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.
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works by helping to restore your own inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissue and organs of your body are designed to function well and resist disease and ill-health.
The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help reduce interference to your natural state of being healthy.
A common interference to the nervous system is the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system. This can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses.
Chiropractors aim to improve nervous system function primarily through chiropractic adjustments (with particular attention to the spine, skull and pelvis), to help remove any interference that may be impairing normal health.
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 that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs.
In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies acquired by the CAA have shown a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs.
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 or a variety of adjusting approaches.
Is chiropractic care appropriate for children?
Since significant trauma can occur at birth, many parents choose to have their newborns checked for any spinal health related problems. Later, learning to walk, riding a bicycle and other childhood activities can cause spinal health related problems.
While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the potential underlying structural damage to the child’s spine, skull, pelvis and extremities is the unique domain of a chiropractor.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as ‘growing pains’ may be able to be traced to the spine. Regular chiropractic checkups may be able to identify these problems and help avoid some of the health complaints seen later in adults. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child’s spine, particularly babies.
Am I too old for chiropractic care?
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, endurance and appetite. Many patients report improvements with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the ageing process. The adjusting technique used by your chiropractor will be modified for maximum comfort and results.
As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes 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 periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find a schedule of preventative visits is 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.
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 sometimes feel or hear a popping sound from the spinal joints; this is simply caused by a gas release from the joint as spinal movement is restored, such as when a wet glass is removed from a table.
Some chiropractors use a hand held instrument to adjust the spine. Others use pelvic blocks to re-align the body. 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.