To bring you the best scoop, we eat, drink, and party hard – but we’re also major keyboard warriors that spend hours banging feverishly away on the computer, especially when we’re feeling inspired. Unsurprisingly, the sedentary lifestyles aren’t unique to us; when was the last time you were free of backaches, shoulder pains and neck strains? Recently, we met Dr. Jesse Cai of Square One Chiropractic and understand more about making our lifestyle a sustainable one from the chiropractic perspective. This is what we learnt:

Chiropractors vs. Osteopaths vs. Physiotherapists

First emerging in the 1890s, chiropractic shares similar roots to osteopathy and physiotherapy. For one, all of them are non-invasive, are drug-free and involve manual techniques in improving physical health and well-being. While physiotherapy with an emphasis on movement rehabilitation is the first to be assimilated into mainstream healthcare, osteopaths and chiropractics have been lower in profile, especially in Singapore.

The difference between the latter two is osteopathy focuses on how relationship between the structure of the body and the way in functions but chiropractors focus on diagnosis, correction, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system (for instance, the spine, pelvis, muscles, ligaments and joints).

Pain is not (always) a good yardstick

When we sat down with Dr. Cai, the questions he asked were almost like any medical professional: did one smoke or drink? How many cigarettes or units of alcohol a week? Is the pain constant? On a scale of one to ten, how painful is it? How often is the onset of pain? Everyone’s threshold for pain is different, however. Without manual muscle manipulation – he might poke and prod, and ask you to turn this way and the other – it would be difficult to formulate a more holistic treatment.

Why we feel pain

According to Dr. Cai, the pain we feel could either be due to weak muscles or bad movement patterns. For the former, muscles are too weak and thus are overworking to support one’s body in those positions that are maintained for long hours (such as working as your desk). The latter refers to the way the body moves and how it might not be moving the way it’s meant to.

Things you can do to remedy it

First, a reliable and responsibly chiropractor can make recommendations on movement patters and types of exercises to do (yes, exercise is really not just about losing weight, folks). For instance, I could do with more upper body workouts and squats. The process of getting ridding your body of pain is a dynamic one – most people start to see change in 7-10 days after making the first round of changes – so more often than not, one session is not quite enough as the chiropractor will make adjustments to the routine.

Unfortunately, the pain will never truly goes away

As much as we hate to say it, pain is like cancer. It might go away after treatment but there’s a chance that it’ll return. Where and when a relapse happens is dependent on the age one gets it the first time. Dr. Cai tells us that when it comes to aches and pains, there are different parts of a spectrum, and what chiropractic can do is help move people across the sub clusters. For example, helping someone who is in a lot of pain most of the time manage the pain and move to the cluster where the individual lives with less pain, even if it still happens a lot of the time.

Square One Chiropractic is located at 13A Upper Circular Road, Singapore 058411, p. +65 8256 0162. Each first-time session with Dr. Jesse Cai is priced at S$160, each 30-minute follow up session is priced at $125. Most patients average about four to six visits. Make an appointment online.