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Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Bring To My First Visit?
We trust these suggestions will make your first visit to Dr. Donovan's office easy and enjoyable. We look forward to seeing you then. Should you have any questions prior to your appointment please feel free to call or email.
How long does a visit take?
The initial examination takes approximately 1 hour depending on the condition, complexity and history of the individual. A treatment visit lasts about 20 minutes.
Does Dr. Donovan adjust Feet?
Adjusting patient's feet is a common occurrence at our office. Treating foot pain and dysfunctions of the feet represents about 20% of our practice. Chiropractor's primary focus may be the treatment of the spine but Chiropractic treatment of the feet can effect the spine. Chiropractic adjustments and Active Release Technique (soft tissue therapy) work well together are very helpful for foot and ankle conditions such as plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, even improving symptoms in Diabetic feet and helping with balance problems. Dr. Donovan has taken years of postgraduate training focusing on the treatment of non-spinal conditions such as foot, knee, hip, shoulder and elbow pain.
Can I see Dr. Donovan for Headache pain?
Certainly. Dr. Donovan treats patients with a variety of headaches, occasionally a patient may have more than one time - at the same time. Chiropractic, Active Release Technique are very effective at treating a variety of headaches. Diet, Rest, Exercise, Alignment and Mindfulness also can play a part - particularly with more complicated cases. Occasionally, a multidisciplinary approach is needed. In those circumstances Dr. works as part of the team to help you get the results you want.
I don't want to be adjusted. Is this the only way you treat patients?
Great question. Every patient approached individually. After all, each patient has a unique history and unique preferences. Chiropractic adjustments are appropriate for certain conditions, but not always necessary to help a patient get the results they desire. Dr. Donovan offers a variety of techniques to help patients. Over the years he has had many patients who he has not used Chiropractic adjustments on.
What is Active Release Technique (ART)?
Active Release Technique treatment is a hands-on treatment and case-management system that allows a practitioner to diagnose and treat soft-tissue injuries and conditions. Soft tissue refers to muscle, ligament, tendon, fascia and nerves. These injuries are a growing cause of disability in this country.
This is accomplished by examination of the patient to find and reduce and or remove the poorly functioning soft tissue structures ensuring that:
· Optimal tissue texture and movement are restored.
· Strength, flexibility, relative movement and function is restored.
· Release any soft-tissue restrictions, entrapped nerves, restricted circulatory structures and or lymphatic structures.
ART is based on a well developed understanding or anatomy, physiology, and the biomechanics sports and everyday life. This can be used to help nearly everyone from Crossfit enthusiasts to office workers. Providers must be certified and engage in ongoing continuing education. As a dynamic technique, practitioners are involved in finding new and better ways of improving upon ART's clinical efficacy.
What is the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) ?
SFMA is a battery of 7 body movement tests designed to assess fundamental body movement patterns in patients with musculoskeletal pain (Lower back pain, Neck pain, Tension Headaches, Runners Knee etc). In performing an assessment from the perspective of movement patterns, the clinician has the opportunity to identify problems that may be seemingly unrelated to the main musculoskeletal complaint, but actually contribute significantly to the associated disability. Patterns like this, when left unaddressed, interfere with optimal recover. This concept is known as Regional Interdependence and is based on Mike Boyle's Joint by Joint approach. It is a central part of the SFMA.
The assessment guides us to the most dysfunctional non-painful movement pattern. This is then broken-out or assessed in more detail. This approach is designed to overlay the existing physical exam. It serves as a model to merge the concepts of posture, muscle balance and the fundamental patterns of movement into a musculoskeletal practice. Addressing the most dysfunctional non-painful pattern first, the application of targeted interventions (manual therapy, Active Release Technique, Graston, Gua Sha, and therapeutic exercise) is not adversely affected by pain.
Is it OK to see a Chiropractor if I'm pregnant?
Pregnant mothers often find that Chiropractic adjustments make their pregnancy more comfortable. In fact, for each ten pounds of weight carried in front of the spine, you increase the internal disk pressure by fifty pounds.1 Women frequently report that they feel better alignment and movement makes their delivery easier. Adjusting techniques and approaches are always adapted to a patients size, age, and comfort. Pregnant women often find adjustments to their lower ribs, feet and hips particularly helpful during the third trimester. We use the patented Body Cushion to give pregnant women the option to comfortably lay face down while completely supported.
1. Chiropractic Managment of Spinal-Related Disorders Meridel L. Gaterman Williams-Wilkins c. 1990
Once you go to the Chiropractor, do you have to go the rest of your life?
This is entirely up to you. We will discuss, you situation, my recommendations and any concerns you have. Patients often elect to simply recover from a painful or dysfunctional situation and then discontinue care. Other patients choose to be seen periodically to catch problems early or simply prevent them from becoming a problem. I have not experienced a dental problem in 25 years, yet I continue my twice a year checkups because preventing problems and or catching them early is important to me. Chiropractors either fix problems or help patients manage them and then do our best to keep new ones from developing. An important part of what I do is teaching patients how to care for themselves so you can maintain your health with the maximum amount of autonomy.
How many visits does it take?
This depends on your particular condition. A person with a long history or injuries, as you can imagine, would have a different treatment plan than one who had who did not. The national average is nine office visits the last time we checked. Dr. Donovan will better be able to predict how many visits are necessary after your first examination. Dr. Donovan will give you recommendations and monitor your progress. Should you improve more quickly than expected he will adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
Dr. Donovan listens to each patients unique issues, preferences and history during the consultation. This coupled with a comprehensive chiropractic examination allows Dr. Donovan to develop an individual course of care. One plan does not fit all patients. No two patients are adjusted exactly the same way. We blend a variety of chiropractic techniques to find what works best. Our recommendations are based upon years of training and experience.
Is Chiropractic or Active Release appropriate for the Elderly?
Older folks are frequent patients at our office. They get their share of neck pain and back pain too. We use a variety of techniques that are all adaptable to individuals needs – no matter the age of the patient.
It is a topic that has been studied for over 20 years:
“[Elderly] chiropractic users were less likely to have been hospitalized, less likely to have used a nursing home, more likely to report a better health status, more likely to exercise vigorously, and more likely to be mobile in the community. In addition, they were less likely to use prescription drugs.” - Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, Coulter et al. (1996)
Is Chiropractic safe?
A recent study concluded that injury related to chiropractic adjustment was less than 1.25 incidents per million treatments. It is interesting to note serious complications from aspirin ingestion were 3,000 per one million patients. Chiropractic was deemed one of the most conservative forms of intervention available today.
Can a person who has had back surgery see a chiropractor?
Absolutely yes! Patients who have had back surgery will need to be treated differently based on what type of surgery they have had. Unfortunately many of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years later. This too common occurrence is know as "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome." In fairness it does make for a more complicated case but does not prevent us from helping. The use of Active Release Technique with Chiropractic care often works best.
How much does it cost?
Our exam runs from $105 to $125 depending on the complexity of your case. There is no charge for Dr. Donovan to either consult with you or to present his findings once an examination has been performed. Individual visits run from $50 to $75 dollars depending on the severity of your case and how much treatment is done. If your insurance does not cover chiropractic, we have a payment plan that is within most people's budget. Please feel free to call us prior to your visit if you have questions 650-348-4233.
What is a Frozen shoulder?
This condition is also known as Adhesive Capsulitis. Frozen shoulder is a fairly common clinical complaint. It can vary significantly from mild to severe and it is commonly treated by Chiropractors and physical therapists. Defining ‘frozen shoulder’ is not straightforward as it can vary significantly. It has been used incorrectly as a general diagnosis/description for vague shoulder pain and stiffness. The definition, cause, and treatment for it are subjects of debate amoung clinicians.
We describe frozen shoulder syndrome as:
‘a soft tissue capsular restriction accompanied by painful and decreased active and
passive motion of the shoulder joint’ (Grubbs 1993).
Initially described as a peri-arthritis by Duplay in 1872, it was
then coined frozen shoulder by Codman (1934) and finally adhesive capsulitis by Neviaser (1945), who
was the first to recognize the “chronic inflammatory process” that resulted in
Does Dr. Donovan use instruments to do soft tissue work?
In the last years there has been jump in the number of instruments used to treat the muscles, ligaments and other structures of the body. This has provided a very useful addition to Active Release. There are several different makers of these instruments from traditional Chinese Medicine (called "Gua Sha"), to Graston to the “Fibroblaster”. They all make it simpler to locate and treat fascial restrictions. Using an instrument or tool focuses the treatment force on to a smaller area, often reducing the force needed. The instrument does not compress like a finger pad does which allows you to treat differently – generally more gently. The goal is to trigger an inflammatory healing response. This will stimulate remodeling and the production of new soft tissue leading to more functional, less painful healing.
Key benefits with all soft tissue therapy, especially with instruments
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Dr. Donovan, the Receptionist Dee, and the Massage therapist Maren are amazing. Many years ago I vowed I would never go to a Chiropractor because I was so terrified something horrible would happen. But after constant headaches for a several years that pain killers did very little to help, I psyched myself up to see a Chiropractor. The receptionist Dee was the nicest most caring person and put all my fears to ease. I first saw Maren who was so informative, patient, thorough and did wonders for my tight shoulders and neck. The lymphatic drainage treatment was awesome and I felt amazing. I then saw Dr. Donovan a few days later and was so please with my visit. He is a very gifted doctor who knows exactly what to do to help. I told him all of my symptoms (and fears about being there) and after my first appointment could already feel a big difference. Since that time I have had several appointments and each time I continue to get better. And best of all my headaches have decreased significantly in only a few short weeks! I love their holistic approach and natural methods to getting the body to help heal itself. I am no longer terrified of chiropractors and will continue to see Dr. Donovan and Maren for years to come! Dr. Donovan did more to help my awful headaches than any other doctor. I'm so thrilled to have found such a wonderful Doctor's office!
- Alya M. / San Mateo, CA
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