Dr Paul’s view of Chiropractic
As a Doctor of Chiropractic I’m primarily interested in the mechanics of the human
skeleton. In practical terms this means we mostly look at the spine but do assess other
joints in the body like toes and wrists and jaws.
In assessing the skeletal function Chiropractors are trained to find joints that have lost
their normal motion, the technical term is joint dysfunction. Depending on the degree of
aberrant motion within the joint some movements will be quite effortless whereas other
movements can be quite debilitating. The main concept is that the jammed joint causes
biomechanical problems. The longer this abnormal biomechanics resides the
more it may involve other body systems. One major system that can become involved
is the nervous system. The nerves in our bodies are very sensitive, they do not handle
well an environment that makes their life hard. To communicate this to your brain
they will give off messages. These messages come in the form of pain, numbness,
tingling, burning and aching. At a deeper level the nerves may be affected which
can result in either too much or two little energy flow to their target destinations.
For instance, if the target organ is the stomach this may result in the affected nerve
causing an over or under secretion of stomach acid.
Another system that gets influenced when the mechanics gets upset is the muscular
system. Muscles involved with the skeletal system have the job of creating movement
in the body and they can only do this over a joint. When the joint is malfunctioning
the muscle has a more difficult job. In the body this results in increased muscle
tone. The muscular system has its own way of communicating its displeasure with
the environment. The symptoms given here can be similar to the nervous system as
outlined above and include pain, aching, spasming. Muscles that are held contracted
for long periods of time become fatigued and eventually become weakened.
The ligamentous system is part of the soft tissues of the body and like the muscular
system is affected by joint dysfunction. In the short term ligaments are quite resilient
but the longer they are subjected to stretch and compression the more their integrity
is compromised. In the chronic state the ligaments become hard, ropey and quite
nodular and similar to other body symptoms give off their own characteristic pain
Often people present with one set of symptoms which is actually brought about by
problems in the three body systems we’ve described. It gets even more tricky as the
proportions of each involved system is never equal. What this means in practical
terms is treatment regimes and/or lengths are different from case to case.
Being a Chiropractor the starting point of treatment is often the skeletal system. As
this responds we may need to change the therapies to bring about improvements in
the nervous system and the muscular system. The main therapeutic approach at the
Healthmont Clinic is to address all these body systems in their priority order.
Techniques employed for the skeletal system
After examination of the patient the most appropriate technique is chosen. This will
vary from passive stretching techniques to joint adjusting via the activator device to
manual adjusting techniques.
Techniques to influence the muscular system include stretching, massage, trigger
point therapy, cross friction massage. For health problems heavily weighted in
the muscular system referral to a Myotherapist or Massage therapist may be in
order. If this eventuates a referral to an in-house practitioner may be discussed or
communication can be made to your existing therapist.
Postural assessment is performed at the Healthmont Clinic and part of this approach
is to check for any biomechanical distortions in the feet. This clinic utilises the Foot
Levellers system of analysis and if indicated prescription of custom made orthotics
(stabilizers) will be recommended.