Is Chiropractic Care Safe?


Chiropractic is remarkably safe according to a government inquiry in New Zealand.

Chiropractic is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. (1)

Studies have found that a course of Chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory Drugs (2)

Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.



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.

There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the chiropractor's hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly-accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow, constant or indirect pressure.

After years of university training and clinical experience, each chiropractor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.



Is Chiropractic Care safe for Children and New Borns?


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.



Do Chiropractic Adjustments hurt?



This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions in our clinic, the good news is not only does it not hurt, some people find adjustments relaxing. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick force onto to the spine that does not hurt. The Stretch after the adjustment does not hurt however the muscle care/treatment before the adjustment may be uncomfortable depending how much scar tissue, inflammation is present in the muscle.

Chiropractors use skill, not force or strength, to conduct a safe and effective adjustment.





What results can you 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





What is 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.


How Much Does care cost?


At our Clinic a New pateint Consultation is $90 and a return visit is $45.


Do you need a referral?


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 Treatment Ongoing ?


The hands-on nature of the chiropractic treatment is essentially what requires patients to visit the chiropractor a number of times. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient needs to be in his or her office. In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary.  Your doctor of chiropractic should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.

A new injury will typically take around 12 visits for pain and inflammation to subside. Care after the initial acute phase focuses on posture and spinal correction so the injury does not re occur and then we focus on providing care so pain and limited motion are not part of the norm.


What is that popping sound when a joint is adjusted?


Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble between the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.


References


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

Commonly asked questions

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