Chiropractic FAQ

What do Chiropractors do?

Chiropractors are the spinal health experts. Helping to restore proper spinal biomechanics and improved nervous system function begins with a patient’s case history. This gives the Chiropractor a background about your health, such as surgeries, accidents, the onset of your condition, and other details affecting your current health. After reviewing your history and discussing your specific problem, a thorough orthopaedic, neurological, and chiropractic examination is performed. X-rays may be taken to uncover structural and functioning problems associated with the spinal column. These examinations help identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system deficit. The findings of these examinations are explained and a plan of chiropractic adjustments may be recommended. Progress is monitored with periodical examinations and follow-up reports.

Is Chiropractic care safe?

In the words of the New Zealand Government’s Inquiry, Chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health. In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs[1]. However, it is important to note that while Chiropractic has an excellent safety record based on drug free, non-invasive care, no form of healthcare is entirely free of potential adverse effects[2].

What is a Chiropractic adjustment?

A Chiropractic adjustment is the skill of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, “locked up”, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the joints to gradually regain more normal motion and function. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to permit improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health.

There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the chiropractor’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly-accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow, constant or indirect pressure.

After years of university training and clinical experience, each chiropractor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.

Do I need a referral from my GP to see a chiropractor?

Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners therefore a referral is not necessary. However more and more GP’s are referring to Chiropractors via the Chronic Disease Management Program, which allows those eligible up to 5 visits in a calendar year. These visits are not free and a gap payment is still required.

What is the difference between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy?

To understand the difference between each we recommend referring to the definition of each practice.

Chiropractic is a health care discipline based on the scientific premise that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. The practice of Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine, and pelvis) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.

Physiotherapy, as described by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, “uses a variety of techniques to help your muscles and joints work to their full potential. It can help repair damage by speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and stiffness.”

Osteopathy as described from ‘Osteopathy; The Art of Practice’ “As: When blood and lymphatics flow freely, the tissues can perform their physiologic functions without impedance. With the occurrence of trauma (physical or emotional), the tissues contract, twist, and compress and fluid flow becomes obstructed. Micro-climates of under perfusion result, and are considered to be a significant contributor to the onset of disease. Osteopathic manipulation restores freedom in the tissues, normalizes fluid flow and thus inherent physiologic function (healing) follows”.

Each individual is different and must make their own choice about the most appropriate method of care for them. We believe Chiropractic, with its central focus on the spine, nervous system and their impact on entire body provides a health care option that can help manage pain as well as assist in achieving optimal well-being.

Who can benefit from Chiropractic care?

If you have a spine, you can seek chiropractic care. Chiropractic is safe for everyone from newborns to the elderly. Many parents choose to have their newborns checked for any spinal health problems since birth is often a traumatic experience. Regular chiropractic check-ups may be able to identify problems and help avoid problems as the child grows. As we get older, chiropractic may help improve mobility, vitality and endurance. Chronic ailments such as arthritis can also be managed effectively with chiropractic.

Is Chiropractic appropriate for all ages?

Yes. At Casey Chiropractic we see a range of people from all age groups and backgrounds. The techniques and methods used are appropriate for the particular age group and range from exceptionally gentle adjustments (the pressure you would use to test a peach for its ripeness) to a more sports based approach.

Am I too old for Chiropractic care?

More and more people are consulting Chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity. Restoring better spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality and endurance. Many patients report improvements with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting technique used by your doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and more obvious.

For how long will I need Chiropractic care?

Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing supportive care for optimum spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine. Most patients find that periodic chiropractic check-ups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventative visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health.

Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time consuming, chiropractors stand ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals. How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.

What type of education to Chiropractors get?

The University training required to become a chiropractor is 5 years.

The science of chiropractic requires a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques, and other related subjects. These studies educate chiropractors to locate your spinal problems so they can help correct the resulting nervous system dysfunction. Before any chiropractic student graduates, they must pass demanding written and practical examinations by a panel of their peers. Then, they apply to a Government registration board and are reviewed before being granted the privilege to practice.
We believe education is a life long journey and we gladly commit to give up our weekends to continue learning to serve you better.

Do Chiropractic adjustments hurt?

In most cases, not at all. In fact most people find having an adjustment very relaxing. With some adjustments you may feel or hear popping sounds from the spinal joints. This is simply caused by a gas release from the joint as movement is restored. Sometimes handheld instruments may be used and special techniques are used for adjusting infants and children. Whatever the technique, Chiropractors use skill, not force or strength, to conduct a safe, effective adjustment.

What results can I expect?

Individual experience varies from person to person, but most people can expect some benefits soon after beginning care and for these to consolidate further as therapy continues.

How will I feel after an adjustment?

Some people may feel slight soreness following their first few treatments as the body begins to realign. This is usually very mild and only lasts for a short time (24-48hrs), but generally people report they feel ’lighter’, more relaxed and sleep better.

What causes that noise?

The popping noise that is sometimes associated with certain techniques is due to gas (80% carbon dioxide), rushing into to fill a partial vacuum created when the joint surfaces move slightly. Some techniques will produce no sound at all.

Is a good work-out the same as getting adjusted?

No. Exercise is an important part of good health, yet without normal spinal function a physical workout merely puts additional wear and tear on improperly functioning spinal joints.

Do Chiropractors only fix backs and necks?

This is a commonly asked question. In actual fact, chiropractors are trained and educated to deal with all neuromuscular skeletal problems of the body. This literally translates into nerve, muscle and bone problems.

Beside ‘fixing’ backs and necks, Chiropractors are also involved in the treatment and rehabilitation of all types of joint injuries including feet, ankles, knees, hips, hand, elbow and shoulder complaints.

Can Chiropractic help sporting injuries?

Absolutely! As discussed in ‘Do chiropractors only fix backs and necks?’, chiropractors have quite an extensive understanding and knowledge of injuries and trauma that can occur outside of the spinal region. This also incorporates sporting injuries. Sports Chiropractic Australia (SCA) is the premier body of chiropractic sports representation in Australia and is involved with many sporting events Australia wide and also internationally.

Sporting teams from many codes now regard chiropractic both as an essential presence when participating in competitive events and an important service in the rehabilitation of their players. SCA also holds regular review and education sessions, which allow chiropractors to be at the forefront of advancement of sports injury related therapy.

Can I have Chiropractic care after back surgery?

Yes. Rest assured that we will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. This will be the focus of your chiropractic care.

Isn’t some back pain normal?

Pain of any kind, at any age, is a sign that something isn’t right. Pain is the way your body signals that a limit has been reached or a problem has developed. Since we can adapt, minor aches and pains are often shrugged off. While they may go away, if the underlying problem remains unattended, the problem can slowly worsen until it becomes more difficult and expensive to resolve.

Can patients with osteoporosis get Chiropractic care?

Of course. We consider the unique circumstances of each client. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and condition.

Can I Adjust Myself?

Learning the how, when, where, and why of each chiropractic adjustment takes years of training and experience. Chiropractic adjustment consists of a specific force, applied in a specific direction, to a specific joint. Therefore, it is impossible for people to adjust themselves. Some people manipulate themselves. This process carries with it its own risks and dangers. The most common of these is to cause hyper-mobility to the joint in question (often above or below the actual restricted joint) due to excessive “popping” of the joint. This can cause many later problems, and can be difficult to reverse. While it may feel nice at the time, the subsequent laxity (looseness) of ligaments and other structures can be difficult to manage later down the track.

Want to refer a friend or family member?

Casey Chiropractic is a referral based practice. We welcome the opportunity to assist your friends and family members, contact the office today on 5996 8222 to find out more.

Still have questions? Don’t see the information that you were looking for?

Don’t hesitate to contact us on 5996 8222 or via email, we would be happy to help.


References:

1. Chiropractic in New Zealand: Report of the Commission of Inquiry. (1979). Hasselberg PD, Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand

2. Dabbs,V., & Lauretti,W.J. (1995). A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation vs NSAIDs for the Treatment of Neck Pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 18(8), 530-536