The structure of the back

The back is a complex structure that consists of:

  • 24 small bones (vertebrae), that support the weight of your upper body and form a protective canal for the spinal cord
  • Shock-absorbing intervertebral discs that cushion the bones and let the spine bend
  • Ligaments that hold the vertebrae and discs together
  • Tendons to connect muscles to vertebrae
  • A spinal cord, which carries nerve signals from the brain to the rest of the body
  • Nerves and muscles
  • The lumbar region is the lower part of the back and is made up of five vertebrae. This region supports the entire weight of your upper body which is why most cases of back pain develop in the lower back.

The importance of movement. Movement is life.

Everything about the human body is designed with motion in mind.

Back Pain?

There are numerous reasons for back pain:

  • Degenerative discs
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated discs
  • Misaligned vertebra
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Bad Posture

Spinal adjustment as a Treatment for Back Problems

Chiropractic spinal adjustment is a safe and effective spinal pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.


The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It originates from the nerves coming out of the lower back and travels through the buttock, back of the thigh and leg to the foot. Sciatica is caused by compression of the nerve which can create pain, burning, muscle weakness and numbness and tingling.

Chiropractic adjustments realign the vertebra, reducing pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Disc Herniations – The intervertebral disc is a doughnut shaped ligament that connects two vertebrae together. In the centre of the “doughnut” is a gel like nucleus, similar to the centre of a jelly doughnut. Injuries to the lower back can cause tears to the outer surrounding of the disc, called annular fibres, which allows the nucleus to leak out and compress the nerves exiting the spine.

Chiropractic adjustments can help repair and strengthen the disc enabling it to return to its original position and will no longer put pressure on the nerve and eliminate the pain.

Spinal Stenosis – Stenosis essentially means narrowing. Stenosis can be caused by anything that narrows the opening where the spinal nerves exit or the actual spinal canal which houses the spinal cord.

Dr. Dutey-Harispe D.C can adjust the spine to achieve greater spinal alignment and help to prevent or improve the problems highlighted above.

The fact that you do not have pain does not necessarily mean that you do not have any problems.

The body is very good at compensating for any spinal misalignments, but these misalignments are creating problems for the future.

Preventative chiropractic care can help prevent problems occurring in the future.


The importance of the Head (Atlas)

The human body is a complex creation with a phenomenal ability to heal itself - given the right conditions. The atlas is the top or first - a single, doughnut-shaped cervical vertebra of the neck, which supports the skull. Nerve fibres numbering in the trillions originating from the brainstem travel through the small opening in the atlas and flow down into the spinal column. Due to the slight opening and the close proximity to the brain stem, if the atlas has moved out of position even one degree it can result in body imbalance and restricted brain messages.

Causes of Neck Pain

There can be many contributing factors to neck pain, such as:

  • Trauma
  • Overuse
  • Wear and Tear
  • Poor Posture

They can ultimately lead to pain due to injury of the structures and those surrounding the spine, such as muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, discs, blood vessels and nerves.

Other joints can be affected by problems of the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers. Pain can radiate to these points.

Orthopaedic testing will establish where the “root” cause of the problem is coming from and then a treatment plan is discussed with the patient. If the affected area is inflamed, initial treatment could be acupuncture or a combination of acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments.


Injuries to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head backwards and forwards or sideways, are referred to as “whiplash”. Whether from a car accident, sporting injury or an accident at work, whiplash or neck injuries warrant a thorough chiropractic examination and in most cases X-Rays are needed to establish the positioning of the vertebra before treating the neck with chiropractic manipulation.

Whiplash; consequences of the injury?

  • The muscles and ligaments supporting the spine can be over-stretched or torn.
  • The discs between the vertebrae can bulge, tear or rupture.
  • Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion.
  • The spinal cord and nerve roots get stretched, irritated and choked
  • One problem with whiplash is that the symptoms can take years to develop and too often people do not seek treatment until more complications develop.


Many people will ask me how chiropractors can help migraines since they are a vascular headache.

How do migraine headaches work?

Something happens in a migraine patient’s Body that causes the arteries going up into the head to constrict or become smaller.

That trigger can be anything from stress, hormones, or a reaction to food or chemicals.

Whenever that trigger reaches a certain threshold the body responds by constricting those blood vessels. The brain picks up on a decrease in blood flow going up to the head and it sends out a signal to dilate or make the vessels bigger. This results in a significant increase in blood flow up to the head. That is where the pain and throbbing of the migraine comes from. For those of you who get the auras before you get the migraine headaches, they are a result of the constriction of the blood vessels going up to the brain. Whatever part of the brain gets lack of blood flow is where the aura is – if it’s the part of the brain that controls vision you get the lights or dots before the eyes, if it’s the part of the brain that controls smell – your aura is smell-based, etc.

How can chiropractic help?

So what chiropractic care does is relieve some of the nerve irritation caused by misalignments in the upper neck, by performing spinal adjustments and, as a result, the blood vessels are less reactive to triggers. When the neck is in good shape, the threshold for triggering migraine is less likely.


Balance, Dizziness, Vertigo

In general, the ear consists of three major sections: the outer, middle and inner ear.

A disturbance in a particular part of the inner ear - the vestibular system. This is the part of your balance system that provides your brain with information about changes in head movement with respect to the pull of gravity. When your vestibular system is not working properly, the result may be dizziness, vertigo, imbalance and disorientation.

Dizziness is a common complaint for Chiropractors.

It is a generic term that must be clearly defined and its cause properly characterized and diagnosed for appropriate treatment to be implemented.

It is a complaint that is often treatable via chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitative procedures.

The first stage in the workup of a complaint of dizziness is to accurately identify the actual nature of the symptom. There are essentially four symptoms that can be described by a patient as being "dizziness."

  1. LIGHTHEADEDNESS - The patient feels "not right in the head."
  2. PRESYNCOPE - The patient feels "faint."
  3. DISEQUILIBRIUM - The patient feels off balance, often as if they are being "pulled to one side" and feels as if they could easily fall over.
  4. VERTIGO - The patient feels as if they are spinning or the world is spinning around them. This can often occur in

When vertigo or disequilibrium is caused by dysfunction in the cervical spine or labyrinthine apparatus, it is most often treatable with chiropractic treatment. Optimum function of the cervical spine is essential to the recovery from these disorders regardless of the cause.



Osteoarthritis (OA), which is also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual loss of cartilage and resulting in the development of bony spurs at the margins of the joints. The name osteoarthritis comes from three Greek words meaning bone, joint, and inflammation.

An estimated 95% of osteoarthritic patients also have misaligned joints. Chiropractic manipulative therapy also increases the mobility of the joint which can help improve joint stiffness and lack of motion. We also recommend stretches and exercises for our patients and advise on how to protect your back.


Arthrosis is a normal degenerative condition associated with aging. It affects mainly cartilage which becomes rugged, irregular and worn out. This wearing out of cartilage can cause pain, loss of mobility and loss of muscle strength.

The general rule with osteoarthritis or arthrosis is if you don’t move it, you lose it.


Here at the Algorfa Chiropractic Clinic we also specialise in Acupuncture.

The clinic has treated a number of patients who have benefitted from Acupuncture for:

  • Smoking addiction (to stop smoking)
  • Allergies
  • Sinusitis
  • Stress
  • Bursitis and Tendonitis

Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural therapy that is used to heal illness, prevent disease and improve well-being. According to traditional acupuncture theory, there are twelve energy channels called "meridians" running vertically along the length of the human body, each one linking to a specific organ. Illness is caused by obstructed energy flow at certain points along the meridians. Acupuncture therapy stimulates meridian flow and harmonizes the body's energy to influence the health of both body and mind.

Smoking addiction

The probable reason why more people do not give up smoking is that they are unable to cope with the symptoms caused by nicotine withdrawal.

Smokers who go without a cigarette will often have strong physical and psychological reactions to nicotine deprivation, some of which can be treated with acupuncture. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Poor sleep
  • Increase in craving and appetite
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Every person reacts differently and may have some or all of the symptoms.

The patients that have been treated at the clinic, generally comment more on the fact that having stopped smoking through sessions of acupuncture, how relaxed they feel and how well they sleep.

We also prescribe homeopathic remedies in conjunction with the acupuncture treatment.

The patients are interviewed at length before undergoing the treatments.


Sometimes confused with the common cold, allergies are reactions to certain stimuli such as pollen or dust.

Allergies arise when the body is trying to rid itself of a given substance. Allergies can begin in childhood or adulthood, and either last a lifetime or decrease over time. In some cases, symptoms can be alleviated with acupuncture.

Substances such as pollen, mould spores, pet hair, household dust and/or dust mites, cigarette smoke, and bedding can trigger allergies. People can also experience allergies from the food they eat such as nuts or shellfish.

The clinic has successfully treated patients with hayfever allergies.

Before proceeding with acupuncture, the patient will undergo a thorough consultation.

At the Algorfa Chiropractic Clinic, some conditions such as allergies can be treated by Chiropractic treatment, hence the importance of firstly assessing each patient to see what their needs are.


Acupuncture applied to the sinus points can relieve the pain and clear the sinuses.


Over time, the constant state of stress takes its toll. Cortisol, the body's stress hormone elevates, blood pressure increases, and our immune function is suppressed. Over time, these symptoms become worse and can develop into anxiety, depression, fatigue, digestive problems, and tension headaches.

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules.

The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Before each patient undergoes a session of acupuncture for stress, the doctor will need to understand the reasons for the stress.

Bursitis and Tendonitis

Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, the fluid-filled sacs that protect against friction between bones and other tissues. Depending on the location in the body, bursae may cushion bones from other bones, tendons, muscle, or skin. Bursitis can occur in many areas of the body. It is most common in the elbows and wrists. The ankles, hips, or knees may also be affected. Bursitis is caused by overuse injury or other trauma. Repetitive movements increase the risk of bursitis.

Tendonitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon — any one of the thick fibrous cords that attaches muscle to bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint and can occur in any of your body's tendons, it is most common around your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels.

Acupuncture applied to the affected area will reduce inflammation and hence reduce pain.

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