Chiropractic is a low risk, natural, drug free approach to health. The function of your spine can influence the way your brain perceives what’s going on in our body. Chiropractic care restores the health and function of your spine thereby improving the communication between your brain, your body and the environment.
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. For the brain this is like rebooting a computer.
Registration as a chiropractor requires 5 years university studies in a double science degree.
Neck Pain & Headaches
Neck pain is a very common condition treated by chiropractors. Around 50% of people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives and every month almost 39% of the population will say they have had neck pain. Neck pain may also radiate down from the neck into the shoulders, arms and fingers or radiate up into the head and is a significant factor in jaw pain (TMJ). -- Treatment -- Our chiropractors are university trained healthcare professionals that apply precise and gentle spinal adjustments to correct spinal imbalance, improving joint mobility and mechanics, decreasing inflammation, spasm and pain, to successfully treat neck pain and headaches. Providing advice on lifestyle, computer setup and postural exercises can help prevent reoccurrence. -- Headaches and Migraines -- The connection between spinal health conditions (especially of the neck) and headaches are well recognised in research. Studies have shown that university trained chiropractors provide reliable, low risk, effective treatment for the three most common types of headaches effecting 11.9 million Australians. One study found 72% of people surveyed reported chiropractic adjustments reduced their migraines, and decreased duration and severity. The three main types of headaches are: •Tension headaches Pain around the forehead, temples and back of the head, often described as a ‘hat band’ tightness. Tension headaches are often triggered by stress or fatigue. •Cervicogenic headaches Neck related headaches are due to a disorder of the top of the spine involving the bones, joints, muscles or ligaments in that area. Pain starts at the neck and can spread to the eyes, forehead, and temples. Pain is moderate to severe but not excruciating or throbbing. Cervicogenic headaches are often associated with mild to moderate dizziness/light-headedness/unsteadiness. •Migraines Migraines are a chronic and disabling condition that often begins with a dull headache and develops into a constant, throbbing and pulsating pain at the temples and the front or back of the head. Sufferers can also experience nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise. Migraines can be a complex and varied disorder with a range of severity, types and symptoms. 20% of migraines are ‘Classic’ migraines (with Aura) and 80% are ‘Common’ migraines (without Aura). An Aura is an important symptom that typically precedes the headache. Sufferers may also experience blurred vision, blind spots, and pins and needles in the face, hands, or arms. Research shows chiropractors can help diagnose migraine and provide care that’s been shown to decrease migraine duration and severity.
Low Back Pain
Back pain occurs when there has been irritation or injury to one or more of the structures in the back or pelvis. These structures include vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, discs and nerves. Low back pain is the number one reason a worker will have a day off, resulting in huge economic losses. However, only 25 – 40% of Australians with low back pain will receive treatment to help relieve the problem. Most people who get low back pain will recover, however recovery times are often longer without appropriate treatment. If low back pain is left untreated or not treated properly, recurrent and persistent low back pain symptoms can continue and increase in frequency and intensity. -- What causes back pain? -- A thorough examination is required to correctly diagnose which tissue has been injured. In rare cases, the cause of pain can be more serious, like kidney stones, tumours, or infections. The mechanism for back pain is usually caused by overstretching or overloading the spine during certain movements or activities. This includes lifting, twisting, and bending, or a combination of all three. Often it can be the simplest movement like tying a shoe or making the bed that will trigger an episode, but there is usually an underlying biomechanical function issue which already exists without the patient even knowing. Factors that may contribute to back pain include: •Poor posture •Lack of exercise •A weak core •Improper lifting techniques •Frequent bending •Spinal and pelvic misalignment •Prolonged sitting •Degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis •Previous back pain problems -- Treatment -- Treatment depends on the cause of the injury. A thorough examination will help us determine the diagnosis. In some cases, we will organise imaging such as x-ray, MRI or CT scan to help with the diagnosis. Treatment techniques will vary depending whether the injury is acute or chronic, how much damage has been done, your age, and what we have agreed will be the safest, most effective way of correcting your problem. Your chiropractor will discuss with you the type of treatment they recommend, and how long it is expected to take. On average, this can be approximately 4-6 weeks. A plan can then be outlined with exercises to prevent this from happening again. Patients with severe injuries may be referred to a specialist for further treatment. Although you should feel better earlier, full healing typically takes 6 weeks during which time pain will be reduced - but tissue healing takes time to complete. Chiropractic care can be very helpful in not only the treatment of back pain, but in the prevention of re-occurrence in the future. -- Helpful Home Tips -- •The first few days post injury you want to minimise the pain and avoid activities that will further inflame the area. •Use a sports ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel and leave over the injured area for no more than 10 minutes at a time. •Avoid prolonged sitting and move around regularly. When sitting, sit on a firm chair with a small cushion to support your back. Avoid sitting or lying on a soft couch. •Avoid bending and twisting movements as much as possible, aim to keep ‘your nose in line with your toes’. •Gentle walking on a flat surface or gentle swimming may be helpful. Your chiropractor will advise you on which stretches to perform and which to avoid. •Over the counter anti-inflammatories and gels usually provide only temporary relief. •Car - move seat upright and use a lumbar support (or small rolled towel) in your low back. Remember to take regular breaks. •Resting/Sleeping - on your back with knees supported by a pillow, or on your side with knees gently bent and a pillow between them, is generally most comfortable. For severe low back pain or sciatica you can lie on the floor on your back with hips at 90 degrees with knees supported on a chair at 90 degrees. •Massage is best left until the problem is less acute as releasing muscle spasm can increase pressure on your nerves. Feel free to speak with your chiropractor to check when you are ready for a massage.
Exercise & Sport
Whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, from kids sport to masters, we are here to help you. We diagnose, treat and create a management plan for your sporting injuries to get you back to training and competition as soon as possible. Structural imbalances in our pelvis and spine affect our nervous system and may tighten or weaken vital muscles and ligaments needed for optimal performance. These imbalances may increase the likelihood of injury. Similarly, an injury to a muscle or ligament causes the pelvis and spine to compensate for the injury, creating secondary pain elsewhere. The most obvious example is when you sprain an ankle causing you to walk with a limp, putting more weight on the opposite leg creating imbalance. Our chiropractors not only treat the primary injury, but make sure any compensations in the body’s posture are corrected and managed to minimise the possibility of pain moving around the body. We provide quality hands on treatment for all injuries to joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, using a variety of specialised techniques including: •chiropractic adjustments of spine and peripheral joints •dry needling •massage and stretching •sports taping •personalised exercise program to rehabilitate your sporting injury We are happy to work with you independently or in a co-management capacity and communicate closely with doctors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, or other health specialists to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your injury and future prevention. Common conditions treated include: •Shoulder tendonitis and bursitis •Tennis and golfer’s elbow and wrist pain •Knee meniscus and ligament sprains •Spinal disc injury •Ankle sprains acute and chronic •Muscle strains and tears Most elite sporting teams in Australia have chiropractors working as part of a team of multi-disciplinary health practitioners to prevent and manage injuries and help athletes perform at the highest level.
Babies, Children & Teenagers
-- BABIES -- Parents often ask why babies need to see a chiropractor. Many newborns receive strain to the neck in the process of being born. Incidence is increased in breech, transverse or posterior positioning, long or very fast births, Ventouse suction, forceps delivery or c-section can cause strain. Before any treatment is commenced we take a full history, conduct an examination including spine, nervous system, developmental milestones and primitive reflexes. We will discuss with you all findings and recommendations to give you the choice whether care is suitable for your baby or child. Referral to appropriate medical professionals may also be recommended. 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. Young children describe it more like a “tickle’. Problems associated with nerve dysfunction and reduced mobility from birth trauma could include: •neck stiffness •irritability •difficulty with feeding and attachment •sleeping problems •imbalance in head shape (plagiocephaly) •delayed developmental milestones 65% of your baby’s neurological development for its life will occur during the first year. -- Children -- 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 and heavy school bags. Poor posture is a growing problem with increased usage of phones, laptops and devices. 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. Check-ups help to decrease long term impact by detecting and correcting problems early. Chiropractic care also includes advice on exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. Techniques will be tailored to suit each childs age and developing anatomy. Comfort and safety are our priority. -- Teenagers & Adolescents -- This is an extremely important time to check your child’s spine and posture and screen for scoliosis. 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, phones, computers, heavy schoolbags, stress, and contact sports play an increasing role in teenage health issues. It is important to correct these early to prevent long term structural changes. Many parents find their teenagers more responsive to professional advice than their own nagging. -- Is Chiropractic Safe for My Child? -- Research over many years internationally has shown the risk of any adverse reactions to chiropractic adjustments to be extremely low. With gentle, low force techniques children and parents feel very comfortable with adjustments. An appointment will include an extensive history, examination, postural and gait assessment, and neurological and milestone assessment. Where necessary a spinal examination will also be conducted. Referral to your doctor, paediatrician or allied health professional may also be appropriate. Safer Care Victoria Review* in 2019 received 21,824 submissions, with results showing: •Chiropractic spinal treatment for infants and children is extremely safe with no adverse events found. •Respondenets reported Chiropractic spinal treatment for infants and children improved symptoms in 98% of children. •99.7% of respondents reported a positive experience with chiropractic care of their child -- Education -- Not only are all our chiropractors parents, they all continue to studyand upskill themseklves, including completing extensive post graduate studies in paediatrics. Sue is an accredited Paediatric Chiropractor. She completed her 2 year diploma of Chiropractic Paediatric Developmental Neurology in 2015 which focuses on brain based developmental issues. We work closely with Gymbaroo educators and allied health professionals to support children with meeting milestone challenges. Our child friendly clinic has toy boxes, change table, baby weight scales, private space for breastfeeding, books and resources for borrowing, and is pram accessible.
Pregnancy and Birth is a natural process. Our role with Chiropractic care is to allow your body to adapt and function as it was designed to, and to support you during this important time. Please tell our chiropractors if you are pregnant so we can ensure your comfort and adapt our techniques accordingly. We focus on: •pre conception care, getting you into the best possible shape •pregnancy care to have your body working optimally and ready for birthing •post natal care for recovery and regaining your fitness. We use specially designed tables allowing you to lie face down throughout your entire pregnancy to ensure safety and comfort. Because relaxin hormones are released in pregnancy, gentle low force adjustments are specially adapted for pregnancy. Prenatal adjustments can: •Prepare the pelvis for an easier pregnancy and birth by creating a state of balance in the pelvic bony structure, muscles and ligaments. •50% of women complain of back pain during pregnancy. Chiropractic markedly reduces much of this, allowing the pelvis to function correctly. •Improved function and decreased pain can promote a safer easier birth for the mother, decreasing the need for intervention. •Research has shown first time mums averaged a 24% shorter labour while experienced mums had a 39% reduction in average labour time with regular chiropractic care in pregnancy. •Good pelvic alignment and posture allows the baby room to develop without restriction to its forming skull, spine and other skeletal structures and prepare for the best position for birth. •Proper foetal positioning enables even pressure on the cervix resulting in easier dilation and decreasing the chance of a difficult birth and resulting intervention. •Decreasing stress in the mother during pregnancy allows a more relaxed environment for her developing baby. Our chiropractors attend many hours of post graduate study specifically relating to pregnancy and chiropractic care. Sue Ferguson is Webster Technique certified, is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and is a certified Paediatrics Chiropractor (AICE 2022).
Chiropractic is a great way to maintain mobility, manage pain and keep you active in 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 considered too risky for surgery. Using specially designed tables to assist you lying down, and gentle low force techniques many of our seniors are relieved to find that there is way to improve mobility and reduce pain in their later years. Gentle age appropriate adjustments, exercise and lifestyle advice may decrease your falls risk, and assist in keeping you mobile and active longer. We see a number of seniors in their nineties and many into their next century (our model for this page is a youthful 94!) To assist you we have parking directly outside, have no steps and are happy to assist with mobility issues. We are Veterans Affairs (DVA) approved, and part of the Medicare Enhanced Primary Care program for chronic conditions. (with referral from your GP)