WHEN TO SEE A CHIROPRACTOR?
When to see a Chiropractor? This can be confusing, with many practices focusing on different specialities, treatment techniques and type of patients. Chiropractic is a health profession with a strong history of helping patients with many chronic health problems, such as migraines, vertigo and IBS. Chiropractors also helps people maintain good health in the absence of symptoms, such as boosting immunity and helping children to develop. However, when some people think of when to see a Chiropractor they only think of back or neck pain!
READ ON to find out when to see a Chiropractor, including how Chiropractic works, the conditions helped and signs that loved ones should see a Chiropractor.
(p.s. there is a bonus checklist at the end to help you pick a Chiropractor, if you should need to see one!)
Author: For me, I started seeing a Chiropractor in my late teens. I had an undiscovered spinal issue (Scheuermann’s disease) from when I was younger. This had been missed by my GP. The Chiropractor spotted this straight away and helped me to reduce my pain and improve my quality of life!
What do Chiropractors do?
Chiropractic is a healthcare profession, requiring 5 years of study, attaining a Masters or Doctorate. Chiropractic Doctors have to maintain professional certification to practice, being regulated by their Chiropractic board. Chiropractors specialise in the Nerve System and Spine. Your nerve system is a network of nerves and nerve cells, carrying messages from our brain to the body, via your spinal cord.
A Cardiologist specialises in the heart and blood vessels, a Dentist specialises in the teeth and gums, a Chiropractor specialises in the nerve system and spine
Chiropractors take a detailed history, physical assessment and conduct tests (such as nerve scans and x-rays) to diagnose problems in the nerve system. The main problem Chiropractors diagnose (and help to treat) is called “Subluxation”.
This Subluxation is a misalignment of the bones of the spine, especially the bones in the top of thee neck (C1 & C2).
What’s this Subluxation?
This Subluxation will misalign the bones, narrowing the nerve spaces. This pinches the nerves, disrupting their normal function. The nerves are the internal “wires”, carrying messages from the brain to the body, and from the body to the brain. The nerves are the control system, regulating the body and connecting the messages from the brain. It is made up of 2 parts:
a. Functions of the body
Such as digestion, heat rate, posture, breathing, strength, balance and immunity
b. Feelings/senses of the body
Such as touch, pain, sensation, eyesight and hearing
Of these 2 parts, which do you think is the biggest and has the most nerves? Of course, it is the ‘Functions of the body’, controlling all background processes such as digesting our food, maintaining blood pressure and breathing while we sleep!
Chiropractors help this controlling nerve system to work efficiently so it can keep you healthy and perform all of its necessary tasks. The goal of the Chiropractor is not to ‘cure’ a particular disease, but to improve how well the body works so it can cure the disease. This results in less dependency on medication and provides a long term solution.
Therefore Chiropractic can benefit anyone who has a nerve system problem caused by Subluxation. This may or may not be causing symptoms, but you are ALWAYS better with a healthy nerve system free of Subluxation than you are with Subluxation and an unhealthy nerve system.
So, what are Chiropractors good at?
Chiropractors are trained specialists in locating, diagnosing and treating nerve problems caused by Subluxation. A Chiropractor will conduct a thorough consultation taking 30-60 minutes. If they find signs of Subluxation causing nerve problems, they may be able to help you.
Chiropractors are trained to detect and diagnose Subluxation in their patients. This is can help:
1. Patients with a health problem
This includes symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. There may be problems with the muscles, balance or sleep. There may be effects on the organs, such as digestive difficulty, high blood pressure or hormonal issues.
2. Patients without a health problem
This includes children and adults that want to stay healthy. This is similar to going for a medical or dental checkup. Without the check it is impossible to test how well the body is and how to improve it. There may also be less noticeable symptoms, such as tiredness, reduced concentration or impaired exercise ability.
Think of Chiropractic like eating nutritious food, when you have a healthier diet it doesn’t just affect your stomach, it improves all parts of the body!
When to see a Chiropractor – Conditions & Diseases
Chiropractic is particularly good at helping nerve system problems, with patients having a satisfaction rating of over 80%! To learn more, click on the conditions below to understand more about what causes them and how they can be treated.
So, when should I not see a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors are trained in many conditions and problems. Most educational institutions will train their students in other conditions beyond the nerve system, teaching tests and treatments including exercises and stretches. However, for some health problems it is best to co-manage the case or to see other practitioners, as they will have the best training and expertise to help.
Knee & Ankle problems
Problems like ankle and knee pain are better managed by a Physiotherapist or Osteopath who has trained more in appropriate treatments for extremities.
It may seem obvious, but go to your medical Doctor or the emergency room first! A Chiropractor may be able to help after the fracture is stable to ensure it heals well, but when there is a crisis medical care is best.
A nutritionist or dietitian would be best.
Medicine & Surgery
This is best handled by Medical doctors. For an opinion, especially for neck or spinal surgery, you should consult a Chiropractic Doctor. However any procedure must be by the medical Doctor.
See a Psychologist, Psychiatrist or counselor to better manage mental and emotional issues.
Physiotherapists, Osteopaths or masseurs are trained in tendon-muscle techniques.
Exercises and Stretches
If you are looking for exercises and stretches, a Physiotherapist or Osteopath is better trained. It would be advisable to consult a Chiropractor who would be able to determine if stretches or exercises are needed, and then refer you to the appropriate person to teach them to you.
Chiropractors are expertly trained at adjustments. For massage, or ‘muscle work’, a masseur, Rolfer or certain Physiotherapists would be best
What about seeing a Chiropractor and another doctor?
Often this is the best approach. Each practitioner will specialise in different parts of the body. The systems of the body are linked and can affect each other.
e.g. A person with skin cancer sees:
Oncologist – focuses on cancer diagnosis and treatment
Radoiologist – focuses on chemotherapy
Dermatologist – specialises in skin
Dietitian – advises a diet to strengthen the body
Chiropractor – maintains a healthy nerve system to heal
Psychologist – helps to deal with stress and related depression
They work together for the benefit of the patient. Chiropractic can contribute with a healthy nerve supply by correction of Subluxation.
You are always better without Subluxation than you are with Subluxation
What are signs myself and my family should see a chiropractor?
If you, or loved ones, are showing signs or Subluxation and nerve system problems, this is a sign you should seek a Chiropractor for a Consultation. This is also true if there are no symptoms.
- Rubbing shoulder and neck
- Always complaining of tight muscles
- Frequently getting sick or taking MC days
- Head tilt or uneven shoulders
- Poor posture
- Cracking own neck or back (Learn why this is a problem in this video)
How often and how long should I see my Chiropractor?
If the Chiropractor can help your case they should make a plan to give you a long term solution to your problem. Initially your appointments will be closer together, possibly once or twice per week. As your body’s condition improves the appointments will become more spread out.
After this initial corrective phase, restoring healthier function to the body, there is a check-up phase. This is similar to a Dental checkup, helping prevent problems in the future. This is typically once every 1-3 months, depending on the patient. The Chiropractic Doctor will advise a schedule, but it is the choice of the patient to proceed. This helps to balance out the stresses we place on our spines in our daily lives.
We use our spines all day and stress them with sitting, poor posture and looking down at phones. We also live stressful lives, and in some cases don’t exercise adequeatly or eat healthy food. All of this contributes to damage our nerve system. Chiropractic helps to restore the nerve system to its optimal, functional state. This allows us to continue to live our lives, doing what is important to us.
How do I choose my chiropractor?
When deciding who the right person is for your case,
remember these 5 key factors!
It may seem obvious, but it is a big factor. If you need to see your Chiropractor it is better that they are convenient from our home or work. The exception is when we require a specialist for our case.
Fact: At Vitality Chiropractic we specialise in a unique form of care called Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic. Due to this speciality, we have had patients travel from China, Malaysia, Australia and Bangladesh in just the past 6 months!
Speciality & Experience
A specialist will greatly reduce the time to solve any problem. They will have more training and expertise. In Chiropractic there are a number of specialities, such as paediatrics, Upper Cervical, brain-stem related conditions, pregnancy, scoliosis or athletes. Find the person most trained to help your complaint, or with experience helping people maintain health with skills in detecting Subluxation.
Experience should be in the form of:
i. Time worked
ii. Experience helping your needs
With experience comes knowledge and improved skill. A combination of these forms of experience is best. A practitioner may have 30 years of experience, but if they have never seen a case like yours they may not be able to help.
Fact: At Vitality Chiropractic we are specialists in Upper Cervical and brain-stem related problems such as migraines, vertigo and neurological conditions.
Examination and Tests
Ensure that your Chiropractor conducts tests specific to the nerve system and spinal structure. These may include: HRV, Medical Grade Computed Infrared Thermography, blood pressure, muscle testing, x-rays etc.
These will help them form an accurate diagnosis and provide you with the best care possible.
Fact: At Vitality Chiropractic we perform nerve scans at every visit to track patient progress and establish if they do, or do not, need treatments.
They shouldn’t always perform treatments
If an adjustment (also termed correction or treatment) is always required, this means the body is always unhealthy and always has a problem that needs to be fixed. This may mean the Doctor isn’t effectively improving your spinal and nerve health. If their care is specific and accurate, there should be times no treatment is needed because your body is functioning properly. This should be the goal. The more time you don’t need need a correction, the more the appointments get spread out, allowing you to return to normal activities.
Fact: Think of this like visiting your Dentist. At your checkups you hope everything is ok and you wont need any procedures done. You would be worried if they always needed to take a tooth out! This is the same for Chiropractic. The less treatment required means you are improving.
The last one is price, which can be very important. A Doctor may have experience in your issue and take the proper tests; but if the price is too high it wont be possible to follow through with care. Some may have a low initial cost but higher costs after. Some may have low costs per visit but require a lot of visits. Find the right fit for you and your needs. If you have insurance, it would be advisable to consult them before your consultation to see if you can claim.
Fact: At Vitality Chiropractic we charge higher than average per visit. This is because our appointment times are longer and our Doctors are specialists. They require less visits to help the harder cases. This saves both time and money overall.
A summary for when to see a Chiropractor
If deciding when to see a Chiropractor:
1. First, know the reason you want to see them
For a nerve related problem? See a Chiropractor!
To maintain and improve general health while preventing problems in the future? See a Chiropractor!
To help manage the physical and mental stress of daily life? See a Chiropractor!
For one of the conditions listed above that Chiropractors are less trained to help? See another health practitioner.
2. Choose the right Chiropractor
Find someone with the right speciality, experience, test procedures and price for you. Location is also important, however if you require very specialised care, be willing to travel to find the results you seek.
3 .Enjoy improved health and take your life back!
We hope this guide will help you to determine when to see a Chiropractor and the benefits for you and your family. If you need help with a health problem or would like to get a checkup to maintain good neurological health, please fill in your information below and we will help you to schedule your Consultation with the Doctor or arrange a complimentary, no obligation call with the Doctor to discuss your case.
If you feel our centre isn’t right for you, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to find the right practitioner to help your case.
Since 2013, Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Shaan Rai helped patients achieve greater health, relocating to Singapore in 2016 and founding Vitality Chiropractic Centres. He has an impressive track record in providing relief and solutions for people who experience nerve system problems, such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, vertigo or neurological conditions.
Take your life back.
For a Complimentary, no-obligation call with the Doctor or to book a Consultation, call +65 8438 9550 or email email@example.com to find out if we can help you at our Chiropractic Clinic in Singapore.
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