What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is putting things right!
Chiropractic is about correction so that you body can function optimally.
Chiropractic is not medicine, drugs nor surgery and it is different to physiotherapy, even though we realise these professions have an important role in society.
Chiropractic is named from the Greek roots “Ki-ro and “prak-tik” to mean done with the hand.
Chiropractic is the explanation as to why “one person is ailing and his associate, eating at the same table and working in the same shop, at the same bench is not”.
Chiropractic is the manual correction of the vertebral subluxation to reduce irritation to the nervous system so that your bodies own innate, intelligent healing system can work to its full potential.
Chiropractic is a science, art and philosophy.
Chiropractic is the philosophy of cause.
Chiropractic is something we are passionate about.
How Many Visits Will I Need?
It is not always possible to predict how many visits a new patient will need to resolve their initial condition, because no two injuries are the same and healing responses differ from one person to the next.
Based on our clinical experience, we can often give patients an estimate on how long their recovery may take after the initial exam. After 2-3 visits and once we have seen the initial response to adjustments we can give a more accurate estimate of how long resolution will take.
We aim to “custom build” a schedule of treatment that suits you and your problem. Too many or too few adjustments will have a negative impact on your progress. The more you improve, the less often we need to see you. If your condition responds quickly, you might need less visits that what you initially thought.
We object to contract care – where practitioners pre-sell you a pre-determined number of visits. You might be paying for visits you don’t need and have you feel obliged to attend even though you may not need to. Over treatment can be harmful and actually prolong your problem, leading to a vicious cycle of more visits and more cost to you.
In the long term, we want to teach you when adjustments are required and when it is best left alone so that you can self manage your condition into the future. Many patients require very few adjustments for periods of resolution that can last months or years. Most of our long term- patients recognize when they need an adjustment to reduce the intensity and duration of their pain episodes and to improve their health. Many of our patients decide to come in for regular checkups which vary in frequency from one per month to once per year.
Will my Chiropractor give me exercises?
YES. As part of your recovery, your Chiropractor will suggest an exercise regime that will suit you, your age and your condition. We often find that too much or inappropriate exercise is unnecessarily aggravating some people’s problems.
Sometimes we recommend a period of rest so that your body can recover with less risk of re-injury. Once this has been allowed to happen we can guide you in your resumption of exercise and we can consult with your personal trainer so that you can achieve your physical goals without continually aggravating your problem. This gives the best results for you and your trainer without needing additional or otherwise unnecessary visits to us.
With Chiropractic correction, your body will adapt to a level of work or exercise that is appropriate for you and have you reach your full potential.
Who should be checked by our Chiropractors?
Not everyone needs Chiropractic care, Many can potentially benefit from Chiropractic at some point in their lives.
We all have a spine and a nervous system, which can be assessed at any time to determine if a problem (subluxation) exists, or not. Some people may not need Chiropractic treatment.
The Chiropractors at Banyan St Chiropractic Centre have experience in treating all ages from infants to the elderly. The age range of our patients is from several days of age to over 100 years. Even if you do not have pain, subtle signs of subluxation may be present before pain begins.
Do I need a referral from my medical doctor to see a Chiropractor?
No. Chiropractors are primary health care physicians so a referral is not necessary.
We do accept GP referrals for the Medicare Enhanced Care Program and Veterans Affairs patients and work well alongside medical doctors in the community.
What if my problem is not a Chiropractic problem?
If a subluxation does not exist and you do not need an adjustment, then we can refer you to another provider. Chiropractors are trained primary health care practitioners, and if it is clear that your problem is best treated somewhere else, we will refer accordingly.
Many conditions can respond to Chiropractic adjustments, but that does not mean that all conditions always do respond.
A subluxation can not only cause pain but in some cases can also cause digestive, respiratory and other seemingly unrelated symptoms. While we do not treat these disorders or symptoms directly, many of these can show improvement or even resolve within a few adjustments as the bodies own healing ability starts to work. Should this not happen in your case, we would guide you as to your choices for other treatment and often suggest you consult your medical doctor.
Is Chiropractic safe?
Yes, chiropractic is extremely safe.
No significant complication from receiving a Gonstead Chiropractic adjustment has ever been reported in the literature. Considering that Dr Gonstead first introduced his system to Chiropractors in 1951 and it has has been used all over the world for over 60 years since then, this is quite impressive.
In comparison, 16,000 – 20,000 people in the US die each year from complications (bleeding ulcers and heart attacks) caused by over-the-counter pain relievers. Roughly 7 out of 1000 people will die from “routine” neck or back surgery. Many others suffer long lasting side effects of scar tissue build up and structural instability caused by surgery.
In extremely rare circumstances, rotational manipulation of the neck may damage a blood vessel and give rise to stroke or stroke-like symptoms (approx 1 in 5.85 million neck manipulations. Haldeman, et al. Spine vol 24-8 1999). We have never utilised these rotational manipulations in our practice and have no intention of doing so in the future.
Chiropractic adjustments in all regions of the spine are internationally recognised as being far safer in dealing with neck and low back pain than medication and many other alternatives. (A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation, JMPT, 1995. Manga Report, Ontario Ministry of Health, 1993).
Can I have Chiropractic care after back surgery?
If you have had a joint fusion, we can avoid the surgically modified areas of your spine. Surgery often causes instability and dysfunction above or below the level of fusion and these areas may need to be considered in your Chiropractic care.
If you have had a minor laminectomy or disc scraping several years ago and your body has fully healed from that procedure it is often possible to adjust those areas with no risk or harm and get a good result.
In either of the above situations, your individual case deserves to be examined properly so that we can advise you of your suitability for Chiropractic care and what type of results you can expect.
Isn't some back pain normal?
Pain of any kind, at any age, is a sign that something isn’t right. Pain is the way your body signals that a limit has been reached or an injury has occurred.
Your body injures itself daily and its own innate healing ability can repair the damage quite quickly and often within twenty four hours. We often talk to people who perform physical activities they are not accustomed to and they can ache for a day or so afterwards. If pain does not resolve in the first day or if pain episodes re-occur, then it is possible that there is enough damage to the collagen fibres of the joint that it has been allowed to subluxate or mis-align. Once this has been corrected, the body will recover quicker with its own innate healing ability.
If there is an underlying subluxation (misalignment) pain episodes can worsen in intensity, duration and frequency over time. Delaying treatment at this point can mean that your condition becomes more difficult and expensive to resolve, compared to if treatment was started earlier.
Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?
Yes. Many of our patients over fifty years of age have some degree of osteoporosis. Your Chiropractor considers the unique circumstances of each patient and will modify adjustments accordingly.
Osteoporosis is not usually a painful condition in its own right. It features a demineralization of the bones, which can increase the risk of a fracture. Once a pathological fracture has occurred as a result of the osteoporosis, then pain is a significant feature.
Most of the patients who report to us that they have osteoporosis and assume that this is the cause of their pain, get results from Chiropractic adjustments.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Even Chiropractors need Chiropractic care sometimes. With our training and experience we recognize that it is not possible to adjust ourselves to achieve a meaningful and lasting result.
Some people can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! An adjustment is a precise, controlled force delivered to a bone at the right place, in the right direction and the right time.
Damage can occur by mobilizing or manipulating an incorrect joint with weakened muscles and ligaments. This can happen with self-manipulation or manipulation by another well-meaning person, such as a spouse! Adjustments are specific and must only be applied to the joint that is restricted. The adjustment takes years to master and even your Chiropractor must themselves consult a colleague to benefit from Chiropractic care.
Why would a newborn get adjusted?
Even normal “natural” childbirth without intervention can affect an infant’s spine.
During contractions, the baby’s head is repeatedly compressed against the cervix with forces of up to 100 kilograms for the duration of the delivery. Most mothers who have had a normal delivery would recall this. In utero constraint can affect a baby’s spine or extremities and is a very common cause of subluxation.
Many babies have no birth trauma and do not require any treatment or adjustment.
Many parents with babies who experience colic, unusual crying, poor appetite, difficulty breast feeding or erratic sleeping patterns, choose to see a Chiropractor. Many of these have had a traumatic birth and may benefit from an adjustment.
New parents often seek to get their baby checked by a Chiropractor, as they would with their medical doctor or even a paediatrician. We are happy to do this and will advise if treatment is required or not. For babies we see who are simply being “checked out” with no obvious problems, our position would be not to treat.
We often work in conjunction with lactation consultants and would choose to refer to a medical doctor or paediatrician for any cases that that prove to be difficult or not possible to manage with Chiropractic treatment alone.
Adjustments are gentle and modified for the patient, often with no more pressure than you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato.
Chiropractic care is for the whole family.
Isn’t my problem just muscular?
This is a question we hear every day and our answer in most cases, is No.
A similar question would be: “Isn’t the problem with my car just a flat tyre?”. This limited understanding does not explain why, how and what needs to be done to correct the problem so that you don’t have to pump air into your tyre when you want to drive.
Your body reacts to a joint injury or subluxation by installing some muscle tension or muscle spasm to stabilise the injured area. This is a natural reaction. Muscles have a nerve supply and require a signal from their nerves in order to contract. A muscular problem indicates irritation to the nervous system and we look to correct the cause of that.
Muscular tears are often given too much credit for pain episodes. A significant or traumatic muscular tear, such as those affecting the biceps or the achilles tendon can be visualised easily under the skin. Any assumed microscopic, invisible tears still indicate some nervous involvement or an attempt by the body to stabilise an injured joint.
Do you perform soft tissue therapy with your treatments?
Massage therapy and specific manual Chiropractic adjustments do not compliment each other when done on the same day. We recognise that soft tissue therapies can and do benefit some people.
Our Chiropractors are particularly interested in specific hands-on Gonstead Chiropractic and it has taken many years for them to gain the experience and learn their skill. We take pride in our expertise and we believe that if our patients require soft tissue therapies, then they deserve to see someone with a special interest and expertise in that field. We would happily recommend someone like that, whom we know and trust.
Some muscular tension actually helps to get a good quality adjustment without putting too much force into the patient. It can take more force and effort to pierce a limp, flat balloon the morning after the party than if it were fresh with some tension in its wall.
We have a massage therapist on-site. We have no objection to our patients having soft tissue treatment if they wish, wether it be with our therapist or another outside of our office. Often it is possible to get a good result with a patient without having to combine adjustments with massage.
Why do I need x-rays?
To see is to understand.
Once your x-ray has been taken, we refer to it and look at it on every visit. The X-ray images are not looked at on one only occasion and then filed away, never to been seen again.
We do this because we can have a better understanding of your individual features and your condition with an x-ray as compared to without. The x-ray also gives us information about your individual spinal architecture, so that we can determine the best adjustment for you. From the X-ray we can also learn about condition of the disc and other joints, the relationship from one bone to another and about other areas that might need attention later. Understanding these factors is what reduces the need for unnecessary visits and costs to you in the long term.
Because the spines of children and adolescents are often undeveloped, we often recommend not to x-ray in all of these cases. Sometimes, we may need to take a limited x-ray study if we cannot accurately identify the problem without it.
Because there is some uncertainty about the effects of x-rays during pregnancy, we would not knowingly x-ray a female patient who is pregnant.
Should you have any previous x-rays available, we are happy to consider these and to work with them if they are suitable. If they are not suitable, we would explain why and advise you if you require further x-ray examination.
Does Chiropractic just treat backs or the spine?
No. Chiropractors also address other moveable joints in the body.
The same principles of trauma causing misalignment, subluxation and pain apply to all of the moveable joints in the body and not just the spine.
Pain in the extremity joints, such as the shoulder and hip can originate from the spine, so it is important to consider the spine first. If the cause of an extremity problem cannot be traced to the spine, then it is necessary to look at that extremity joint.
Even the jaw can become misaligned or subluxated, causing tempro-mandibular pain and an uneven bite. Often a dental issue can cause issues with your jaw. If your dentist has cleared you, or no dental problem exists, Chiropractic may help correct this problem.
Should I use Ice or heat?
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to an injury. This is characterised by pain, swelling and HEAT. When injured, the body part is already hot and is trying to get heat out. This is why the application of ice can be beneficial to help the inflammation resolve quicker and naturally.
We find that people who have been using heat for low back or neck pain have perpetuated their problem. Often the painful episode would have resolved quicker if they had done nothing as compared to heating it up each day.
When indicated, an appropriate adjustment with the application of ice will result in a quick resolution to the problem.
Can I claim my private health fund rebate on the spot?
Yes. We have a HICAPS terminal on site where you can claim your health fund rebate and simply pay the gap. Rebates differ from one fund to another and our reception team will be able to advise you on what rebate you can expect from your fund.
We also have EFTPOS facilities so that you can pay with your credit card or debit card.
Should I keep using anti-inflammatory’s or pain killers?
No. We expect that you will get a good result from Chiropractic care without continuing with any anti-inflammatory or pain relief medication
Our experience it that anti-inflammatory medication will often prolong the pain episode because actually stops the chemical processes involved in the inflammation process and it does not progress and resolve naturally. We find our patients usually respond to our treatment quicker without any anti-inflammatory medication.
Professor Peter Gotzsche of the Cochrane Institute says with regard to anti-inflammatory drugs, that there is “no proof that they reduce inflammation”. (Google “Prof Peter Gotzsche anti-inflammatory”) This is consistent with what we hear in our office almost daily – people saying that they have tried these drugs and they have not helped.