Chiropractic is a science based on the fact that the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body enable the body to self-regulate and self-heal. The brain is protected by the skull, and the communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots are protected by vertebra of the spine. If the ability of the delicate nervous system to communicate is impaired, the organs and tissues of the body are unable to function correctly.
Chiropractic Doctors aim to restore your body’s innate ability to be healthy. This is based on the premise that when the nervous system is functioning at it’s optimum capacity, the body is able to resist ill health and disease. By optimising spinal function, Chiropractors help remove interference to the nervous system, and thus enhance the body’s natural ability to maintain a state of health. The most common interference to the nervous system is a disruption in the motion or position of the vertebra of the spine. When this occurs, the transmission of nerve impulses is disrupted, therefore impairing the function of the nervous system. Chiropractors aim to correct the vertebral alignment in order to remove the interference and optimise the function of the nervous system.
Many patients arrive at a Chiropractor with the belief that they have a ‘pinched nerve’. In fact, this is quite a rare condition. Most commonly, nerves are irritated rather than pinched. This is a result of nerve tissue being rubbed, scraped, stretched by a loss of spinal curve, or irritated by malfunctioning spinal joints. Due to the way the spine is designed, the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots are usually affected by abnormal spinal function caused from physical trauma, emotional tensions, or chemical toxins.
Technically, a disc can’t ‘slip’. This is due to the way each disc is attached to the vertebrae above and below. The intervertebral disc, a pad of cartlige type material located between the spinal bones, acts as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. It also allows normal turning and bending. The disc consists of outer layers of fibrous tissue with a soft, jelly like centre. Injury or trauma to the disc can result in the disc tearing, bulging, herniating, or at worst, rupturing. This is an extremely painful condition as the soft centre of the disc leaks and places pressure on the adjacent nerve roots and spinal cord.
Initially, your Chiropractor will complete a case history to gain an insight into your background concerning issues such as the onset of your condition, accidents, surgeries, and other relevant information concerning your current state of health. Following a discussion of your specific concern, your Chiropractor will conduct a thorough orthopaedic, neurological, and Chiropractic examination. X-rays may also be taken to assist in defining structural and functioning problems associated with the spine. All examination findings are thoroughly considered in order to identify areas of spinal malfunction and resulting nervous system deficit. The results of the examinations are then explained to you, and a plan of care recommended. Your progress is monitored with periodical examinations and follow-up reports.
Chiropractors are highly educated professionals. There are three university degrees available to train as a Chiropractor in Australia (RMIT University in Melbourne, Macquarie University in Sydney, and Murdoch University in Perth).During the five year course, emphasis is placed on training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, and spinal adjusting techniques.
All Chiropractors are required to be government registered in the state in which they practice.
A Chiropractic adjustment involves the application of a specific force, in a precise direction helping to restore movement in a poorly functioning joint. Adjustments are extremely safe and effective in enhancing spinal movement, and optimising nervous system function. There are numerous ways to adjust the spine. Your Chiropractor will discuss these methods with you and recommend a technique most suited to you.
No! While you may be able to reproduce the sound associated with an adjustment by performing stretches or twists, it is virtually impossible to correctly adjust yourself. In fact, you may be doing more harm than good. Adjustments should be specifically delivered and controlled.
Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. Government studies conducted in recent years have concluded that Chiropractic care is both extremely effective and cost efficient compared with medical and other forms of therapy for spinal complaints. Chiropractic is a safe, natural and non-invasive approach to health care.
Healing takes time. However, when you adhere to sensible lifestyle choices such as regular rest, exercise, avoiding spinal stress, and maintaining a healthy diet, you enhance your ability to heal. Most importantly, follow your Chiropractor’s recommendations and adhere to your plan of care for optimal results.
Children have spines too! Their spines can be subjected to significant trauma during the process of birth and also in many other childhood experiences such as learning to walk, climbing, falling off bikes and the like. Many common childhood health complaints can be related to spinal dysfunction and may benefit from Chiropractic care. Remember, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”
You are never too old to benefit from Chiropractic care. There is growing concern regarding the safety and quantity of prescription medications for ailments associated with the process of ageing. Due to its natural, non-invasive approach to health care, Chiropractic is becoming increasingly popular. Many patients find that Chiropractic care results in improvement in mobility, reduced pain, posture, and clarity of thought. The techniques used by your Chiropractor will be those most suited to you and your stage of life.
This is dependant upon the length of time your problem has been present. Long standing, chronic problems cause the body to adapt and produce complex compensatory patterns of dysfunction. Consequently, your care is a process rather than a simple procedure. Consider this - If you were unfit and went to a gym, you would require a series of workouts over a period of time to gain the level of fitness which you desire. You would then need to maintain this level of fitness with ongoing training sessions. This is how you should view your Chiropractic care. How long you decide to benefit from Chiropractic care is always up to you.