Ask Dr. HallAsk Austin Chiropractor: Dr. Curtis J. Hall

If you are seeking an Austin chiropractor we know you will have a lot of questions. For your convenience, we would like to take the time to answer the most commonly asked questions below.

If you have a specific question, please email Dr. Hall at: or call directly at (512) 454-4072. We really mean it! Feel free to “CALL HALL”.

  • Can I tell if I have a segmental dysfunction syndrome (subluxation complex)?
    • Not always; pain is often the last thing to come to a condition. A subluxation is like a dental cavity; you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. That’s why regular chiropractic care is so important Always remember that something in your body for example, a joint, is functioning normally or nature is in the process of taking it away from you. The taking away of a joint is what we call arthritis. It’s not normal aging.

  • Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?
    • No, however chiropractic care is successful with a very wide variety of health problems not necessarily considered “back” problems because of improved nervous system function. With normal nervous system function the body becomes stronger and the body’s natural healing capacity can improve a variety of health problems.

  • Are all patients adjusted the same way?
    • No. We evaluate each patient’s unique problem, and develop an individual course of care. Each chiropractic adjustment builds on the one before. The resulting recommendations are based upon years of training and experience. Each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient. If you have a particular preferred chiropractic technique, let us know.

  • Are chiropractic treatments safe?
    • Actually they are among the most conservative and safest methods available in health care today. Part of the purpose of the Hall Chiropractic FREE consultation and exam is to determine any contra indications to various treatment techniques. Such things as age, osteoporosis or other unique problems are carefully considered to determine if a person is a candidate for chiropractic care and if so, which type of chiropractic care will give the best results.

      A few years ago there were rumors circulated that chiropractic treatments increased the risk of strokes. This was never the case and a research study conducted by J. David Cassidy, et al and published in the medical journal Spine in 2008 bore this out. Chiropractic is safe and effective.

  • Can I adjust myself?
    • I can’t even adjust myself and I’m a licensed chiropractor! Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to creating a “popping” sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. Unfortunately, this type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive, damaging joint capsules and making an already unstable spine even more unstable, and can sometimes be dangerous. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs. Don’t do this in your own home!!

  • I just got involved in an auto accident with low property damage and the insurance company doesn’t believe I got hurt and have a lot of pain. What gives?
    • Auto insurers use a variety of techniques to control their losses and one that has been widely employed since the mid-1990’s is the Minor Impact Soft Tissue (MIST) segmentation strategy. MIST protocol dictates that all injury claims resulting from collisions producing $1000 or less in damage be “segmented” or adjusted for minimal compensation. They use this tactic because it works!

      Arthur C. Croft, Director of Spine Research Institute of San Diego and Michael D. Freeman of the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine studied the data and research and found the truth is otherwise.

      In reality a substantial number of injuries occur in crashes of little or no property damage. Property damage is an unreliable predictor of injury risk or outcome in low velocity crashes.

      Other factors, such as head restraint geometry, awareness of the impending crash, gender, and prior injury are likely to impose competitive or stronger outcome indicators, particularly as regards long-term outcome. Based upon our best evidence synthesis, the level of vehicle property damage appears to be an invalid construct for injury presence, severity, or duration.

  • How does Chiropractic work?
    • Chiropractic works by restoring your body’s inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and remove dysfunction of musculoskeletal system that is causing inflammation that in turn affects and interferes with the nervous system. With improved musculoskeletal function, there is improved nervous system function. The goal of the chiropractor is to remove interference that may be impairing normal health through specific chiropractic adjustments, allowing your body to heal itself. A healthy spine and a healthy lifestyle are your keys to optimal health.

  • I talked to a friend and she said that one time she went to a chiropractor in California and it hurt. What happened?
    • First of all, stay out of California! Just kidding. First of all, one must realize that chiropractic is both a science and an art. There are varying abilities within the chiropractic profession, just as there are varying abilities within the dental profession. Just because you go to a dentist and get a bad experience doesn’t mean you never get dental care again; you find another dentist. It’s the same in chiropractic. Secondly, the type of technique that is used is important. There are many low force, gentle techniques that can be employed initially and as change and improvement occurs more vigorous treatment protocols can be employed.

  • What about a person whose back “just goes out”?
    • Many times back pain comes on after an accident or a fall and can be expected. But, what frustrates many people is when sudden, crippling back pain appears from no where – you reach down to pick something up – and wham—you can’t straighten up. This scenario may seem very familiar and almost everyone at least knows someone who has had this happen. This pain seems to be instantaneous but is often the result of minor stresses that until now have gone unnoticed. I equate this to a rope whose fibers have begun to weaken and break, little by little until finally an activity you have done countless times in the past causes the “tipping point” damage that brings on the injury event.

      Often, research shows, this event occurs shortly after the individual arises from sleep and is doing mundane simple activities such as getting dressed, showering or brushing their teeth. The scientist’s theorize that during sleep the previous night the person has moved in such a way or slept in such a position that the body has shifted the position of a disc or other soft tissue slightly so when a subsequent movement occurs that causes the disc to be about to compromise a nerve, the brain commands the muscles in the involved area to go into spasm to protect the nerve and –wham—tremendous neck or back pain results.

  • What are some warning signs of a segmental dysfunction syndrome (subluxation complex)?
    • Symptoms such as headaches, back pain, neck stiffness, pain in your shoulders, arms, legs, numbness in your hands or feet, fatigue or nervousness are the most common signs of subluxations. But like a tooth cavity, most people will have a chiropractic problem long before they notice any symptoms.

  • What causes segmental dysfunction syndromes (subluxations)?
    • Life is difficult. We all have physical stresses occurring every day: overactivities, underactivities and accidents. We all have mental stresses such as anger, anxiety, frustration and depression. These physical and mental stresses are cummulative in nature and build until the body’s defense mechanisms are overcome and we are no longer “at ease”; we are in a state of “dis ease”. So the mental and physical stresses and strains of everyday living such as computer work, housework, gardening, desk work, lifting or even sleeping on the couch, can cause spinal problems. So can falls, accidents (especially car accidents), sports activities and injuries. In children, subluxations can initially occur during the birth process, learning to walk, in play and from everyday childhood activities.

  • What is a chiropractic adjustment?
    • A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is subluxated, “locked up” or not moving properly. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to restore function of the musculoskeletal system and eliminate interference to the nervous system, improving spinal function and overall health. An adjustment is a specifically directed force, normally by hand designed to unlock the subluxated vertebrae returning normal motion and alignment to the spine. There are a variety of different methods used in chiropractic to analyze and adjust the spine. We will choose the most effective technique for a person as well as taking into consideration the physical build of the patient, the age or any other health matters. Additionally, the doctor will make sure the adjustment is as comfortable as possible. If you prefer a specific chiropractic technique just tell me during the initial visit.

  • What is a slipped disc?
    • Also known as a disc bulge, disc herniation, disc protrusion, disc rupture, or disc prolapse among other terms. The disc doesn’t actually slip, it tears. The previous mentioned scientific terms describe different sizes of the disc tear.

      The purpose of the 23 discs in your spine are to help hold the vertebrae together, assist in normal body movement and create sufficient space for the exiting spinal nerves.

      The disc is made up of a spongy gel-like center, the nucleus and tough outer series of rings, the annulus. If through a sudden, forceful movement such as a lifting, twisting activity, a fall, or through years of repeated stresses over time, the annulus fibers weaken sufficiently for the nucleus to shift and cause a “bulge” that irritates nerves. Spine researchers have rated this pain 3rd, just behind child birth and kidney stones.

      We treat about 30 patients a day for this condition at Hall Chiropractic using non-forceful flexion-distraction technique and our spinal decompression table. These procedures create negative pressure changes that “pump” the disc off the nerve without using a scalpel to cut it off as in disc surgery. The rule of thumb is always try the most conservative method of treatment first. Chiropractic care is conservative.

  • What is a subluxation or segmental dysfunction syndrome?
    • Subluxations are problem areas of your spine that affect your entire nervous system. In these problem areas, the vertebrae and joints of the spine or other body parts (shoulder, knee, ankle, hip elbow, etc.) are misaligned or have lost their normal movement. This causes inflammation and swelling that irritates the nervous system which interferes with the communication between your brain and body. It may involve your muscles, discs, ligaments, tendons and other body parts as well.

  • What is chiropractic care?
    • Chiropractic care is both an art and a science. Its roots go back to the earliest civilizations. For example the Greek physician Hippocrates instructed his students that in the event of an illness first look to the spine.

      It’s a natural method of health care that focuses on correcting the causes of physical problems, rather than just treating the symptoms. Chiropractic is based on a simple but powerful premise. With a normally functioning spine and a healthy nervous system, your body is better able to heal itself. That’s because your spine is the lifeline of your nervous system. It controls feeling, movement and all function through your body.

  • What is whiplash?
    • Whiplash is not the best of terms because it describes a mechanism of injury and not the condition which usually includes neck and back pain, headaches and pain in the extremities, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, etc.

      The injury is most frequently associated with motor vehicle collisions although there are other ways of suffering a whiplash without a motor vehicle.

      Perhaps the most important finding that researchers have discovered by conducting actual rear impact crashes at low speed is that the human volunteer experiences 2.5 times the acceleration of the car itself, which goes a long way toward explaining why a person can be injured when there is no visible damage to the vehicle. MORE THAN HALF OF ALL WHIPLASH INJURIES OCCUR IN CRASHES IN WHICH THERE IS LITTLE OR NO DAMAGE TO THE VEHICLE.

      According to Dr. Arthur Croft, Director of The Spine Research Institute of San Diego, CA. a whiplash injury occurs in four phases and in less than 1/10 of a second.

      These four phases of movement and force can damage virtually all soft tissue structures in the spine as well as the bone, not to mention the brain itself, as Dr. Croft says “Because the crash event is so complex and variable due to a myriad of circumstance and possibilities, you should never assume that any condition is not related to the crash, merely because it develops days or even weeks later”. Always report it to us.

  • What should a person do if they think chiropractic might be able to help them?
    • CALL HALL TODAY! (512) 454-4072

  • What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?
    • Doctors of Chiropractic are well-educated. Chiropractic education and medical education are similar in many respects and different in others because chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, and medical doctors do not correct vertebral subluxations. After graduating with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) Degree, e ach candidate passes the demanding four part National Board Examinations. These exams essentially test the individual on everything he or she learned during 6 or 8 years of higher education. Then, doctors apply to a governmental or professional licensing board and pass a still more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor’s education, however, never ends. All doctors complete regular postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest research and adjustment techniques.