What To Expect From Our Chiropractors
We tailor the intensity of the adjustment to the individual patient’s needs.
The classical chiropractic adjustment is most well known for the loud clicking sound we associate with it. These classical adjustments cause a click because they fully release the movement of the spinal joints which leads to the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the joint fluids. And bubbles make sound.
The lesser known type of chiropractors adjustment is the type that makes little or no sound. Either a ‘small click’ or no click is what you can expect from these chiropractors adjustments. These adjustments make little or no sound because they don’t cause full movement of the joints to occur. Therefore there is no change in the pressure within the joints and no bubbles forming in the joint fluids. These non-clicking chiropractic adjustments are either delivered gently by hand or with an adjusting tool called an activator
Some chiropractors choose to only do the louder and firmer clicking type of adjustments. Whilst others focus exclusively on the more gentle kind of adjustment. These decisions come down to the specific beliefs of the chiropractor and how they approach pain. Some believe that lots of gentle adjustments are better. Others believe that fewer but louder adjustments is a better approach.
At City Chiropractic we believe that both are valid perspectives, and both have their place. If you are a 30 year old rugby prop the adjustments you might need will most likely be different to the ones you need if you are a 78 year old dog walker. We believe that a good chiropractor should be able to deliver both firm and gentle adjustments depending on the needs of the individual patient.
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Clear communication is totally essential within healthcare procedures that take time to execute.
All good healthcare starts with a healthy level of trust and rapport between the patient and the doctor. These principles are especially important with disciplines like chiropractic. Because very few chiropractors patients are fixable in a single visit.
It is totally possible to get some root canal work done without a particularly great level of communication with your endodontist. She just needs you to lie still with your mouth wide open for 2 hours then she might never need to see you again. You basically just need to trust her enough to open up your mouth for a couple of hours.
Unlike dental work, chiropractors need to work on you over time. And also unlike dentistry many times we arent as sure about what causes our back and neck pain. So there often quite a lot more trust involved in working with a chiropractor over time, especially in the window before you get decent pain relief from the process.
All the adds up to a major need for good communication between you and your chiropractor. And it is why we place great emphasis on good communication skills, clear explanations of what we are doing and why, open channels of communication; and most of all open and honest communication from our side at all times.
No Size Fits All
All healthcare disciplines have their own strengths and weaknesses. One of the chiropractic professions weaknesses has been providing ‘one size fits all’ care for chiropractic patients. We believe that whilst many pain sufferers do tend to respond to the same tools, there are many that do not respond to the tools and procedures that most do. Therefore a flexible approach to treatment is vital.
There is a strong tendency within healthcare to oversimplify treatment and provide one size fits all type treatments. If you consider the tendency medicine has to throw medication at just about everything you’ll be reflecting on a large scale example of this. This isnt necessarily a criticism of medicine, or chiropractors, or any other healthcare discipline. It is just a natural human tendency that is as big as all of healthcare itself.
Some of the people who turn up at a chiropractor’s office need an adjustment. Other people who turn up at a chiropractor’s office need 2 months of trigger point release before they will handle an adjustment. Other people who turn up at a chiropractor’s office won’t get any lasting relief from the adjustment unless they get their stress levels under control. We aim to identify which kind of patient you are at all stages in your care. So that we can adjust the treatments you are getting if necessary. Instead of clicking endlessly and hoping for eventual results.
A Real Diagnosis
Pain is a multi-layered part of life. A true diagnosis for your pain is one that explains what specific factors are causing stress or damage to the painful body part.
One of the most common diagnoses in all of pain management is ‘tendinopathy’. Because tendinopathy is an incredibly common problem. If you struggle with a mystery pain in your shoulder for a long time. Then a chiropractor identifies that you have tendinopathy, it’s a great step forward diagnostically. You now know what is wrong with your shoulder, to an extent.
Yet if you have tendinopathy in one shoulder and not the other, there must be some deeper reason why the tendon is suffering wear and tear on the painful side. Identifying why you have the tendinopathy in that spot is the real diagnostic gold that you want to dig down to. It could be because muscle wasting, or some bad habit, or some old scar tissue creating strain. Knowing these answers is the key to getting pain free in the longer term no matter how good your chiropractors treatments are.
We take great care to identify the most likely underlying cause of our patients’ pain at all times. Because believe it or not we’d rather you didn’t need a chiropractic adjustment every 2 weeks for the rest of your life. Which is the risk if you don’t have a true diagnosis for your pain. Or the real reason behind the issues with your tissues.
Heaps Of Experience
The more fires a fireman has put out, the better he/she gets at recognising all the small details that make for a quicker and safer response to fire.
Our lead chiropractor has nearly 25 years experience managing the full spectrum of human aches and pains. If you choose us as your chiropractic clinic you will get the benefit of 25 years spent reflecting on health and wellbeing. Not only from the chiropractic perspective, but from a far broader spectrum of disciplines and approaches.
One of the benefits to working with an experienced chiropractor is their ‘pattern recognition’. If your chiropractor has seen a greater number of cases and paid close attention they will be aware of countless pain-causing patterns that could be causing your pain without you realising. Sometimes it is surprising how much of a reduction in pain can come from making small changes that were enabled through subtle pattern recognition.
Holistic Birds Eye View
Where necessary, we look at the whole person. Not just the spine.
Human beings are made up of a nervous system, digestive organs, a bunch of good and bad memories, a personality, soft tissues, blood vessels, bones, biomechanics, a career, family relationships, a lymphatic system, a spinal system, a fascial system, heaps of skin etc. etc etc. We are a complex web of physical systems and connections to other beings and our environment. Pain can arise almost anywhere within all of this. Scary eh.
Some people see chiropractors because they have flat feet which put stress on their spine. Some people see chiropractors because they have scar tissue from an old whiplash injury in their neck. Some people see a chiropractor because they have specific food allergies that cause joint inflammation. Some people see chiropractors because they live in constant fight or flight due to childhood trauma. Some people see chiropractors because they sleep in their tummy and corkscrew their necks every night. Some people see a chiropractor because they clench their jaw a lot. These are a tiny list of examples.
It isn’t always possible to know exactly what causes a person’s pain from a holistic perspective. And often it is multiple factors. Yet we usually find that by digging we can identify the main causes of your pain without too much trouble. Should you wish to make changes to reduce them.
Flexible Treatment Approach
Some people simply don’t respond to a specific kind of chiropractic adjustment. Some people simply don’t respond to chiropractic unless it is combined with acupuncture. Some people don’t respond to chiropractic adjustments at all. Some people find that half their pains respond to chiropractic but the other half don’t. These are all examples of times when a flexible treatment approach may become necessary. So it’s what we do.
A flexible approach to treatment basically means being agile and adaptable in the type of care provided, the intensity of the care provided and the timing of care provided. One of the most common ways that we bring flexibility to chiropractic work is by combining it with other treatments. Including acupuncture, dry needling, myofascial release, strength exercises, stress management techniques, laser therapy and others.
One of the strange things about specialising in pain management is that you never get particularly good at predicting which patient will respond to which procedure. Even a great chef can’t look at his diners and predict what they will order from the menu. The body is in some ways too complex and unpredictable for patterns to be observable. This is ultimately why chiropractors do better when they take a flexible approach to treatment.
A Healing Environment
We believe that a warm, welcoming and professional environment is a vital element in healthcare. And that one day even hospitals will realise this. In fact in some countries they already have.
There is plenty of research that shows that the environment healthcare is conducted in has a profound effect on patient outcomes. Hospital patients who have a nice view make better recoveries on average than those with no view. Some Japanese hospitals use open fires on their wards and observe far better recoveries compared to the cold clinical environments we associate with hospital wards. Researchers have shown that even spending short periods of time in a forest has a measurable effect on blood pressure, inflammation and cortisol levels. Environment is important for health.
The healthcare environment also communicates to the patient about the level of thought and care that has gone into the provision of the care, chiropractic or otherwise. How do you feel when you go somewhere for treatment and sit on plastic chairs reading a five year old dog eared copies of Women’s Weekly? Does it make you feel valued and cared for?
For these reasons (and from the ultimately selfish desire to spend our time in a nice place ourselves), we have created a warm and welcoming clinic space that easily rivals any professional setting in the country.
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