Below are answers to some of the most common questions we’re asked, and that are asked in general about Chiropractic. If you’re looking for an answer to a different question, please don’t hesitate to call us.
Chiropractic care is based on the premise that the body is governed by its nervous system. A subluxation in the body’s skeletal (bone) structure can upset the bodies ability to heal itself. Chiropractic care is a drug free way to help the body restore normal, ‘natural’ function to the joints and reduce nerve message distortion. The result of a successful adjustment is a body in harmony with itself and with its surroundings. A body in harmony in relation to the spinal vertebrae and other bones can result in ‘reduced pain’.
Where chiropractic care is coming more to the fore is from this very position – take care of the condition, not only the symptoms. Care for the symptoms while the cause is being dealt with, yes; however it is vital that we do not lose sight of the more natural and logical path to follow in the area of the human body.
Just some examples of where chiropractic research is heading:
- Back and Neck Pain
- Sporting injuries
- Inability to sleep
- Difficulties with pregnancy
- Ear infections
- Overall Quality of Life
As can be seen from this list of a few of the conditions found to be assisted through chiropractic attention, it isn’t only the most obvious ‘bone-related’ disorders that can receive lasting benefits from chiropractic care.
A subluxation in chiropractic terms is merely another word for a slight dislocation, misalignment or joint dysfunction of one or more of the spinal joints. They tend to irritate or aggravate the nerve roots coming from the spinal cord itself. The results of a subluxation may be pain, muscle changes or organ dysfunction – depending on which nerves are being affected.
The simplest description for a chiropractic adjustment is that it is a specific movement of the spine or other area of the body to correct the lost or aberrant movement of vertebrae or a joint. There’s really nothing more complicated about an adjustment than this. Of course there are many ways for a chiropractor to effect an adjustment and just as many ways to describe the procedure.
Depending on where on the body the adjustment has to be made determines the style and form of the procedure. Generally speaking, though, a chiropractic adjustment involves a specific and controlled pressure or force being applied in a specific direction to a fixed or locked joint in order to ‘unseize’ it. The purpose of this procedure is to improve the spinal function, nervous system function, remove muscle tension, and boost general health.
After years of training and clinical experience, the chiropractor at our Mooroolbark clinic is highly professional in delivering a variety of adjustment methodologies for your health and wellness.
Knowing what to expect when you visit a chiropractor helps to dissipate any apprehension or even fear you may have beforehand. Being prepared for that rather unnerving ‘pop’ as your joint or back undergoes an adjustment is half the battle to relaxing and getting better!
So what causes the loud popping sound you hear as you’re being adjusted?
It’s all a matter of gases – the sudden release of gases around the joint being adjusted – as simple as that.
As to what causes the gases to make this sound is also simple: each joint, especially in the spinal joints, is lubricated by a fluid. This fluid ensures smoothness of movement and cushioning of the joint from shock and stresses. It essentially permits a silky action for the joint, reducing friction on the bone through all its planes of movement.
As with most fluids there are air bubbles contained within its flowing substance. As your chiropractor carries out the adjustment the joint opens and releases the gases with a ‘pop’.
The fluid then returns to its proper location around the joint and continues to carry out its function of lubrication and carrying waste products away from the area.
Yes, chiropractic is safe. With everything there’s a risk of sorts – chiropractic is no different. In the same way as you risked your neck putting it out, there’s a very minimum risk when it goes back in! Seriously, chiropractic care is very safe, if only for the fact that those who practice the art do so from a highly trained standpoint.
You may feel a little sore for a day or two after your chiropractic adjustment. This is mainly due to the body’s process of re-adjusting itself after its period of being subluxated. Please see our first visit page.
The chiropractor evaluates each patient’s unique spine and develops an individual course of care. Each visit builds on the one before. While visits may seem similar, each patient’s care is uniquely different from every other patient’s.
Regardless of the adjusting technique, chiropractic care is tailored to each individual’s age, condition and spinal problem.
An example of this is with children under care. Children generally have more mobile joints, and therefore, require less force in order to attain the desired effect of the adjustment.
In addition to varying the amount of force used, adjustment frequency will also be customised to the individual. Different conditions require different intensities in visit schedules.
The chiropractors at Mooroolbark Family Chiropractic Centre will tailor a specific care plan for you that takes into account a number of factors. These factors include (but are not limited to), the results of nerve function scans or x-rays, physical examination findings, what tissue is involved (eg. ligament, tendon, muscle, disc, organ), how long you have had the condition, the amount of inflammation and intensity of pain being experienced, and the presence of any unavoidable aggravating factors to your condition (eg. your occupation or degeneration).
These days what is elderly? What used to be considered ‘old’ at 60 is now only ‘senior’ at 80! How many people can you think of who look as though they’re in their fifties, and then you discover they are well over 65 or even 70?
Senior age groups often ask whether they can take advantage of chiropractic care and if it will help to alleviate problems with shoulder, hip and other joints without jeopardising them.
The answer is a definite ‘yes’.
There are a number of treatable conditions of the body as age increases; we just have to know precisely where the condition is and what is causing it. The first step is to ask the question of a chiropractor – if you don’t ask the question you will never know the answer. “Can you do anything for me”(?) is probably the simplest approach to your chiropractor.
Chiropractic care may help some seniors reduce pain and may help increase mobility. Treatment may also help reduce arthritic symptoms.
Many women experience back pain during pregnancy due to the extra and unusual weight placed on the spine.
Studies have shown that by providing a consistent program of chiropractic care for the mum-to-be in pregnancy the nervous system and spine display healthy benefits before, during and after the birth.
Post natal chiropractic has also been found to have beneficial effects for a return to normal spine and pelvic posture.
In short, and as a general rule, chiropractic care can be applied safely through all stages of pregnancy and thereafter.
Chiropractic procedures are tailored to the individual patient’s general condition, spinal situation and age. Also taken into consideration would be any special circumstances or illness the patient may have that could affect the care provided by the chiropractor. Naturally differing circumstances will, to a certain degree, dictate the type of procedure offered and the frequency. These circumstances will vary from the type of tissue requiring attention – nerves, muscles, organs, ligaments or tendons – the level of damage and pain and what effects there may be, if any, of the patient’s occupation.
However, when we compare the actual quality of care we find no difference between those in receipt of chiropractic care – each individual receives the same care according to the individual!
Pain, although generally a good indicator that something within the body needs attending to, is not always the best method for judging the condition. Sometimes we can become ‘acclimatised’ to the body’s state and what ordinarily would be considered ‘pain’ is what we regard as a normal part of our daily life – a mild discomfort that’s to be endured because…we’ve had it for a while! It has become just something that you accept.
The lack of pain per se is not necessarily a good signpost to the condition your spine is in.
The only way to establish if your spine is ‘where it should be’ in relation to the rest of your body is to ask your chiropractor.
It is a good idea to get yourself some regular maintenance checks, in the same way as you do your car – if it’s good enough for a collection of metal, plastic and glass it is surely good enough for a bundle of bones, especially when its the only bundle you possess. If your wish is for your body to function at its optimal level it makes great sense to get it checked out.
Quality of life is important for peak fitness and vice versa; by having a spine that’s functioning properly can we enjoy a full and active life. This entails getting someone who knows to give regular chiropractic care checks to establish your true state of fitness.
The answer to this is that you can continue your visits to the chiropractor for as long as you wish to benefit from chiropractic care. It is all a matter of consideration of the prevailing circumstances and your condition – not forgetting your frame of mind once your chiropractor has helped you to optimise your health.
There are essentially three ways of looking at the question:
- Once you have finished your initial chiropractic care and the symptoms have eased, wait to determine if you feel pain from the same region and arrange another visit for attention only then
- Once the symptoms have eased, you could choose to follow a programme of care for rehabilitation. Some conditions involving spine and subluxations and the resulting discomfort do tend to return for a variety of reasons; to wait for this to occur risks possibly worsening the situation. The objective in this option is to prevent, as far as possible, a recurrence of the initial problem. Regular observation by an experienced chiropractor is more likely to achieve this than waiting for the pain to come back and then looking into the reason why.
- Consider an approach to maintain the new improved you. The intermittent maintenance check to keep a watching brief on the area that has previously given trouble. Remembering that the appearance or lack of symptoms is not necessarily a true indication of the actual condition, it makes good sense to have a check up regularly after the main care has been completed.
‘Health enhancement’ or ‘wellness’ care is designed to give you the opportunity to get the most out of your chiropractic care. Better communication between your brain and organs, via a healthy nervous system, will allow you to enjoy optimal health.
There are several factors which could influence the ‘healing time’ once you’ve had your adjustment. These include, but aren’t restricted to: your age, the severity and length of time you’ve had the condition; nutrition – what you eat can make a difference to your recovery; occupation, posture and stress. All things considered it is probably wise to speak with your chiropractor to determine the after-care your individual condition will require and if it is best served by continued visits.