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.1
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
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
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.
In understanding the difference between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy, 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.”
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.
This is a really difficult question to answer, since the list would be so long.
Most people simply associate Chiropractors with the spine’ the neck, upper back and lower back. Many do not realise that every day we treat nearly every part of the body, from the head to the toes and everything in between. If there is a bone, muscle, ligament or nerve involved, we’re interested! If you are wondering whether we can help you, then the best thing to do is to ring us and ask. We probably can!
We love seeing expectant mums through pregnancy.
The mechanical and hormonal changes that occur in a woman during the 9 or so months of pregnancy can cause some discomfort, but our treatment is underpinned by the philosophy that pregnancy is not a disease it’s a natural process!
Sometimes old back, neck or pelvis injuries can come back to haunt during pregnancy and labour. This is especially relevant given the increasing age at which women are falling pregnant. We assist by identifying problems and heading them off before they cause grief.
It is vitally important for the expectant motherís spine and pelvis to be aligned and healthy during pregnancy, keeping her nervous system free from interference.
Everybody is different. Many factors alter how long it might take for your problem to be fixed.
1) Pain intensity prior to consultation
Often the level of pain you experience can give an indication of how severe your injuries are. Although this is not always the case, more pain usually means more healing time.
2) Pain duration prior to consultation
The longer you have had your problems, the more time it will to take to get better. Research has shown that if a joint becomes immobilised it only takes a week for scar tissue to begin to form in that joint! Attacking the problem early is essential for a quick recovery.
3) Number of prior episodes
Imagine that you sprain your ankle. Even after the ankle heals, it is no longer as strong as it originally was. From that point on the ankle is predisposed to the same injury reoccurring. Every time it reoccurs the ankle takes longer to heal. Exactly the same principle applies to your spine or any other structure in your body. If you have had prior episodes of your problem then it will take longer to fully heal.
When you see your Chiropractor he or she will develop a detailed plan of long term care to fully rehabilitate your problem.
The first phase of this plan is called ACUTE CARE. In this phase the main goal is to get you out of pain and to prevent further injury.
The second phase of treatment is REHABILITATION. You and your Chiropractor will work together in this period to help your tissues to heal properly and to strengthen weakened areas.
The third is the PREVENTION and MAINTENANCE. During this period it is hoped that you will take a very active part in your care by modifying your lifestyle to avoid activities that might reinjure you and performing certain exercises and stretches. You will also see your Chiropractor periodically for check-ups to make sure that your spine stays healthy.
Following the care plan worked out by your Chiropractor gives you the best possible chance of regaining full expression of health. Many patients believe that they are better when they are pain-free. In fact, they have only made it through the acute phase of treatment. Terminating treatment at this point does not allow the tissues to heal properly and thus predisposes you to re-injury in the future.
Nearly everyone has heard of sciatica. It is one of the most common conditions that motivates people to come for treatment. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It originates from nerves in the low back, travels through the backside muscles, and down the back of the leg.
Behind the knee it branches in to the common peroneal nerve and the posterior tibial nerve.
The posterior tibial nerve travels down the back of the calve and eventually branches again at the ankle and goes under the foot. The common peroneal nerve branches almost immediately into deep and superficial branches which run down the outside of the leg and travel to the top of the foot. Problems with the sciatic nerve can cause very severe aching or shooting pain in the leg, numbness, weakness or pins and needles, or a combination.
Sciatica occurs because of irritation to or compression of the sciatic nerve. There are many places where this can originate. Some of the most common are inflamed or bulging discs in the low back, or pressure on the nerve as it runs under/through the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region (ie your bottom), or scar tissue and adhesions on the nerve due to previous injuries.
Chiropractors identify and address the root cause of sciatica. Bulging discs, spasming piriformis muscles, and scar tissue all respond amazingly to Chiropractic care.
If you are coming in to see us and you already have x-rays, CT scans, bone scans or MRI scans, please bring them with you. Many people don’t bring them because their doctor told them that the films didn’t show anything. We prefer to read the films ourselves as Chiropractors look for different things to what doctors look for. When doctors look at x-rays they are mainly aiming to identify or rule out serious pathology such as cancer, infections, fractures or metabolic disease.
Chiropractors are trained to look for those conditions,but we also very carefully analyse any distortions in the shape and position of the spine. We always arrange for our x-rays to be taken in the standing position, because the force of gravity makes a big difference to your spine when you stand up compared with lying down.
If you don’t have x-rays, we may need you to have them done. It is often not necessary, but if there is any history of previous trauma (such as a car accident), or if we suspect arthritis, or if you have any red flags (which might indicate a more serious condition or illness), we will refer you to a nearby x-ray clinic. You needn’t worry that you will glow in the dark; the radiation you get when flying to England is 24 times greater than a single chest x-ray! Usually x-rays are bulk billed by the radiology clinic.