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Everything You Need to Know About Chiropractic

by Melanie Peterson

Have you always wanted to learn more about the alternative health care practice known as chiropractic? Are you planning on visiting a chiropractor soon but want to learn as much as you can about it?

Well, you have come to the right place. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about chiropractic!

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic care is a form of complementary and alternative health care and is usually used alongside or as an alternative to traditional western medicines. It involves a hands-on approach to spinal manipulation and focuses on treating musculoskeletal health conditions such as those related to the muscles, bones and joints.

Chiropractic care may help improve neurological communication between the body and brain, as well as improve movement in the body, restore biomechanical functions and increase flexibility.

What is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a person who practises chiropractic, also known as a Doctor of Chiropractic. A chiropractor uses their hands or special tools to perform spinal adjustments and treatments on their patients’ bodies. They are a primary contact practitioner, meaning patients do not need a referral from a general practitioner to visit a chiropractor.

In Australia, chiropractors are trained for five years at a tertiary level before registering as professional health care practitioners with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Their studies usually involve an undergraduate science degree as well as a Masters of Chiropractic, following professional clinical training. 

What may chiropractic treat?

Chiropractic may treat a range of musculoskeletal health concerns. It may also ease various common chronic pains (such as those in muscles or joints) and help individuals restore their spinal function.

Below are a few examples of health conditions which chiropractic care may address:

  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Muscle overuse
  • Sprains and strains
  • Whiplash
  • Restricted movements in the back, lumbs, neck or shoulders
  • Some forms of headaches and migraines
  • Poor posture (corrections)

What can you expect from a chiropractic session?

Depending on the chiropractic clinic you visit, your chiropractic care may differ. However, most chiropractic sessions will include chiropractic adjustments – performed either using a hands-on approach or with special chiropractic tools.

Chiropractic adjustments are usually performed on a special, padded chiropractic table, where a chiropractor will apply a controlled force to an area of concern. A chiropractic session may also include additional treatments such as mobilisation, stretches and exercises, heat or ice therapy, soft tissue massages as well as providing you with lifestyle advice.

How can you find the right chiropractor for you?

There are many ways for you to find the right chiropractor. It is important to keep your options open and pick your chiropractor carefully so that they match with your own needs and values. 

You can search online to find a local chiropractic clinic, or search through the Australian Chiropractors Association Find a Chiropractor tool. You can also ask a close family member or friend to recommend you to a local chiropractor to visit.

Taking care of your health with chiropractic

Chiropractic care can help you address your musculoskeletal health concerns and general wellbeing. Considered a form of alternative and complementary health care, chiropractic may help treat a variety of conditions and symptoms as well as assist with chronic conditions such as pain management. Before visiting a chiropractor, be sure to understand the basics of the health care method and take your time in finding the right clinic for you.

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