What is a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors are health professionals who specialise in the function of the Spine and Nervous System and it's relationship to good health.

Chiropractors locate and correct areas of spinal dysfunction that can cause nervous system interference, back pain, neck pain and many other common symptoms. Chiropractors help you by gently adjusting the spine, returning it to its normal flexibility and alignment which restores body function. Chiropractic is the only health care profession dedicated to the detection, reduction and prevention of spinal subluxations. Chiropractors are the only health professional who specialise in Spinal adjustments.

What is a subluxation?

A subluxation is present when the delicate balance of normal movement or alignment in your spine is changed. A Subluxation consists of a combination of poor vertebral movement, nerve irritation and muscle spasm.

Put simply, one or more bones in your spine can become locked – pressuring the nerves and causing the muscles to spasm. A cyclical problem results and is called a Subluxation.

In Latin Sub means below and Lux means light so when you hear Subluxation just think of a spine that has less light or is running low on power!!

What is a Chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractor uses a carefully directed and controlled pressure in a precise direction to a joint that is not moving properly. This allows the spine to return to a normally balanced and flexible state. This has the effect of allowing the nervous system to work without interference. This pressure can be applied using a wide range of techniques.


How is a Chiropractic adjustment given?

Many different ways. It may be a quick movement or slow constant pressure, sometimes only one area may be adjusted and sometimes the entire spine will receive attention. Sometimes repeated Chiropractic adjustments are required to retrain the spine.

At Wenban Chiropractic we believe in a personalised approach, with techniques and timing of your adjustments specifically tailored to you.

Will I have to have my neck/back "cracked"?

In short, no.

At Wenban Chiropractic we pride ourselves on providing gentle Chiropractic through a range of technique options. Please learn more about your options of Adjustment techniques at our practice in the techniques section.

Note; there are some circumstances where techniques are required that release a immobile spinal joint resulting in a slight popping sound. For more information about this technique look here under Manual Diversified. If you have this type of spine your options will be discussed with you.

You will always be the one to make a choice on how to proceed.

Does it hurt to have spine adjusted?

Chiropractic adjustments are generally a comfortable experience for people of all ages. From infants to pregnant women, the elderly and everyone in between. For hundreds of thousands of Australians, visiting a Chiropractor is routine, just like regular dental check-ups.

Some specific conditions may require release techniques that can create some local tenderness. This is more likely if your spine is showing signs of long-term neglect.

All Chiropractic Adjustments will be discussed with you in advance.


Will I need Xrays?

Only if necessary.

This depends on what your chiropractor finds about the condition of your spine on the first visit. Radiographic examinations can be an important diagnostic tool and gathering all the facts makes achieving quality results easier. In some cases working without X-rays is like asking a car mechanic to work on your car without lifting the bonnet!

Each case is assessed on it's individual merits.

If you do require spinal x-rays we generally refer to Wave Radiology in Ballina. Spinal x-rays referred by Chiropractors are generally bulk billed.

Pregnant women, babies and children do not require x-rays.

How often will I need to come?

We assess each persons's case individually.

Sometimes the spinal problems we deal with may be recent and easily dealt with. This type of  spine will require less retraining and therefore less total numbers of adjustments.

Alternately, spinal subluxations can be present for years, even existing without pain. This can lead to long term untreated spinal problems.

In this type of case at first you may need frequent adjustments in order to mobilise your spine and kick-start your spinal function – this will usually result in some relief. Repetition of the treatment in the early stages is similar to training the body to perform a new task, the more it's done the quicker your body is able to hold the newly balanced state.

The frequency of your visits is reduced as your spine improves and a new improved spinal function is established. Often by this time a great deal of relief is achieved.

Regardless of the health of your spine when you initially visit our practice, we strongly believe in the long-term benefits of regular Chiropractic maintenance care. Your options regarding the future health of your spine will be discussed with you as you progress.




How long will it take before my spine is working properly?


This varies greatly and depends upon many factors such as age, health history, exercise and nutrition.

At first, pain relief may be your only goal in visiting a Chiropractor. Pain gets in the way of enjoying life and we love to help people feel better.

We would like to point out, however, that relief may not mean that your spine is working at its best, is strong or that your original symptoms will not return. Continuing on with Chiropractic care beyond pain relief is generally recommended at our practice.

Peak spinal function can take weeks or months to achieve if you have not taken care of your spine in the past.

In the long-term we believe that ongoing Chiropractic care leads to great health benefits, especially when combined with other healthy life habits.

How much will it cost?

This varies from individual to individual.

Cost will depend upon factors such as the length of time the problem has been present, level of spinal deterioration, ability to carry out home care instructions (exercises, stretches, etc), the motivation to get well, diligence in following recommended care schedule.

Please note; almost all health fund extras cover chiropractic care up to a limit. This limit varies from one health fund to another and is usually renewed each year in the new calendar year.

We have the HICAPS instant claiming system at Wenban chiropractic to make for a seamless claiming process.

Can I still have treatment if I'm pregnant?


Chiropractic care is effective and safe throughout pregnancy.

In fact, we believe that regular Chiropractic care is an essential part of your health care up to and after birth.

When we consider the dramatic changes the female body makes from conception to birth in 40 weeks it is no wonder that there might be a glitch or two along the way.Chiropractic can help keep you in tip top shape.

Once birth has taken place(which often creates some Nervous system stress!!) all those changes need to be re-aligned. It's no wonder that there may be some glitches in this reconstruction phase as well. Especially given that mum now has even less time to look after herself. We often get to begin this process of rebuilding only once children get to school. Beginning this process as early as possible after the birth will rebuild a healthier spine for your future.

Additionally, many parents see the benefits of having their newborns checked for signs of spinal stress.

Do I need a referral from a GP/Specialist?

No you do not. Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners and so GP referral is not  necessary. You can simply just pick up the phone and book in to see us......

For patients whose care is funded through Department of Veteran's Affairs(DVA) a referral from your GP is required. These referrals are current for one year from the date of issue. If you need help in this process please contact us.

Is Chiropractic good for children?

Children benefit enormously from Chiropractic and on average 25% of visits to our practice are in the under 18 age group.

With all the bumps and falls that occur during childhood, it's a wonder that some of us make it to adulthood! Even the process of birth can create problems, especially in cases of forceps delivery, caesarian section or vacuum extraction.

Many of the spinal health challenges that we see in adult patients can be traced back to childhood subluxations that have been ignored. The old maxim that "You will grow out of it" could not be further from the truth."As the twig is bent, so grows the tree".

Chiropractic has a fantastic safety record in providing gentle, effective care to children.

Additionally, we are always ready to help with entertainment and colouring so you can have your adjustment without worrying about the children. We have children of our own and understand that you need to be able to relax for an adjustment. We pride ourselves on being a very child friendly practice.

I have Arthritis/Disc problems/Spinal Surgery. Can I still be helped?


While there are many different types of arthritis, the two most common forms are Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Patients suffering with either OA or RA can benefit from Chiropractic. There are less common forms of arthritis that involve joint infection or neoplastic change. Because Chiropractic adjustments normalise joint movement they also relieve stresses within the joints. Recent research has shown that patients suffering from OA or RA who receive adjustments have significantly less pain and discomfort and increased function.

 Disc degeneration

Degeneration of the discs often results from untreated joint dysfunction.Often the pain that a patient feels is blamed on the disc degeneration but is actually caused by the joint dysfunction that caused the disc to degenerate in the first place. Correction of the joint function through adjustment often gives great relief. Many Orthopaedic surgeons recommend Chiropractic care to help limit disc problems becoming surgical cases.

 Disc prolapse, tear or bulge

There are may events that can damage the disc structure. Usually there has been some build up of problems prior to the disc breaking down. This build up may be pain free.

Unless the disc has burst and its contents are pressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots, clinical experience and research has shown that patients with disc damage do better with specific adjustments than with bed rest or surgery.

 A history of spinal surgery?

We have many people who benefit from our Chiropractic care who have had spinal surgery.

Spinal surgery is normally a last resort measure to relieve nerve or spinal cord pressure. While it is often successful in its primary aim, it does nothing to correct the problem that created the damage that required the surgery in the first place. Chiropractic can be very effective in these cases.


Are there any side effects from the treatment?

Chiropractic has been shown to be extremely safe and effective. In Australia there are around 200,000 patient visits to a chiropractor every week, with few other professions able to demonstrate the same safe and effective relief to back pain neck pain, headaches and general health benefits.

When comparing Chiropractic care with a course of anti-inflammatory drugs, a study found that chiropractic care was 250 times safer (Dabbs, and Lauretti JMPT 1995 18(8):530-6). Other studies have found chiropractic to be approximately twice as effective and half as expensive as other forms of therapy for the spine.

Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained to locate and correct subluxations.

In Australia, chiropractors study for a minimum of five years full time at university, graduating with either a double Degree or a Degree in Chiropractic Science and a Masters of Chiropractic. Training includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnosis, radiology, orthopedics and neurology. Chiropractors are fully licensed primary health professionals and are governed by registration boards in every state.

Following an adjustment, some people may feel a slight soreness following their first few adjustments. This occurs as the body re-aligns and generally only lasts a short time.

In extremely rare circumstances some treatments of the neck may damage a blood vessel and give rise to stroke like symptoms. {(Approximately 1 in 5.85 million neck adjustments) Halderman, et al. Spine Vol 24-8 1999}

Other very slight risks include sprain/strain injury to a ligament or disc in the neck (1 in 139,000) or the lower back (1 in 62,000).

Chiropractic adjustments avoid the side effects commonly associated with trying to control the body. Prescription and 'over the counter' medicines involve a much greater risk than chiropractic. As an interesting conclusion, statistics tell us you are more likely to be struck by a bolt of lightning than experience a serious adverse reaction to chiropractic care!


Do I need a massage before an adjustment?

Most people do not require a full massage before and adjustment. This is because the techniques we use are designed to work with the bodies responses, respecting the bodies inbuilt wisdom. Some areas of the spine may require specific chiropractic muscular release techniques and we will always make time available to use these, especially in areas of the spine that have been very tight in the long term.

Essentially, only moderate pressure is used, therefore it is unlikely that you will tighten up or resist an adjustment.

At Wenban Chiropractic we believe that both the Chiropractic adjustment and massage are wonderful things. They are, however, different clinical interventions and you will likely enjoy great benefit from a combination of both.

If you would like information about massage practices we recommend contact us to find out more.