Meet the Team … Interview with Chris Pentor, Chiropractor

PhysioSW19 resident Chiropractor answers our most Frequently Asked Questions:

Chris Penter M.DipC (SA) CCSP (USA)

Chris graduated in 1994 and quickly built up a highly successful practice in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. In 1997, he went on to complete a Sport Physician degree, focusing on Upper and Lower limb injuries. Known for his expertise in headaches, whiplash and neck problems, Chris included lecturing at the local University as part of his daily practice before taking up a post as a Medical Lecturer at the University of Surrey, Guildford until 2004. See below for Clinic times.

How long have you been practising at PhyioSW19?

Currently the longest serving practitioner at PhysioSW19, I started in 2006 with the founders of PhysioSW19.

What is Chiropractic Care?

Traditionally, Chiropractic Care was focused on spinal manipulation i.e. correcting problems within the spine through manipulation. The problem areas used to be called ‘subluxations’, which meant an area of irritation due to muscle spasm or joint locking. Now, Chiropractors not only focus on spinal manipulation, but also spinal problems coming from other areas like foot problems or joint problems that overload the spine.

What is the difference between Chiropractic Care and Physiotherapy?

This used to be a very easy question to answer – chiropractors manipulate and physiotherapists don’t. However, this has changed over the years, and physiotherapists are starting to see great benefit in manipulating patients. The answers lies in perhaps in the fact that chiropractors training is very manipulation orientated and has a huge focus on the diagnosis and management of spinal conditions; and how manipulation can positively impact that problem, whereas physiotherapists place a lot of emphasis on mobilisation techniques and exercises and rehabilitation. Both chiropractors and physiotherapists are equally proficient in the management of sports injuries.

Is Chiropractic Care just for the spine?

Traditionally yes, but that focus has changed. The modern chiropractor looks at the whole patient, their lifestyle, diet, exercise programmes and their core strength. The old chiropractors would manipulate and send patients on their way, the modern chiropractor looks at the whole patient, with emphasis on spinal problems as well.

Is Chiropractic treatment just spinal manipulation (clicking)?

In the old days yes, nowadays no. I see many patients whom I manage for myofascial problems with absolutely no manipulation of the spine. Part of the reason is because I have a Sport Physician qualification, so I manage all injuries including the spine; but by and large the vast majority of my patients come to me for spinal conditions like neck pain, low back pain, mid-back pain, headaches from the neck and sciatica etc.

Do you specialise in anything particular?

I do indeed. I did my Masters Thesis on headaches. I lectured on headaches both in South Africa and at the University of Surrey in Guildford. My practice in South Africa was a specialised headache clinic and I was fortunate to have referrals from medical professionals like Neurosurgeons, ENT surgeons, cardiologists and General Practitioners. I also attained a Sports Physician Qualification in 1997, which has helped me manage sports injuries in athletes such as rugby players and Olympic athletes. I do however enjoy treating patients from all walks of life.

How does good spinal alignment help function?

A good question. When patients have a spinal problem it tends to not only cause pain in the area but also puts a lot of pressure on the nerves as they exit from the spine. This, then has an impact on the nerve and whatever tissue that nerve supplies. Patients with good spinal function often have better overall body function than those with poor function. Considering that the nervous system controls most functions in the body, you certainly don’t want to aggravate it!

What are your top tips for optimising health?

Keep moving, drink loads of water, eat fresh vegetables, get sun on your skin to optimise your vitamin D levels (in the Winter take Vit D supplements) and finally get enough sleep. Oh, and have fun, laugh as much as you can!

I know you love a barbeque and summer is coming soon so what is your go to BBQ recipe?

The easiest one is to go and get a nice smokey BBQ sauce, then add a bit of tomato sauce to make it more sticky. Cook your meat and then brush the sauce on a couple of times at the end of the cook. Some people like to marinade their food and then cook, but personally I rather marinade at the end.

Chiropractic Care appointment times are available:

Monday 5pm – 8pm
Thursday 5pm – 8pm
Saturday 9am – 12pm

For further information on the conditions we treat and services we offer, or to book an appointment please call 020 8947 2053, email: or complete the form here.

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