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How can Chiropractic help you?

The spine is an intricate and sophisticated structure. So when things go wrong it requires a unique expertise to diagnose the many and varied conditions that result.

While there are many fanciful claims made in relation to treating the spine, no single treatment approach is a panacea. The bottom line is, it matters less what the clinician is called and more about how up-to-date they are with current advances in the research base. While each profession has its unique attributes and tools, we all share data from a common pool of scientific research and it is this that directs the state-of-the-art treatment approach.

By first making an accurate diagnosis we can be sure that you are in the right place and that we can give you the best care that science supports.

Can a spinal bone really ‘go out of place’?

One of the great misconceptions about the spine is that your bones can ‘go out of place’. While true dislocations or sub-luxations (partial dislocations) do occur as a result of trauma, these injuries are serious and often require hospitalisation. Unfortunately there is often confusion regarding the term ‘subluxation’, as chiropractors historically used this word to describe the less severe forms of spinal dysfunction seen on a daily basis. As such, the use of the word ‘subluxation’ to describe most common spinal problems is being used less and less.

So what does happen to the spine?

In truth, there are a myriad of possible forms of spinal problem and each should be treated individually. When the spine becomes painful it may be the result of local tissue damage, perhaps to the lining of a spinal joint or a tear in the fabric of one of the intervertebral discs. Interestingly, such damage doesn’t usually happen as a result of significant trauma. Rather, our patients typically tell us that they suddenly felt pain during some innocuous everyday movement - or that their discomfort crept up on them slowly ‘for no reason’. So what’s going on here?

In many cases spinal problems develop slowly over time without any clues to their existence - a bit like tooth decay or heart disease. But the ‘problem’ might not be what you think. The real reason that a spine might spontaneously become painful has more to do with a loss of spinal control than any loss of strength. The human spine is an incredibly complex and flexible structure that requires precision control if you don’t want to end up injuring it. What’s more, the moment-by-moment regulation of joint alignment is all done unconsciously - just like the beating of your heart. And, in the same way that people might develop problems with their heart rate or rhythm (a control problem), you may also suffer control problems in your spine. If this happens, then you may well injure yourself with a simple movement.

Interestingly, spinal manipulation works directly by stimulating the control centres of your spinal cord and nervous system to help them do their job better and allow you to maintain your own alignment better. We then follow this up with tailored exercises to help you amplify the improvements that we make on your behalf.

Why is a course of treatment necessary?

In many cases you will need a course of treatment. Manipulation of the spine is dose-dependent and its effects are cumulative over time. When manipulation is combined with tailored exercises we can achieve a strong and stable spine that will handle the challenges that you throw at it.

As discussed above, having a pain-free and healthy spine is all about control - and much of the control ‘circuitry’ for your spine resides in the balance centres of your brain. Chronic spinal problems have been shown to involve poor balance and coordination of the spinal muscles. So to help you on your path to recovery we’ll need to identify and address any such issue.

To achieve spinal stability and control is not unlike any other discipline. It takes time to develop, and here at Cronulla Beach Chiropractic and Massage we are experienced in putting together the rehabilitation programs that you need. Furthermore, our dedication to Evidence-Based Practice means that we will measure your progress every step of the way.

Is it possible to be treated too much and too often?

While it is very hard to cause injury through manipulative treatment when performed by a highly trained expert, there must always be an appropriate and rational reason for any clinical recommendation. Manipulation of the spine is a powerful tool and very well supported by the scientific community. However, it needs to be performed by an expert and the amount must be carefully calculated to match the needs of the individual patient. While we admit that science hasn’t yet found all of the answers, using a scientific approach to your care helps us to fine-tune your treatment and closely monitor it to see what’s working, and what’s not.

We are usually faced with a problem that is ‘multi-layered’. While treating the core diagnosis might be straightforward, such as an intervertebral disc protrusion, dealing with the compensatory changes is not so easy.

Most complex spinal conditions involve the following factors:

•    A core diagnosis or injury - such as a disc lesion, joint arthritis or nerve compression
•    An abnormal movement pattern to compensate for the original injury - think of this like the limp that develops when you sprain your ankle, but imagine it never going away
•    A balance or control deficit that keeps you always on the edge of further injury

Successful treatment and future prevention of your condition involves identifying each of these components and then addressing them all effectively. At Cronulla Beach Chiropractic and Massage, this is our passion and our core expertise.

Is it safe?

Your safety is our first concern, but this involves more than just the way in which you may be treated.

Firstly, your safety depends upon the accuracy of your diagnosis. For this reason we will not compromise in our initial investigation of your case. Our clinical examination and access to state-of-the-art radiology services means that we can be sure that you are being treated in the most appropriate fashion.

Secondly, we work in close co-operation with other medical professionals to ensure that you are appropriately referred if your condition requires another speciality or approach.

Finally, spinal manipulation has proven itself to be remarkably safe when used appropriately. The effectiveness and safety of any tool is only as good as the knowledge that underlies its use, and it is this dedication to knowledge that you can rely upon.

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02 9544 3100


markerSuite 2/29-31 Croydon Street
Cronulla, NSW 2230