Chiropractors work with people of all ages focusing on disorders of both the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and their effects on overall health. A “spinal manipulation” or “chiropractic adjustment” is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force to joints that have become restricted in their movement.
Chiropractors are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises.
Claims: Traditional chiropractic claims care can relieve pain and have overall health benefits. The New Zealand Chiropractors’ association says Chiropractic is about helping the body to work at its best. Your nervous system, which controls all the functions of your body, is protected by your spine. Sometimes the stresses and strains of daily life cause nerve messages from the brain to get blocked. By making minor adjustments to the spine, nervous system and soft tissue, chiropractors can remove these blockages so that the messages reach the organs effectively.
Evidence: While research shows benefits for acute musculoskeletal pain, namely of the back and neck, its effects beyond pain relief are not known, and there is little evidence for long-term pain relief.
There is very limited evidence for the use of chiropractic care in treating inflammatory arthritis or fibromyalgia, and no evidence that it can treat organ problems.
While traditional chiropractic does not align with the western scientific medicine model of health, some GPs or musculoskeletal specialists may say to give it a try. Talk to your specialist about their personal opinion.
Safety: If you have back or neck pain with osteoarthritis, chiropractic is safe. If you have an inflammatory form of arthritis, you need to be more careful. You should not be treated with chiropractic if you have fusions or active inflammation (a flare). Side effects after a session are rare and may involve a pain flare.
What does a session involve?
Your initial consultation will include a detailed history from you and may involve x-rays to get a detailed look at what is happening. To form the best treatment plan, you will be asked questions about your lifestyle and the goals you want to achieve from chiropractic.
Wear comfortable clothing to your session. Depending on your ability to handle manual adjustments, you may be adjusted by the chiropractor’s hands or with a more subtle tool. You may be seated or lying on a chiropractic table with moving parts that allow for adjustments to your spine. The chiropractor will often look at your posture in your session too.
Communicate how you feel at each appointment to your practitioner and any health concerns you have had since your last meeting. Depending on your treatment plan and circumstances, you may have the same adjustments made or different ones each session.
How can I get access to chiropractic?
You don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor. Your appointment may be subsidised through ACC. The New Zealand College of Chiropractic has a chiropractic clinic on site, which has reduced fees compared to private care. For more information, The Chiropractic Centre – Chiropractic Centre
NZ Chiropractors Association