Frequently Asked Questions


What is Chiropractic?

The chiropractic approach to healthcare is to locate dysfunctions of the muscles, bones, joints, tendons or ligaments. A chiropractor then performs a specific treatment for your particular condition, which may include a chiropractic adjustment. 

How can Chiropractic help?

Chiropractic can help to alleviate pain by: restoring spinal biomechanics; correcting dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system; encouraging normal joint motion; and reducing muscle spasm.

What is an adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is a manual therapy technique, applied to a joint that is fixated, “locked up”, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the bones gradually return to a more normal position and motion. The aim of the chiropractic adjustment is to allow improved spinal function and improved nervous system function. After years of training and clinical experience, each chiropractic doctor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.

What is the 'cracking' sound?

The sound often heard during a chiropractic adjustment is called a cavitation. The sound is caused by a release of gas from the joint fluid, known as 'synovial fluid,' occurring when the joint is adjusted (much like the noise that comes from gas as you open a fizzy drink). Some patients consider an audible pop necessary for their treatment to be successful, while others prefer their adjustments to be performed without any audible cavitation.

Do Chiropractic adjustments hurt?

Chiropractic adjustments are usually pain-free, in fact many people find having a chiropractic adjustment relaxing. Your level of comfort will depend on your injury, the amount of inflammation and the level of tension in the affected area. Most patients experience immediate relief after experiencing a chiropractic adjustment, while others notice mild tenderness and/or tension as their body's alignment and mobility are restored.

Is Chiropractic safe?

 Chiropractic care has been deemed “remarkably safe” by a number of research studies and government inquiries, with an excellent safety record. In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs. Research also shows that Chiropractic care is more effective, more economical and gives longer lasting results for disorders of the spine than other forms of health care.

Research Articles:

  • Dabbs,V., & Lauretti,W.J. (1995). A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation vs NSAIDs for the Treatment of Neck Pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 18(8), 530-536.
  • Meade TW, Dyer S, Browne W, Townsend J, Frank AO. (1990) Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomised Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment. The British Medical Journal 300: 1431-7.

Some media reports have associated chiropractic adjustments of the neck with a certain rare kind of stroke, known as a vertebral artery dissection, however best evidence suggests that this association is incorrect. These rare strokes have been associated with everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or visiting the hairdresser and occur spontaneously in patients who have pre-existing arterial disease. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek care, often with a chiropractor or G.P. but that care is not the cause of the injury. 

Chiropractors are well trained professionals who provide patients with treatment for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, including referral to a medical specialist.

How are Chiropractors trained and regulated?

Chiropractors are well trained professionals who provide patients with treatment for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, including referral to a medical specialist. Chiropractors are university trained, government regulated and government registered healthcare professionals, ensuring a high standard of practitioners. The 5-year university double degree studied by Chiropractors in Western Australia is of similar length to a university medical degree, with special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, radiology and spinal adjusting techniques. After entering practice, a chiropractor must complete further education each year through registered courses and seminars to upgrade and improve their skills and to stay current on the latest scientific research.

Can I adjust myself?

A chiropractic adjustment is a highly specific force, delivered in a precise direction, to a specific spinal joint, therefore it is impossible to adjust oneself. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a “cracking” sound, just like the sound that may accompany a chiropractic adjustment. This type of joint manipulation is usually counterproductive and detrimental to the spine, often making an already unstable area of the spine even more lax and unsteady. The best way to enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care is to receive adjustments from a Chiropractor.

What's included in my first visit?

Your first visit to the clinic will include discussing the nature and history of your condition, after which a thorough chiropractic, neurological and orthopaedic examination will be performed. In most cases, treatment will commence on your first visit, however if your condition is more complex, x-rays or special tests may also be required.

How long will I need to go to the Chiropractor?

Here at Waters Family Chiropractic, we do everything we can to help relieve your symptoms as fast as possible - with as few treatments as necessary - and also give advice on how to avoid future episodes of pain. Everybody is different and it will vary depending on each persons individual complaint. Some patients find that chiropractic care on a regular basis is best for managing their condition, while others prefer to only visit the chiropractor when they are in pain.

Am I too old for Chiropractic care? 

One of the best things about chiropractic care is that it can be extremely versatile. We have a wide range of gentle techniques which are perfect for helping people of all ages improve their mobility, vitality and endurance. Many patients find that gentle mobilisations and soft tissue therapies helps to ease the pain of osteoarthritis and joint replacements.

Is Chiropractic safe for children?

 Children are very physically active and experience frequent falls when learning to walk or to ride a bicycle, and various injuries through participation in sports. Symptoms of back and neck pain can often be alleviated with chiropractic care, which is adapted to be very gentle in the case of children. Chiropractors are able to identify and treat health complaints related to the musculoskeletal system in children.

Is Chiropractic treatment appropriate during pregnancy?

 Chiropractic techniques that involve gentle mobilisations of the hips and stretching of the low back are effective in reducing pregnancy related pains and correcting pelvic misalignment. Mothers undergo a myriad of changes to their body throughout pregnancy, such as weight gain, postural changes, and hormonal adoptions, which all increase stress on the low back. Chiropractors specifically analyse and adjust the sacrum, pelvis, and associated muscles and ligaments allowing for optimal range of movement in the lower back and pelvis, and minimised tension throughout the uterine and pelvic cavities throughout pregnancy. Many expecting mums choose to receive regular chiropractic check-ups and adjustments throughout pregnancy.