NOTE: These FAQs are designed to give you answers to most of the questions that peole new to chiropractic ask. The list is by no means exhaustive and you are invited to contact by email, preferably, if you have other query.

Chiropractic - Definition and Principles - Chiropractic is the science of locating offending spinal structures, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and a philosophy of natural health care based on your inborn potential to be healthy.


 Chiropractic is the largest non-surgical, non-drug prescribing, primary contact health care profession in the world. It is a natural approach to health, based on the relationship between your spine and your nervous system. Chiropractors use a combination of hands-on physical therapy (called adjusting) and exercises, to mobilise joints and improve your posture. This has the effect of reducing pain, fatigue and injuries.

Mark O'Brien is well qualified and understands all the principles of chiropractic ...

  • What is the theory behind it?                    

A healthy spine, coupled with a healthy nervous system, is crucial in terms of maintaining optimal whole body health. When the bones of your spine are locked in an abnormal position, and are interfering with the correct functioning of your nervous system and spine, the condition is known as ‘vertebral subluxation.’ Vertebral subluxation is often caused by too much stress on the spine to which it cannot adapt. 

The primary focus of chiropractic care is therefore the location, analysis, correction and prevention of vertebral subluxations. How can I be sure that my Chiropractor is well trained? Australian Chiropractors are registered primary health care professionals who must pass an accredited University course. They are licensed by and work under the oversight of a National professional authority.          

  • Do I need a referral from my GP? 

No. Chiropractors are primary health care providers and you can simply call us for an appointment. 

  •  What happens in on my first two visits? 

This is covered in the What to Expect page. 

  •  What are the procedures? 

 Chiropractors use their hands and/or specialized instruments to adjust the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to reduce pain, and restore or enhance joint and neural function. Chiropractic adjustments are a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. Chiropractors correct subluxations with gentle spinal adjustments performed by hand or by specialised instruments. With some adjustments you may sometimes feel or hear a popping sound from the spinal joints. This is simply caused by a gas release from the joint as spinal movement is restored. 

  • How long will the treatment take? 

 A typical visit takes 7-10 minutes, but if you are receiving corrective care, then these can be up to 20 minutes in duration. We re-examine you at regular intervals in order to maintain improvement. Because Chiropractic is a 'hands-on' procedure and a progressive therapy, you will need to visit us a number of times. 

  • Is the treatment safe and pain-free? 

 As with any form of health care, there are some risks. Some people may feel slight soreness following their first few adjustments as the body begins to re-align. This is usually very mild and only lasts for a short time. There is a very rare risk of strain/injury to a ligament or disc in the neck (less than 1 in 139,000) or the low back (1 in 62,000). There is also an extremely rare risk of stroke associated with adjustments of the neck which all published studies agree is extremely low (1 in 5.85 million adjustments). However, if you drive your car to see your Chiropractor, then you have a far greater chance of being injured in a car accident than from your Chiropractic care.  

  • How effective is it? 

Chiropractic care receives very high approval ratings from patients. There is widespread evidence that chiropractic is more effective in treating ailments associated with the spine than other treatments. This is why Chiropractors often work in conjunction with medical doctors and why Medicare now supports Chiropractic where it is part of a multidisciplinary medical plan. s 

  • Can I have a consultation with a Chiropractor if I am pregnant or if I have another serious medical condition?           

Yes. Chiropractic is suitable for pregnant women, babies, injured workers and seniors. Your chiropractor is fully trained to be able to recognize if you need other forms of care, or if you are not suitable for chiropractic care. 

Information courtesy of Australian Chiropractic Association and compiled by Malcolm Waters.