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What is Chiropractic?

When most people think of chiropractic, they think of back pain. But chiropractic is so much more than that!

Chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure—mainly the spine—and its function. Chiropractors use their hands to adjust the spine and other joints in order to reduce pain and improve function.

Here’s a closer look at what chiropractic is and how it can help you.

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How Does Chiropractic Work?

The human body is an amazing machine with many different systems working together to keep us healthy and functioning at our best. The nervous system is the “master control system” of the body, and it consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

Nerve impulses travel from the brain through the spinal cord and out to all the different parts of the body via the nerves. This communication system controls everything we do—from breathing and digesting food to walking and talking. 

When one or more bones in the spine move out of alignment, they can put pressure on the nerves exiting from that area of the spine. This pressure can cause interference in nerve communication and result in pain, inflammation, and other health problems.

Chiropractors use gentle techniques called adjustments to correct this misalignment and take pressure off of the nerves so that communication can flow freely between the brain and body once again. 

What is a subluxation?

A subluxation is a misalignment of the spine that puts pressure on the nerves. This pressure can cause interference in nerve communication and result in pain, inflammation, and other health problems.

What is an adjustment?

An adjustment is a gentle manipulation of the spine, performed by a chiropractor, that helps to align the bones and reduce pressure on the nerves.

The History of Chiropractic

Chiropractic dates back to 1895 when Daniel David Palmer, known as D.D. Palmer, performed the first chiropractic adjustment. Palmer was a self-educated man with an interest in magnetic healing. One day, he met a man named Harvey Lillard who had become deaf after working in a cramped position for many years.

After feeling Lillard’s spine, Palmer concluded that a vertebra was out of alignment and putting pressure on the nerves going to Lillard’s ears, resulting in his deafness. Palmer performed what he called a “chiropractic adjustment” on Lillard, and within 24 hours, Lillard could hear again!

What Conditions Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic care has been shown to be effective in treating many different conditions, such as:

  • Ankle sprain (short-term management) 
  • Elbow pain and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck 
  • Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic) 
  • Joint pains 
  • Joint pains, including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments and exercise 
  • General, acute & chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident
  • Generalised aches and pains 
  • Lumbago Mechanical neck pain 
  • Migraine prevention 
  • Minor sports injuries and tensions 
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Plantar fasciitis (short-term management) 
  • Rotator cuff injuries, disease or disorders 
  • Sciatica 
  • Shoulder complaints (dysfunction, disorders and pain) 
  • Soft tissue disorders of the shoulder

How do I know I need to see a chiropractor?

If you are experiencing pain or other health problem listed above, seeing a chiropractor may be a good option for you. Many people choose to see a chiropractor as part of their regular healthcare routine in order to stay healthy. 

What Happens During a Chiropractic Visit?

During your first chiropractic visit, you will be asked about your medical history and symptoms. The chiropractor will then perform a physical examination which may include testing your reflexes and range of motion. If the chiropractor believes that you would benefit from chiropractic care, he or she will develop a treatment plan specifically for you.

Then follow your treatments. Chiropractic treatments (adjustments) are gentle and specific. The chiropractor will use his or her hands to apply pressure to the joints that need to be adjusted.

You may feel and hear a sound as the joints move back into place, but this is perfectly normal. Soft tissue techniques are also employed. Most people feel relief from their symptoms after just a few adjustments.

Our chiropractors will also issue a specific exercise programme for you when/if deemed appropriate during your treatment plan. 


Chiropractic is a science-based approach to health care that focuses on restoring normal nerve function and improving spinal biomechanics. This allows the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. If you are suffering from any type of pain or dysfunction or still wondering what chiropractic is, chiropractic care may be able to help you get back to feeling your best!

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