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What is chiropractic?

Optimising flow of your nervous system and addressing pain through removing spinal misalignments.

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Optimising flow of the nervous system

Chiropractic is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.

Your central nervous system is vital in controlling most functions of the body and mind. It connects signals from your brains to the rest of your body through the spinal cord. Your spinal cord is protected by your spine. 

Chiropractic focuses on removing misalignments in the spine which interfere with the nervous system (called subluxations) to achieve an optimal flow in the nervous system and enable your body to function as how it was made. 

Physical misalignments require correction through physical adjustments  (think braces for teeth). We primarily focus on manual adjustments to correct subluxation, as we believe that proper alignment will enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. 

nerve chart

The difference between chiropractic and...

Physiotherapy focuses on treatment to restore and maintain the most of your mobility, function, and well-being. You are heavily involved in your own recovery as specific exercises are taught to be done at home to aid muscle recovery. 

The key difference is that physiotherapy largely focuses on the area affected, and treatment is specific to that area, rather than a holistic approach to your health. Chiropractic focuses on the treatment of subluxation which affect your nervous system and cause pain.

TCM is a branch of traditional medicine that is said to be based on more than thousand of years of Chinese medical practice. The approaches include acupuncture, herbal medicine, and tui na (推拿) among others.

One of the approaches known as tie da (铁打), or “bone setting” does appear to look similar to chiropractic adjustments. However, while the biomechanical adjustment may look similar when performed, the fundamental belief system and care approach is very different from chiropractic as the focus is not on the nervous system.    

Massage therapy is focused on manipulation of soft tissues in the body which comprise the muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Varying degrees of pressure and movement is utilized to relieve the muscle tension.

The key difference is that massage therapy is focused on relieving stress in the soft tissues, rather than understanding if a spinal misalignment is causing recurring muscle stress along your neck and back. 

Painkillers help to manage the symptoms of joint pain and swelling, and in cases of acute pain provide immediate, symptomatic relief. 

While painkillers effectively provide relief, they do not resolve the root cause of the problem. In fact, long term use of opiods may lead to dependence on these medications, and worse, addiction. Research has shown that there are long term physical effects of painkiller dependence, such as lowered immunity, gastrointestinal problems, impaired mental function, among others.

Chiropractic care is a drug-free approach which relieves pain through manual chiropractic adjustments complemented with exercises to increase joint mobility.  

Pain-relief patches are transdermal analgesic (or painkillers) used to provide temporary relief of minor aches and pain.  

For muscle aches caused by activity (e.g. sports, marathons) or improper lifting of heavy objects, these patches serve as a cost-effective approach to finding relief. However, these provide only a temporary relief that is not the long-term solution for recurring pain. 

Chiropractic goes beyond providing temporary relief to diagnose your condition and working on correcting spinal misalignments. 

Exercises such as Yoga and Pilates are great as they incorporate stretches and exercises to strengthen your back and core muscles, which consequently help you hold a better posture. These exercises also increase joint mobility and range of motion. 

However, these exercises are unable to address and adjust spinal misalignments. Think about how brushing your teeth regularly is good dental hygiene, but is unable to straighten your teeth. 

We complement chiropractic adjustments with exercises to help strengthen muscles and ligaments that support the spine to better hold the adjustments.  

How does it work?

Chiropractors focus on regular chiropractic adjustments to increase joint mobilisation and alignment. 

A chiropractic adjustment applies gentle but specific forces to improve spinal biomechanics and reduce nervous system interference. This specific manual “thrust” is applied to free up spinal joints which are misaligned. Each adjustment only takes 2-3 minutes.

The direction, speed, depth, and angle that are used are the result of years of experience, practice, and a thorough understanding of spinal mechanics. 

During your adjustment, you may hear a “popping” or “cracking” sound from the shifting of gas or fluids in the joints. This may sound interesting, but it is nothing to be scared of, nor is it a guide on how effective the adjustment was. 

benefits-of-chiropractic-care-chart

Stages of chiropractic care

PAIN RELIEF

The first step to the healing process is acute intensive care to help you find relief for your pain. While seeking relief, our chiropractor may recommend multiple visits per week in order to relieve your symptoms, and reduce damage to your spine and nervous system.

RECOVERY AND CORRECTION

Just because your pain subsides doesn’t mean that all is well again. Recovery and corrective care works to enable the body’s ability to heal and get the spine into better alignment for a holistic healing process. During this period, frequency of adjustments may be lowered (depending on your condition). 

PREVENTIVE AND WELLNESS

At this stage, you probably have noticed significant improvements to your spinal function, and overall well-being. Congratulations! That said, it is important to continue being adjusted. This will help prevent the recurrence of earlier symptoms that were caused by prior bad habits, and allow for prevention and early detection of new problems. Don’t let your hard work of getting optimal flow of your nervous system go to waste!

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