FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Chiropractic is a natural approach to health and well-being.  It is based on the knowledge that all your bodily functions are ultimately controlled by your nervous system.  Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down your spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue of your body.  Signals are also sent back to the brain in order to ‘sense’ if your body is working correctly.  You digest food, heal wounds, fight infections and breathe without having to think about these essential functions. 

Check out this short video - the beginner's guide to Chiropractic. 

What is a subluxation?

A vertebral subluxation is the improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine (vertebrae) which intereferes with the nerve messages between the brain and the body.  Many subluxations can exist without obvious pain or discomfort.  The wear and tear of every day life can impact the spine and cause the spinal segments to move in a way that is different to normal.  That wear and tear can occur gradually such as with poor posture or suddenly like with a sports injury. It's because of the close relationship between the spine and the nervous system that these every day strains can impact the flow of information between the brain and the body. Any miscommunication that occurs could result in your body not functioning optimally, impacting your health and wellbeing. 

What is an adjustment? Is it safe?

An adjustment is a very specific force given to your spine to help your body correct a subluxation. There are many ways to “adjust” the spine.  Some methods use the doctor’s hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity.  Some adjustments are very gentle and only involve light touch, others may require more force. There is a technique suitable for every individual and every health condition.  The chiropractor will determine which technique is best based on your health history & examination findings at the start of care. The technique may even be altered throughout care. 

Adjustments are “remarkably safe” according to the New Zealand Government’s landmark “Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic”.   In fact, Chiropractic care is safer than having back surgery, driving your car or taking an aspirin.

How do I know if I'm subluxated or if I need chiropractic care?

Most subluxations produce no pain or symptoms at all. Poor spinal movement and postural imbalances such as one ear or shoulder higher than the other can be indicative of a subluxation.  The best way to know if you have one is to get your spine checked by a Chiropractor. 

Only when your body is unable to cope with any more stressors will symptoms become noticable.  A threshold is reached, like the straw that broke the camel's back. Symptoms are a bit like the fire alarm going off. To get rid of the problem, we must put out the fire, not just turn off the alarm. For a great visual explanation, check out this short video.

What causes subluxations?

Subluxations (just like chronic inflammation) are caused by stresses (or forces) that your body cannot adapt to.

Physical stress —  such as injuries, falls, the birth process, lifting children, school bags, car accidents, sports, long periods of sitting, prolonged abnormal  postures or even subtle repetitive movements.

Chemical stress —  alcohol, toxins, food sensitivities, additives and chemicals in food, tobacco smoke, medication, coffee, and other pollutants in our environment.

Emotional  stress — family conflict, arguments, personal traumas, work pressure, life or career changes, grief etc.

How can I minimise subluxations in my body?

There are a number of ways to minimise the severity of subluxations in your body and reduce the likelihood of them occurring.  Some avoidable causes of subluxations include poor posture, a soft unsupportive bed, incorrect pillow height, a badly set up work station, high heels, dehydration, poor lifting techniques etc.  Ask your chiropractor for tips on these. Workshops are frequently held to give you more information on this and help you get the best results from your care.

Exercising, stretching, good nutrition, plenty of rest, positive thoughts, reducing stress are other ways to minimise subluxations. 

Unfortunately some forces or stressors the body is unable to avoid, hence why we we recommend regular checkups even when you are not in pain.  Just think about what you put your body through over just a one or two week period. Long periods of sitting? Lack of exercise or vigorous hard core exercise? Frequent smart phone use, with a forward head posture? 

Some stressors you may be unaware of, such as food intolerances, poor gut health or a parasitic infection. This is where functional medicine and applied kinesiology can help. 

Though if you choose Chiropractic simply for pain relief then we will respect your decision and welcome you with open arms whenever you feel a need for a visit. 

What is applied kinesiology? What is functional medicine?

Applied kinesiology (or AK for short) is a form of diagnosis through muscle testing to examine how a person’s body is functioning on a structural, chemical or emotional level. It does not detect disease or pathology but looks to address a poorly functioning body naturally through structural / tissue adjustments, dietary & lifestyle changes, & nutritional supplements. 

Functional Medicine utilizes the latest research findings on supplements, diet and other natural tools for restoring balance in the body's primary physiological processes.

It asks why has function been lost and what can be done to restore function naturally?

Functional lab testing (not typically available through your GP) can be utilized to help look for the underlying causes of health concerns.

At Compton Chiropractic & Functional Health Care you can choose the extent of your care.  For many regular chiropractic care is enough to keep them functioning at their best. For others, especially those with chronic inflammation & health conditions, further help is needed. Then applied kinesiology & functional health care is also recommended. 

How long until I feel better?

You don't go to the gym once and expect to suddenly be fit do you? The same premise applies to chiropractic care.

Many factors can affect the healing process. Age, degree of damage to the spine, quality & quantity of rest & exercise, and nutrition are just some of the factors.  Some notice changes almost immediately.  Others discover it can take many weeks or months, especially in chronic cases. Progress examinations are held at regular intervals to make sure that you are on track.  Many patients choose chiropractic as part of a healthy lifestyle and continue to have regular chiropractic checks, thus maintaining the health of their spine and nervous system.  For some a “check-up” is once a week for others once a month. How you choose to use chiropractic care is always up to you. 

Who can receive chiropractic care? Newborns? Pregnant mothers?

Chiropractic care is for everyone. From the very sick to those symptom free, wanting to function at their optimum. From the elderly to the new born. Even the unborn foetus can benefit when a pregnant mother allows the vital messages to flow uninterrupted between them, with gentle Chiropractic care. Chiropractic has been used to reduce discomfort in pregnancy, encourage optimal foetal positioning and may reduce labour times. 

Even patients with osteoporosis, that have cancer or had back surgery can benefit from chiropractic care.  The technique selected will be best suited to your age, size & condition.  We have the experience and training to care for all ages and conditions.

As spinal damage can occur at birth, children should be checked for subluxations.  Paediatric adjustments are safe and very gentle.  Depending on their age and size, their adjustments often require no more pressure than you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato. Gentle cranial therapy is also available at Compton Chiropractic at no additional charge. 

Want to know more about Chiropractic for kids?  Click here for more info.

How much will it cost? Is ACC available?

The overall cost depends on the amount of damage in your spine and the frequency of care necessary. After your initial consultation and a thorough examination a better indication will be had, and a care plan will be recommended at your report of findings. 

Please note that many medical insurance policies offer contributions toward chiropractic care. ACC is also available where an injury has occurred as a result of an accident. (No GP referral is necessary either). Please also ask about our family fee which can help make chiropractic care more affordable for families.

Is there any research to support Chiropractic care?

Good quality research has shown the following changes can occur in the body after a chiropractic adjustment... 

  • Reduced muscle fatigue

  • Increased muscle strength in the legs

  • Faster reaction times

  • Altered brain processing

  • Improved joint position sense

  • Improved visual acuity and visual field 

You can check out the diagram at the bottom of the page for references.

Research is expensive and the medical gold standard of double blind placebo controlled studies are beneficial for the pharmaceutical industry. But giving a sham adjustment for the purposes of providing a placebo comparison is extremely difficult to do. Hence why most chiropractic research is based on basic science research or case studies.  The great thing about basic science research is that it does not require large sample sizes, is  able to be replicated, and looks at how things work. Whereas a clinical study uses large sample sizes to prove how something can help a clinical problem. Both require a very well designed study.  Many fall short unfortunately.   

Courtesy of Dr Heidi Haavik, a highly respected Chiropractic researcher... a subluxation is defined technically as "a central segmented motor control problem, that influences how accurately the brain can perceive what is going on in the rest of the body, and the environment around it". Put simply, chiropractic adjustments change how the brain functions and help it "perceive" more accurately, so that the body can function better. 

It doesn't sound like a good idea to leave subluxations in your body then, does it?

Is my Chiropractor qualified?

Absolutely. All chiropractors in New Zealand have trained for a minimum of 5 years, studying subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, neurology, and radiology.  Many are members of the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association and attend regular seminars to continue their professional education.

For more info on Dr Georgina Compton and her experience and training please click here

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