You’ve probably heard a million stories about Chiropractic. Much of the information out there is not true. Find out the answers to common questions and the truth behind the myths…
Is Chiropractic safe?
Very safe! No other University trained profession on earth has experienced such a concerted effort of mis-education and myth creation as Chiropractic. Each time the profession is investigated by impartial parties it is found to have high patient satisfaction, be effective, safe and without parallel. I sincerely believed that by this time in my career the full truth would have come out and be public knowledge. To date this has not been the case, so I look forward to another 20 years of educating the public one person at a time.
The easiest way to demonstrate the facts about Chiropractic is to look at the findings of the 1979 New Zealand Royal commission into the profession. Remember that testimony provided in a Royal commission is sworn in the same fashion as a court of law, and the consequences of not telling the truth are the same.
“The commission has found it established beyond any reasonable degree of doubt that chiropractor have a more thorough training in spinal mechanics and spinal manual therapy than any other health professional.”
The commission went on to list Chiropractic as being “remarkably safe”. The statistics out there support this finding.
Is Chiropractic safe for kids?
Absolutely. -in fact, based on the evidence to date it has been found to be one of the safest healthcare interventions they can have. There has not been a single documented serious adverse event reported since 1992. In comparison for the USA alone, in the year 2000 there were 4483 reported deaths as a result of patient safety events in hospitalised children.
What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is the specialised form of correction used in Chiropractic. It may take the form of a specialised manipulation or simply a gentle touch depending on the techniques used. Sometimes a special instrument is used to adjust a spine or extremity areas.
How many adjustments will I need?
A course of adjustments will be recommended based on your age, the nature, duration and course of your specific condition. Everyone’s health and healing time varies. Recommendations will also vary based upon you goals. You get to decide if you want to progress through to primary, corrective and wellness care.
What makes the noise you can hear during an adjustment?
During an adjustment the spinal or other joint being adjusted is moved a little more than it’s current range. Inside each joint is some lubricating fluid and this has tiny amount of Nitrogen dissolved in it. As we move the joint apart the volume inside the joint increases and the pressure decreases. This causes bubbles of gas to come out of the fluid resulting in a popping noise. Think of it as much like the bubbles coming out of Champagne when you release the pressure inside the bottle.
The gas bubbles in the joint now dissolve back into the fluid over the next 20 minutes or so. The champagne bubbles don’t dissolve back into the wine so you may just have to sample that- be a shame to see it go to waste.
How do you adjust babies?
We see many babies in the office and they often sleep through their first adjustment. With tiny little spines I find the best way to adjust them is lying on Mum’s tummy. I often use either gentle finger pressure or a little instrument sitting on top of my finger to give a very controlled tap. Using my finger under the instrument means I can locate the exact spot that I need to adjust and cushion the tap form the “Activator”. The great thing about little people is that their body’s respond well to very light changes and of course lying on Mum’s tum is the best place in the world to be when you’re a baby.
Can I adjust myself?
The simple answer to this no. Even I as a Chiropractor need to have my spine checked by another Chiropractor. It would be similar to wondering if a dentist could do his or her own fillings.
Sometimes people will attempt to manipulate their spine in various ways and can get noises coming from it as a result. This is very different to and adjustment. When doing this sort of thing areas of the spine that are moving well, will move more than they normally do and create a noise, and sometimes a pleasant bombardment of the nervous system that temporarily decrease pain signals. The problem is that the poorly functioning areas of the spine don’t improve, and often over-mobilities are created when the person continues to manipulate themselves in search of short term relief.
An adjustment specifically targets the subluxation or problem zones to restore normal function. A well function spine should make very little noise when you bend, stretch or move.
Do babies and children need Chiropractic?
Absolutely! The first possible time a subluxation can happen is in the birth process. Particularly if the birth is traumatic, suction extraction, or a forceps delivery. My first child was just 2 hours old when I first checked him for subluxations. His delivery was very simple and straight forward because Mum’s pelvis and body was working so well and yet I still had to do a tiny correction for him.
Learning to walk, general bumps and falls can all impact on spinal health. Solving little issues mean they don’t develop into big ones later. Best of all, in my experience, kids under natural Chiropractic care are so much healthier than their peers. That means much less stress for Mum and Dad.
What is a Subluxation?
A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.
OK so that’s the definition for the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia so what’s the simple answer.
So a subluxation is a change in spinal or other joint function that impacts negatively on nerve function in the body. This interference can result in poorer nerve supply to what ever is at the end of the nerve. That may include muscles, skin, organs and other parts of the body. The best way to explain it is to look at the video on our homepage.
More often than not subluxations are present in the spine for longer than you may feel them. Much like cavities in teeth.
How do I know if I have a Subluxation?
Have a check-up with your Chiropractor. The only registered health professional that is specifically trained to assess spinal health and function for the detection of vertebral subluxations is a Chiropractor. I get my spine checked regularly by another Chiropractor to correct small subluxations before they become bigger problems.
Why are X-rays used?
X-rays provide a huge amount of information for the Chiropractor. They assist in diagnosis, safety and getting better, faster results in your care. Not everyone needs x-rays prior to being adjusted and a decision to take x-rays will be based on your examination findings and other tests. Today x-ray technology has improved vastly and exposures are kept to a minimum. We find that by taking our own digital images we take less images than radiology centres and have less x-ray exposure as a result. See our X-ray page for more details.
What is a slipped disc?
A slipped disc is the simple term used to describe a vertebral subluxation. Spinal discs are anchored in place so strongly that the cannot slip out of place. With long term subluxation damage to a disc it is possible that they can bulge or prolape, but this is a rare event.
Sadly this simplification suggests that a Chiropractor can magically put a disc back in place and everything will be fine. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen either. Think about a rusty hinge in the spine rather than something that is in place or out of place. So a slipped disc = a subluxation.
Can adjustments wear out the spine?
No. Adjustments help restore normal spinal movement and nervous system function. This may be another myth that comes from an assumption that a Chiropractor would adjust a spine even when it’s working well. “If it ain’t broke- don’t fix it.” a pretty simple philosophy for me.
Can I have too many adjustments?
The great news is no! That’s because your spine will only be adjusted if it needs to be. I’m not sure why, but there seems to be an assumption out there that we will adjust a spine regardless of how it’s working. Just like going to the dentist, the best possible outcome from a check-up in our office is for there to be nothing for us to do. If there’s nothing to correct that’s fabulous! It’s something that we see much more in kids than adults.
Am I too old for Chiropractic care?
Never. If you have a spine then your spinal health can be checked and if necessary improved. We modify our techniques to ensure the comfort and safety of experienced spines. Bone density loss can be an important issues in older spines so it is essential that we provide gentle but effective corrections for seniors. Sometimes changes are a little slower for experienced spines, but often the most dramatic changes happen in rapidly improved motion and flexibility.
What is a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve is generally what people will refer to when they are talking about a subluxation as. The effects of subluxation on a nerve often creates interference with messages to the body and sometimes pain. Usually when there is pain present (especially in the spine) the first thing we think about is a nerve under stress- hence the “pinched nerve”. It’s a subluxation, so get your spine checked.
Subluxations in the spine can also result in pain being experienced at a site distant to the problem. So leg pain such as sciatica (pressure on the sciatic nerve), arm pain or wrist pain can result.