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What Is It?

While chiropractic care traditionally aimed at adjustments of the joints of the spine, improvements in evidence-based care mean the profession has grown to adopt a multimodal approach – that is, care which combines a range of different treatments. The best results for patients are achieved when we use methods that target all of the structures related to the patient’s issue, and then teach the patient how best to care for themselves long-term.

The treatment modalities include:
– Joint manipulation/mobilisation
– Instrument assisted massage
– Therapeutic ultrasound
– Assisted stretching
– Heat or cold therapies, and
– Rehabilitation exercise programmes

If you think this sounds like the services of a physiotherapist, you’re absolutely correct! Over time, evidence-based care has caused both the chiropractic and physiotherapy professions to become more aligned. After all, if you are diagnosed with a particular condition, the research shows how that condition is best treated, and both types of professionals follow the evidence, they should both be doing very similar things!

Receiving evidence-based care from the chiropractors at one of our several locations can help your body deal with the repeated stresses applied by our jobs, sports, and leisure activities.

What Can a Chiropractor Help Treat?

Migraines and Headaches:

Sufferers of migraines and headaches often experience relief following a chiropractic adjustment, particularly when that treatment is combined with care for the surrounding muscles. A common cause of headaches is tightness of the muscles in the neck which are associated with restricted joints, and these tight muscles can place pressure on structures at the base of the skull resulting in a migraine like pain called a cervicogenic headache (headache associated with neck pain).

The diagnosis of migraines (figuring out if it is a headache or a true migraine) is not an easy task, as many of the symptoms are very similar. It is common for a migraine to be felt on one side of the head more than the other, but this can also be true of headaches where one side of the neck has more joint restrictions and, as a result, has tighter muscles than the other. Many headache and migraine sufferers will comment that the problem always arises at the same time as their neck pain.

A chiropractic adjustment restores movement to the joints of the spine (in this case, the head and neck) which reduces how sensitive the region is to things which may trigger migraines. Treatment of these conditions with chiropractic adjustment is extremely safe (there has never been a serious adverse reaction to chiropractic treatment recorded in Australia, so this is safer than common anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen), and can help by reducing the frequency (how often), severity (how bad), or duration (how long) of a headache or migraine, or a combination of those three!

Back Pain and Neck Pain:

For patients who suffer back pain, it is very common to feel a general tightness which sometimes becomes sharp. The muscles of the back can become tight in response to pain in the joints of the spine in an attempt to support the area, this tightness can end up contributing to the back pain.

Low back pain, midback pain (between the shoulder blades) and neck pain can often be treated very effectively with chiropractic adjustment. Low back pain often arises after a small movement which causes a slight jolt and results in injury to a joint, when this occurs, there is inflammation in the area which can affect the muscles and nerves, and the body restricts the movement of the joint to prevent further back pain. In order to resolve this issue, your chiropractor can apply adjustments to those joints to stop them being restricted and take pressure off of the nearby structures.

In particular low back pain and neck pain sufferers often feel a stiffness which resolves for a short time after a massage or stretching, but returns again shortly after. These cases commonly arise when the muscles are tightening to prevent the movement of a restriction, so no matter how often the muscles are relieved, neck pain or back pain will reoccur as long as the muscles are responding to that painful joint.

Shoulder Pain:

The shoulder is a highly complex structure, and determining the exact cause of shoulder pain can be a difficult endeavour as many of the parts of the joint have referral patterns to areas distant from the problem itself. Shoulder pain felt just between the shoulder blades can often arise when one of the joints in the midback is restricted. This can result in local pain, shoulder pain referred to the joint itself, and even neck pain or headaches.

Restoring motion to these joints is the specialty of your chiropractor and, with the return of movement to the joint, the surrounding muscles and nerves are able to relax. In this way, chiropractic adjustment of the midback can have wonderful results on shoulder pain, neck pain, and other remote areas, not to mention chiropractic adjustment of restricted joints in the shoulder itself!

If you need a chiropractor, we have a range of locations from Perth CBD to Busselton, so we should have a clinic near you! We also provide dry needling services for pain relief.

Is a Chiropractor Safe? I Hear There’s Not Much Scientific Evidence?

Chiropractic treatment has been around for thousands of years in some form or another, with carvings in ancient Greece depicting Hippocrates administering primitive adjustments to warriors, as well as historical evidence from Mongolia describing the use of joint adjustments in the treatment of those thrown from their horses. Despite this it’s over the past 50 or so years that the most significant advances in chiropractic treatment have been made, with increasing scientific evidence supporting the use of chiropractic adjustment and the effect of these adjustments on neurological function, pain responses, and general motor control of the body.

A study in Norway in 2019, for example, found that patients with chronic generalised back pain who saw a chiropractor for maintenance care only an average of 6.4 times per year had 30 days less disability than those who only got treated when they had pain (and patients who don’t get treated at all are worse off still). The science here is also reaping benefits in regards to having more evidence for the safety of chiropractic adjustment, and this is highlighted by the fact that there has never been a serious adverse effect (severe injury, paralysis, or death) attributed to chiropractic care in Australia since record keeping began!

The original hallmark of chiropractic treatment was ‘cracking backs’; now the profession has diversified to provide chiropractic adjustment to all of the joints of the body, and combining the adjustments with other modalities such as dry needling and home rehabilitation exercises. It is by treating the dysfunctions found throughout the body that we can treat the variety of conditions listed above and many more. Here at Progressive Care Network, we combine these chiropractic adjustments with the other treatment methods in a manner which is customised to suit you and your condition, in order to get the best results for our patients.