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Commonly Asked Questions About Chiropractic

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Yes, the vast majority of medical aids cover Chiropractic treatment. The patient will be required to make payment on the day of the consultation and an invoice will be made out which can be sent to the medical aid for reimbursement. We do charge medical aid rates.

Yes. Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative and natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. As proof, one merely has to compare malpractice rates between Chiropractors and other health care professionals. Chiropractors’ malpractice premiums are a small fraction of those of medical doctors.

Chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is a therapeutic procedure performed by chiropractors to correct restrictions in the spine. The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to restore proper spinal function and improve range of motion, reduce pain, and improve overall physical function. The adjustment is performed using the chiropractor’s hands or a small tool to apply controlled force to a specific vertebra or joint. This force helps to realign the affected area, reducing discomfort and improving mobility. Chiropractic adjustments are a non-invasive and drug-free way to treat a wide range of conditions, including neck and back pain, headaches, and musculoskeletal injuries.

The adjustment (or manipulation) is a manual procedure whereby the chiropractor typically uses his or her hands (or an instrument) to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

When performed correctly, an adjustment shouldn’t hurt. The vast majority of patients have an overwhelmingly positive response to an adjustment but some may experience mild tenderness. However, should a patient feel any unease, discomfort or anxiety, the chiropractor will explain everything to the patient BEFORE any treatment is undertaken.

As with any medical intervention Chiropractic does have a set of risks. Fortunately these risks are very rare. Complications from genuine Chiropractic manipulation of the neck are, at worst, 1 in 500000 or 0.0002% this is significantly lower than the risk of serious side effects from ant-inflammatory drugs or even being hit in your home by a crashing plane!

The popping or cracking sound often heard during an adjustment is a phenomenon called cavitation. The sound is caused when some of the gases that are dissolved in the joint fluid leave the solution due to the change in pressure in the joint as the adjustment occurs. This forms a bubble which rapidly collapses upon itself, resulting in a cracking sound. However, the sound has nothing to do with the quality or effectiveness of the adjustment.

No, since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself CORRECTLY and ACCURATELY. Thus it is not advised for people to attempt to adjust themselves as this type of self-manipulation is usually counterproductive, increases pain, further injures and often causes an already unstable spine or joint to become even more unstable.

This is a common misconception. While most people experience great relief and ongoing benefit with ongoing chiropractic care, it certainly is not required. Chiropractic delivers care on three levels: pain relief care, rehabilitative care and maintenance or wellness care. The chiropractor gives his recommendations as to what he thinks will benefit the patient, but ultimately it’s up to the patient to decide on what they want to do.

Absolutely, adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and specific complaint. In addition, most pregnant women find they have easier pregnancies and deliveries when they receive consistent chiropractic care.

Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that up to 50% of those who have had spinal surgery discover a return of their original symptoms months or even years later. They then face the prospect of additional surgery. With the correct chiropractic care repeated back surgeries can often be prevented, and if initially utilized, back surgery can, in some cases, be avoided all together.

Over the past few years, much research has been done to evaluate the effectiveness of chiropractic manipulative treatment. Research has shown that 80-90% of people will suffer from lower back pain at least once in their lifetime and it is the second leading reason why people will visit a health care professional after the common cold. Furthermore, lower back pain is the most common reason for visits to orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and occupational medical practitioners and the third most common reason for surgery.
The most recent study, called the BEAM trial, published in the British Medical Journal (Nov 19, 2004:1-8), found that Chiropractic treatment produced superior results in terms of safety, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and patient satisfaction. Through Chiropractic care, patients are shown to take fewer days sick leave, spend less time incapacitated, use less medication for pain relief, have less chance of needing back surgery and have less chance of the problem becoming a chronic condition.

In South Africa, chiropractors study for 6 years at the University of Johannesburg or the Durban University of Technology. This training culminates in a Masters Degree in Chiropractic, and includes research and internship. Once in practice, chiropractors are required to continue with education annually and accumulate Continuing Professional Development points through their professional body.