FAQs 1: Is My Problem ‘Bone’ or ‘Muscular’?


The question assumes that a chiropractor’s main focus is ‘bone’ (or joint only) and if the problem is ‘bone’, then it is a chiropractic problem. Some assume then if the problem is ‘muscle’ then someone else must deal with it. In actual fact the focus of the chiropractor would more accurately be on ‘NERVE’ function.

I will answer the question in 2 parts.

Part 1.
If I had a foot problem I would see a podiatrist because they are foot experts and will either treat the problem, or know who you should see.  If I had a spine related problem I would see a chiropractor because they are 5 year university trained spine experts and can either treat the problem, or know who you should see.
Like podiatrists assess and treat foot problems day in and day out, so do chiropractors but with the spine. We look at the spine on every patient we see. In my 26 years in a steady practice I can conservatively estimate that I have seen well in excess of 100,000 patient visits. That’s a lot of spines! (A podiatrist would see twice that in the case of feet. …because we have 2 feet! – Joke)

Like many of my colleagues I also work closely with other modalities, most frequently remedial massage therapists and acupuncturists, both of whom we have on staff at our group practice at North Brisbane Chiropractic in Everton Park.

Part 2.
The way the problem feels can be misleading as to the cause. Anytime there is a joint (or ‘bone’) problem there will always be muscles involved and possibly visa versa. Also, chiropractic techniques are not just limited to adjusting or treating joints. There are numerous ‘soft tissue’ techniques that most chiropractors will use where indicated.

A bit more…
The spinal cord is an extension of our brain and is the communication highway of messages to our body. As I understand the basic principle of chiropractic is that any spinal joint dysfunction (a ‘subluxation’) can affect the spinal cord nerve environment and the potential of those nerves to carry messages. While most people come in for problems they can relate to as coming from the spine (back pain, neck pain, hesdaches), chiropractors observe clinically that patients are able to better manage many types of health issues. So when we examine the spine, we are not only going to the point of pain or discomfort but also assessing the overall function of the spine.

Patrick Maher
Chiropractor – Brisbane CBD

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