A chiropracter is a healthcare professional who works on the musculoskeletal system with a special focus on the spine to help alleviate issues like chronic back pain and sciatica.

Chiropractors take a holistic approach to treatment, believing not only that all the individual parts of the body work together, but that problems in one part of the body may create issues elsewhere. They also believe that the body can heal itself with the right stimulus or treatment.

Chiropractice is a complementary therapy that is growing in popularity. It has roots in the ancient world, with records from as far back as 2700 BC referring to spinal manipulation to help lower back pain practised in China.

Fast forward to 1895, and we can attribute the foundation of modern chiropractic therapy to a Daniel David Palmer, who developed a system of chiropractic adjustment based on his knowledge of human anatomy and physiology.

The latest figures published by the Chiropractic Board of Australia show that there are 5,700 chiropractors registered in the country, an increase of 14 per cent compared to five years previously.

What do chiropractors do?

When you go to see a chiropractor, they will talk to you about your medical history, run tests and offer a diagnosis. On this basis, they will formulate a treatment plan to benefit the patient over the long-term, taking care to alleviate the cause behind the symptoms.

The treatment they offer is very much “hands-on” and the movements they use on their patients are commonly referred to as “manipulations” or “adjustments”. These can involve massaging, applying pressure or stretching joints to alleviate pain and encourage the body to achieve proper alignment and, as a result, healing.

Chiropractors also use tools and techniques such as “drop tables” which align the patient’s pelvis or spine using their own body weight, relaxation techniques and advice on diet and exercise.

Is a chiropractor a medical practitioner?

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who must register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

They are highly qualified practitioners who must study for five years at university to enter their chosen profession and will have provided treatment to many patients under supervision as part of their qualification.

Their studies include anatomy, biochemistry and diagnostic skills, to name a few areas, and are therefore very rigorous.


Is chiropractic safe?

When delivered by a trained and registered professional, chiropractic therapy is considered to be safe. In fact, because of its non-invasive and drug-free nature, it is thought to be a low-risk treatment for many patients.

Of course, patients with certain conditions may be advised to avoid chiropractic treatment. These disorders include severe osteoporosis, elevated risk of stroke or cancer in your spine.

What are some chiropractic benefits?

Chiropractic treatment focuses on a wide range of musculoskeletal issues, and so can benefit many patients. These disorders include:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Migraines and other headaches
  • Pelvic pain
  • Problems with the joints including those affecting the hands, wrists and knees
  • Whiplash injuries

Remember that the aim of your chiropractor is to ensure that the skeleton, and spine in particular, is correctly aligned to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. This is a valuable and long-ranging benefit of the treatment.

Now you know what chiropractors can do, you’ll be wondering how to find the right practitioner for you. Finding a registered chiropractor is easy with Whitecoat. Patient reviews and star ratings make comparing and choosing the right healthcare professional simple and reassuring.

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