Chiropractic is an allied healthcare profession that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal pain and conditions as well as the effects these conditions have on general health. Chiropractors are highly trained specialists of spine related musculoskeletal conditions. However, chiropractors are by no means limited to treat conditions related to the spine. Chiropractic encompasses all musculoskeletal tissues in the body including the limbs. When managing a particular condition, chiropractors take more than the site of pain into consideration and endeavour to find the origin of the issue to ensure a complete recovery and to minimise re-occurrence.
Chiropractic is taught and practiced throughout Australia. Currently chiropractors obtain their bachelor and masters qualifications at Macquarie University in a 5 year intensive course. Chiropractors are trained to follow and perform evidence based therapy. Chiropractors use standard clinical processes in history taking and examination, such as orthopaedic special tests, neurological examinations and systems reviews. Chiropractors recognise that whilst there may well be a musculoskeletal component in many patient presentations, chiropractic treatment may not be indicated or the principal modality in all cases. If patients’ needs are best met by other healthcare service providers, a referral will be made. Chiropractors predominately practice in private practice. There are also some specialty areas of chiropractic such as paediatric and sports chiropractic.
There is a common misconception that chiropractors only focus on the bones or joints in treatment and that they are not qualified to treat soft tissue conditions such as muscle strains or muscle pain. Most chiropractors and our chiropractors in particular at George St focus on all tissues of the musculoskeletal system including, muscles, ligaments, joints, fascia and their nerve supply. The chiropractors at George St Chiropractic practice evidenced based therapy, using a combination of techniques from chiropractic, physiotherapy and osteopathy professions to provide the best and most appropriate treatment for your condition. Our chiropractors do not rely solely on the “adjustment” for every treatment. Our chiropractors ensure that every treatment is tailored to specifically to each condition and individual needs using a wide variety of other techniques seen below. The chiropractors at George St Chiropractic have a strong emphasis on restoring quality movement and function to all joints and muscles of the body. To achieve optimal joint/muscle movement and function as well as reduce pain and inflammation, the affected tissues need to be able to comply with the specific movements your body needs. This is achieved by the following techniques:
- Joint manipulation and mobilisation
- Soft tissue techniques/massage
- Functional movement muscle/myofascial release techniques: Muscle release techniques that involve stretching and lengthening of muscles in a position that replicates its function.
- Functional movement joint mobilisations/articulation: Joint mobilisations that involve the patient actively performing functional movements with the assistance of the chiropractor articulating the joints.
- Exercise/rehabilitation programs
- Taping techniques
- Dry needling
- Electrophysical therapies (ultrasound and TENS)
- Ergonomic and postural advice
Conditions treated by chiropractors include:
- Neck pain
- Thoracic pain
- Low back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Jaw pain
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Elbow pain
- Chest wall pain
- Hip pain
- Wrist/hand pain
- Knee pain
- Ankle/foot pain
- Sports injuries
- Work related injuries
- Pregnancy pain
- Coccyx pain
A common question asked is “what is the difference between chiropractors and physiotherapists?” In modern times, with the emergence of evidence based therapy, there is only small differences between the average chiropractor, physiotherapist and osteopath. For any given condition, each practitioner shoulder apply the best available treatment that is supported by current and reliable evidence. Each profession should adopt a similar approach to that condition, the main difference being that most chiropractors are more highly trained and skilled at performing joint manipulation and mobilisation. Physiotherapists are typically greater skilled at exercise and rehabilitation interventions. Whatever the differences are, what remains most important is that you receive the most suitable treatment for your needs.