The Random Questions We Receive

The side of being a chiropractor that I really love is knowing that each day will bring something new.  Part of that comes from the more random questions we get asked.  So the staff and I decided to collect of few of these and share them with the rest of you. Perhaps you have thought of them, but did not ask.

Does chiropractic help with fertility?

While there have not been any formal studies on the matter, I will say that I have seen some cases where chiropractic seemed to be the only new addition to a couple’s healthy lifestyle that resulted in a pregnancy.  How might this happen? Fertility has many important factors but probably the most influential component is good hormonal balance.  Hormones heavily control libido, egg/sperm production, and the formulation of the proper environment for pregnancy. Hormonal balance is negatively affected by poor nutrition, stress, improper sleep, and even pain levels. Chiropractic is a discipline that encourages a wellness lifestyle and is able to assist improvement in these and other areas of health for a positive impact. So while there may not be a fertility adjustment, a trip to the chiropractor may be a big help to anyone with fertility issues.

Is one mattress better for the spine than others?

The short answer is no.  Because there is so much variation in an individual’s size, sleeping position, and physical conditions, there is not one mattress that is better than all the rest.  I can tell you, though, that a cheap mattress is not the way to go.  Don’t try to save a couple of bucks in this area because you will regret it.  You spend more time on your mattress than in your car, wearing one pair of shoes, or wearing your favorite jeans.  Spend a little extra money and time getting a quality mattress from a reputable source. If you sleep on your back you most likely will like a bit firmer mattress and if you sleep on your side look for a bit softer one. Most mattresses with a firm base and softer top work well for those who go from your back to the side. Whatever you buy make sure they have a good return policy in case you chose the wrong one. A great mattress and good night of sleep are worth the extra time and money and a helpful return policy will ensure your health is positively impacted.

Can someone be too old or too young to get adjusted?

Currently, our record for the oldest patient that we have ever adjusted is 99 years old. This gentleman had never been to a chiropractor in his life. He thought it was awesome to do something at 99 that he had never done before.  He loved his adjustment and stated that he was feeling better afterwards.  Likewise, we have adjusted many babies soon after birth.  Most are adjusted within a few days, and some within just hours.  Birth can be traumatic on a newborn and a simple, gentle adjustment can quickly get the baby off on the right foot.  Many mothers have testified that after their baby’s first adjustment, nursing, reflux problems, GI issues, and colic behavior all improved. Whether you are young, old, or somewhere in the middle, an adjustment is a safe and effective treatment for many problems.

How does an adjustment improve or prevent a cold?

After a neck adjustment, the sinuses will often open and let any sinus congestion drain.  This drainage helps to remove the virus from the sinus cavities and allows for the immune system do its job of containment and elimination of the virus.  Getting adjusted doesn’t mean you will never get sick but it often leads to improved immune function and reduced symptoms. The next time you feel a cold start to come on, quickly schedule an impromptu adjustment to improve your chances of a swift recovery.

What can you do naturally for an UTI?

While the traditional medical model for an UTI is to get on an antibiotic, there are more natural approaches available.  Many strong smelling vegetables can help with an UTI.  Asparagus, onion, garlic, and horseradish are all helpful in changing the environment of the bladder and making it more inhospitable to unwanted guests.  Likewise, apple cider, vinegar, lemon, and dark cherry juice can help evict the microbial tenants from the bladder wall.  Cranberry juice has been commonly recommended for years, but make sure you buy the pure juice and not the juice cocktails.  The cocktails are loaded with sugar which only serves to feed the bacteria or virus.  You should also try using the supplement, D-mannose.  D-mannose is an amino acid that is not only helpful to get rid of an UTI, but it can also be used proactively for those who are prone to suffer from these infections. We have seen great results with this simple and safe supplement.  Remember,  if symptoms persist, seek out medical treatment and start on a probiotic immediately.

How does acupuncture work?

This is a common question which is shortly followed by, “Does it hurt?”  Acupuncture is one of the oldest medical treatments dating back over 3000 years.  Today’s stainless steel, laser polished needles hurt much less than the old fish bone or iron needles used centuries ago.  Today’s needles slide into the skin with ease.  Most people state that they feel little to nothing when the acupuncture needle is inserted.  The acupuncture needle helps to stimulate the nervous system and similar to an adjustment, can help to calm the body, reducing pain.  Placement of the needles is determined by the intended result.  Similar to cooking, each acupuncture point is treated like an ingredient in a recipe.  Some points are more important than others and used more frequently while some points are used sparingly and may not be as useful.  Each point has a specific location and action.  We know by functional MRI that each point stimulates the brain in an unique way and can have both local and global influence on the body.  Results can be immediate or more commonly take a few sessions to see the full effectiveness of the treatment. For more in depth answers to this subject check out our website.

What is an ear candle?

An ear candle is a muslin cloth cone dipped in paraffin wax to form a hollow candle.  The candle has a tapered end with a plastic tip that is set into the ear canal.  The candle is then lit while the patient lies on their side with the candle to their ear at a 45 degree angle.  As the candle burns it warms the ear canal and pulls fluid or excess wax out of the ear canal.  Obviously, a lit candle close to one’s head is something to be cautious with.  We recommend using an ear candle when a partner can closely watch the candle and to have a small bowl of water nearby to extinguish the candle when finished.

How does an adjustment help internal disorders?

You might roll your eyes when someone says, “I had a friend who swore that adjustments helped improve her constipation, menstrual cramps, or blood pressure.” Or when a parent says that their kid’s ear infections, ADHD, or even allergies improved after seeing a chiropractor. These things often can seem to be a stretch for someone not familiar with how chiropractic helps the body. Chiropractic works on the simple premise that the spine is home to the nervous system and that the nervous system controls everything happening in the body. An adjustment not only moves the spine and reduces muscle tone, but it also stimulates the nervous system.  This occurs on the local level at the spinal nerves and globally via the central nervous system (brain and spinal column).  If the internal disorder has been created by an abnormally functioning nervous system, then the adjustment can help to improve the problem. For example, the colon relies upon the nervous system for contraction and movement of the food bolus to produce a bowel movement.  If the nervous system is not sending the nerve signal in the appropriate quantity or time, the food bolus will not move down the colon and constipation will ensue. An adjustment can improve the nerve signaling and a proper functioning colon can result.

We invite you to always ask questions when it comes to your health! Stop by our Roanoke, Virginia office any time to ask a question. You can also use our “Ask the Doctor” page here on our web site, email us at, call us at 540-344-1055, or post your question on our Facebook page.

There truly is no dumb question other than the one you don’t ask.  




Daryl C. Rich, D.C., C.S.C.S.