What is Chiropractic?
According to the New Zealand Chiropractic Board website:
"Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of both the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to: back pain; neck pain; pain in the joints of the arms or legs; and headaches. Chiropractors are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises".
Why do chiropractors do what we do?
We want to address the cause – not the symptom!
WHY is a very important question. Chiropractors certainly want to help people recover from injury or illness, AND we want to help people then take their health to the next level. Lack of pain or symptoms is not health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)... "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". As complementary and alternative health care practitioners we want to help you find the underlying cause of your problem and resolve that. Although medicine is essential to everyone, the treatments offered often simply address the symptoms and not the cause. For you to have "complete physical, mental and social well-being", we need to help you resolve any pain or illness, prevent pain or illness from recurring, and guide you to optimal vital health so that you can continue to have the life you dream of.
Why is the spine so important to chiropractors?
The spine is the framework which supports and protects the spinal cord. Most of the nerves pass from the spinal cord through small openings in the spine to various muscles, organs bones and even our skin.
The spine comprises of 24 moveable bones, 23 discs (which act as shock absorbers and allow movement to occur), and has attachments for 12 sets of ribs and hundreds of ligaments and muscles. 31 pairs of nerves exit the spine.
Because of the spines complexity, it's normal movements are easily disrupted. Falls, incorrect lifting, stress, repetitive movements, faulty posture and even illness may cause joint dysfunction due to the abnormal mechanics of the spine. In Chiropractic this is called a "subluxation".
A Chiropractic subluxation in the spine can be the result of one of the "3 – T’s" - Trauma (acute or overuse injury), Toxins (what you eat/drink or breathe), or Thoughts (negative thinking or emotions). This is why we are interested in your physical health (trauma), your nutrition (toxins), and your mental health (thoughts). Therefore we will encourage and educate you about how to prevent injuries, to eat a healthy diet for YOU, and use stress management and other techniques for your mental health.
What do chiropractors do?
- Take a health history to identify indications for care as well as indications where Chiropractic care is not appropriate for your condition.
- Conduct a physical exam to include Chiropractic, Neurologic, Orthopaedic, x-ray (when required), and functional testing such as postural evaluation, specific spinal analysis, gait analysis to determine the diagnosis and proper care required to help you with your problem.
- Provide Chiropractic care including adjustments to the spine and extremities as required.
- Advise you about rehabilitative exercise, healthy eating or nutritional supplements to enhance your health, stress management strategies to enhance mental health, and referral to another health care provider if required.
How chiropractors do it?
Chiropractors correct subluxations using a special procedure called Chiropractic adjustment.
The Chiropractic adjustment may be required due to disrupted joint movement, nerve irritation, muscle spasm or weakness in the muscles. Because nerves send energy to organs, spinal dysfunction (subluxation) can affect many aspects of health and wellbeing. Chiropractic subluxations are very common, and do not always produce pain or other obvious symptoms.
Chiropractors emphasise prevention.
Once better function has been established to the spine and nervous system, it is important that it be maintained. Regular check-ups will allow your spine to function optimally, offering your body the best chance of feeling and functioning well.
In addition, a chiropractor can advise you on exercise, custom orthotics, nutrition and prevention factors related to your work, posture and lifestyle.