Below are some questions that commonly get asked about chiropractic in general, as well as what to expect from an appointment.
1. What does a chiropractor do?
Chiropractic is the third largest healthcare profession in the world following medicine and dentistry. Chiropractors in South Africa complete their studies over 6 years and are trained to diagnose and treat/manage most conditions of the nerves, muscles and joints. The treatment of these conditions by a chiropractor is done manually without the use of drugs or surgery.
A good chiropractor should also know when to refer you to a specialist and should work with other healthcare professionals in the management of your problem. They are also trained to give you basic ergonomic, lifestyle or dietary advice.
2. When should I visit a chiropractor?
- Spine-related symptoms such as neck pain, back pain and headaches. These are often associated with symptoms into the limbs such as pain, numbness, tingling etc.
- Other joint/muscle pain such as shoulder pain, knee pain etc.
These types of pains are usually caused by nerves, muscles or joints/discs and are commonly treatable by chiropractic care. If not, you may be referred to a different healthcare professional or specialist.
Children/babies, pregnant ladies, athletes and the elderly are all welcome.
3. How many treatments will I need?
This will largely depend on the nature of your complaint, but I do try to keep the number of visits to the minimum. My preference is to equip you with self-care strategies to get you managing the problem efficiently on your own.
That being said, there will be times where people will find benefit in “maintenance” care or instances in which the problem is more complex and requires a more lengthy treatment solution.
4. How would you describe your approach?
Spinal manipulation/joint “cracking” is generally the main thing that comes to mind with the word “chiropractor”. However, I consider this a very small part of what I do.
My approach can be summarised to address the following questions both in my examination as well as treatment.
- Is there something more serious underlying these symptoms? I will take a comprehensive history of the nature of your symptoms, medical history, family history etc. This is also why I will test e.g. your blood pressure, temperature, balance etc. If something is picked up that is serious or not in my scope of practice, you may be referred to another healthcare professional or for further imaging/tests.
- What is likely to be the main cause(s) of these symptoms? Many clues regarding this will also be obtained from the history of your symptoms. The examination then serves to confirm or rule out various sources of pain, such as the disc, joints, muscles etc. Treatment is then applied according to the specific cause of the symptoms, and there are various methods to address each cause such as mobilisations (slow movements of the joints), manipulation (“clicking” of the joints), as well as movement or position-based therapies.
- What is likely to be causing this pain to persist or recur? Factors such as anxiety/depression, low level of physical activity, poor muscular control etc. can have a large impact on pain and can cause it to persist beyond the normal healing period or cause recurring episodes of pain. Once again, there are clues within the history as well as specific tests that can be performed to identify these contributing factors. Treatment is aimed at addressing your specific contributing/exacerbating factors and this may also in some cases require referral to the appropriate healthcare provider for co-management.
5. How long are the consultations?
I take 45-60 minutes to complete an initial consultation, and 30-45 minutes for a follow-up. This time is usually reduced for infants.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your appointment time in order to fill in the necessary forms and ensure that this is not taking up precious consultation time. If you would prefer to print and complete the forms at home you are welcome to! These can be accessed here.
6. How much do you charge and do you take Medical Aid?
Details regarding fees and medical aid can be accessed here.
If you have any further questions or concerns about an appointment with me, please feel free to contact me!