The Great Postural Scam

Just like the alignment experts will take x-rays and show you how misaligned you are, the so-called postural experts will tell you, your shoulders are slouched, you have a hump on your upper back or your chin is poking forward, literally everyone with neck pain is pretty much told the exact same thing, almost like it’s scripted, the supposed experts conveniently leave out the fact that pretty much everyone without neck pain have very similar findings, some may even draw lines that act like like neon lights that show you how bad your posture is. This helps create more insecurity around your posture and pain while also giving them more authority, which greatly increases the placebo effect. People are much more likely to commit to expensive therapy to “fix” their posture. If you were to get practical postural advice as shown in the above video, i.e getting a variety of postures throughout the day rather than having a specific type of posture, the postural experts can’t actually monetise fixing your posture which goes against their entire business model.

They may not be experts at fixing your posture, but they are defiantly the experts at getting you to believe it needs to be fixed and they’re the ones to do it.

The person treating you has an invested interest in having you believe they fixed your posture, if you want to see how much your posture has actually changed ask a colleague or family member to take a photo when you’re not expecting it and I can almost guarantee not much would have changed.

it’s also worth mentioning, if you’re getting months of treatment and your pain improves this may not have anything to do with the treatment or because your posture improved, it could be the natural course of your pain, for 50%-60% of people, their pain would of resolved in that time without treatment. If the treatment is based solely on your posture the underlying factors that lead you to need treatment in the first place may be neglected so the pain often returns quickly.

From a personal point of view, I wish I could spend 10-15 minutes treating, do some adjustments and give some generic stretches and advice to “realign you” or “fix your posture”, If pain was so simple, most people wouldn’t be in pain and there would be no need for so many different therapies being offered. However, from an ethical point of view I know this isn’t really achieving much for most of my clients. Instead I do a 30-45 minutes hands on, treating several potential pain causing generators of your spine. This may be time consuming and physically demanding but I can achieve a lot more in that time. I also take the time to provide day-to-day and self management strategies as well as lifestyle advice for best results.

kieranfThe Great Postural Scam
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Does a “Straight Neck” Cause Pain?

I have treated a lot of people over the years with neck pain who may of been to a previous chiro or searched Dr. google about neck pain and were made to believe their neck pain is as a result of losing the curve in their neck. Fortunately, there has been research done on the matter, at best it’s only a minor contributing factor, if at all. It’s also worth remembering degenerative changes are just normal age-related wear and tear, over time our bones will also change shape as a consequence of this, the curve in our neck will change accordingly. Unfortunately, many people end up spending a lot of time and money on getting treatment to fix their posture or neck curve that more than likely has very little to do with their neck pain and offers nothing more than the placebo effect.

There was a study in the prestigious European Spine Journal printed all the way back in 2007 that found there was no difference in neck curvature between people with neck pain and without neck pain, essentially people without neck pain have the same alignment as people with neck pain. Another study done in 2008 found there is no association between spinal curves and health, including pain.

Another study printed in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Research and found the cervical lordosis an increased curvature was not significantly different between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. This was a systematic review which looks at the entire scope of all research done on the matter and is some of the strongest evidence research can provided.

There was another systematic review done in 2024 that look at thoracic posture i.e mid-back and found no association with mid back curvature, neck tilt and neck pain. Again, there was no difference between neck pain sufferers and people who don’t suffer from neck pain.

It’s worth remembering there are providers who use fixing alignment or posture more as a marketing gimmick to get people to commit to months of regular treatment in order to supposedly realign their spine. If most neck pain sufferers were aware their neck pain was a result of chronic muscle tension, stress and excessive hours sitting at the computer they may be a lot hesitant to commit to a treatment that doesn’t actually resolve these factors.

kieranfDoes a “Straight Neck” Cause Pain?
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“The Underlying Cause of Back Pain”

There are a lot of frustrated back pain sufferers looking for answers when it comes to back pain, in order to figure out a solution you need to know what the problem is. Pain can be quite complex, 90% of back pain is categorised as non-specific pain, meaning back pain that can’t be attributed to a particular cause or origin. Despite this, a chiropractor will claim the underlying cause is misalignments, even though we know misalignments are not related to back pain. A physio will claim back pain is a result of a weak core or glutes that aren’t activating, a massage therapist will claim your back pain is coming from tight hip flexors causing your lower back too curve excessively, I have to admit, I was once guilty of this in the past.

This article may be a bit long, but it has some very important information and I highly recommend you read the entire article. If you can understand and appreciate the information in this article you will potentially have a much greater understanding of your own pain and a better understanding than many of the “experts” claiming to fix the “underlying cause of pain”.

Nociceptive Pain

We have pain receptors (nociceptors) throughout all of our body, specifically when it comes to the low back, the structures or tissues that are important which contain pain receptors are the muscles, fascia, joints, tendons and ligaments. The spine is an integrated structure working as a unit, rather than a sum of parts, for many back pain sufferers several of these structures may be involved, this is why I treat up to 45 minutes, using multidisciplinary approach to ensure the best outcomes.

This type of pain occurs more in the initial onset of pain, acute pain; first month and subacute pain; up to 3 months and involves mainly tissue/nociceptive pain. Most people with acute/subacute back pain (under 3 months) will have episodes of back pain, on and off for up to a year, but unlike chronic pain (below) is not continuous and persistent over that time frame and wouldn’t necessarily be described as pain but a tension, ache or tightness, this is the vast majority of back pain that I treat, and I generally treat them as mixed back pain, subacute and chronic/nocioplastic.

Nocioplastic pain

This tends to be more prevalent in the chronic phase from 3 months onwards, Studies suggest 20% of back pain sufferers will have persistent/ongoing pain. Just like when you sprain your ankle or even a break a bone, the body will typically heal these effected structures, this is no different to the structures of the low back. However, this is where chronic pain gets complicated, most of the latest research around chronic pain is showing there may be an issue with pain processing within the nervous system, meaning the nervous system sends out pain signals more easily, i.e. has become sensitised to pain. Chronic back pain sufferers will continue to use unhelpful pain avoidance strategies such as constantly tensing and bracing their spine by contracting the muscles, especially movements that provoked pain in the original onset such as bending forward or sitting with a relaxed spine, it’s no wonder why when I treat chronic back pain sufferers their spinal muscles feel like cables!

This becomes a vicious cycle of pain which leads to unhelpful pain avoidance strategies such as severely limiting movement of the spine by contacting and bracing the muscles on top of an already pain sensitised nervous system. This is why many who get treatment that just target the tissues such as chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage therapy, cortisone injections etc… at best get temporary relief as shown by most, if not all research when it comes to back pain and why research shows people who believe their pain is a result of damage, misalignments, degeneration etc… suffer much worse outcomes as this only adds to the fear, uncertainty and helplessness of many chronic back pain sufferers.

There was a study that had two groups of back pain sufferers who had MRI’s done of their low back. One group had findings which showed things like disc degeneration, herniations, joint arthritis and the second group had findings showing similar things. However, group two had their findings put in to context and were told they were normal wear and tear and there is a high prevalence of people with no back pain with very similar findings. This group experienced less pain, higher quality of life and spent less money spent on treatment and medication compared to the first group who believed their spine was damaged and needed protection.

This study demonstrates the importance of how we perceive pain can greatly influence how we experience pain. There are many other factors such lifestyle, emotional wellbeing, genetics, diet etc… which potentially add to the overall picture of chronic back pain.

How to use this information

If you’re in the early stages of pain (acute/subacute), get a wholistic treatment that is multimodal or multidisciplinary, someone that can assess and treat all the potential painful structures of your low back, muscles, fascia, joints, tendons and ligaments. If you find yourself in the chronic or persistent phase, especially if you’re very fearful and protective of your spine it’s vital you see a professional who has training and expertise in being able to identify and treat this type of pain in a more evidence based, and patient centered approach that doesn’t reinforce the idea your spine is damaged or misaligned.

In part two of this article, I will describe a very recent study done by Australian researchers that compared standard treatment (chiropractic/physiotherapy) and a treatment using a holistic and integrated approach based off modern pain science described in this article.

kieranf“The Underlying Cause of Back Pain”
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Is Misalignment Actually Causing Your Back Pain?

Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to back pain, even with decades of medical/scientific research showing that the majority of our daily aches and pains are not related to spinal alignment, arthritis, disc degeneration etc… there are professionals who will use this very outdated concept by getting their patients to commit to long term and unnecessary “corrective care plans” to “realign their spine”, this has more to do with the financial benefits of over servicing and over treating back pain clients rather than health outcomes, sometimes the results are so woefully ineffective back pain sufferers may need to get regular treatment for months, even a broken bone will heal after 6-8 weeks! Does it make sense for a back strain or muscle tension to require months of treatment?

In this article I will give three common examples of when pain is felt and what relieves it, which dispels the myth of your back pain being a result of structural issues with your spine.

The good news is, the vast majority of back pain is not too difficult to manage with a patent focused, evidence based approach, with most responding in only 2-4 treatments.

Pain first thing in the morning then eases after 30-60 minutes

When we are sleeping our blood will go to the organs and structures that are metabolic active, such as our brains, heart, liver and kidneys. when you first get up in the morning, wherever there is the most tension in your muscles, that’s where you may notice the lack of blood supply/circulation the most, as you get up and move around, have a warm shower this naturally increase’s circulation to those area’s and the muscles will become more relaxed and less sensitive to movement. It’s not a matter of your spine magically realigning itself or your discs regenerating again after you get some movement and some warmth on your muscles.

Pain when sitting, then relieved when standing.

There have been studies that looked at the activity on the spinal erector muscle group, (the two large columns of muscle on either side of the spine) which showed increase activity when sitting and also showed decreases activity/relaxation when standing. This is potentially why many people will feel tense and uncomfortable when sitting as this increases the activity/tension in the spinal muscles, which limits blood flow, then leads to an increase in lactic acid in the muscles, hence why the muscles feel uncomfortable and achy, if you were to hold a light fist, the muscles in your forearm would feel similar to the muscles of your spine, tired, tense and achy.

Often the tension is eased when standing as other muscles are recruited and the spinal erectors can relax. As it’s the muscles that control and coordinate your bodies posture, if a change in your posture eases/aggravates your pain it’s safe to assume it likely a muscle problem rather than a structural problem.

Emotional stress causes increase in pain.

There is a part of your nervous known as the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates your stress, one way it’s going to do that is cause your muscles to tighten in anticipation of “fight or flight” . If you are already tense in certain muscles or body parts, this increase in the fight or flight response will highlight that tension, making you more susceptible to pain and discomfort on those areas. Without sounding like a broken record, your spine doesn’t just go in and out of alignment based on your current emotional state, hence if alignment was an issue it would be independent of your stress levels.

If you’re looking for an evidence based and wholistic approach to your back pain that prioritises your recovery and wellbeing rather than misleading and deceiving you in to thinking you need months of treatment to realign your spine, book in to see Kieran today.

kieranfIs Misalignment Actually Causing Your Back Pain?
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Is your “slouched” posture really causing your neck pain?

I’m sure many of you reading this suffer from neck pain, tension and associated headaches and like many of my clients assume it must be because of your slouched posture. There are many uninformed health providers such as chiropractors & physiotherapists who routinely tell their clients their neck/back pain is from poor posture. There are probably millions of dollars wasted every year on pain sufferers getting treatment to “fix” their posture. Unfortunately, its not that simple, people’s spines come in all different shapes and sizes, so there is no single “good” posture and there is no evidence of an ideal posture preventing pain. If there was, it would be a matter of sitting up straight. In fact, for certain people, sitting with a more upright and tense posture can exacerbate neck/back pain.

As a general recommendation, your next posture is your best posture, rather than focusing on sitting with good posture, instead focus on getting more movement and a variety of postures throughout the day. There was a study that looked at approx. 44,000 female office workers and measured the amount of sitting time and impact on health & back/neck pain. The authors concluded, compared to sitting all the time at work, sitting ≤75% of the time showed significantly lower risks for poor general health, and sitting between 25 and 75% of the time showed significantly lower risks for often reported back/neck pain.

I liken it to making a closed fist, over time your hand & forearm muscles will get tense, tired and achy, you would naturally want to relax and shake your hand and forearm muscles. Just like you wouldn’t tense your hand & forearm muscles, you shouldn’t force yourself into a more upright & tense posture.

Another study found females in their late adolescence who sat in slumped thorax/forward head or intermediate posture rather than upright sitting posture had a lower risk of persistent neck pain as a young adult. This study group which looked at females at 17 and 21 is quite specific, but it’s still an interesting finding nonetheless. The authors also concluded. the practice of generic public health messages to sit up straight to prevent neck pain needs rethinking.

I hope this gave you a new perspective on sitting, neck pain and movement, and how you can implement some evidence based strategies to help manage your own neck pain. There are potentially many more important factors when dealing with pain it’s important to take a more wholistic view when it comes to pain in general, you can find out more by reading this article.


Workplace sitting is associated with self-reported general health and back/neck pain: a cross-sectional analysis in 44,978 employees.

Is Neck Posture Subgroup in Late Adolescence a Risk Factor for Persistent Neck Pain in Young Adults? A Prospective Study.

kieranfIs your “slouched” posture really causing your neck pain?
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A Wholistic Approach to Pain, Tension & Wellness.

I like to use a bucket and water analogy when describing pain in the body. As water is being poured into the bucket and the capacity of the bucket is reached, water will overflow and spill over the sides. Similar to the body, there may be several different physical, lifestyle & emotional stressors (see diagram) and once the body reaches past its tolerance to handle stress, pain may result. If you’re getting treatment, for example, a 10 minute chiropractor, who is isolating the treatment to the joints of the spine through adjustments, and not addressing all the other potential causes of pain (physical, lifestyle, emotional), how much water can they empty out of the bucket? Many find themselves in a position of having to return regularly, sometimes up to, two or three times a week for months! this is similar, if not worse than taking over the counter pain medication.


I highly recommend watching this amazing video that shows you just how interconnected and intricate the spine, muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments are.

As well as being a chiropractor, I am also a massage therapist with over 20 years experience, even with tens of thousands hours experience, I still need a good 30-45 minute treatment to create change to the muscles & fascia, this is mainly due to just how tense, tight, and “grisly” they get. Seeing a chiropractor for 10 minutes who mainly focuses on adjusting the spinal joints tends to have minimal effect on the muscles and fascia. All it takes is one or two stressful days sitting at the computer, as the chronic, underlying tension returns and you’re back at the chiropractor paying for the exact same treatment that barely got relief 3 days before.


Getting regular exercise and consistently getting quality sleep can’t be underestimated when dealing with the overall picture of pain and tension. Aerobic exercise — the kind that gets your heart and lungs working, like brisk walking — is an important way to fight chronic inflammation. It helps reduce body fat, which contains inflammation-promoting substances. Exercise may also increase the production of hormones that help keep inflammation in check, and hormones that directly reduce pain. Individuals with sleep disturbance and poor quality sleep often report greater severity of pain and for longer durations. The exact mechanism is not fully understood but it is believed to be similar to exercise through promoting anti-inflammatory and surprising pro-inflammatory hormonal responses.

Emotions & Perception.

From my experience emotional stress is one of the biggest factors when it comes to pain, in particular, neck, shoulders & upper back pain as well as headaches. With chronic and long term stress certain hormones are released that may have a major impact on pain levels & inflammation in the body. On a more day-to-day basis, the fight or flight part of your nervous system is activated which has a direct impact on muscle tension or area’s that were already tense become much more sensitive to pain.

People who perceive their pain as a result of damage or a structural issue such as misalignments, reduced curve in neck, degeneration/arthritis tend experience more pain and for a longer duration. Despite most research showing these are not particularly related to pain and more related to the normal aging process, no different to grey hair and wrinkles. This perception can have a dramatic effect on how we experience pain, it may increase the duration of pain, dependency on treatment and decrease in self- reliance, unfortunately there are some chiropractors will use x-rays to take advantage of this. I also think for some, it provides the treatment with more legitimacy and feel they are getting more value out of the treatment, such as having their spine being re-aligned, posture corrected or neck curve restored despite more than likely not being related to pain and no amount of treatment can reverse the normal aging process of the spine.

kieranfA Wholistic Approach to Pain, Tension & Wellness.
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10 Common Myths Your Chiro, Physio or Doctor Probably Won’t Tell You About Back Pain.

Unfortunately, there is a great misunderstanding by most health professionals when it comes to chronic back pain with most still operating under the very outdated belief that pain is due to hips being out, disc degeneration, tight hip flexors, a weak core, etc… In my opinion, this is why when large, high-quality studies are done looking at these treatments compared to placebo or no treatment the effects on chronic low back pain are moderate & short-term. Recently I did a seminar on a physiotherapy-led approach called cognitive functional therapy, which looks at the interplay between pain, how it affects function and the role of how we perceive and think about pain has on outcomes, pain can be complex especially if it has become chronic/persistent (over 3 months) and is affecting daily activities, exercise, sleep, mood levels, etc…

You can listen to a 10-minute interview on ABC radio with Professor Peter O’Sullivan about cognitive functional therapy and the results they got when they did a large study comparing to standard care i.e., chiro, physio, massage, etc… with this new approach. Although this study looked at chronic back pain with an average of 4 years duration, it can also be helpful with back pain of different duration and can potentially help people avoid chronic back pain in the first place!

Pain equals damage.

Most people with back pain develop it over time, and there is no one particular incident or event that leads to experiencing back pain. Due to day-to-activates the spine particularly the muscles and joints may get painful and sensitive. Pain may be exacerbated by stress, tension, poor sleep, obesity, lack of exercise, fear-avoidant behaviors which may prolong recovery. If pain was simply due to tissue damage, just like spraining an ankle or a cut on the skin the body will heal itself.

Alignment does not equal back pain.

There is not a day that goes by I treat someone with neck pain and have no history of back pain despite having a pelvic misalignment, short leg, scoliosis, pelvic tilt, etc… There are just as many people with “misalignments” without backpain than those with misalignments and backpain. There’s a reason why people who get treatment for “alignment” often get short-term results and constantly need to go back for “realignment”. In fact many high volume business models in chiropractic will use alignment as a marketing tool, its much more financially beneficial to treat someone for 10 minutes, potentially seeing up to 6 people an hour and see them multiple times a week and regularly for months to “realign” them, I call these chiropractors “whack, crack & keep em comin back chiropractors”. It’s a business model and not healthcare.

It’s also worth noting the cracking sound is gas being released from the fluid within your joints, it has nothing to do with bones going back into place. I’m not sure how many pain sufferers would be willing to pay $80-$90 for a 10 minute treatment if it wasn’t to supposedly have their spine realigned, neck curve restored, hips put back in.

Low back pain is rarely serious

Less than 5% of people who have back pain are due to a serious or medical condition such as cancer, trauma, infection, autoimmune/inflammatory arthritis, etc… Having said that it’s still important to screen for such things as part of a routine back pain assessment done by your chiropractor or physiotherapist.

Your back pain is due to “old age”.

Research shows back pain peaks in the age group 45-50 years and then declines thereafter as shown in this graph. Interestingly you can also see the prevalence of back pain has only increased from 1990-2015, clearly how we view back pain and treat it as health providers leaves a lot to be desired.

Pain on movement means you’re damaging your spine.

It’s normal to feel pain on movement when you first experience back pain, this typically comes from the muscles in and around your spine either guarding and trying to protect the area. It’s a normal process and doesn’t represent damage, your muscles and nervous system are generally more sensitive to movement, and the quicker you can get out of pain with good treatment on the spasmed and guarding muscles and reintegrating movement with exercise and graded exposure to painful movement the faster the recovery will likely be.

Scans & X-rays rarely show the cause of back pain.

I have written an article on this particular topic, you can read it here. Not only are scans notoriously bad at diagnosing most back pain, but they actually cause people to become dependent on passive and ineffective therapy and can actually make pain worse!

Posture is not related to low back pain.

Although we may feel pain when sitting, standing, and bending these are rarely the cause of back pain. Rather than focusing on posture, focus on getting a variety of movements and changes in postures throughout the day, if you were to sit with “good posture” all day this is unlikely to change the levels of pain you experience, in fact, it may make it worse as you are tensing the spinal muscles to maintain an upright and rigid posture. Also, avoid treatments that over empathise posture, just like alignment these therapies tend to get very short term results with chronic pain.

A weak core does not cause back pain

Research shows the exercise you do is not that important, getting regular exercise is important as opposed to just strengthening the core, some people will brace and hold their core muscles when it’s usually best to relax the muscles and spine. It’s worth mentioning most people get their back pain when sitting, first thing in the morning, when stressed, tying shoe laces, mundane activities etc… despite these activities having minimal to no core requirements.

You need long term/extensive treatment for back pain.

As you can see, most back pain is not dangerous or a result of your spine being “broken”, you do not need extensive or long-term therapy, and the only people who benefit are the ones who are financially invested in getting you back repeat visits and lifelong treatment. Unfortunately there are greedy and unethical providers who will create more fear and anxiety around your pain to get you dependent on their extensive treatments.

Pain flare up do not equal more damage.

Although pain flare-ups or acute pain can be very painful and distressing it is not a good indication of damage, the bark is almost always more than the bite when it comes to acute back pain. The majority of the time it is an intense spasm of the spinal muscles. Just like having a calf cramp/spasm can be extremely painful it is usually innocuous and self-limiting.

kieranf10 Common Myths Your Chiro, Physio or Doctor Probably Won’t Tell You About Back Pain.
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How Chiropractors Use Posture To Scam Pain Sufferers.

The first thing to remember about posture, for most people it’s only one piece of the puzzle. There are plenty of people with relatively “good” posture and in significant pain, while others with “bad” posture experience very little pain. Pain, especially chronic pain is very complex, costing billions of dollars every year to the Australian economy, if it was a matter of sitting up straight the problem would be easily fixed.

If most people were to base the success of a treatment on pain relief, most wouldn’t keep going back multiple times a week or regularly for months, most end up returning on under the guise of having their posture corrected or spine realigned, they assume it’s normal to only get symptomatic relief because they’re so “broken” not because the inefficiency of the chiropractor. Also, the idea of fixing posture or realigning the spine drives passive treatment, so you have to keep going back to maintain your “posture”, “alignment” so it doesn’t get any worse, you essentially become dependent on expensive therapy, which is great from a financial point of view for the chiropractor but you the pain sufferer end up paying for treatment that offers nothing more than the placebo effect.

The Power Of Placebo.

There are many spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on treatment that offer nothing more than the placebo effect! Any chiropractor claiming to fix posture in a 10-15 minute treatment and without addressing the underlying muscle imbalances offer nothing more than placebo, they would much rather have you believe they’re fixing posture, than actually spend the 30-60 minute’s required treating the underlying muscle imbalances. Similar to misalignments/scoliosis, you can get months of “corrective treatment”, take an x-ray and bingo! nothing has changed… besides your bank account. It’s worth noting alignment is usually determined by bone shape due to age related wear and tear, so a chiropractor claiming to fix alignment/scoliosis is essentially claiming to regenerate and remodel your bone so your vertebra go from wedged shape (normal age related wear & tear) to perfectly square. Hallelujah, it’s a miracle!!!

A Muscle Problem.

The video below demonstrates a typical muscle imbalance that causes rounded shoulders and forward neck posture. Me personably, I treat the muscles within a wholistic context and rarely focus just on posture.

Chiropractic is great at treating the spinal joints and pain, however, the “cracking” sound is gas bubbles being released from the joints, it has nothing to do with bones being re-aligned or put back into place or fixing posture. Any chiropractor telling you otherwise is misleading you, as there is no scientific evidence suggesting that releasing the facet joints of the spine corrects long term muscle imbalances and posture, assuming it’s a problem in the first place!

Treat The Person, Not The Posture.

If you are in chronic & long term pain, waive a wand and give you “perfect posture”, but keep the chronic muscle tension in around the shoulders & neck, sit all day, stressed, poor sleep patterns, poor nutrition and lack exercise, how much is your pain going to change and for how long? So even if you are getting treatment that supposedly fixes your posture, make sure they’re treating you wholistically and your pain levels should be well under control within 2-5 weekly sessions, if your needing multiple visits a week and regular treatment for months those results are similar to over the counter medication.

Don’t Let a Few Bad Apples Ruin The Cart.

Not all chiropractors are deceitful, most aren’t, but unfortunately, there are enough out there making claims that go against basic principles on what we know about the human body, posture, pain and movement. It’s always best to seek treatment from a provider who is evidenced based, who treats you as a person, not as posture/alignment, does not use x-rays which decades of research show are useless for the vast majority of people and who treats you with the intent of resolving your pain rather than getting you back for multiple visits a week or long term “correction plans” for their own financial gain.

kieranfHow Chiropractors Use Posture To Scam Pain Sufferers.
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Why Chiropractors & Physiotherapists Shouldn’t Exist.

Ok, I know this title may seem like I’m calling to an end to these two fine professions, but the point I am trying to make is there actually shouldn’t be two separate professions or at least pain sufferers shouldn’t have to choose on or the other. Chiropractors typically adjust the spine, specifically the joints while physiotherapists tend to do mostly massage. I have lost count of how many people I have treated over the years who had months of treatment and spent a small fortune on either a typical chiro or physio and I was able to resolve their pain by combining the treatments in only a few sessions.

There is little point of getting your spine adjusted without getting the muscles that attach to it treated or releasing the muscles without releasing and restoring proper pain free movement of the spinal joints which may have been locked up for months There is a good reason why most people only got short term and symptomatic relief from standard chiro and/or physio! Most people cant afford to pay $85+ for a chiropractic adjustment and then $100+ for a physiotherapist, as there are two sperate professionals often times the treatments you get aren’t congruent with each other i.e treating different muscles to where the spine is being adjusted.

The spine and muscle paradox.

Although the spine and muscles are intimately related, however, what they respond to are polar opposites. The spinal joints (where two vertebra meet) respond to a short, sharp and quick adjustment usually effecting 1-2 segments. Where as the muscles respond to a very slow, sustained pressure, there could be 8-10 different muscles that need to be addressed that span over many segments and different body parts. As well as being a chiropractor I have over 10’000 hours experience treating the muscles and I can assure you treating one rarely resolve’s the other. If you have had chiropractic before and found it to be symptomatic and you always left wishing they would spend time really releasing and lengthening your muscles or you have been to a physio and always felt the treatment was too general that’s because neither of them are treating you holistically.

If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.

The treatment you end up getting is not the treatment that is best suited for your individual needs, rather whatever the person is trained in. Chiropractors adjust so everything needs to be adjusted, physiotherapist treat muscles so everything needs to be released, stretched, activated. They rarely step outside of their respective lanes, unfortunately its you the pain sufferer that ends up paying for generic treatment that is ineffective.

Fortunately at Sydney Chiropractic & Massage you get the best of both worlds, a comprehensive and unique massage and muscle manipulation refined over 15 years designed to make the adjustments as effective, comfortable and long lasting as possible so you don’t have to choose one or the other or pay the unnecessary expense of seeing two professionals for the same issue. book in to see Kieran today.

kieranfWhy Chiropractors & Physiotherapists Shouldn’t Exist.
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Neck, Shoulder Pain & Headaches.

Kieran has treated thousands of achy, stiff, tense neck and shoulders and associated headaches over the years and often gets quick results. It’s not uncommon for Kieran to see someone who has seen several other health professionals with minimal results and only after a few treatments with Kieran finally got the relief they needed. The number one reason why most people don’t respond to most treatments is because the postural muscles haven’t been released. A 10 minute chiropractic treatment may provide relief in the short term but the postural muscles that attach to spine inevitably tighten again and you have to go back for months on end.

I cannot over emphasise the role of the muscles when it comes to chronic neck and shoulder pain and headaches. Have a look at the ‘shopping list’ of muscles below and notice how the muscles are attaching directly onto the spine. These muscles get tight and restrict movement and compress the sensitive spinal joints. This is why Kieran always does a comprehensive muscle and massage treatment prior to chiropractic, adjustments are only as effective as the muscle work done prior.

A good way to test this yourself is to run you fingers across the muscles on either side of your neck, do they feel “gristly” and “crunchy” as your fingers flick over the tense muscles like a guitar string. What about the the muscles on top of your shoulders, do they feel soft and relaxed or like concrete? Is there a big knot or lump on top of your shoulder blade? Roll your shoulder back and down and forward in a circular motion, can you hear the tight muscles as they flick over your shoulder blades?

Also be wary of so called “posture experts” who don’t treat the postural muscles. In my experience professionals who treat posture use it more as a marketing tool similar to getting “realigned”, people are more likely to pay $80-$100 for a 10 minute treatment under the guise of having their posture corrected. Most “posture experts” couldn’t tell you what muscles cause poor posture yet alone how to treat them, it takes a lot more than 10 minutes.

Click on the image to get more detail on specific muscles, take note on where they attach onto the spine, how they are aggravated, common associated pain patterns and headaches and effect on forward head posture (FHP). The body compensates by distributing tension across many postural/spinal muscles, It would rather be generally tight everywhere rather than extremely tight in isolation. You’ll have a greater understanding on your own muscle anatomy and how it relates to your pain than most chiropractors, physiotherapist, GP’s etc…

Trapezius or “traps”

Levator scapula

Splenius capitis

 Sub occipitals (FHP)

Sternocleidomastoid (FHP)


Erector spinae


Pec minor and front deltoid. (Muscle that causes forward shoulder posture)

If you’re looking for an effective treatment for neck and shoulder pain book online and claim your initial appointment offer today.

kieranfNeck, Shoulder Pain & Headaches.
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