“Look well to the spine for the cause of disease” Hippocrates
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a low risk, natural, drug free approach to health. It is based on the knowledge that the nervous system controls the function of every tissue, organ and system in the body.
Chiropractors assess the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (primarily coordinated by the nervous system) to determine whether the body is functioning optimally.
Chiropractors feel for areas in the spine where the joints may be ‘jammed’, ‘pinching’ or ‘irritating’ the nerves. If these areas of joint dysfunction are detected they may be corrected by a specific, gentle, precise corrective force called an adjustment working to relieve nerve irritation and improve function.
Education and Registration
Registration as a chiropractor requires 5 years university studies in a double science degree. Subjects covered include anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, x-ray taking and reading, and five years of hands on practical technique and adjusting skills. The course emphasises understanding how the entire body works, comprehensive history taking, physical examination, diagnosis and the way to best manage each condition with a large focus on safety.
Before any chiropractor graduates they must pass demanding written and practical examinations by a panel of their peers. Then, they apply to a Government registration board and are reviewed before being granted the privilege to practice.
Registration and membership of the Chiropractic Association of Australia require ongoing yearly continuing education, further studies and strict ethical standards. For post graduate studies see our practitioner page.
What About Babies and Children?
Parents often ask why children need to see a chiropractor. Just as adults have their spine checked for poor movement, symmetry and muscle tone, so may children be checked for this as well.
Before any treatment is commenced we take a full history, examination including spine, nervous system, developmental milestones and primitive reflexes. Your chiropractor will discuss all findings and recommendations to give you the choice whether care may be suitable for your child.
Adjustments differ significantly from adults often only requiring light fingertip pressure, cranial therapy or sometimes an instrument called an ‘activator’. Infant adjustments are very gentle, no cracking techniques will be used and babies will typically be soothed by an adjustment.
The average child will fall 2500 times before the age of 3, three of them will be major falls such as off change tables, out of cots or downstairs. 50% will have a major fall in their first year! As a child grows they will also be subject to falls from bikes, play equipment, trampolines, poor posture with computer games and TV and heavy school bags.
Much of this is unavoidable and often disregarded but it is the cumulative nature that can result in ongoing problems and postural deviations that can remain through life. Just like any piece of machinery maintenance checks help to keep the long term impact to a minimum assisting the nervous system and your child’s body to perform at optimal levels.
But my child has no symptoms? Just like tooth cavity may have no symptoms, the effect of nerve irritation and postural imbalances can follow the same principle. Chiropractic care also includes advice on exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. Techniques will be tailored to suit their age, developing anatomy and comfort with safety as our priority.
Teenagers and Adolescents
This is an extremely important time to check your child’s spine and posture.
Previously undetected postural problems can often be multiplied during growth spurts and the increased demands of adolescent sporting activities. Many of these changes may be corrected before maturity. Posture, computers, heavy schoolbags, stress and contact sports play a large role in teenage health issues and are important to correct early.
Many parents find their teenagers more responsive to professional advice than their own nagging.
Teenagers also respond well to nutritional advice to meet their increased body demands from our Naturopath Liz. Taking responsibility for their own health is a major benefit.
Is Chiropractic Safe for My Child?
Research over many years internationally has shown the risk of chiropractic adjustments to be extremely low and safer than most other intervention or even the car trip to the appointment. With gentle, low force techniques children and parents feel very comfortable with adjustments.
Our chiropractors have completed extensive post graduate studies in paediatrics and are all parents. Sue completed her 2 year diplomat of Chiropractic Paediatric Developmental Neurology in 2015 which works with brain based developmental issues.
An examination will include an extensive history, examination, postural and gait assessment, neurological and milestone assessment where appropriate and spinal examination. Referral to your doctor, paediatrician or allied health professional may also be appropriate.
Our Naturopath Elizabeth is also available to assist in your child’s nutritional needs.
To help you we have a child friendly clinic with toy boxes, change table, private space for breastfeeding, books and resources for borrowing and are pram accessible.
Pregnancy and Birth is a Natural Process, our role is to allow your body to adapt and function as it was designed to and support you during this important time. Please tell our chiropractors if you are pregnant so we can ensure your comfort and adapt our techniques.
We use specially designed tables allowing you to lie face down throughout your entire pregnancy in safety and comfort. Because relaxin hormones are released in pregnancy, gentle low force adjustments are specially adapted for pregnancy.
Our chiropractors attend many hours of post graduate study specifically relating to pregnancy and chiropractic care. Sue Ferguson is Webster Technique certified and a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and has completed additional Chiropractic Paediatrics qualifications.
Pregnancy is also an excellent time to have your nutrition checked so mother and baby are getting all the vital nutrients for growth and development. Our naturopath Elizabeth is available for wholistic pregnancy care.
Pregnancy massage is also and ideal way to relax and pamper your changing body.
Am I Too Old?
Chiropractic is a great way to maintain mobility, manage pain and add quality to your later years. Many of our seniors find they are in the too hard basket for many of their doctors with limited choices for medication and too risky for surgery.
Using specially designed tables to assist you lying down, and gentle low force techniques many of our seniors are delighted to find there is hope and comfort in their later years.
We see numbers of seniors in their nineties, and have seen patients into their next century!
To assist we have parking directly outside, have no steps and are Veterans Affairs (DVA) approved, part of the Medicare enhanced primary care program for chronic conditions with referral from your GP and are happy to assist you with mobility issues.
Techniques we use will depend on your age, physical condition and any complicating factors.
At Mosman Chiropractic Centre our chiropractors are trained in and regularly use specific spinal adjustments (Diversified and Gonstead), drop piece tables, Activator, Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT), cranial adjustments, dry needling, soft tissue and exercise advice.
Drop-piece tables- these special tables have sections that move up and down under your body to gently unlock specific segments of your spine. Tables are able to gently lower to lying position and have sections that separate to allow pregnant, elderly and post surgical patients to lie comfortably face down.
The Activator is a small hand held instrument to gently loosen the spinal joints and restore function to the nerves. It feels like a quick finger flick against the skin. Because its speed is so fast, only a small amount of pressure is required to correct spinal problems.
The Activator is especially suitable for babies, children, the elderly and people with a history of spinal surgery or complicating factors.
Dry needling involves the use of small needles which penetrate the skin at specific sites within taut band of muscles and tendons. The result is a mechanical stimulation of the surrounding tissues which promotes healing and reduces pain within these tissues.
It may be used in the treatment of lower back pain, neck and mid thoracic pain, shoulder pain, knee and hip pain, and ankle pain. It is used specifically for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, and golfer’s and tennis elbow.
Will I Need X-rays?
This will be determined after a full history and physical examination. If required we will refer you to x-ray facilities nearby or of your choice.
X-rays are largely covered by Medicare rebates.
Children will not require x-rays in most cases unless they show significant trauma or postural deviations. Please bring previous x-rays or scans to your first appointment so we can review them.
Does It Hurt?
Chiropractic treatment should not cause pain. The Chiropractor will work within your pain tolerance adapting techniques to suit your age, build and history.
Sometimes you may experience temporary tenderness after your first few adjustments (much like you have done a work out at the gym) as your body adapts to its new alignment. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concern.
Mosman Chiropractic Centre – safe, gentle and effective.