Frequently asked questions
Is chiropractic safe?
The New Zealand Royal Commission (1979) found that chiropractic adjustments are “remarkably safe”, especially when compared to freely available drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen or surgery. By avoiding these alternatives our patients minimise their risks. There has been recent publicity about the risks of stroke after neck “manipulation”. Research indicates that the risk is no more than would occur in the general population, not having neck “manipulation”. The same risk as having your hair washed in hairdressers, star gazing or reversing your car.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
An adjustment is a procedure used by a chiropractor with the aim of improving the function of your spine and relieving interference to the related nerves. This commonly involves the chiropractor using their hands to apply a very specific pressure or movement to the spine or pelvis. There are many different methods available, so the chiropractor will always adapt their technique to suit each individual of any age.
Do chiropractic adjustments hurt?
Very seldom. A small minority of people may find their symptoms change or increase temporarily after an adjustment, but the great majority of these go on to experience relief.
Am I too old or young for chiropractic?
Because of the very wide range of techniques available to our chiropractors we are able to care for all ages if appropriate. Obviously we will tend to use the gentlest of techniques on babies, small children and frail elderly people.
Does chiropractic work?
Consecutive studies of the British Medical Research Council have found that back pain sufferers are more satisfied with chiropractic care even years after treatment.
Is it cost effective?
A Canadian government (Ontario Ministry of Health) study to examine the “effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic management of low-back pain” concluded that “there would be a highly significant cost saving if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors” and that sufferers tended to return to work sooner after chiropractic care. Studies in Australia and America have remarkably similar findings.
What makes the cracking noise?
Lubricating fluids are found between the surfaces of the spinal joints. Some adjusting techniques move these surfaces apart very quickly. A bubble of gas forms in the liquid due to a change in pressure making a “pop” sound. The same phenomenon occurs when opening a champagne bottle. This may sound very loud in the upper neck as the sound is transmitted directly through bone into your inner ear.
Can adjustments make my spinal joints move too much (hypermobile)?
Chiropractors only adjust joints that are hypomobile or locked up. Years of training focus on using the minimum amount of force needed to achieve this. Hypermobile joints are more likely to develop above and below uncorrected hypomobile joints resulting in spinal imbalance.
Are all patients adjusted the same?
No. With 24 freely movable spinal bones each of which can misalign in several ways each patient has a fairly unique pattern of misalignments requiring correction.
How often will I need to visit the chiropractor? How long will it take?
This varies with each patient, depending upon their problems, spinal status and their health or wellness goals. Generally the older the patient, the longer the problem has been developing and the more severe it is, the longer it will take. Many patients notice changes within the first few weeks when visits are most frequent. As the spine starts to correct and stabilise visits become less frequent. In very chronic cases resolution may take months or years. Where the underlying cause cannot be eliminated it may never resolve, so the emphasis will be on symptom relief and slowing progression whilst keeping independent as long as possible.