Chiropractic Care FAQs
Chiropractors use hands-on spinal manipulation to achieve proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure. Common conditions treated are:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Elbow pain
- Shoulder injuries
- Hip pain
- Arthritic pain
- Joint pains
During your first visit we’ll establish what your symptoms are (e.g. back pain, neck pain) and what might be causing that pain. Once we’ve established what’s going on, we’ll begin working on a treatment plan for you to help improve the issue so you can begin getting the relief you deserve!
Chiropractors are primary healthcare professionals just like your dentist and your GP – except specialising in non-surgical/dreg free pain management. Chiropractors must be registered with the Chiropractic Board of New Zealand and hold a current Annual Practising Certificate. To become a chiropractor in NZ you must complete a 5 year course including a Diploma in Applied Science and then a Bachelors of Chiropractic (BChiro) degree.
You need someone to take a look at your spine to be able to tell if it’s working properly. Often, symptoms can be present and be undetected for a long time before they cause pain. Coming in for a consultation is a great place to start if you think something might be going on.
Most people find that adjustments are pain free, even if the clicking sometimes gives them a bit of an initial fright! In some causes, you may have mild soreness in the area that’s been adjusted. This is completely normal and is often part of the healing process as your spinal movement improves.
Talk to us about it! We know that hearing a loud click in your neck can sound and feel uncomfortable, but rest assured it is very safe. Talking to us can help us put your concerns at ease and help us make you feel comfortable during the process. We’ll only use neck adjustments if you’re happy for us to do so.
We don’t include neck adjustments in your treatment if we think it might put you at risk or if it’s unnecessary to what we’re treating. There has to be a solid objective reason for us to use them. There are many techniques that do not involve “manipulation” that we can use to try to correct neck problems, so please don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from seeking treatment to help you.
Sometimes chiropractors like us tend to answer a question with a 100 questions!
How long have you ignored your pain for? How stressful your job? Are you getting enough sleep? How weak is your core? Are you over training? Do you have flat feet? Do you have any major nutritional defences? Do you have any old spinal injuries that weren’t rehabilitated properly? What is you favourite sleeping position? How many hours a day are you at a screen?
It’s very hard to even start making guesses at how long your recovery will take until these questions and many more are answered. Some people get instant relief and for some people it takes one to two weeks before they begin to feel better. Some people cam be rehabilitated by their chiropractors in a few months – for others it can take years.
Your chiropractic treatment is tailored to you. This means that the amount of treatments required depends on what you present with when you come in to see us. Some people need to come in for more regular treatments when they first start seeing us, followed by rehabilitation and then maintenance adjustments. For others, a short course of adjustments will get them to where they need to be.
When you first come in and see us, we can give you an idea of how many chiropractic adjustments you need, though this number can change depending on how you respond to your chiropractors treatment over time.
Again, this depends on your lifestyle and how you respond to treatment. Many people choose to have infrequent but ongoing visits to help them feel their best, while others only see us when they’re in pain. During your visits we’ll give you information about the aims of your treatment and how it may help you both short term and long term.
If you sit at a desk clenching your neck for 40 hours a week its likely that you will need more ongoing care from your chiropractor than if you love working as a full-time yoga teacher. If you are an extremely active and accident prone thrill seeker its likely you will need more ongoing chiropractic care than if your hobbies are bush walks and pilates.
We will always try to help you minimise the amount of pain you have and the amount of treatment you need in the long term by helping you to uncover the true causes of your pain so that you can work on them.
Ahh the frequent self-click… one of life little guilty pleasures. Sadly even your chiropractor can’t adjust themselves effectively – that’s just how specific adjustments are. Some people can make their joints “pop” themselves and although it feels temporarily satisfying, it doesn’t move the specific parts you want to get at and seldom brings any lasting relief.
Come in and see us to make sure you’re not causing yourself more problems by just clicking what “feels good temporarily”.
Absolutely. We have specific types of treatment designed to avoid the surgically modified parts of your spine and correct and maintain spinal function.
You sure can. Chiropractic care is safe for both mums and babies. Some mums find that chiropractors adjustments during pregnancy help with their back pain and other related musculoskeletal pain. We of course adapt our adjusting methods to ensure that you and your baby are safe at all times.
Chiropractic care is a natural, non-invasive approach to healthcare that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, primarily the spine, to restore proper function and alleviate pain and discomfort. It is a common and totally understandable assumption that all chiropractors do is ‘click’ your back. This is because obviously that a high level of spinal adjusting skill is somewhat of a trademark for the chiropractic profession.
Chiropractors spend as much time learning about the musculoskeletal as your dentist does learning about teeth. Usually 5 years full time university education. This means that not only are chiropractors legally allowed to to call themselves doctor, when it comes to mechanical pain they are ‘the doctor’. Similarly, when it comes to having toothache your dentist is the doctor.
Chiropractors can treat a variety of conditions including back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many others. In NZ many chiropractors still observe the traditional American style of chiropractic and choose to focus exclusively on the spine. Many others take a somewhat broader view of pain management and are just as happy to treat issues like knee pain and ankle injuries. One of the lesser known facts about chiropractors is that the profession is loosely split into 2 groups. Chiropractors who take a broader and more medical approach to the treatment of pain. And chiropractic traditionalists who focus more exclusively on the spine and the value of the chiropractic adjustment. Both perspectives have their place and both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Modern chiropractors use a variety of techniques, such as spinal adjustments, mobilization, soft tissue therapy, and exercise therapy to restore proper alignment and function. Any good modern chiropractor should offer you a range of potential treatment options to support the spinal adjustments they give you. And a really good chiropractor should be able to offer you a comprehensive rehab plan for even the most chronic pains. Some chiropractors do still focus solely on the chiropractic adjustment so it can be worth calling around and checking which chiropractors provide what it is that you prefer.
Chiropractic care is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and trained chiropractor. However, like any medical treatment, there are some risks associated with chiropractic care, such as mild soreness or discomfort after an adjustment. In rare instances there can be serious side effects, yet these are far less common than with every day interventions like over-the-counter pain medications.
In the old days chiropractors appointments were very short. LKike less than 5 minutes. The length of a chiropractic treatment these days varies depending on the individual and their condition. A typical visit to a chiropractor can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Chiropractic adjustments are quick, but combining them with other treatments can take longer. And good communication also takes time.
The number of visits needed varies depending on the individual and their condition. Some people may see improvement after just a few visits, while others may require ongoing treatment. If your pain is chronic (long standing) or it is caused by stress, PTSD or some old scar tissue you could be in for the long haul. It is also likely that chiropractic adjustments alone won’t be enough to completely free you from pain.
Many insurance plans cover chiropractic care, but it depends on the individual policy. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered. Southern Cross for example do include chiropractic care on most of their policies. Chiropractic is a legitimate healthcare speciality like any other, so it is a well established part of global health insurance policy. It is however not covered by all policies with all companies.
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Chiropractors use techniques that are safe and gentle for children to help with symptoms like colic, ear infections, and asthma. Chiropractic treatments for children are incredibly gentle. Despite the prevalence of widespread urban myths about chiropractic adjustments being somewhat risky and ‘high force’ movements. The safety record that chiropractic has in treating children is exemplary, and if it wasn’t the media would love to tell you about it often, such is the world we live in.
In most cases, you do not need a referral to see a chiropractor. However, some insurance plans may require a referral from your primary care physician. Chiropractors are primary healthcare providers in NZ which means you don’t need a referral from your doctor to see a chiropractor, any more than you do to see a dentist. Like seeing a dentist you can just call a chiropractor of your choosing and ask to make an appointment. Chiropractors receive the same basic training as any other primary healthcare provider so they are qualified to make sure you don’t have anything sinister going on and diagnose your condition accurerately. Much as a doctor would.
Chiropractic adjustments should not be painful, but some people may experience mild soreness or discomfort after treatment. Your chiropractor should explain any potential discomfort before starting treatment. There are rare instances where there is some pain with a chiropractic adjustment. These are usually from old spinal injuries that never healed properly and been ‘stuck’ for a long time. Yet even when these reactions occur they are short lived and most agree that the rapid transformations they lead to make the discomfort well worth tolerating.
How often should you see a dentist? It depends on how much floss and coca cola you consume. The frequency of chiropractic visits depends on your individual needs and condition. Some people may only need occasional visits for maintenance, while others may need more frequent visits for ongoing care. Believe it or not, the most common factors that bring people back to the chiropractor more often than normal are chronic stress and unhealed emotional trauma. Other reasons for over-dependency on your chiropractor include, lack of exercise, over-training, old injuries and scar tissue, core weakness, sedentary work and flat feet
Yes, chiropractic care can be beneficial for sports injuries. Chiropractors can use techniques to help improve range of motion, reduce pain, and speed up the healing process. If you find a really good chiropractor the overall experience should feel like you wouldnt ever need a physio because they are willing to tackle all of your pain and injuries. Using all of the chiropractic tools and perspectives, but also using approaches that you would usually associate with a physiotherapist
Yes, chiropractic care can help improve posture by realigning the spine and correcting any imbalances or misalignments that may be causing poor posture. Yet, to experience lasting postural benefits from chiropractic care some other factors must usually be addressed. Most people with postural issues have chronic loss of muscle mass in the spine and upper back. Tracts of fascia (connective tissue) can also become tightened and ‘undo’ the positive effects of chiropractic adjustments if they are not worked on in conjunction with spinal adjustments. In the longer term posture and a lack of movement can also have a profound influence over how much straighter your chiropractor can make you. Despite all this starting your postural correction with a chiropractor is vital. And it’s not all as hard work as it sounds if you have the right exercises and mindset applied over time.
During your first visit, your chiropractor will take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to evaluate your condition. They may also take X-rays or other diagnostic tests to help diagnose your condition. A good chiropractor will make you feel like you have really been listened to and heard, which is important when you have pain. They will also give you a very clear perspective on what’s causing your pain and a plan on what to do about it. It is not always appropriate for a chiropractor to adjust you on your first visit, but they will if it is appropriate.
Yes, chiropractic care can be beneficial for migraines. Chiropractors can use techniques to help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines by reducing tension in the neck and improving spinal alignment. A high percentage of migraines meet the diagnostic criteria for ‘cervicogenic migraine’, which is the fancy term for a migraine that comes from problems deep in the neck. These types of migraines are often very responsive to chiropractic care.
The length of time it takes to see results from chiropractic care varies depending on the individual and their condition. Some people may experience immediate relief, while others may need several visits to see improvement. The speed of relief with any pain treatment is often determined by your overall state of health. If your stress levels are low, you are exercising enough and you get enough sleep you can heal at literally 10x the speed opf someone who is run down and not looking after themselves.
Yes, chiropractic care can be beneficial for arthritis by reducing pain and inflammation and improving joint mobility. Arthritic joints are not always painful, in fact many arthritic joints never cause any symptoms. By mobilising a painful arthritic joint and strengthening the soft tissues that support it there is an excellent chance that a chiropractic can help you manage the pain.
Like any medical treatment, there are some risks associated with chiropractic care. However, the risks are generally low and include mild soreness or discomfort after treatment. There are alot of myth-understandings out there about the risks of chiropractic. Yet, the truth is that chiropractic has a far better safety record than even the most common of painkillers, like aspirin for example.
When choosing a chiropractor, it’s obviously important to look for someone who is licensed and preferably very experienced. You may also want to read reviews or ask for referrals from friends or family members. For a deeper dive into the best way to choose a chiropractor who is right for you READ THIS.