I recently visited my parents’ farm, in the Central West of NSW, with a friend of mine. He rarely visits the country, and so he soon asked “What does a typical day as a farmer look like”? That day we set out to check on a feeding trough, quickly bogged the utes, trudged through a heap of water, pulled a ute out, bogged the other one, even more, and had to come back the next day with a tractor, to get the first ute out. “That’s what a farmer does,” I told him. “The farmer sets out to do a job, then the wheels fall off or something breaks or blows up, and the farmer spends the next three days fixing it, before returning to the first job, to complete it”.

It made me wonder if outsiders know what a Chiropractor’s day looks like. GPs, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and the general public who have never seen a Chiropractor might wonder what we do all day, and what sort of patients we see. So, I have done a quick and dirty analysis of the last 100 cases I saw, thrown the results into a spreadsheet, and here are the results.

What percentage of our patients present with…

Low back pain 58%
Plus sciatica (shooting leg pain) 9%
Neck pain 40%
Plus radiating (shooting or aching) arm pain 5%
Mid-back (thoracic) pain 31%
Headache 12%
Peripheral (non-spinal) problems 17%
Wanting a checkup 36%
Some sort of chronic pain (more than 6 weeks) 31%
Severe acute pain (broken down!) 18%


And the rest:

You might wonder why the results add up to more than 100%. That’s because many patients present with more than one complaint. Where you see “peripheral problems”, above, you can read in wrist, elbow, shoulder, knee, ankle, fingers, and feet (including plantar fasciitis). And this is by no means an exhaustive list. Not included above are the pregnancy related cases (5%), problems directly caused by poor posture (11%… but really, posture is involved in practically every case), jaw problems (4%), sacroiliac joint pain (8%), and a host of other things like scoliosis, dizziness, types of arthritis other than osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, and neurological conditions.

If the particular problem you are wondering whether we can help with is not amongst the above list, don’t despair. It just didn’t appear in the last 100 people I saw. No doubt it will show up, next week!