ALL THE INFO YOU NEED ABOUT CHIROPRACTORS
If you are interested in the following:
- How I manage my scoliosis
- Why I see a chiropractor
- What a chiropractor does
- And lots of extra awesome info
I'm sure you will enjoy this blog post.
In March/ April 2013 when my back pain was intolerable I began seeing a chiropractor for regular spinal adjustments along with gentle daily stretching - this is when I began the @elle_fit Instagram account. Looking after my spine with regular adjustments to manage the curvature of my scoliosis along with stretching to look after my muscles meant I could stop taking pain killers and enjoy a back pain free life! In order to stay this way I need to keep both of these up - chiropractic visits and stretching.
Recently after spending a lot of time in transit, very little stretching and a well overdue chiropractic appointment my back was in a bad way (3-6 Feb 2016).
The photo below shows a comparison from Wednesday to Saturday. The photo on the left was before the pain really set in (about 4hrs prior). That night I could barely sleep as the pain between my shoulder blades, lower back and pelvis was excruciating. In the photo you can see the curvature of my scoliosis completely out of whack, trying to keep my body straight - the curve in the left and right side of my waist is considerably different too.
The photo on the right was on the Saturday. I visited the chiropractor early Thursday morning when the pain was at it's peak - my back was spasming every time I bent over and it was very uncomfortable even breathing due to the tightness between my shoulder blades. After a chiropractic adjustment and gentle stretching the next day (Friday) my back felt 100x better. I had no idea what my spine would look like so I wanted to compare it - I was quite shocked with the difference when I put them side by side!
Check out Get Bendy & Get Split - all of the stretches that help my back
PS. Enter BACKPAIN at the checkout for 10% off!
This flare up of my scoliosis was great timing because I had organised to interview one of the incredible chiropractors I see, Amanda Collins from Chiropractic Moves in Brisbane, QLD.
Q & A with Amanda Collins
Chiropractic is a health care modality aimed at improving the biomechanics, function and stability of the human body through stimulating the skeletal system, muscular system and nervous system with spinal and peripheral adjustments, as well as incorporating specific muscle and ligament work and exercises. Chiropractic philosophy also believes in the body’s innate ability to heal itself with the right guidance.
What does a Chiropractor do?
Chiropractors are University trained practitioners who have to study for a minimum of five years earning a Bachelor and Masters level of education. As part of our registration Chiropractors also have to uphold a high level of continuing education each year.
Chiropractors can differ in their treatment approach and can specialise in different areas. Some Chiropractors may focus more on acute pain relief, others with sports injuries or paediatrics. My philosophy is to treat the body as a whole and I truly believe in getting to the real source of my patients problem rather than simply treating symptoms. I believe it is normal to feel well and healthy and to live pain free. I believe we have to work at our health and in combination with well balanced nutrition, moderate exercise and quality sleep. Chiropractic is a wonderful addition to help to get our bodies feeling and moving better.
What is a Chiropractic adjustment?
An adjustment is a very specific and quick stretching motion applied to a joint usually applied to the spine or a peripheral joint such as the ankle. This quick motion beautifully stretches the tiny muscles and ligaments along side a joint and sends messages to the nervous system stimulating areas of the brain which control pain relief, proprioception (balance) and our feel good hormones (endorphins). When an adjustment takes place gas can be released from within the joint making a “cracking” or “popping” sound. An adjustment is usually done by hand or can also be done with a Chiropractic adjusting tool.
Q & A time with questions submitted on Instagram
(I have underlined the gist of the question for those of you who would like to skim through)
Hey elle, question for you and your chiro, best stretches/moves/anything for muscle pain between shoulder blades? My scoliosis S curve is towards my right shoulder blade then left hip and the pain is usally on the left side of the top curve but can be on both. Cheers in advance xx
It depends on what muscle in particular is causing you pain as to what stretch would be the most effective for you but try this one: “Box with shoulder stretch”. I find it is a beautiful relaxing stretch and is quite effective and gently stretching the muscles adjacent to the shoulder blades.
I'd love to know the differences between a chiro & osteo? Are they limited to certain parts of body's to treat or conditions?
Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists are essentially very similar types of practitioners. In 2016, as there is a high level of education,research and scientific knowledge available to manual therapists you may find that there is little difference between the three disciplines.
The differences mainly come down to:
-treatment techniques used (adjustments, stretching, rehab, muscle work etc.)
-practitioner education level
-practitioner experience and skill
-practice style and philosophy
-specialty (sports, pregnancy, rehabilitation, paediatrics etc.)
There is no limitations as to what part of the body Chiros, Osteos or physios treat. This may simply come down to the individual practitioner as they may specialise in different areas or different techniques.
@elle_fit I'd love to know the best type of pillows for back sleepers with scoliosis! I never know what to buy ?
@elle_fit I would love to know which pillow to buy. I sleep in the side and I suffer from scheuerman syndrome.
Finding the right pillow is such a hard one! First thing to consider is how long your neck is, as essentially a pillow is there to support your neck during sleep. If you have a very short neck you will need a low profile pillow, if you have a long neck you will need a high profile pillow. The firmness of the pillow is also important, soft pillows are terribly unsupportive for the neck so you need something a little on the medium to firmer side.
With regards to Scheurermann’s Disease you may need a high profile pillow to better support your neck because it is common with this condition to have an increase Thoracic Spine Kyphosis which puts increased strain on your neck.
I tend to recommend Dunlopillows to my patients as there is a great range of profiles and firmness to choose from. You may like the look of this pillow below.
What should a good chiropractor appointment look like? Right now I am in and out of mine within 10/15 mins. I feel like they prepare the body enough to accept the adjustments, so im back in every two weeks. Should the treatment include some level of muscle manipulation, not just clicking adjustments?
What a great question! A good Chiropractic appointment should consist of three basic elements: history, examination and treatment. You will find with most practitioners your initial consultation will be a longer appointment usually around 30 mins, and the follow up consultations will be around 15 minutes (depending on the practice). The wonderful thing about Chiropractic adjustments is that they are incredibly quick and literally only take a few seconds. Therefore, an effective treatment can be achieved in 15 minutes by a skilled and efficient practitioner. I personally would usually include some muscle work in my treatments if that is what my patient requires (and I would say that occurs 90% of the time). In my practice we also offer extended appointments to our patients who have more complicated cases or have multiple complaints occurring at the same time as it is more time consuming to treat these cases.
It sounds as though it may be your personal preference to have some muscle work included in your treatments. If you feel you aren’t getting a good result you may wish to consider changing to a practitioner who does include muscle work as well as adjustments as this may provide a better result for you.
Why should i go to a chiro and not an osteo, physio or other therapist? As they don't have a governing body how do i know if the one i want to see it legitimate?
Choosing a practitioner is a completely personal choice. I recommend you choose the treatment modality and practitioner that you feel most comfortable with. It depends on whether you would prefer adjustments, stretches, rehabilitation exercises or muscle work etc.
Chiropractors do have a governing body. Chiropractors, as well as every other health care professional in Australia, including medical practitioners, nurses, physios etc, are registered health care professionals and our governing body is the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency AHPRA.
If you are questioning the legitimacy of any individual practitioner you can check their registration status with AHPRA at the following link https://www.ahpra.gov.au/.
Hey Elle, I'd love more information about cracking/popping/clicking joints such as my hips and leg sockets. I stretch everyday to ease the area but the issue never goes away. Some days I feel really tight in that area and when I do exercises such as leg raises, my hips/leg sockets crack so much. It almost feels like my bones are grinding together during that movement. I would love some info about the causes and how to manage it. Thank you ?
Popping and clicking joints are a sign that you may be suffering from hyper mobility and poor stability. It is difficult to say exactly what your diagnosis would be without an examination but it is possible that you have poor stability of your pelvis or your hips joints. This can be caused from repetitive strain, a one off trauma, congenital hip conditions, muscle imbalances and much more. I would recommend you seek out a practitioner who can help guide you to create more stability and strength in your pelvis and hips.
Hi Elle. 21 yr old 6"5 son with mid to lower back pain ATM. Rotational issues. (Golfer). Need some advice on massage / heat / cold pack .. Physio /chiro or massage therapist. ??? Which one best. ?? Many thanks.
It would be best to find a Chiro or a physio who specialises in sports injuries. Golfers are notorious for having back pain due to the repetitiveness of the golf swings. He is most likely having some issues with muscle pattern functioning and repetitive strain. Most golfers respond well to a combination of adjustments, muscle work, massage and ergonomic exercises and critique of the golf action. With regards to hot or cold: use what provides relief.
Chiropractic Moves is a unique Chiropractic practice located in Paddington Queensland. We incorporate adjustments, muscle work and rehabilitation in our treatment approach to provide the best results possible for our patients. We can treat a wide range of complaints ranging from low back pain to foot disfunction and pregnancy pain. We have Chiropractors who specialise in Sports Chiropractic, Pregnancy and Paediatrics.
If you'd like to book in and see Amanda you can do so by following the website link below:
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