LAist Interview: Dr. Robin Hawkey on Chiropractics

Dr. Robin Hawkey I was a bit skeptical at first, I knew nothing about chiropractics. But I kept having this pain in my neck that no amount of massage or yoga could take away. I was at a loss and then I met Dr. Robin Hawkey who explained, for the first time in my life, what exactly chiropractics was without any strings attached at a dinner party we both attended. So I decided to try it. My first time I was really nervous, I’m not one of those people who like the sound of cracking, I don’t crack my knuckles and cringe when I hear someone else do it, so I wasn’t sure how I would take it.

It was like 10 massages at once. It felt like the best stretch I’ve ever had. I asked Dr. Robin if he would be interested in helping to dispel the myth to others and he graciously took the time to answer the questions below:

What made you want to be a chiropractor? How much school does it take.

I have been an extreme athlete all my life, some of the sports include big wave surfing, snow boarding, free diving and spear fishing. Also racing super bikes. None of these things come without injury. I have always been into science and physiology. Chiropractic was a great way to combine the two. I actually taught science to fifth and sixth grade in New York for a while. I went to a four year college on the East Coast plus four years of chiropractic school here in LA.

Is chiropractic addictive? Why do people think it is.

Chiropractic is not addictive, the truth is, getting adjusted makes people feel better! When you go to a MD for say back pain, they will prescribe a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory of some kind. The problem with that is it just masks the problem. Chiropractic actually addresses the problem. That being said, I think people want to keep feeling good. And that’s why they come back.

Does it hurt?

If done correctly getting adjusted does not hurt. It can seem a bit foreign to a person who has never been adjusted before. A vertebra can move effortlessly back to normal position if the correct line of drive, traction and amount of force are applied.

What is the cracking sound?

The cracking sound or cavitation, is quite simply the bones realigning, the contact points of the bones coming back together.

What is the difference between going to see a chiropractor and getting a good massage?

I love a good massage. In fact I recommend everyone get one from time to time. The thing is, you don't only feel discomfort from achy muscles. The fact is, all the muscles in your body attach to bones. So if a bone has become misaligned, it is going to pull the muscle. This can cause muscle pain and joint pain. Only chiropractic can realign a bone.

Does insurance cover it? If not how does that work? Is it expensive?

At my office we take only PPO plans that have out of network chiropractic benefits. If someone wants to pay cash we do that to. First visit is 120 and visits after that are 60. We take all credit cards except discover. We also offer package plans that greatly reduce the price of visits.

What is your particular style of chiropractics and how to bring diet and or exercise into your treatments?

There are many different techniques in chiropractic. I like to take what I like most from the different styles and make them my own. I also like to find out about the persons diet and how often they exercise. This helps to give a better picture of the individual and lets me come up with a treatment plan that best suits them.

You have said to me that sometimes you give homework to patients, what do you mean?

I give my patients homework in the form of exercise that I teach them in the rehabilitation facility in my office. These exercises are given to the individual based on what ever problem they might have. This ultimately makes for a longer lasting adjustment and gets the patient better quicker.

Some people call chiropractics "quaks." And I'm sure there are a few out there, so if someone is looking for a chiropractor that would be the right fit for them, what should they look for?

When looking for a chiropractor there are a few things you should look for.

1. Do you feel comfortable with the doctor.

2. Do you like the office and staff

3. Does he or she seem knowledgeable

4. Do they answer your questions.

5. Bed side manor, I think being compassionate is a must.

How is chiropractics viewed in the rest of the world?

Chiropractic in the rest of the world is received with open arms. There is no denying the statistics. Dollar for dollar, chiropractic beats out traditional western medicine hands down. Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a time for western medicine. Like say cancer or appendicitis, or any condition that might require surgery. And any good chiropractor will know if a problem is out side the doctors scope of practice.

Where would you like to see the practices in the next 5 or 10 years?

I would like to see chiropractic in the next five to ten years go from the best-kept secret in the world to something a bit more mainstream. I think a hospital setting would be great for chiropractors. I would also like to see more insurance companies pay for chiropractic. That would allow so many more people the chance at great non-invasive health care.

If you're interested in trying it out, Dr. Robin's practice, The Institute of Health and Sports Chiropractic is offering 30% off your first visit if you mention LAist when you call to make an appointment with Dr. Robin.

The Institute of Health and Sports Chiropractic
12930 Ventura Blvd, Suite 226C
Studio City, CA (corner of Ventura Blvd. and Coldwater Canyon)
(818) 995-4472