Q: Why choose chiropractic?

A: Chiropractic care in South Africa is readily available, low cost, low risk and offers a non-invasive, natural approach to healing. Considering the high costs of medical care in the case of back-related problems, more often resulting in extensive diagnostic procedures, medication, surgery and hospitalisation, it makes financial sense to encourage patients to seek a more cost-effective route which could save medical schemes millions of Rands each year.

Q: Is chiropractic treatment safe?

A: Yes, chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small.

Q: Does chiropractic treatment require a referral?

A: No, a referral is usually not required to see a chiropractor. However, your medical aid may have specific referral requirements. You may want to contact your employer’s human resources department, or your medical aid directly, to find out if there are any referral requirements. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment with a chiropractor.

Q: Will medical aid cover my chiropractic sessions?

A: Most likely, yes. In South Africa, many of the medical schemes make provision for the reimbursement of chiropractic services. The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act provides for complete reimbursement of cases treated by registered chiropractors. However, it also does depend on each person’s payment plan as to the extent to which they are covered. The best option to find out if you are covered to receive chiropractic care is to contact your medical aid for further information.

Q: How do I find a chiropractor near me?

A: To find a CASA-certified chiropractor near you, please click here.

Q: What conditions are usually treated by Chiropractors?

A: Chiropractic care can help to reduce and/or eliminate the symptoms associated with various afflictions, including neck pain, whiplash, lower back pain, migraines & headaches, sciatica, scoliosis, spinal disc injuries, sports-related injuries, tendinitis, pregnancy-related aches & pains, arthritis, sprains and joint pain.

Conditions include:

– Acute and chronic Lumbar, Thoracic and Cervical spine pain,
– Sacro-iliac syndrome;
– Intervertebral disc herniations;
– Enthesopahies (e.g. rotator cuff, tennis and golfers elbow, Achilles tendonitis,  Plantar fasciitis, Adhesive capsulitis);
– Headaches (cervicogenic, migraine, cluster);
– Myofascial pain syndromes;
– Degenerative joint and disc disease (osteoarthritis);
– Sports injuries;
– Nerve entrapment syndromes (e.g. carpal and tarsal tunnel);
– Sprains and strains;
– Bursitis;
– Paediatric (infantile colic; Nocturnal enuresis)

Q: Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?

A: Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle.

Q: What can I expect at my first chiropractic visit?

A: New patients are not sure what to expect regarding their first appointment with a chiropractor. The chiropractor will start by asking you about your medical history and the reason for making an appointment in the first place. This will be followed by a physical examination. Imaging or lab tests may be required to confirm a diagnosis. Taking the above into consideration, the chiropractor will then reach a diagnosis and advise you whether chiropractic treatment is necessary. As part of this process, the chiropractor will explain your condition to you and recommend a treatment plan. Where the chiropractor feels that your condition may be better treated by another health practitioner, he/she will proceed to make the relevant referral.   

Q: How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?

A: Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the Doctor of Chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands–or an instrument–to gently manipulate the joints of the body, more specifically the spine, to restore or enhance joint function. This often helps resolve joint inflammation and reduces the patient’s pain. Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort. The chiropractor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following treatment.

Q: Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?

A: A chiropractor may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thereby making a certain number of visits sometimes necessary. Your chiropractor should tell you the extent of treatment recommended and how long you can expect it to last.

Q: Why is there a popping sound when a joint is adjusted?

A: Adjustment (or manipulation) of a joint may result in the release of a gas bubble in the joints, which makes a popping sound. The same thing occurs when you “crack” your knuckles. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint, which results in gas bubbles being released. There is usually minimal, if any, discomfort involved.

Q: Are there any risks associated with chiropractic care?

A: As with everything in life and every medical intervention, chiropractic care does have its own set of risks. These can include an aggravation of any inflammatory condition, neuromusculoskeletal sprain/strain, osseous dislocation or fracture and, very rarely, a vertebral artery syndrome.

Q: Are chiropractors opposed to medical treatment?

A: No, chiropractors recognise that there are many things that can go wrong with the body and frequently either medication or surgery are the only appropriate option. Each chiropractor is trained to know when they can help and when it is time to refer the patient to another healthcare provider.

Q: What type of education and training do chiropractors have?

A: Chiropractors are trained at several tertiary education institutions around the world. A list of these institutions can be found on the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) website. In South Africa the course can be studied either at Durban University of Technology (DUT) or at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Education and training is spread over six years, after which a master’s degree in Chiropractic is awarded. The first two years include a solid grounding in the general sciences after which time students are introduced to the clinical orientated subjects. At the end on the 4th year, as well as in the 5th year, students are required to write and present a research project and dissertation. Students are required to take part in an internship, which includes a variety of practical applications in both the public and private sector.


If you have a question for CASA or would like any general information regarding the profession, please feel free to click “contact us” below and we will be only too happy to answer any question you may have.