May 8th, 2018

Finding the Right Chiropractor For You

Chiropractors see a wide range of clients who come to them seeking treatment for a number of conditions. If you’ve never had chiropractic treatment before, it can be a bit confusing to know where to start when it comes to choosing a Chiropractor that’s right for you.

It can be made easier if you have been referred to a Chiropractor by your doctor or healthcare professional, but here’s some tips to make things a bit easier if you’re considering using a Chiropractor.

What is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a trained practitioner who works to correct problems with the spine and joints by adjustment.  The underlying premise of chiropractic treatments is that problems with the spine can affect the nervous system and in turn, cause joint pains and other problems throughout the body. Chiropractors also believe maladjustment of the spine and vertebra can impair normal body functioning and lead to disease.

At the Posture Doctor, our qualified Chiropractors can specialise in different areas including:

  • Paediatrics (working with children)
  • Working with those who have sports injuries
  • Orthopaedic (bone) problems
  • Nervous disorders
  • Back and pelvic problems in pregnancy.

Credentials: what to look for 

Chiropractors are educated as primary contact healthcare practitioners, with an emphasis on musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractic is a 5 year degree with its foundations in anatomy, neurology, physiology, pathology and 600+ hours of chiropractic technique classes.

While the competition for acceptance in chiropractic school is not as fierce as medical school, the chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely rigorous and with many subjects being identical. As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic.

Just like medical doctors, chiropractors are professionals that are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards.

The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, but in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines (chemicals that affect your internal biochemistry) and surgery. Consequently, if you have a chemical problem, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, medical doctors can be very helpful. However, if your problem is that your spine is mis-aligned or you have soft tissue damage causing pain, there is no chemical in existence that can fix it. You need a physical solution to correct a physical problem. That is where chiropractic really shines.

Chiropractors provide physical solutions — adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy — to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Another distinction is the fact that it is completely appropriate to receive chiropractic care even if you do not have symptoms. Just like it is important to get a health check-up regularly from your medical doctor, chiropractors offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall well-being before symptoms develop.

When should I see a chiropractor?

This is a holistic or whole body treatment which involves mind/body/spirit philosophy and many people can benefit from a chiropractic treatment. It is thought to be especially useful for:

  • Back problems including lumbago, slipped disc, sciatica
  • Joint or muscular problems, which are common in pregnancy
  • Leg and shoulder problems
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Sports injuries
  • Asthma – it is thought to help chest mobility

The treatments can also assist with raising energy levels, improving posture, gaining better sleep and assisting with athletic performance.

When you first visit a chiropractor do not be afraid to ask about their qualifications and experience, if they have had previous success treating people with your condition – and you can even ask if previous patients would be willing to talk with you. Ask at the beginning what you can expect a treatment to cost and how many treatments the chiropractor thinks you may need.  You need to feel confident about the person giving you treatments.

What will a Chiropractor do?

A chiropractic treatment is normally carried out with the patient lying on a massage table, wearing loose clothing or a gown. The chiropractor will take an extensive history before they do any physical adjustment of your body and will be especially interested in past physical injuries to bones and joints. X-rays may also need to be taken and read before treatment begins.

Part of the treatment will involve the chiropractor examining and feeling your spine to see if they are any `subluxations’ or vertebra out of alignment. Treatment involves working to free the joints and muscles of the spine and other parts of the body. A series of treatments may be required, depending on the problem.

At the Posture Doctor, our Chiropractors will also be very interested in your posture, as this can tell them a lot about different parts of your body that might be out of alignment and therefore requiring treatment. A loud crack or noise when joints are quickly put back into alignment is not uncommon and, although surprising, should not hurt.

Chiropractors believe their treatments help the body grow stronger and help you deal with stress and disease. They may also give advice on diet, exercise programs and orthotics (a device which supports a part or a function of your body, such as a collar or brace).

What can I do next?

In terms of chiropractic treatment, pain is the body’s signal to you that something is wrong and needs attention. If you are experiencing on-going pain, seek assistance from a chiropractor or other health professional – do not just ignore these symptoms.

We would suggest regular Chiropractic check-ups – in the same way you would regularly see the dentist.

Call us today to discuss how our team can support you on 028 8676 1861