An Interview With Dr Lauren Forbes

What made you want to become a chiropractor?

I always knew that I would go into a profession where I could help people, but I clearly remember the day I decided that I was going to be a Chiropractor. I grew up with my mother going to a chiropractor. I remember sitting waiting with her for her appointment when I lady who was clearly in pain, and could barely walk, got up slumped over with pain and went in for her appointment. She walked out of her treatment like a different person, upright and pain free and that day I decided that I would like to help people who are in pain. The fact that it requires no medicine and its primarily done by hand made me feel like I was giving something of myself to help others. I have never looked back, I love what I do and I love the constant reminder of seeing results in my patients.

And how long have you been a chiropractor?

I qualified from the Durban University of Technology in 2009. August will be my 9th year in practice. I have been fortunate to have witnessed many great results in my short time in practice.

Is chiropractic safe for babies and children?

Yes it is. The treatment of a children and infants varies greatly to that of an adult. Gentle finger pressure is used as the bones are still soft as they have not all become bony yet. Babies usually sleep during or after consultation and tend to be very relaxed so it is not traumatic or painful at all. We commonly treat babies for reflux as well as colic. It is amazing to see how well babies respond to the treatment. We most commonly treat children for injuries and spinal curvatures that are picked up in childhood. Parents also often bring their children to have a check and the children don’t necessarily have any pain at the time. This is useful for us as chiropractor to identify any potential problem areas like spinal deformities such as abnormal curvatures as these can be limited or reversed if diagnosed early.

How does chiropractic care work? Some of our readers are not real familiar with chiropractic care.

Chiropractic is a non invasive, safe, effective and generally pain free form of treatment for neuro-muscular skeletal pain. That means that we assist with any pain and dysfunction cause from the nerves, muscles or joints. We aim to decrease pain and restore normal range of motion and optimal function with the assistance of a chiropractic manipulation. This is a high velocity, low amplitude trust which is applied to specific vertebra or joints.  In many cases this results in immediate relief as the normal joint motion is restored.

How can chiropractic care help pregnancy and labour?

What many people don’t know is that chiropractic care is safe throughout all the stages in pregnancy. It is advisable that you inform your chiropractor that you are pregnant. Chiropractic care is often utilized as a means of treatment for low back pain, migraines, symphasis pubis dysfunction (SPD), which results in pelvic girdle pain, sinusitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica as these seem to be the most common conditions associated with pregnancy owing to the physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for the birth. Chiropractic has shown to be effective in the treatment of these conditions and have the added advantage that no medication is required as we aim to treat the cause and not just mask the symptoms.

Woman that have regular chiropractic care during pregnancy have improved baby positioning at the time of birth which eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labour) and therefore results in faster, easier and safer deliveries.

Chiropractic care has also shown to be effective in post partum low back pain as a result of the biomechanical and endocrinological changes after delivery.

What are the most common reasons people have for beginning chiropractic treatment?

Patients seek chiropractic care for various reasons. Some people use chiropractic care as a preventative measure for pain, others use chiropractic care as a form of treatment when in pain. Often chiropractic care becomes an option in attempt to avoid surgery (which in many cases we are successful at doing) or when no other form of treatment has been successful. The reasons for treatment varies from, but Is not limited to  headaches, whiplash, migraines to low back pain or sporting injuries.

What causes the clicking/popping sound of a chiropractic manipulation?

This sound is merely due to gas and fluid inside the joint shifting around. This sound is not from your bones making contact with each other, as most people assume. The sound also has nothing to do with the quality of the manipulation.

Do medical aids pay for chiropractic care?

Chiropractors are primary health care providers and almost all medical aids provide reimbursement for chiropractic care. However, it depends on each person’s medical aid plan. It is best to contact your medical aid first.