Frequently asked questions

Where are you located?

We are conveniently located in Old Town Scottsdale, just minutes from the 101. Our patients travel from all over the valley for the quality care we provide. 

Do you see children?

We do! In fact, we see the whole family! While Dr. Dara specializes in pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatric chiropractic, she also sees patients of all ages and walks of life. 

Do you accept insurance?

At this time, we do not accept insurance. Our prices are very reasonable and many of our patients will vouch for the value of chiropractic care.

What can I expect at my first appointment?

Dr. Dara takes time to gather the full picture with each of her patients. She may use a technique called Applied Kinesiology to help diagnose and may integrate chiropractic, craniosacral, and other forms of bodywork to treat a variety of ailments. 

Is chiropractic safe for kids?

It sure is! Chiropractic for infants and children looks very different from what you might expect. You’d be surprised just how gentle it is! 

What does the research show?

A growing list of research studies and reviews demonstrate that the services provided by chiropractors are clinically effective, safe, and cost effective. 

More about our practice

There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. If you have any further questions, please give us a call. We are happy to discuss any questions you might have! 

Chiropractic Basics

If you’re new to the world of chiropractic care you may find yourself with a lot of questions. Chiropractic is one of those issues that everyone has an opinion on, even if they don’t really know the facts. If you’re interested in a simple overview with solid answers that will help you decide if chiropractic care will benefit you (it will), and what you should expect during your first visit, this is the guide for you. 


What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic care is a natural treatment that focuses on maintaining a balance between all of the body’s systems: muscular, skeletal and neurological. Furthermore, it addresses the way that these systems work together to heal the body.


Who can benefit?

Anyone who suffers from back, neck, hip, or alignment discomfort, joint tingling, headaches, or any type of chronic pain will benefit from chiropractic care. Children especially may also benefit from increased digestive health, relief from ear pain and sinus congestion, even behavioral and emotional balance. People who are interested in holistic health and wellness will be especially excited about chiropractic’s non-pharmaceutical approach to healing.


What is an adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment, or spinal manipulation, is a procedure where a trained specialist (chiropractor) uses their hands, a small instrument or a specialized table to apply a controlled force to a certain area of the body. Regular adjustments correct spinal alignment and increase your body’s efficiency and function. They also feel great. 


Why would I go?

Neck, shoulder and lower back and hip pain are the usual reasons that people visit a chiropractor. Your chiropractor is a practitioner of holistic healthcare and will be able to help and advise you in many health and wellness areas.


What should I expect my first time?

For your first visit, you can expect a thorough examination including a medical history, a physical exam with particular attention being paid to the spine, and possibly other tests. Your chiropractor will assess your complaint, diagnose the problem and discuss a treatment plan with you. An adjustment, craniosacral therapy or some other form of bodywork or massage may be a part of the treatment that you receive. Expect your chiropractor to speak with you at length about ways for you to live a healthier life, with positive emphasis on things that you are doing right, and encouragement to change things that will improve your physical well-being.


What kind of results can I expect?

After an adjustment or other chiropractic procedure, you may experience minor side effects like soreness for a few days, but these will soon fade. As with anything your experience may vary, but you can expect to notice a marked improvement after the first few trips to your chiropractor’s office. Soon, you may find yourself looking forward to your treatment days in advance. 


Is chiropractic treatment safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.


Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation, when performed by a skilled and well-educated professional such as a doctor of chiropractic, is a remarkably safe procedure.


Some reports have associated high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain rare kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection. However, evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously in patients who have pre-existing arterial disease. These dissections have been associated with everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare—about one to three cases in 100,000 patients who get treated with a course of care. This is similar to the incidence of this type of stroke among the general population.


If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.


When discussing the risks of any health care procedure, it is important to look at that risk in comparison to other treatments available for the same condition. In this regard, the risks of serious complications from spinal manipulation for conditions such as neck pain and headache compare very favorably with even the most conservative care options. For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain—over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and prescription painkillers—are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation.


According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, people taking NSAIDS are three times more likely than those who do not to develop serious adverse gastrointestinal problems such as hemorrhage (bleeding) and perforation. That risk rises to more than five times among people age 60 and older.


Moreover, the number of prescriptions for powerful drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone have tripled in the past 12 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that abuse of these commonly prescribed painkillers are among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Overdoses of opioid painkillers are responsible for some 15,000 deaths per year; that’s more than the number of deaths from cocaine and heroin combined.  

Doctors of chiropractic are well trained professionals who provide patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, even if that requires referral to a medical specialist.


[American Chiropractic Association, 2018, www.acatoday.org/Patients/Why-Choose-Chiropractic/Chiropractic-Frequently-Asked-Questions.]

What the Research Shows About Chiropractic

A growing list of research studies and reviews demonstrate that the services provided by chiropractors are clinically effective, safe and cost effective.  Following are excerpts and summaries from a few of those studies. The evidence supports the natural, whole-body, drug-free approach of chiropractic for a variety of conditions. To find more research supporting chiropractic services, visit the World Federation of Chiropractic's Reading List and the Clinical Compass for both guidelines and research.

Featured Research:
New research published in Spine journal analyzed the prevalence, patterns and predictors of chiropractic utilization in the U.S. general population. The researchers found that "Back pain and neck pain were the most prevalent health problems for chiropractic consultations and the majority of users reported chiropractic helping a great deal with their health problem and improving overall health or well-being." Learn more.

For Acute & Chronic Pain

“Given that most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat (moderate-quality evidence), massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence). If pharmacologic treatment is desired, clinicians and patients should select nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or skeletal muscle relaxants (moderate-quality evidence).”

Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (2017)


"For patients with chronic low back pain, clinicians and patients should initially select nonpharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction (moderate-quality evidence), tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence)."

Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (2017)


“Many treatments are available for low back pain. Often exercises and physical therapy can help. Some people benefit from chiropractic therapy or acupuncture.”

Goodman et al. (2013), Journal of the American Medical Association  


“[Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy] in conjunction with [standard medical care] offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain."

Goertz et al. (2013), Spine


In a Randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcomes measures showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.

Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal


“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”  
Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


In Comparison to Other Treatments 

"Manual-thrust manipulation provides greater short-term reductions in self-reported disability and pain compared with usual medical care. 94% of the manual-thrust manipulation group achieved greater than 30% reduction in pain compared with 69% of usual medical care."

Schneider et al (2015), Spine 


"Reduced odds of surgery were observed for...those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor."

Keeney et al (2012), Spine 


“Acute and chronic chiropractic patients experienced better outcomes in pain, functional disability, and patient satisfaction; clinically important differences in pain and disability improvement were found for chronic patients.”

Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


“In our randomized, controlled trial, we compared the effectiveness of manual therapy, physical therapy, and continued care by a general practitioner in patients with nonspecific neck pain. The success rate at seven weeks was twice as high for the manual therapy group (68.3 percent) as for the continued care group (general practitioner). Manual therapy scored better than physical therapy on all outcome measures. Patients receiving manual therapy had fewer absences from work than patients receiving physical therapy or continued care, and manual therapy and physical therapy each resulted in statistically significant less analgesic use than continued care.”

Hoving et al (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine


For Headaches

“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.”

McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001), Duke Evidence Report


“The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. . . Four weeks after cessation of treatment . . . the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.” 

Boline et al. (1995), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


For Neck Pain

In a study funded by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to test the effectiveness of different approaches for treating mechanical neck pain, 272 participants were divided into three groups that received either spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) from a doctor of chiropractic (DC), pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants) or exercise recommendations. After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of those who met with DCs and 48 percent who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53 percent of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75 percent reduction in pain; compared to just 38 percent pain reduction among those who took medication.

  Bronfort et al. (2012), Annals of Internal Medicine


Cost Effectiveness

Findings from a study utilizing data from the North Carolina State Health Plan collected between 2000-2009 show that care by a doctor of chiropractic (DC) alone or DC care in conjunction with care by a medical doctor (MD)  incurred “appreciably fewer charges” for uncomplicated lower back pain than MD care with or without care by a physical therapist. 

Hurwitz et al. (2016), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 


Older Medicare patients with chronic low back pain and other medical problems who received spinal manipulation from a chiropractic physician had lower costs of care and shorter episodes of back pain than patients in other treatment groups. Patients who received a combination of chiropractic and medical care had the next lowest Medicare costs, and patients who received medical care only incurred the highest costs.

Weeks et al (2016), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


Low back pain initiated with a doctor of chiropractic (DC) saves 20 to 40 percent on health care costs when compared with care initiated through a medical doctor (MD), according to a study that analyzed data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) beneficiaries in Tennessee over a two-year span. The study population had open access to MDs and DCs through self-referral, and there were no limits applied to the number of MD/DC visits allowed and no differences in co-pays. Researchers estimated that allowing DC-initiated episodes of care would have led to an annual cost savings of $2.3 million for BCBS of Tennessee. They also concluded that insurance companies that restrict access to chiropractic care for low back pain treatment may inadvertently pay more for care than they would if they removed such restrictions.

Liliedahl et al (2010), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


“Chiropractic care appeared relatively cost-effective for the treatment of chronic low-back pain. Chiropractic and medical care performed comparably for acute patients. Practice-based clinical outcomes were consistent with systematic reviews of spinal manipulative efficacy: manipulation-based therapy is at least as good as and, in some cases, better than other therapeusis.”

Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


Patient Satisfaction

“Chiropractic patients were found to be more satisfied with their back care providers after four weeks of treatment than were medical patients. Results from observational studies suggested that back pain patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than with medical care. Additionally, studies conclude that patients are more satisfied with chiropractic care than they were with physical therapy after six weeks.”

Hertzman-Miller et al (2002), American Journal of Public Health


Widespread Use of Chiropractic

“Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions. CAM patient surveys show that chiropractors are used more often than any other alternative provider group and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. There is steadily increasing patient use of chiropractic in the United States, which has tripled in the past two decades.”

Meeker, Haldeman (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine