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What should you look for in a Chiropractor?

March 31st, 2021 by
Category: Chiropractic Care Dr. Cecily Hendrickson

Consult with Chiropractor and patient

What is a Chiropractor?

A Chiropractor is a health practitioner that focuses on caring for the nervous system (which is made up of the brain, spine and the nerves that exit the spine), as well as conditions of the musculoskeletal system (made up of muscles and joints). They are primary healthcare practitioners which means they provide ongoing comprehensive healthcare and can be accessed without a general practitioner referral and are doctors of their field.

Chiropractors use a wide variety of methods to gain an understanding of your body to diagnose appropriately. These methods may include (but are not limited to) a thorough recall of your medical history and general health & well being, a range of hands-on tests where they feel your spine, test your muscle strength and provoke different structures relating to your condition. Additionally, Chiropractors may refer you for a spinal x-ray to gain a full understanding of you bone and joint health. When it comes to your health, it is better to know than to guess, which is why x-rays can be very helpful in informing the appropriate care for you moving forward. By completing all of these tests, Chiropractors are able to gauge if you are seeing the appropriate health professional for care and will be able to point you in the right direction if not.

Chiropractors work to improve movement in joints and take any pressure off nerves exiting the spine. Why is it important to keep pressure off our nerves? Nerves are responsible for all movement, sensation and function of the body, limbs and organs. Imagine a kink in your garden hose – it affects the flow of water through the hose and could stop flow completely – think of your nerves the same way. If there is pressure on your nerves, the brain will have trouble communicating with your body and your body with your brain, consequently optimal function is compromised.

What education and qualifications are required in Australia to become a Chiropractor?

In Australia, Chiropractors are required to undergo a five-year university degree and at completion, obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic. During their studies, Chiropractic students study a wide variety of subjects such as neuroscience, human physiology and anatomy, microbiology, pharmacology and toxicology. Additionally, students are required to undertake a number of supervised clinical hours to gain experience and competency in Chiropractic techniques prior to graduating.

When to consider seeing a Chiropractor

It is worth considering booking a consultation with a Chiropractor if you are experiencing neck or back pain, stiffness throughout the body, headaches, after an injury or trauma (such as a whiplash), or to just improve your overall health and well being. Symptoms (such as aches and pains) are usually the last thing to show. There can be issues building over a long period of time that Chiropractic care may be able to help with.

So now you know when to consider seeing a Chiropractor, I will let you know the considerations that will help you find a Chiropractor that is a good fit for you and your needs.

What should you look for in a Chiropractor?

Does the Chiropractor have a particular area of interest that suits your needs?

Chiropractors have the option to complete additional training in areas of interest once finishing their tertiary studies. For example, some move into sports rehabilitation, while others move into child development and paediatric care. Finding a Chiropractor that has done additional training is one way that can help you make a choice. 

Does the Chiropractor complete a thorough and comprehensive initial consult?

When it comes to you, your health and your well being, it is best to be sure you are getting the best possible care. If your practitioner completes a thorough exam you can have peace of mind knowing that they are interested in finding the cause of your complaint and their recommendations moving forward will reflect this.

Does your Chiropractor only focus on pain or are they ensuring your body is functioning at it’s best?

This comes down to what you want out of your care – is it to be out of pain? Or are you looking to address the cause of your pain? Like mentioned previously, often symptoms are the last thing to show and is a sign that there are issues inside our body that needs to be addressed. It is worth having this conversation with Chiropractor during the consult.

Does the Chiropractor create a plan to help you reach your health goals?

You need a common goal – you need to know that you are on the same page as your Chiropractor. Do you want to get back to playing sport? Sleep through the entire night? Experience less frequent headaches? Talk about the goals you want to reach so that the Chiropractor can help you get there as best you can!

Does your Chiropractor listen or address your concerns or questions relating to your health and condition?

You need to feel heard! Find someone who listens to you and provides a safe space for discussions about your health.

Does your Chiropractor help you understand your condition and how the care is aiding you?

Find a Chiropractor that wants to teach you! It is essential that you understand what is going on with your body, as well as why you are seeing the Chiropractor and how they are helping you.

Do you feel comfortable with your Chiropractor and do you feel your personalities mesh well?

If you are going to talk about very personal aspects of your health, it’s very important that you feel completely comfortable to disclose information. Finding a Chiropractor that is personable, that you like and trust goes a long way to beginning (and continuing on with) your health journey.

It can be difficult to find a Chiropractor that is the right fit for you, we understand that! But by considering the points above, you will have your best foot forward on your search for a Chiropractor that is best suited to you!

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