Frequently Asked Questions
Please provide a basic explanation of chiropractic care and how it works in healing the body?
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that the nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ, and system of your body. While the brain is protected by the skull, the spinal cord is more vulnerable, covered by 24 moving vertebrae. When these bones lose their normal motion or position, this can cause premature aging or degeneration of the spinal joints and can irritate or block the delicate nervous system. This disrupts the function of the tissues or organs that the nerves control and is called a Vertebral Subluxation. Chiropractic is the science of locating these areas of spinal joint dysfunction and the art of correcting them. It concerns itself with the relationship between the nervous system and the function (health) of the body. As the function of the joints improves the scales are tipped away from dysfunction and degeneration back towards health and regeneration.
What role does chiropractic care play in enhancing the body’s functions and immune system?
The goal of Chiropractic care is to locate and correct a serious type of spinal and nervous system stress called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. By releasing stress on the nervous system, chiropractic permits the immune system (and other systems like digestion for example) to function more effectively. Stress depresses the immune system through the Autonomic nervous system. By reducing stress around the spine and the nervous system, the immune system function can improve.
In what areas does it complement conventional medicine and which ways does it provide an alternative to conventional medicine? (e.g., some people go to a chiropractor for the flu, please explain how that works.)
Medical care should not be the first thought when the body is out of balance and showing symptoms. The body wants to heal itself; it just needs any interference removing. Medicine is great for emergency situations, but we should try and look after our bodies as naturally as we can before introducing synthetic drugs. This makes perfect sense and most people if they think about it will realize the truth here. Medicine tends to treat the symptoms, which is not always the best thing to do. Treating the cause of the problem usually is the healthy sensible option. Of course, a medical doctor may prescribe pain-killers or anti-inflammatory drugs to ease pain for example for back pain or headaches, but this should be complemented with visits to a chiropractor who will restore function.
Always remember that the pain is simply a message from the body that something is not right. Treating only the pain is very often not enough!
How does chiropractic work?
Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord, and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right. Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine called a “subluxation” can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. Specific spinal adjustments can help improve mind/body communications. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
Do I have a slipped disc?
Between each pair of spinal bones is a disc. Its fibrous outer ring holds in a jelly-like material. This soft center serves as a “ball bearing” for joint movement. Because of the way a disc attaches to the spinal bones above and below it, it can’t actually “slip.” However, a disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniate. It can thin. It can dry out. And it can collapse. But it can’t slip.
Do I have a pinched nerve?
A pinched nerve is rare. It is more likely that an adjacent spinal bone irritates, stretches, rubs or chafes a nerve. These “subluxations” distort the nerve messages sent between the brain and the body. This can produce unhealthy alterations to the organs and tissues connected by the affected nerves.
How do you get subluxations?
There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes could include poor posture, slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions, such as grief, anger and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes could include alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet.
How do I know if I have a subluxation?
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before warning signs appear. The results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have.
Can subluxations clear up on their own?
Sometimes – today’s hectic lifestyles are a constant source of subluxations. Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don’t resolve, you need to see a chiropractic doctor!
What’s an adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments are specific spinal manipulations and usually involve a quick and very precise thrust that helps restore motion to spinal joints that aren’t moving correctly. Some methods in our clinic use the doctor’s hands, special instruments, a special table, or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine.
Are chiropractic adjustments safe?
Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” By avoiding drugs and risky surgery, chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person for whom chiropractic care might be unsuited. If you compare the statistics, adjustments are far, far, safer than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Will adjustments make my spine too loose?
No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” receive adjustments. This allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal and normal spinal reflexes to be restored.
Can the bone move too much?
Highly unlikely.A chiropractic adjustment is special. It has the right amount of energy, delivered to an exact spot, at a precise angle, at just the right time. The intent is to get a “stuck” spinal joint moving again, helping reduce nerve interference. Years of training, practice and experience make chiropractic adjustments extremely specific and safe.
What makes the sound during the adjustment?
Lubricating fluids separate the bones of each spinal joint. Some adjusting methods can produce a sound when the gas and fluids in the joint shift. It’s much like opening a bottle of champagne or removing a suction cup. The sound is interesting, but isn’t a guide to the quality or value of the adjustment.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
No. Each patient’s spine and care plan is unique. With 24 moving bones in the spine (that can each move in 12 different directions!) we see a wide variety of spinal patterns. Each patient’s care is custom tailored for their age, condition and health goals.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Some people can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! Worse, damage can occur by mobilizing a joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractic doctor can’t adjust himself; he must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care himself.
How many adjustments will I need?
The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals and requirements. Most patients will sense progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits will usually become less often as your spine stabilizes. In chronic cases (where problems have been slowly worsening for years) complete healing can take months or even years.
Why do newborns get adjustments?
Even today’s “natural” childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine. Preliminary studies suggested that colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, ear infections or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Pediatric adjustments are very gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, the doctor applies no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?
Yes. Rest assured that your chiropractic doctor will avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability above or below the involved level. These areas will be the focus of your chiropractic care.
Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
Of course.When developing a care plan, your chiropractic doctor considers the unique circumstances of each patient.There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be best suited to your age, size and health.
How long until I’ll feel better?
Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or in really chronic cases, months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time most patients sense enough progress to fully complete their doctor’s recommendations. One thing is for sure, at Total Health Chiropractic, the vast majority of our clients show remarkable results very quickly. If you improve the function, then the body tends towards healing. It’s a matter of “how long to improve the function?”
How long will I need chiropractic care?
After patients get the relief they want, many choose to continue with some type of periodic care. These patients show up for their visits feeling great. These visits can help support the final stages of healing and help detect and resolve new problems before they become serious. Our job is to offer the very best care and your job is to decide how much of it you want.
Will I receive any medication for my pain?
No. Chiropractic doctors don’t dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control painful symptoms. When properly applied, ice can have an analgesic (pain relieving) effect without the side effects of pain medications. At Total Health Chiropractic we stock a comprehensive range of nutritional supplements to help you achieve and then maintain optimum health.
Why don’t medical practitioners refer their patients for chiropractic care as often as they perhaps should?
That’s changing. Years of prejudice and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of chiropractic care. Attitudes are slow to change. However, as the public demands alternatives to drugs and surgery, more and more medical practitioners are referring their patients to our office.
What if my insurance policy doesn’t cover chiropractic?
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet, each of us is free to place a different value on our health. It’s convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill. But be careful! Don’t allow the profit motive of a huge corporation to make the decision for you. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone.
Will I ever be normal again?
Patient results vary. Many report improved spinal curves and a total return to their normal life. Those who have neglected or delayed seeking care often see slower progress. After improvement, many patients discover that periodic chiropractic checkups can help avoid a relapse.
What if chiropractic doesn’t work?
If we’re unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our only goal.
If you have any further questions not covered above please go ahead and use the ‘contact us’ form or alternatively we are very happy to receive your queries in the clinic. You may call us on 6224 6326 at any time.