Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a health care discipline based on the scientific premise that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body. “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “done by hand.”
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.
The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain. The moving bones of the spine protect the intricate communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots. If these nervous system pathways are impaired, malfunction of the tissue and organ function throughout the body can result.
Chiropractic also places an emphasis on nutrition and exercise, wellness and healthy lifestyle modifications.
How Does Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic is based upon the understanding that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system.
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 twenty four 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.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 anti-inflammatory drugs.2
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. After years of university training and clinical experience, each chiropractor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of the adjustment.
At Pro Health Chiropractic, gentle manual adjustments are given with the hands.
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 and 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 aging process. The adjusting technique used by your doctor will be modified for maximum comfort and results. As we get older and wiser, the simplicity and effectiveness of chiropractic care becomes more and 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 that 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 that a schedule of preventative visits are 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 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.
What results can I expect?
If you’re new to Chiropractic care, you’ll want to know what type of result you can 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. Statistically too, research shows that Chiropractic care is more effective and economical and also gives longer lasting results for disorders of the spine than other forms of health care. 3, 4, 5
The difference between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?
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.
Do you need a referral from a GP?
Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners therefore a referral is not necessary. However more and more GP's are referring to Chiropractors via the Enhanced Primary Care Program (EPC).
Is chiropractic safe during pregnancy?
Chiropractic care is both safe and effective during your entire pregnancy. We have state of the art chiropractic tables that allow you to lie on your stomach without any pressure on the baby.
If you are pregnant, or have been, you will know first hand that pregnancy changes your body in many ways. As you start to gain weight and your posture changes, there is a lot more stress on the spine. In addition to this your hormones begin to soften the ligaments through your spine and skeletal system. All these changes create a lot of stress on your spine and can result in low back, mid-back and neck pain.
When you deliver your baby, it is also important to have a properly aligned pelvic region, as any deviation from the normal can compromise the dimensions of the birth canal, potentially making the birth more difficult.
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
3 Meade TW, Dyer S, Browne W, Townsend J, Frank AO. (1990) Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomised Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment. The British Medical Journal 300: 1431-7
4 Manga P, Angus D et al (1993) The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain. Pran Manga and Associates, University of Ottawa, Canada.
5 Shekelle PG, Adams AH, Chassin MR et al. (1991) AHThe Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain: Indications and Ratings by a Multidisciplinary Panel. Santa Monida, Calif: RAND Copr, 1991