When Should I Start Seeing A Chiropractor?

We mainly see our clients after they have tried a lot of other things. We’re often a last resort and our clients are pleasantly surprised when they start getting long-term results after trying the traditional healthcare route.

The GP will prescribe painkillers. If the painkillers do not work, they will refer on to NHS physio. NHS physio as you may have seen in a previous blog are incredible. However, they just don’t have the resources to be able to utilise their skills fully and therefore people don’t get the long-term care that they need to make full corrections. They can offer prescription exercises to try and remedy and put a patch on a problem. But in terms of the long term, it doesn’t always create a permanent outcome.

If the physio isn’t working, then stronger painkillers are prescribed. The pain management clinic next and often would be the consultation for spinal surgery. Spinal surgeons will do their best to avoid this at all costs. Sometimes there’s no option but to take the risk and roll the dice with spinal surgery.

We tend to see people before they get to this stage. But we do see a lot of clients post-operation who haven’t had the results that they want. Tends to be 50-50 with spinal surgery and some people are good for the next 5, 10, even 15 years and then the problem can return.

I just saw somebody yesterday who had a decompression surgery 6 years ago, often called a microdiscectomy where the disc is taken off where the bulge is and it releases the pressure from the nerve.

What then happens though is because the actual problem causing this bulge in the first place hasn’t been addressed, whether it be pelvic instability, a core issue or a subluxation at the vertebra, the pressure then comes back on that disc and it comes back in the future. Meaning that they may need a second operation and it may not even work this time either. It’s really important we try and get to the root cause of the issue.

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We usually see people before they get to this surgical intervention and they’ve tried all other things including painkillers and physios, maybe even other chiropractors, and what people want from us is they want to be able to get back to doing what they used to do and as human beings, we often forget what we used to do.

I just saw a client recently. She was 65 and I asked her daughter how long the problem has been going on for and she said, “Oh, it has been forever that she has been like this.” Then we traced it back and she said, “Actually it was in Paris and I can see on my phone here that was only three years ago.” Three years ago, she was walking around Paris. We walked and walked and walked as you do when you’re on city breaks and then she went downhill after that. Now she just sits in a chair with debilitating sciatic pain. So things can change very quickly and it’s important not to let that become your normal.

Most problems will not correct themselves after three months. If you’re still experiencing pain, then I will always advise coming to seek professional help to ensure that we don’t let it develop into more of a chronic issue. That’s when pain becomes more of a multifactorial problem, not a structural problem.

It starts to affect your mental health; your emotional well-being and it can be more difficult to correct in the long term.

We see people from a very young age. My two kids got adjusted from birth purely because birth is a traumatic process for both mother and baby.

There is a lot of compression on the baby’s neck and can alter the nervous system from a young age. It’s important that we start checking kids from a young age. They probably will not need as much as intense treatment because a young body will respond very quickly to spinal adjustments.

If not then, then impact sports, changing of positions, postures, studying when in high school and going through to college and universities often are going to put a lot of stress on our spine. I think it’s really important that all students get checked at least once a month for any spinal issues, particularly with the way that our posture is these days with the emergence of iPhones and iPads. That’s when you start to get chronic problems and that’s when we start to see changes in X-rays with people in their 30s, 40s and 50s and causes long-term issues.

If you are struggling, if you have been in pain for longer than three months, it’s more than likely that that problem has been there for a lot longer purely because the body can do a great job of compensating for an issue.

If it hasn’t resolved itself within three months, it’s time to start seeking professional help. I’m biased. As a chiropractor, I think that if it is a spinal issue, neck pain, back pain, sciatica, then we are one of the best people to help with that without having to use surgery or painkillers. But it’s best that you find someone who is right for you, someone who carries out full diagnostic assessment, uses X-ray clinically and justified to make a diagnosis and the correct care plan given to you and uses a multifactorial service within their clinics.

We have soft tissue specialists, chiropractors, decompression machine, shockwave therapy, dry needling specialists as well as exercise rehab. You combine all these factors together to provide great patient outcomes in the long term

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