Imagine that you’ve been playing a few intense rounds of football throughout the week, and now you’re feeling some pain in your lower back. The good news is that you can immediately go to a chiropractor Sydney CBD to get that checked. In fact, if you’re feeling pain in the back, neck, or nearby regions, you can go straight to a chiropractor of your choice, at your own time, as you don’t need a medical doctor’s referral to seek treatment from a chiropractor. Generally, though, it’s advisable to inform your general practitioner about your treatment and it’s best if you take a letter from your chiropractor to your GP to update them of your condition.
What Is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a healthcare professional with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal disorders. Their aim is to reduce pain or improve neuro-musculoskeletal health through techniques centred on the manipulation of the spine, also known as spinal adjustment, and other joints. They may recommend additional ways to develop or maintain spinal health through different types of exercise, ergonomic devices, or other therapeutic practices.
What Does a Chiropractor Treat?
If you’ve ever wondered, “Can a chiropractor help with hip pain? How about discomfort in my lower back? Or that headache I get around my eyes?” The answer to all of these questions is yes.
A chiropractor treats a variety of health conditions, particularly those involving the spine and the neuro-musculoskeletal systems. Their expertise falls under caring for patients with pain in the neck, back, joints, muscles, and ligaments. These discomforts often impact the nervous system (for example, a herniated disc can put pressure on a nearby nerve), affecting regions around the problem area; chiropractors also work to address these types of issues.
Beyond making physical adjustments, chiropractors may also offer advice on dietary adjustments, exercise routines, and occupational or lifestyle modifications to improve or maintain good neuro-musculoskeletal health.
Is Chiropractic Work Safe?
Chiropractic is one of the safest non-invasive, non-surgical, and non-drug forms of neuro-musculoskeletal healthcare. Chiropractors are well-trained allied health professionals who receive 5 years of extensive university education before being able to open their practice, including long hours of hands-on experience, to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform safe and effective care. The field has an excellent safety record but, like other healthcare treatments, there are still potential risks, though quite small.
Though many people feel immediate relief after chiropractic treatment, some do experience soreness or aching, similar to the sensations you get after an intense workout, which typically fades by the next day.
What Can I Expect When I Visit a Chiropractor?
During your first visit to the chiropractor, the doctor will conduct both interviews and run some physical tests to determine your medical history, current health status, and eligibility for chiropractic care. These can include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), postural analysis, etc.—technology that will help detect neuro-musculoskeletal issues.
Some chiropractors immediately issue their findings and begin performing adjustments during the same session. Others, however, opt to study the results and design a treatment plan, especially if it involves a more complicated ailment that requires several visits.
If you can’t be recommended for chiropractic treatment, the chiropractor will recommend you to another healthcare professional that can better address your medical issues.
How Is Chiropractic Treatment Performed?
The primary method of treatment in chiropractic is adjustment of the spinal column or nearby areas. To perform chiropractic adjustments, a chiropractor uses their hands (manual) or small instruments and tools (mechanical) to manipulate the spine in order to restore and improve musculoskeletal function, as well as relieve pain caused by disorders in the nervous system.
There’s no one-size-fits-all chiropractic treatment. It always differs per person based on their medical history, diagnosis, and tolerance. Some treatments can be done in just one session. Others need several visits over multiple weeks or months to complete.
Why Is There a Popping Sound during Adjustment?
Some people have an unfounded fear of chiropractic treatment because of the “popping” sound that adjustments sometimes make. However, these aren’t bones or joints actually cracking. When an adjustment is done, it temporarily draws out gas bubbles from the synovial fluid between the joints; this change in pressure within the joint causes the sound and the gas bubble is reabsorbed back into the joint’s lubricating fluid by 20-30 minutes. And while it may sound surprising, there’s usually very little discomfort, if any at all; and most people feel an immediate relief. Often adjustments make no sound at all and give the same relief and correction to the joint.
Choose the Right Chiropractor
Choosing the right chiropractor is important because the treatment is a hands-on one. Your doctor is going to be somebody you’re comfortable with. A good chiropractor will complete a thorough examination after having all the details of the history of the condition or symptom. The chiro should be able to explain your diagnosis easily and give the time to answer any questions about the diagnosis or the treatment. Usually the price will have some correlation to the skill that you will receive. The professional standards of the chiropractor is also a guide as to how conscientious they are with their therapy. Additionally, with hundreds of chiropractic methods out there, you must find a healthcare professional that can properly cater to your specific needs.
You don’t need a referral for a chiropractor except, it’s still a good idea to ask for recommendations from your medical doctor, family, or friends to find the one that best suits your needs.