A guide to chiropractors in Shanghai

Four English-speaking chiropractors to help get your spine aligned in Shanghai

Photograph: Toa Heftiba via Unsplash
You've tried your regular massages, and even some more off-the-wall therapies, but the neck and back pain just keeps coming back. A chiropractor may be able to help you out. Chiropractic aims to restore proper posture, without drugs or surgery. Here are four places in Shanghai where you can treat that pain in the neck.

Chiropractic First (The Spine & Nerve Clinic)

What happens? A thorough examination starts with filling out a form about your work, recreational activities, medical history and problem. The chiropractor then uses a grid chart to analyse your posture. The bones are pushed back to where they’re supposed to be and he does a little cracking. It feels like a massage of the bones. Your head also becomes lighter (in a good way) and there’s a greater range of motion in your neck area. Chiropractic aside, they also do spinal decompression therapy.

Chiropractor Dr Edward Wilkinson says 'The mobile phone posture where you keep looking down can cause injury to the neck. Bad sleeping posture with legs turned can twist the lower back. Crossing your legs can cause the pelvis to become imbalanced. Carrying your bag on one shoulder can also cause injuries.'

How much? 1,500RMB for first chiropractic session (about one to two hours), and 900RMB for follow-up session (about ten minutes).

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1376 Nanjing Xi Lu

Parkway Health, Gleneagles Medical and Surgical Centre

What happens? If an injury is suspected, tests such as MRI or advanced imaging studies will be done. The chiropractor addresses the problem, then proceeds to check the range of motion, joint and resistant movement to test muscle strength and joint health. Apart from the all-too familiar style of chiropractic where there are popping sounds, a small adjustment tool can be used too. It works like a woodpecker pecking on wood – with each click the adjustment tool gently pushes vertebrae back into place.

Chiropractor Dr Joseph Jeon says 'Beside sports injuries and arthritis, a lack of proper alignment and normal movement of joints frequently causes our neck and back pain. Spine adjustments effectively correct joint misalignment and reduces neck and pain without surgery and medication. After a chiropractic visit, heading to the gym is a good idea to make use of that added flexibility. Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and increase range of motion so you can carry on with your favourite activities.'

How much? 917-2,650 RMB per chiropractic session (depends on complexity and length of the consultation).

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389 Nanjing Xi Lu

Body & Soul - Downtown Clinic & Lifestyle Center

What happens? Here the technique combines stretching and adjustments which produce loud cracking sounds. With his fingers, the chiropractor puts pressure on some points of the body and a tingling sensation is felt with the blood gushing around those areas. After he releases the pressure, it’s instant relief. You will probably find your muscles quite tight when he does the stretching for you. But these stretches can easily be done if you have always adopted good lifestyle habits.

Chiropractor Dr Herman Szeto says 'Modern-day office workers should get up every 30 minutes for 30 seconds because all we are doing is micromanaging our muscles like typing. Hydrate yourself because when you are dehydrated with all that caffeine intake, things tighten up.'

How much? 1,550RMB for first chiropractic session (about 45 minutes), and 1,320RMB for follow-up session (about 30 minutes).

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760 Xizang Nan Lu

Columbia Clinic Bainuo

What happens? The chiropractor reviews your history, addressing how long the pain has been around and the reasons behind it. Here the doctor focuses on your muscles, which in turn relaxes them and releases pressure on the spine. He checks if you are comfortable with the neck cracking and notices if you tense specific muscles, giving clear instructions to relax those spots before he does the adjusting. The highlight is the finale where he gently tugs at your head (think: tug of war in a very controlled manner).

Chiropractor Dr Alex Chen says 'By popping your joints too much on your own, you’re stretching them past its limitation, so you’re pulling on the ligaments. They get loose and when you get older, they become unstable which could cause them to be misaligned more easily. Focus on stretching the muscles rather than cracking by yourself.'

How much? 1,000RMB for chiropractic session with insurance; 800RMB for first chiropractic session without insurance, and 500RMB for follow-up session (about 30 minutes first visit, 20-25 minutes after).

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1468 Nanjing Xi Lu

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