Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a chiropractor, an osteopath and a physiotherapist?
Chiropractors are experts in spinal function so we concern ourselves with the spine (neck and back). We use specific spinal adjustments to correct spinal dysfunction to reduce nerve interference, for example Chiropractors may adjust the spine to help with neck pain, back pain or sciatica.
A physiotherapist, or physio, will treat soft tissue problems, among other things, for example they may treat an ankle sprain or respiratory issues.
Osteopaths use a varied array of techniques to treat different parts of the body, for example they may use cranial manipulation for sleeping disorders or digestive complaints.
Not always. A subluxation is like a dental cavity--you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. That's why regular spinal checkups are so important. Although it may be possible to know when you do have a subluxation, it is rarely possible to be sure you don't. Often patients come in with low back pain or sciatica and we find subluxation in their lumbar spine, but upon examination of the rest of the spine we find subluxations in other areas as well. We don't want to leave them and wait for them to cause symptoms before addressing them!
Do children need chiropractic care?
Since significant spinal trauma can occur at birth, many parents have their newborns checked for vertebral subluxation. Naturally, chiropractic adjusting procedures are adapted for the child's spine. Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off can be traced to the spine. Health problems that emerge in adulthood could often be prevented by having your chiropractic care early in life. Most parents report that their children enjoy their chiropractic adjustments and are healthier than their peers.
Is chiropractic safe?
Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative and natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. Mild symptoms can develop in a small percentage of patients following an adjustment, such as being a bit achy or tired, especially after the first 1 or 2 adjustments.
What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?
Doctors of Chiropractic are well educated. Chiropractic education and medical education are similar in many respects, especially the early years when we study the same core science subjects With each year of study the training varies more and more, while medical training focuses more on pharmacology, chiropractic training focuses more on spinal anatomy and biomechanics. After graduating from an approved Chiropractic College, each chiropractor must pass examinations set by the NZ Chiropractic Registration Board, before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor's education, however, never ends. Most chiropractors complete regular postgraduate education on adjustment techniques and to stay up to date on latest research.
What causes the sound during an adjustment?
Actually, adjustments do not always produce a sound. There are many techniques that do not ever get an "audible release". Often, however, adjustments do create a "popping" sound. The sound is caused by gas rushing in to fill the partial vacuum created when the joints are slightly separated. This sound is painless and totally harmless.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately. Adjusting is an art which is learnt over many, many years of practice and study. Chiropractors do not adjust themselves. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a "popping" sound that sometimes accompanies a chiropractic adjustment. However, this is more likely to happen to a joint that is hyper-mobile (not subluxated).
Is chiropractic care addictive?
No. If only it were, there would be more healthy people around and chiropractors would not get patients who last saw a chiropractor "a few years ago when my back went out." It is possible to get used to feeling more balanced, less stressed, and more energetic as a result or regular chiropractic care. Chiropractic is not addictive, however, good health is.
Can a person who had back surgery see a chiropractor?
Yes. It's an unfortunate fact that many of those who had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or years later. They then face the prospect of additional surgery. This too common occurrence is known as "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome." Chiropractic may help prevent repeated back surgeries. In fact, if chiropractic care is utilized initially, back surgery can often be avoided in the first place.
Does chiropractic work for all types of health problems?
Chiropractic is not a treatment for any health problem. Quite simply, it is a way of enhancing ones health so that they can better heal themselves. However, chiropractic care is successful at helping people with a very wide variety of health problems, including lower back pain, midback pain, neck pain, neck stiffness, low back stiffness, sciatica, numbness and/or tingling down the arm or leg, headaches.
Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I'm pregnant?
Anytime is a good time for a better functioning nerve system. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patients size, weight, age, and condition of health. We see many pregnant mothers at Kelly Chiropractic.
Why do chiropractors take x-rays?
Chiropractors take x-rays to reveal the internal structure and alignment of the spine. We are also concerned about underlying disease processes and disorders of the spine such as anomalies, arthritis, tumours, fractures and spinal curvatures. X-rays are safe at the doses required to get the pictures of your spine that we need, because we use intensification screens, filtration, collimation, sensitive films, and shielding.