Dr Dale Comrie is a practicing chiropractor, newly-appointed Chiropractic Australia President and principal of the Heidelberg Chiropractic Clinic.
After graduating from RMIT University in 1994, Dale spent three months at the Royal Saskatoon Hospital, Saskatchewan, Canada before returning to Australia in 1995, Dale commenced work as an associate at the Heidelberg Chiropractic Clinic and took over as principal in 2000.
Dale’s practice focuses on general chiropractic practice and incorporating evidence-based practice with low tech rehabilitation. Through his position on the Chiropractic Australia board, Dale has been integral in the development of compliance issues for chiropractors and their clinics across Victoria.
“After sustaining a sporting injury and requiring support for my injuries, I realised physio wasn’t often enough and discovered the benefits for recovery from chiropractic in physiotherapy.”
A keen sportsman from an early age, Dale sustained plenty of injuries playing sport, and after not finding physiotherapy to be enough to assist with his injuries and get him back on the field, Dale discovered the added benefit of chiropractic.
After deciding to study to become a chiropractor, Dale spent decades fine-tuning his profession and has been on the CA board for many years, observing many changes across chiropractic practices. Currently, Dale is very passionate about compliance issues for clinic management and the best therapeutic treatment for ailments such as back pain and hip pain.
Dale has combined his passion with sports and evidence based/ethical practice to provide a unique blend of musculoskeletal medicine, incorporating chiropractic with elements of sports rehabilitation, core strengthening/gym training, nutrition and supplement advice, taping techniques and the biopsychosocial approach.
“COVID and reduced face-to-face appointments have resulted in many limitations for chiropractic practice. Reading the patient and all contextual factors can be difficult when you’re consulting over the phone”
On a physical level, COVID has meant Dale’s clinic has needed to make sure of disposable heat pads, implemented the wearing of face masks for all staff and pushed consultations to phone. In many cases, a face-to-face consultation is essential for adjustments and virtual consultations in lockdown have proven to have made it very difficult for patients to recount all the essential information for a diagnosis and treatment.
Overall, Dale believes COVID has shed some light on the diversity of options in healthcare and the need for chiropractors to be categorised as essential services.
In the future, Dale hopes to continue working with CA, patients and the public to explore ways to diversify the key messages shared by the chiropractic industry and educate the public on how they understand chiropractic and how they can fit it into their lives.
“Whether patients use chiropractic for fortnightly arthritis pain management or management for chronic pain, chiropractic is an essential service that keeps patients out of the hospital emergency room”
For those new to the industry, Dale’s advice is to take the time to build trust and reputation within their local community. Whether individuals find themselves in academia or private practice, giving time to your community and volunteering is a fantastic way to build trust and grow a strong profile and patient base.
After many decades in clinical practice, Dale strongly believes it takes time to build a successful practice and embracing the community in which you’re practicing in will ensure a prosperous future in a competitive marketplace.