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  • Writer's pictureDr Claire Chittleborough

Chiropractic myth-buster

Chiropractic care is as popular as ever and continues to grow in popularity. More and more people are relying less on orthodox medicine as a sole outlet to improve their health, and are instead reaping the benefits of a more natural and hands-on approach to healthcare. Despite the rise in popularity in recent years, some myths surrounding chiropractic care remain. We’re here to bust open some of the most common misconceptions.

Chiro treatments are painful

Thoughts that chiropractic treatments are painful are very misguided. Most of these thoughts come from concerns surrounding the forces needed to carry out an adjustment technique. Adjustment techniques are some of the more forceful techniques we use, but when performed by a skilled practitioner, the techniques can be carried out safely, effectively and relatively pain-free. Adjustments are a very safe and effective way of decreasing a patient’s pain (this depends on the cause of the pain, but we are trained to know when these techniques are warranted and when they are not). Other techniques including soft tissue massage, needling and joint mobilisation, which may elicit some level of discomfort as they are carried out, but we always ask you to let us know if that discomfort rises above a 3-4/10 on the pain scale. If it does, we will stop and find a different technique to use. Our aim during treatment is to calm the body and leave you feeling great following your time on the treatment table.

Chiropractors only treat the spine

The proper alignment, movement and stability of the spine is central to chiropractic treatment, but we will treat any part of the body. The spine sits at the very core of the body, and proper functioning of the spine is pivotal for function to continue down the chains of the body into the limbs. The spine houses the spinal cord and provides a passageway for numerous nerves that run to and from the spinal cord. It is possible for segments in the spine to move out of alignment and remain stuck in that position. This has a knock-on effect on the nervous tissue that passes through these segments and away from the spine to the various other types of tissue in the body, including muscle tissue. Over time this can lead to dysfunction developing in the torso and limbs. This is why we always check your spine and pelvis as a matter of priority when we see you for treatment. If the core of the body is functioning well, problems more distant in the body will regularly improve as a result.

Chiropractic is all about the crack

Many people believe that when you visit the chiropractor, you go to get ‘cracked’. For many patients, we will carry out adjustments to various parts of the body. Chiropractors are highly skilled and have studied intensively to learn how to use these techniques safely and effectively. These techniques are just one part of a whole arsenal of techniques we use to restore proper function to dysfunctional body parts. A chiropractor also makes use of various other treatment techniques, including massage, joint mobilisation, needling, stretching, exercise and lifestyle advice. Most treatments will involve two to three different treatment techniques as some techniques are most beneficial when paired with others. So, although you may experience a few adjustments during a treatment session, be prepared to experience more than just a crack or two! Some injuries and conditions are not suitable to have adjustments carried out on, so we always have lots of tools up our sleeve for any presentation that arrives through the clinic door.

Chiropractic care is expensive

As with any type of healthcare, cost is a factor. Is it affordable? Well that depends on how you value your health and your relationship with money! We of course believe the costs more than outweigh the benefits, and if you have healthcare benefits or are in a private health fund, it can certainly be even more affordable.

Some people wonder why we want to see them for multiple sessions in the first few weeks. We don’t always need to, but in many instances, this allows us to get someone out of pain and onto the pathway to full recovery, quickly. Generally following this is a period of weekly or bi-weekly treatment sessions to maintain a pain-free state and continue making improvements. Chiropractic care is a natural, hands-on approach to treating the body and is an effective way to keep your body moving well on a regular basis. The time spent caring for your body semi-regularly with chiropractic treatment is a great way of avoiding more serious health problems later in life, as well as any associated medical costs including long-term medications and surgeries. Win win!

There’s no scientific evidence proving the benefits of chiropractic care

There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of chiropractic treatment for many musculoskeletal pain conditions. Much of the research has been carried out looking at the efficacy of spinal adjustments on neck, lower back and for treating headaches. It is worth pointing out that many of the manual therapies use similar techniques in treatment. Chiropractors use similar techniques to osteopaths, who use similar techniques to physiotherapists. All of the manual therapies strive for the best evidence-based practice for their patients, and chiropractic care is no different. Chiropractors study for 4-5 years to ensure they become some of the most skilled and knowledgeable practitioners there are. You are in safe hands with us!

We hope we have been able to dispel some of the untruths out there about chiropractic care. Our advice to you is to come and try it yourself (if you haven’t already!). We’re sure you’ll love our thorough and skillful approach to treating your body. Call us today on 0413 774 399 to start your journey into chiropractic care.

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