, as this can be a sign that the body is starting to heal. Thomas Mecke, DC or Matthew H. Kowalski, DC will be most able to predict what your recovery may feel like once they have met with you in person.

Can anyone be treated by a chiropractor?

Everyone can be evaluated by a chiropractor, but not everyone can be treated. Such exceptions might include patients with progressive neurological damage and other conditions that might not be helped by chiropractic treatment.  Meeting with a chiropractor for evaluation would be the best way to decide whether or not chiropractic care is right for you.

Everyone can be evaluated by a chiropractor, but not everyone can receive the full spectrum of chiropractic treatments. For example, patients with osteoporosis may not be appropriate for spinal manipulation, but may be candidates for more gentle techniques. Also, patients with progressive neurological damage from disc disorders may require alternative treatment options. Meeting with a chiropractor for evaluation is the best way to decide whether chiropractic care is right for you.

Chiropractors are trained to perform a full neuro-musculoskeletal assessment to determine a safe and effective treatment plan. Our chiropractors provide a number of traditional and contemporary treatment techniques. The following are some commonly administered procedures and techniques:

  • Manual spinal manipulation (diversified technique)
  • Flexion-distraction therapy (aka, Cox technique)
  • Manual soft tissue therapies
  • McKenzie mechanical diagnosis and treatment
  • Graston instumented soft tissue manipulation
  • Ergonomic advice and lifestyle changes
How long is a chiropractic session?

A session’s length depends on the disorder under care.  The initial visit, which always includes taking a full history and conducting a thorough examination, may be 45 minutes or so.  Follow-up visits are generally 20 minutes.

In our doctors’ experience, it can take about 2 to 3 weeks (or 4 to 6 sessions) to determine whether the patient will respond to chiropractic treatment.  As always, however, we remind all patients that each individual is different and that you may take more or less time to respond, depending on the condition under care.

Is spinal manipulation safe?

Chiropractic treatments generally carry a very low risk of complication. A small percentage of patients will experience short-term (24 hours or less) or local soreness following the initial adjustment. This may represent short-term muscle tension or low-grade inflammation from the treatment.The risk of serious, irreversible complication from spinal adjustments is rare. It is important that you discuss any specific concerns with chiropractor before receiving treatment.

Will insurance pay for chiropractic care?

Most Massachusetts health insurance policies will pay for a portion of chiropractic treatment. Common insurance companies include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Care. We also accept Medicare, worker’s compensation and personal injury (motor vehicle accident) insurance. It is always best to confirm your insurance benefits with your insurance company. Patients with some insurance policies for which we do not accept direct assignment may submit bills to their insurance company directly.

Whom should I contact to set up an appointment?

Please call the Osher Clinical Center at (617) 732-9700 to get more information about our chiropractic services or to set up an appointment with Drs. Kowalski or Mecke.  The Center is located at the Brigham and Women’s Ambulatory Care Center in Chestnut Hill.

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