What is chiropractic?
Physiotherapist or Chiropractor??
What is an adjustment
What is a subluxation?
How much study do chiropractors do?
Are chiropractors regulated?
Is chiropractic a miracle cure for all?
Chiropractic and kids?
If I start seeing a chiropractor, do I have to go for ever?
When I get adjusted by the chiropractor, will I be fixed permanently?
Do I need to keep coming back?
Why is chiropractic so good at improving pain?
What is Wellness?
What is a “slipped” disc?
What is Sciatica?
Why does my back pain come and go?
Is chiropractic care safe during pregnancy?
I thought arthritis/degeneration was age related!?
Is back pain genetic as many in my family seem to suffer from it?
There are many different ways to answer this question but we love to keep things simple. So what is chiropractic? Simply put, it is very precise MOVEMENT (called an adjustment), applied to bones that are LACKING in movement and alignment (called subluxations). It takes us many years to perfect how we apply that movement, but that’s another story. So that’s it, MOVEMENT, chiropractic is about joint movement! It’s important to understand however, that the implications are enormous! Movement is the language of our nervous system. The system that controls and regulates every one of our 60 Trillion cells! Movement messages from our joints (proprioception) has been described as one of the most important nutrients for our brain function! Yes, nutrient! Without this nutrient our brain and therefore the rest of us doesn’t function properly, leading to all sorts of aches and pains and many other conditions. This is why poor movement in our spines is so detrimental for us.
This question comes up a lot. Obviously we both work with the musculoskeletal system. And you’re in pain! So who do you see? The very simple answer is: Physiotherapists FOCUS on muscle imbalances and they correct this with massage, strengthening and stretching exercises, whereas Chiropractors FOCUS on bone alignment and joint mobility and the interrelationship between the boney alignment/movement and your nerves. So, is the source of your pain muscular or bony?? This is what it really comes down to, doesn’t it?
From years of experience, I find most people think their pain is in the muscle because that’s where they feel it. And often it is, BUT it’s also in the joint, so it’s important to understand what’s really going on! A JOINT SPRAIN will lead to muscle spasm. And often what’s causing your pain is a joint sprain (in the spine), SECONDARY to a misaligned bone, straining the surrounding muscles, ligaments AND nerves. So if you only focus on the muscle, you overlook the true cause of your pain, and that is why often with musculoskeletal pain, it’s important to start with alignment first, before you go balancing muscles, and this is what Chiropractors do.
This is the term used for the “treatment” that chiropractors provide, specifically the gentle, high velocity, low amplitude movement that is created at the joint, often by hand, but at times with other gadgets or instruments that you will see lying around the office. Sometimes there is a popping sound or cracking sound associated with the movement in the joint. Some people are frightened by this sound and feeling, but they needn’t be. The sound is simply a result of Nitrogen gas escaping from the joint fluid as a change in pressure is created by the adjustment. It is by no means harmful, and here at LCC, you will receive a thorough explanation and warning prior to any adjustments being performed.
This is what chiropractors adjust (correct or treat). It is the vertebral micro-mis-alignment and joint restriction and neurological dysfunction that follows. Chiropractors create gentle joint movement called an adjustment in order to correct subluxations.
To be a qualified chiropractor takes 5 full-time years at a University. Our regulatory body also ensures that we undergo continued professional development every year, in order to stay informed and on top of our game.
All chiropractors are regulated by the national Chiropractic Board which is in turn regulated by AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency), the same agency regulating medical doctors and dentists.
I’d love to say yes, but of course not. There are many causes of our ailments (most of which are environmental and within our control) and the subluxation is just a side-effect. However, as discussed in a different section, chiropractic creates movement in the joints, which has an incredibly powerful effect on the human body and therefore leads to numerous improvements (often very distant from the original complaint). BEWARE, Don’t compare your results to others. We are all so different, which leads to different types of results. Imagine two swimmers doing the exact same training, but with very different results. This is due to our individuality.
Believe it or not, but yes we adjust children too, even newborns! Physical trauma is what initially weakens our spinal joints. And birth is often our FIRST significant trauma, particularly if there were difficulties during birth or if intervention (forceps/vacuum) was utilized. A lot of parents choose to have their child checked for subluxations knowing that birth is quite stressful on the child. Other parents have an unsettled child and they don’t know where else to turn.
This question comes up a lot in people’s minds, whether they bring it up or not. How long you choose to benefit from chiropractic is always up to you! However, the reality is, health takes time and effort. Can you have good nutrition for the rest of your life after eating a good diet for only one month total? If you want to be fit and toned, can you exercise regularly for a couple of months and maintain that level of fitness for the rest of your life even though you stop exercising?? Of course not. So what makes you think you can have a perfectly healthy spine and nervous system after having a few adjustments? Once your spine has been adjusted, it’s going to feel good for a while due to the changes created. But if you leave it, it will slowly stiffen up again and we’ll need to start from scratch. Chiropractic is really a lifestyle choice that people make.
Please try and understand this physiological effect – Once a joint is injured, it becomes PERMANENTLY weakened. Think of your average athlete. After a serious injury, say a damaged knee, they might have one more shot at it, if they’re lucky, otherwise that knee will never be the same. The damaged soft tissue heals with scar tissue, which is a poorer quality material than the original. So you now have a permanent weakness. We make improvements by treating you, but because of that weakness, if you stop getting treated, the problem will slowly return. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your knee, shoulder or spine that’s in question. The other point to understand is this, by the time we see a patient, it’s been years, often decades since their initial injury. Most of our patients don’t even remember the injuries, but xrays don’t lie! So by the time they come in to see us, their spines and joints are usually riddled with injuries and they didn’t even know it because they didn’t have any obvious pain. Due to that weakness in the supporting structures of the joint, the bones will always be prone to further mis-alignments and dysfunction down the track, unless the individual knows how to manage that permanent condition. That’s where chiropractic comes in.
You’re in control of your decisions! You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. We are here to help you achieve YOUR goals. If you only want a “quick fix”, that’s perfectly alright. It is however our professional duty to inform you of all the risks involved and educate you by giving you information. Just be upfront and tell the chiropractor what you want so you’re both on the same page and heading in a common direction.
It’s not so much chiropractic as it is MOVEMENT that is good at alleviating pain. It’s just that chiropractors specialise in movement. But it is a well known fact that movement of a joint NUMBS pain messages. It’s called the pain-gait theory. What do you automatically do when you bang your finger with a hammer, or hurt yourself in any way? You often shake your hand (in the case of a hammer) or rub or stimulate it. That stimulation sends messages up your nerves that compete with the pain messages, thereby creating the effect of less pain.
Chiropractors create movement in the joint, often freeing it up after years of restriction. As the movement gets better and better, the pain reduces more and more. SIMPLE!
Wellness is what healthcare is meant to be! It’s looking at health in a holistic way (the chemical, physical, and emotional components) rather than only symptom focused. A wellness focused practitioner will assess your current well-being (with regards to nutrition, physical activity and your mental state) and guide you towards your optimum state based on your genetic requirement. Simply put, wellness is about improving your actual health, rather than just eliminating your symptoms.
Well, discs don’t slip. This is a laymen’s term for a disc that is bulging, herniated, or prolapsed. This is basically a disc that has been damaged from some physical trauma (that people often don’t remember!), leading to wear and tear over many years. When chiropractors adjust the spine, we are directly helping the discs. As a result, we have great results with all types of disc problems and always suggest you try a conservative approach like chiropractic before you even think about surgery or anything more invasive. There is a time and place for surgery, but in our experience it is rarely required if people are prepared to follow some simple instructions. If you understand that poor joint mobility is at the core of a disc problem, using chiropractic to help will make a lot of sense, as we simply create movement directly in the joint and disc.
This is a specific type of leg pain that people experience (usually a sharp pain down the back of the leg and into the calf) that is caused by a bulging disc creating pressure on certain nerves making up the Sciatic nerve. This nerve runs down the leg and is why people experience pain in the leg. It’s important to understand that there is nothing wrong with the leg. This is most likely a vertebral disc problem and something you should let a chiropractor examine.
This could be due to a number of reasons. One of these is your body’s ability to adapt, patch and repair. A mild injury, say lifting a heavy object, will create some strain which your body has the ability to patch up with scar tissue (poor quality tissue), helping in the short term, but creating weakness only to be aggravated later. Another reason is whether your pain is caused by physical or emotional factors. Pain is actually an emotion and highly linked to our emotional state (which FLUCTUATES). Many bouts of pain are due to lifestyle stresses (usually acute/sudden bouts of stress eg family member dies, divorce, financial problems, work confrontations or office politics). Note however, that pain is generally felt in a damaged joint or dysfunctional area. Put a simpler way, stress goes to the weakest areas, and infact brings to your attention that there is an existing problem.
We regularly adjust pregnant ladies all the way throughout pregnancy, even in the last days leading up to birth. Chiropractic is extremely gentle and can improve pelvic mobility, and thereby potentially improve chances for a natural birth. We really encourage pregnant ladies to get checked and adjusted during pregnancy, preferably even before they become pregnant. Remember, we can’t xray you if you are pregnant.
This is a very common misconception. Just because you’re older doesn’t necessarily mean you will have more degeneration. This process is usually the natural procession following some kind of physical trauma. Injure any joint, and over time it will degenerate. Injure that joint when you are 2 years old (say from a significant fall) and you will see degeneration within 5-10 years. So this young person will now have obvious signs of wear and tear upon xray analysis. Injure that joint for the first time when you are 50 years old, and 5-10 years later you will see signs of wear and tear on xray analysis. It just so happens that older people, having spent more time on this planet, will generally have had more time to accumulate and develop degeneration.
There will be some genetic component, but to put it into perspective, we could say less than 1% of the cause. The remaining 99% will be a direct result of your lifestyle (day to day activities, stresses and choices), so in other words, NOT due to genetics, but vastly things within your control. So stop blaming your genes, it’s time to accept some responsibility and get on with the job at hand, managing your condition, taking matters into your own hands.