Chiropractic treatment is considered to be a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). A discipline that can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine OR as an alternative to standard medical treatments.

Chiropractic specifically involves the diagnosis, management, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal disorders. And the effect of these disorders on general health and well-being. Neuro- nerves, Musculo- muscles and Skeletal- joints and bones.

Chiropractic is still a relatively new profession, over 100 years old. It originally arose from The United States and is now taught and practiced throughout the world. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation. (World Federation of Chiropractic)

What exactly is a Chiropractic adjustment?

It involves a chiropractor applying thrusts of various speeds and forces to the spinal/extremity joints that may be causing dysfunction and pain.

Chiropractic adjustments are specific forms of spinal manipulation, an ancient practice that is based on restoring the structural integrity of the spine. A chiropractic adjustment is often associated with a “popping” sound of the joints, this may sound painful but provides immediate relief.

There are over 200 chiropractic techniques, many of them overlapping.

Common Chiropractic Techniques

  • Diversified- aims to restore spinal alignment, repair joint dysfunction and to ensure good mobility/movement of joints. It involves the use of precise hands- on thrusts which helps to restore range of movement in joints. This technique is the most commonly used in Chiropractic practice.
  • Spinal mobilisation- similar to diversified but uses a more gentle thrusting motion and involves more stretching. It is utilized to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation and improve nerve function.
  • Thompson Technique- uses a specifically designed table of padded platforms with drop mechanisms. So as the practitioner applies the adjustment, there is a gentle dropping motion.
  • The Gonstead Adjustment- designed for maximum effect to the discs. Restoring disc alignment and maximum mobility to the spine. A unique aspect of this technique is the specificity of the contact point.
  • The Activator method- a small handheld, spring-loaded device is used, known as the activator gun. This administers a very gentle impulse to the joints of the spine or extremities (arms/legs). Used to adjust the “tone” of the nervous system, to help relieve pain.
  • Flexion Distraction- also utilizes a special table that flexes and distracts the spine in a gentle rhythmic motion. Used commonly to treat disc related issues and patients in a lot of pain/ too sensitive for an adjustment.
  • Spinal decompression- another technique that utilizes a special table that works by carefully stretching the spine to encourage the flow of oxygen and other essential fluids into the discs of the spine.
  • Cranial Technique – not a specific chiropractic technique, but possibly several techniques using the application of chiropractic adjustments to joints of the skull. Since individual anatomy of skull joints is different, the styles of adjustment are different and no cavitation occurs.

Common conditions managed by Chiropractors

A common misconception amongst the general public is that Chiropractic is confined to management of spinal disorders This is in fact incorrect. Chiropractors are able to manage and treat all joint disorders that may cause muscular or nerve pain. They are also able to treat joint sprains (torn or overstretched ligaments) or strains (an injury that involve muscles or tendons).

Common complaints seen by Chiropractors include:

  • Upper, middle and low back pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Coccyx issues
  • Whiplash
  • Spondylosis/Spinal osteoarthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunctions
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) conditions
  • Sciatica
  • Disc: disease/herniation
  • Nerve related issues: Numbness/tingling/ “pinched nerves”
  • Postural related issues
  • Sports injuries
  • Paediatric colic

Here at Anatomy Rehab, we have a Chiropractor who specifically focuses on using diversified and spinal mobilization techniques. Our Chiropractor is also holistic, so not just focussing on the use of spinal adjustments but also incorporating other therapies such as dry needling, soft tissue massage, exercise therapy as well as nutritional and stress advice. Holistic chiropractors take the “whole” person into account, so not just physical but also including mental and social factors. Balancing the physical, social and mental aspects of the patient promotes optimal healing and wellness.

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