All these Noises- Insight into the world of Chiropractors - with Kerrie-Anne Smith​

Updated: May 18


What is Chiropractic and what do Chiropractors do?

Chiropractic [kahy-ruh-prak-tik] is a Greek word for “done by hand”. It is a natural form of healthcare which helps to facilitate your body’s own repair and return to health without medication or surgery.

Chiropractic is a drug-free, hands on profession which blends seamlessly with the science and technology of modern medicine and has the proven ability to relieve back and joint pain, increase vitality, and promote well-being. Chiropractors are educated as Primary Contact physicians and are therefore trained to thoroughly assess and diagnose their patients before deciding whether the patient is suitable for Chiropractic care or needs to be referred to an appropriate health care provider. Chiropractic has a very long history dating back to 1895 when the first official adjustment was performed. Since its inception, Chiropractic has risen to become the third most used primary health care profession in the world after medicine and dentistry.

Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and conservative management of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. With their extensive 7 year Master’s degree, your Chiropractor is fully equipped to conservatively manage your spinal and joint health. The foundation of the Chiropractic philosophy is the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself, as long as the spine and nervous system are working at optimal levels. It is important to remember that muscles and bones are attached, so in order to treat one or the other you have to address both. The cause and the symptom/s of the injury need to both be addressed and treated effectively. Chiropractors don’t only treat the back, they also treat all other injuries associated to shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. It’s not purely a spinal profession.

Chiropractic has become the third largest healthcare profession in the world today. With a mere 700 Chiropractors in this country our effect on the healthcare system is impressive. The profession has come a long way over the past 20 years. Historical perceptions about Chiropractic are changing daily with regular referrals from general practitioners and specialists alike. The WHO (World Health Organization) statistics state that 80% of the world’s population will suffer from low back pain at some stage of their lives. Make sure you see a Chiropractor before you become part of the statistics!

How does Chiropractic work?

A Chiropractor’s main concern is your spine and nervous system and how well both are functioning together. The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae, however there are 24 individual movable vertebrae. Starting below the base of the skull and ending in the center between the hips. Although each vertebrae is separate, they are all connected together by ligaments and muscles, which enables the entire spine to function as one dynamic unit. There are 7 cervical (neck) vertebrae, 12 thoracic (mid-back) vertebrae and 5 lumbar (lower back) vertebrae, with a cartilaginous disc present in between each vertebrae. The function of the discs is to help act as a cushions and shock absorbers, to reduce friction between the vertebrae and to allow increased movement to occur within the spine.

A pair of spinal nerves exits between each vertebrae. Each one of the 31 pairs of nerves comes from the spinal cord, which runs the length of the spine, and extends outwards to form a complex network which ultimately supplies and influences every organ, tissue and cell in the body. It is a Chiropractor’s task to evaluate the biomechanical structure of the spine to ensure that each one of the individual vertebrae are moving freely and are not displaced or fixed in anyway. Any such displacement or jammed vertebrae can cause the spinal nerve that exits at that level from the intervertebral foramen/opening, to become irritated either through direct pressure or through indirect stimulation/irritation. Therefore any problem in any one of the vertebral joints can affect the related part of your nervous system, which in turn can lead to symptoms such as pain and restricted range of movement in the back or neck. It is Chiropractor’s task to evaluate and identify any problem that might exist within the spine and to correct any dysfunction that might be present.

What causes Neuromusculoskeletal conditions?

An everyday action, such as fall or an accident, lifting of heavy objects or even high stress levels can cause any of the movable vertebrae to lose their normal motion. This causes the joint to become fixed or jammed, which in turn can lead to further irritation of both the joint and the nerve. Irritation of the joint may result in spasm of the surrounding muscle, which can lead to a trigger points developing within the muscle. Irritation of the nerve can lead to pain in the vicinity of the joint or it may cause a referral of pain elsewhere in the body. Alternatively the nerve’s functioning may be altered causing either an increase or decrease in nerve sensitivity.

When should I see a Chiropractor?

Chiropractic care has been known to treat and help almost any condition that is nerve, muscle or joint related. Such neuromusculoskeletal conditions can range from neck pain, headaches (including migraines) whiplash, shoulder pain, arm and elbow pain, tingling in the arms and hands, all the way to back pain, hip pain, leg pain, sciatica, knee pain and even foot pain. Therefore any condition that is related to any joint in the body can potentially be helped through Chiropractic care. Although your Chiropractor may focus on the spine and how it is functioning, the biomechanics of the upper and lower limbs is also of great importance.

Who can benefit from Chiropractic Care?

Due to the fact that Chiropractic is a conservative, non-invasive treatment option, virtually anyone can benefit from Chiropractic care. This includes;

  • Babies and Children, Chiropractic care has amazing results when it comes to the care of paediatric and adolescent patients. Especially when it comes to colic. The treatment is very different to that experienced by adults. Very gentle, minor, spinal segmental realignments have profound effects on the musculo-skeletal and nervous system of the developing infant. A general screen for any obvious mechanical disturbances is recommended following birth. Check-ups at all the major milestones will ensure that your child gets a healthy head start with regards to their development and especially as they grow older and their nervous system adapts.

  • Pregnant Woman who suffer from upper and lower back pain. Chiropractors can minimize backache and help ensure pelvic alignment and easier delivery.

  • Office Workers who sit for extended periods of time. Computer work often results in poor posture which leads to neck and back problems associated with pain.

  • Factory workers who spend too much time performing repetitive activities.

  • The Elderly who suffer from degeneration and associated wear and tear. The aging process also predisposes them to different spinal problems.

  • Athletes who are constantly striving to improve their performance and who often push their bodies to the limit in order to achieve their goals. Such constant stress on the body can, in time, cause much strain and in later years many musculoskeletal problems can develop.

Athletes who make regular use of Chiropractic, notice improved recovery, decreased injury and most noticeably an improvement in performance! As a Chiropractor, our goal is to restore full mechanical and neurological function to the athlete and ensure that this function is maintained throughout the athlete’s season or in the build up to that big race or event. Research has shown as much as a 5-7% increase in athletic performance following Chiropractic care.

Although it is the youngest of the natural healing arts, Chiropractic has appreciated tremendous growth during the past decade. Chiropractors blend the drugless, non-surgical art of hands-on therapy with the science and technology of modern medicine and physical rehabilitation. The primary treatment administered by chiropractors is spinal manipulation, also known as an “adjustment”. This means to gently move the various different joints being treated, in order to take the pressure off the body’s central nervous system that controls the entire body. By releasing these joints and nerves we can concentrate on naturally balancing and optimizing the function of the body in order to promote and maintain health.

How will the Chiropractor treat my problem?

Although it is the youngest of the natural healing arts, Chiropractic has appreciated tremendous growth during the past decade. Chiropractors blend the drugless, non-surgical art of hands-on therapy with the science and technology of modern medicine and physical rehabilitation. The primary treatment administered by chiropractors is spinal manipulation, also known as an “adjustment”. This means to gently move the various different joints being treated, in order to take the pressure off the body’s central nervous system that controls the entire body. By releasing these joints and nerves we can concentrate on naturally balancing and optimizing the function of the body in order to promote and maintain health.

Before treatment, every careful chiropractor will take a thorough case history to determine the nature and scope of your problem. Your chiropractor will then perform a full, pertinent physical and clinical examination. Once it has been determined that your particular case is safe to treat, and can be effectively treated using chiropractic care, your chiropractor will then begin treatment.

Chiropractic practitioners essentially rely upon non-invasive treatment methods. Treatment is done by hand and generally consists of well-practiced highly specialized manipulative techniques often referred to as adjustments. Such adjustments are performed by hand and consist of a high speed; low power thrust being applied to specific vertebral joints in the spine or other joints in the body. Being gentle and very specific, adjustments are safe and some patients can experience immediate relief as the normal joint motion and alignment is restored and nerve irritation is minimized. Throughout the entire consultation, your chiropractor will carefully explain the nature of your problem, why and how treatment will help, and what can be expected in the days and weeks to come. Should further special investigations, such as X-rays, ultrasound scans or blood tests be required, your Chiropractor will refer you for the correct investigations. Your chiropractor will also refer you to medical practitioners/specialists should medication or surgery be indicated.

The holistic approach of Chiropractic is further reinforced by chiropractors in their promotion of good posture and a healthy lifestyle such as the avoidance of smoking and excess stress. To eat a proper diet and exercise regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes the “popping/clicking” sound of an adjustment/manipulation?

  • When some adjusting techniques are applied, a popping/clicking sound may be heard. This sound is merely due to the gas and fluid inside the joint shifting around. It’s much like opening a can of coke. However, the sound has nothing to do with the quality of the adjustment.

Will my medical aid pay for Chiropractic care?

  • Virtually all medical aids provide reimbursement for Chiropractic care. However, it depends on each patient’s payment plan as to the extent to which they are covered. Often if the patient is on a good medical aid the patient should be fully reimbursed for treatment.

Dr Kerrie-Ann Smith is Chiropractor who believes in a multi-disciplinary approach and therefore prefers to work in conjunction with Biokineticists, Podiatrists, Physiotherapists, Sports Massage Therapists and Pilates Instructors to achieve the overall wellbeing and strengthening of her patients.

Website:

http://www.340onmain.co.za/on-site/chiropractor/


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