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The Ultimate #nofilter Guide to Seeing a Chiropractor

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Are you here because you’re experiencing pain, and wondering if chiropractic could help you? 

BUT 

you’re not quite sure about a few things.

Table of contents

We feel you. 

We had these questions before we started, and struggled to make sense of all the “10 Best Chiropractor Clinic….” listicles online. We took a long time and lots of research to figure these things out, and want to share them so that you can make an informed decision for yourself. 

TL;DR: Chiropractic is about getting optimal alignment of the spine (like braces for teeth). The cost is around the same (think in the thousands), and the duration to get back that alignment is also the same (several months). It is not regulated, but chiropractors are certified to practice (from their country of training).   

Now, back to your burning questions.

How much does it cost to see a chiropractor?

We’ll be honest, seeing a chiropractor is not going to be cheap. While the first visit is usually relatively affordable, taking action to correct the problem after the first visit is not cheap.  If you are looking to seek one-off, symptomatic relief, a chiropractic care programme may seem like a hefty investment. The cost is around the same (in the thousands) as the cost of braces for your teeth. Similar to dentists and surgeons, you’re paying for the years of education and practice of the chiropractor.

However, it is first important to take a step back to understand your goals in the first place. If your goal is to improve your spinal health and general well-being, chiropractic care may even be less expensive as compared to other long-term treatment plans that involve medication, surgery, or intensive physical therapy.

More importantly, the goal of chiropractic care is preventive in nature, i.e. to improve spinal motion, and in turn, the body’s physical functions. The eventual objective of chiropractic care is to prevent degeneration that eventually requires more invasive forms of treatment and that would definitely cost a bomb.

How often do I have to go for chiropractic treatments?

There is no “one-size-fits-all”. Everyone’s condition is different, and it is critical that we diagnose the severity of misalignments in your spine to develop the best care plan for your condition. For most patients that we see, spinal degeneration has set in for several years already. It typically takes a few months to correct issues which took years to develop. 

Chiropractic is not an instant fix. One adjustment will not address your problem. Like braces for teeth, physical misalignments in your body takes time to correct.

The effectiveness depends on a variety of things – your condition, how your body responds to adjustments, your daily habits, among other things.

For most of our practice members, they continue to receive chiropractic adjustments on a regular basis even after their problems have been corrected to maintain their progress made. This is similar to going for facials or your regular dentist scaling and polishing!

chiropractic-adjustment

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

One of the biggest things we feared (and heard about) was someone who suffered a stroke after a chiropractic adjustment. Well, good news! The incidence of stroke among the general population Vs the incidence of stroke among chiropractic patients indicates an extremely low correlation between chiropractic adjustments and stroke. According to reports, the risk of serious adverse events from chiropractic manipulations such as stroke ranged from 0.05 to 1.46 per 10,000,000 manipulations.

How do I know that I’m being adjusted safely?”

For us, you’ll only get adjusted after you have gone through a detailed consultation and examination designed to determine the most effective approach to your health problems.

Receiving chiropractic adjustments without being checked beforehand is NOT SAFE

By doing a comprehensive consultation and examination, we can ensure that our care is safe and effective for you.

In fact, this is how thorough our spinal examination is:

  1. X-rays
  2. Visual posture assessment
  3. Spinal palpitation
  4. Posture photo analysis
  5. Bilateral weight distribution assessment
  6. Computerised spinal range of motion measurement
  7. Thermographic evaluation
  8. Surface electromyography scan

How about that scary cracking sound…?”

Chiropractors do not crack bones. That said, it is normal to hear a “popping” or “cracking” sound during an adjustment.

The popping sound is due to a change in pressure, as a joint moves in a specific way. There are small pockets of air or bubbles that surround the joint. During a chiropractic adjustment, the tissues are stretched out, “popping” the air pocket, which then creates the cracking sound.

Neck-adjustment-Infographic

Image source: widencdn.net

The sound associated with a chiropractic adjustment is not important; an effective adjustment can be delivered with no audible sound. Instead, what’s important is the degree and quality of movement that was achieved with the adjustment.

Motion is life. A flexible, stable, and well-aligned spine is key for your health.

Adjustments to certain joints in the spine or extremities may feel slightly uncomfortable, but once the adjustment is performed, you should not feel pain. In fact, many enjoy being adjusted, and like the way the adjustment feels!

If it is your first time ever being adjusted, you may experience slight soreness or discomfort for 12 – 24 hours following the first adjustment. The adjustment helps restore the alignment of the spine, breaking up adhesions that had previously restricted the joint, and stretching tissues that have previously caused some of the pain and other symptoms.

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic focuses on correcting misalignments in the spine which interfere with the nervous system. As these are physical misalignments, chiropractors use physical adjustments to move them back into proper alignment

Typically, people think of turning to chiropractic when they experience pain along their spine (neck, shoulders, back). While chiropractic does help with pain relief due to physical misalignments of the spine, the focus of it goes beyond pain relief.

More importantly, the benefits of chiropractic include:

  • All-natural
  • Drug-free & Non-surgical
  • Improves your posture
  • Increases your range of motion
  • Enables your body to function as it was designed to

Is chiropractic legit?

For a profession that has been around for over 120 years, and that has helped many people get better, we’re on the fence that it’s legit.

Ultimately, the legitimacy of anything depends on the assertions it makes. You’ll never hear us saying that chiropractic can cure cancer, Alzheimers, COVID-19, or any disease. Chiropractic is also not the only approach to treating issues with your body and back.  

We’re clear on what chiropractic can and cannot do, and have been serving the community in Singapore for over a decade. But don’t just take our word for it, read testimonials from our practice members here.

Are chiropractors medical doctors?

Chiropractors are not medical doctors, and are not trained to treat disease or illness with medication. However, our chiropractors are fully accredited by international chiropractic boards and have gone through an intensive four-year programme focusing on anatomy, physiology, neurology, orthopedics, radiology, bio-mechanics, physical examination, advanced imaging, diagnosis, and chiropractic techniques.

In other words, our chiropractors are experts in the neuromusculoskeletal system – the interactions between nerves, muscles, and the skeleton. They are trained to find and fix issues in the spine by applying gentle, controlled pressure to the misaligned vertebrae in the spine, eliminating misalignments in your spine.

How to choose a chiropractor?

A good chiropractor takes the time to ask about your health history, take x-rays (depending on your condition), and understand your body for signs of injury or pain. 

 If you find that your chiropractor is rushing through, or even skipping the examination process just to get you adjusted and scheduled for your next appointment, you should think twice about going back

Is chiropractic regulated in Singapore?

According to the Ministry of Health Singapore, “chiropractic services are considered as complementary and alternative treatments, and are not licensed under the Private Hospital and Medical Clinic Act (PHMCA). While there isn’t a board regulating or accrediting chiropractic in Singapore, all our Chiropractors are a part of, and come from countries which have a board of chiropractors to regulate, accredit, and uphold the standard of chiropractic.” 

While we’re not regulated, we continue to refer to the standards of overseas boards to ensure that we’re up to date. We hold ourselves to high standards, and  place great importance on every new patient getting a comprehensive check-up and examination before our chiropractors adjust. Based on the damage done to your spine, as well as other complicating factors, we can then recommend whether 1) chiropractic care is suitable for you, and if so, 2) the proposed frequency and number of adjustments to achieve your goals.

Chiropractors Vs TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Vs Physiotherapy for pain relief

Firstly, all three domains are super different! It’s like comparing apples to oranges.

As the fundamental belief systems are different, the approach to pain relief also differs.

Physiotherapy focuses on treatment to restore and maintain 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.

Vs Chiropractic…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 affects your nervous system and causes pain.

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

Vs Chiropractic…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 are very different from chiropractic as the focus is not on the nervous system.

If I do nothing, this pain will just go away right...?

Pain can often be the last symptom of having a dysfunction. While many seek chiropractic care because of pain, pain in itself is not a good indicator of health. You might have problems like degeneration or misalignment for months or years before you start feeling pain. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure and chiropractic care keeps your body functioning at its best.

In conclusion

Chiropractic is not just a one-off quick fix for neck and back pain. It may seem expensive and require a commitment of time, but working on your health (like exercising) is a lifelong investment in yourself. 

We hope this article has been helpful to you. If you’ve more burning questions, feel free to message us and we’ll try our best to answer them!

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― Chiropractic Singapore ―
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