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Surgeon Critical of Surgery

The following article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald in February 2016. Surgeon Ian Harris commenting on spinal fusion operations, said “Millions of people have had spine fusions for back pain and I am not at all convinced that the benefits of this surgery outweigh the considerable harms.” He also mentions spinal injections proven to be no more effective placebo injections, which are basically doing nothing. This is why Medicare has discussed withdrawing rebates for these procedures. We speak to many people who want to believe that there is an “easy” surgical option for their problem. With poor outcomes and recovery from these surgical procedures taking many months…

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What is the difference between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy? Part 3 – Method

Lastly, as part of my 3 part blog series ‘What is the difference between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy?’ I will be discussing the methods used across these practises.   Methods used. Today the Chiropractic profession is divided into two particular fragments, with some practitioners existing between. A straight Chiropractor is someone who models their practice on DD Palmer’s philosophy and original technical principles of finding the subluxation and correcting it with a specific, manual, hands only adjustment.  Many use certain forms of instrumentation and x-ray to determine the location and the nature of the subluxation.  They use traditional terms such as subluxation, nerve pressure and adjustment.  Because they…

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What is the difference between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy? Part 2 – Philosophy

Last week I discussed the history and evolution of Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy as part of my 3 part blog series. This week I will be expanding into the philosophy of these practices and how they differentiate. Philosophy: When University education was limited in the 1890’s, DD Palmer was not considered a particularly educated man.  Instead, he was an established reader interested in the scientific and philosophical writings of his time.   His knowledge gained from reading and experience with his early cases where he applied his Chiropractic method caused him to believe that the spine and health were related through the nervous system.  He assumed that a…

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What is the difference between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy? Part 1 – History

This is a common question, which seems simple, but it does not come with a simple answer.  People working in these fields have their own individual views about what is right with their discipline and what is wrong with the others.  Prospective patients, with no prior knowledge, struggle to see any difference between the three. All of these practitioners are regulated health professionals, required to be government registered in Australia and all are university trained.  They can all practice as primary care health professionals, meaning that members of the public can consult them without any medical referral.   This is where most of the similarities cease and the…

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Should I Take Pain Killers To Help With My Back Pain?

A recent study that looked at the effectiveness of paracetemol in helping with back pain has found that it is no more effective than a placebo. The University of Sydney conducted this study. They separated participants into 3 groups, one took paracetemol whenever they felt pain, another took the placebo and another took the paracetemol three times per day. The results showed that there was no difference amongst the three groups. (Williams et al) A group of researchers in Australia looked at the efficacy and safety of paracetemol by reviewing randomized placebo controlled trials. They also found that all of the high quality studies they reviewed paracetemol is…

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Anti-inflammatory medication – the drugs don’t work!

A question we get asked all the time is; “Should I keep taking ant-inflammatory medication?”, or “do I need to take these to get well?”. Our answer to both of these questions is NO! Many people have the incorrect belief that inflammation is bad and taking a drug to block this process is good. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injured tissue and it occurs in several phases: The acute phase. Mast cells in collagen tissue are broken during the injury and they release histamine (hence the group of drugs called antihistamines used to control inflammation usually associated with allergies). Histamine acts on the walls of the…

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