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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the third largest healthcare profession in the world. It is a very safe, effective and affordable approach to health that utilizes the innate ability of the body to heal itself. The primary approach of the chiropractor is very specific spinal adjustments which have a profound effect on the nervous system and human health and performance. Due to its effectiveness chiropractic is covered under ACC and many insurance plans. In Canada and the USA chiropractors also work in hospitals. A number of progressive companies including Facebook and Google have employed chiropractors on staff for their employees.

How do I know whether I need to see a Chiropractor?

Most spinal subluxation do not cause spinal pain. As approximately 10% of your nervous system perceives pain and 90% is involved in function it is possible to have nerve interference and feel no pain. We know how we feel is not an accurate way to gauge our health and often by the time someone presents to our practice, they have had spinal problems for many years and the problem may be advanced. Chiropractic focuses on the correction of subluxation to help maximise health, healing and wellbeing.

However; in many large workers compensation research studies, chiropractic care was shown to be the most effective treatment for getting people back to work faster. It definitely has dramatic effects at reducing pain and dysfunction. In the British Mead study, patients were then examined at a 2-year followed up to the initial study. The chiropractic patients had far less relapse and chronicity compared to the people treated with drugs. This approach makes sense for treating a functional problem with a functional solution.

What is a subluxation?

A subluxation (also known as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex or VSC) is a functional change in your spine, where vertebrae have lost their normal function or alignment, and compromise nerve system function. As the nervous system is the master controller of the body, a subluxation can have detrimental effects on the function and performance of the human body.

Should my children have their spine checked?

Absolutely. Chiropractic patients range in years from birth to old age. Regardless of age, the vertebrae can become misaligned or subluxated. For example, the birth process may cause trauma to the neck and spine. Left uncorrected, the vertebral subluxation may disturb the delicate spinal cord and nerves, which control the youngster’s muscles and organs. In some cases, an uncorrected subluxation may lead to a deformity of the spinal column.

An early chiropractic checkup may detect common spinal problems while they are still easily and gently correctable. The amount of pressure required to adjust a newborns spine is about the amount of pressure you would use with your finger if you were to press on your closed eye.
Parents report that children who grow up having chiropractic check-ups are healthier, more balanced and do well at school.

How does chiropractic care help pregnant women?

Because of the additional weight and stress on the body in pregnant women, chiropractic adjustments have helped millions of women have more comfortable pregnancies and easier deliveries.

Chiropractic care during pregnancy can help reduce pain in the low back and legs, and between the shoulder blades. Many women describe decreased indigestion during the later stages of pregnancy.

Over the years we have assisted many pregnant mums and have even assisted delivery during childbirth. We work with many midwives to assist a normal, natural and safe delivery.

Is Chiropractic safe?

Yes! The New Zealand Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic, a two-year government commissioned inquiry into the practice, safety and efficacy of chiropractic in New Zealand concluded that chiropractic care is “remarkably safe’.

One of the reasons for our extensive training is knowing when, where and how to modify chiropractic care. We also refer to medical professionals when and as required.

An indication of the safety of chiropractic as a profession is the low level of malpractice premiums charged by insurance companies. However as with all health procedures there is some (albeit a very low) risk of an adverse outcome.

What causes a subluxation?

Subluxations can be caused by a major stress to the body, or minor repeated stresses over time. Typically, stresses are emotional, chemical or physical. We are also seeing the effects of electromagnetic radiation from common technology such as Wi-Fi.

Common causes include car accidents, sports injuries, falls, sudden jarring, one sided sports such as cricket batting and bowling. Look at the impact of playing rugby on the body and spine, or the jarring from non-contact sports such as netball and basketball.

Other causes include improper sleeping conditions or habits, poor posture, occupational hazards, repetitive strain via computer use or TV watching, text neck, incorrect lifting practices, obesity, and a lack of rest and exercise. Oh, and did we mention stress…?

A poor diet also contributes to poor spinal health.

How is a subluxation corrected?

Very specifically and as gently as possible.  Doctors of Chiropractic focus on the spine and its relationship to the nervous system.  They are trained to restore the misaligned vertebrae to their proper alignment in the spinal column which is done manually utilizing the chiropractic procedure known as a spinal adjustment.

At Align Chiropractic and Wellness we use a variety of techniques in applying corrective pressure to the spine in a specific direction and location, assisted by specific tables and equipment.  These techniques and equipment help restore the alignment and function of the vertebrae and spinal joints, and as a result improve the functioning and wellbeing of the entire body.

Does the adjustment hurt?

Typically chiropractic adjustments do not hurt or cause pain. In cases of recent trauma, such as whiplash, mild discomfort may be experienced due to inflammation. The most common side effect is a feeling of muscle soreness the following day. This happens in a small percentage of our patients and usually when they begin care, and subsides quickly.

Why do you have Family Fees?

Chiropractic care can be used as an approach to treating an injury or problem, and/or as an approach to health and wellbeing. Many families have regular chiropractic checkups, so we have family visit fees to make care more accessible and available to more people.

Why do you take X-Rays?

We only take spinal x-rays when the consultation or examination identifies an area of concern or that we are going to perform spinal adjustments on.

We take x-rays for several reasons.
• To understand the health of your spine
• To understand the alignment /misalignment of your spine. A number of techniques we utilise involve detailed line analysis of your spine (primarily Gonstead and Atlas Orthogonal).
• To look for any abnormalities in your spine (congenital or otherwise) that may alter the way we adjust your spine.
• To rule out pathology.
• To help get the best results in the shortest possible timeframe.

Does an adjustment have to make a noise to be effective?

One of the most common questions we are asked.  It is a common misconception that your joints must make a noise to be properly adjusted. However, frequently when your spine is adjusted, the smooth articular (joint) surfaces become separated, creating and then releasing a small vacuum, making a noise. This is the sound made when you crack your knuckles.  The amount of noise produced does not correlate with the success of the adjustment.

Can I do It myself?

No. Your chiropractor has their own chiropractor for their care. Each adjustment is specific and localized. Your spine should not be ‘cracked’ by any one that has not had the proper training as you can end up doing long term damage.

How is my chiropractor educated?

Chiropractors (DC’s) must complete a five year university degree and as such are primary health care providers. This means that like your general practitioner (GP) they have comprehensive knowledge of all systems of the body and diagnostic procedures. This enables the chiropractor to thoroughly evaluate a patient and address disorders relating to the spine and nervous system. Your chiropractor is licensed to own and operate x-ray equipment and to analyze your x-ray images.

Your chiropractor is also trained as to when to refer to another health care provider. We have regular referrals to and from a range of healthcare providers. Some people are surprised to know that we have many GP’s as patients.

The training of your DC is more focused on heath and the nervous system, than on disease and pharmacology.

Do chiropractors prescribe drugs?

No. Chiropractic is non-invasive and therefore drug and surgery free. Chiropractors maintain that the body has a built-in capacity to restore health and wellbeing and base their care on this principle. The first response in most illnesses and injuries should be conservative care. Chiropractic’s principles make it possibly the safest and most appealing of the healing arts.

At Align Chiropractic and Wellness we use a variety of techniques in applying corrective pressure to the spine in a specific direction and location, assisted by specific tables and equipment.  These techniques and equipment help restore the alignment and function of the vertebrae and spinal joints, and as a result improve the functioning and wellbeing of the entire body.

Once I go do I have to keep going back?

There are three types of chiropractic care, similar to the models of dental care available.
• Relief care.
This will help you feel better and create some stability in your spine. This can range from one to several visits.

• Corrective care.
Designed beyond symptomatic care to get your spine to maximum level of function. Optimum spinal function has a very positive effect on your nervous system and health.

• Wellness Care
Maintenance care to maintain your spinal health and wellbeing. People choose their own frequency for this and it ranges from once a week check-up to once every six weeks.

As with any other heath service the choice of how long you choose to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you. We find that patients who understand the relationship between their spine and overall health, and have experienced the benefits of this, choose to have regular chiropractic check-ups, in the same way they get their teeth checked or their car serviced.

What are the benefits to athletes?

Performance, injury prevention and faster recovery from injury.

Michael Jordan said “I didn’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor. I’ve improved leaps and bounds both physically and mentally”

In the USA, most professional sports teams have a team chiropractor. In Australia three AFL teams have chiropractors. In these teams chiropractors work alongside, and with the Physios and medical director. It is a athlete centered approach.

Research has shown that athletes have greater strength and reaction time after getting adjusted. If a competitive athlete has normal spinal and pelvic biomechanics and therefore neurology, they are less prone to injury.
When an athlete does suffer an injury at training or on the field, chiropractic care assists the healing process. The cold laser also greatly assists this process.

There is a great video on YouTube of John Stockton suffering a very serious ankle injury during an NBA game. He was adjusted and kept playing the game.

The great NFL player Jerry Rice, possibly the greatest NFL player of all-time attributes his 20 year NFL career to chiropractic care. Dr. Kelly interviewed him at a conference in San Francisco in 2012. Jerry said that “seeing a chiropractor twice a week during my career was the best investment I ever made. It was the difference of me lasting 20 years in the game, when the average players last five”

If There Is Any Question We Have Not Answered, Please Ask.

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