WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves, especially related to the spine. When there is misalignment of the spine, it can interfere with the nervous system which may lead to painful symptoms and mobility issues. The aim of the chiropractor is to ensure that the joints are aligned and moving freely allowing the nerves to work at their optimum. Some problems of the musculoskeletal system can be caused by accidents, stress, lack of exercise, poor posture, illness and everyday wear and tear. These problems may cause pressure on the nerves in the body.
Using their hands, chiropractors make gentle, specific, skilled adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly thereby relieving pain and restoring nervous function, resulting in positive health benefits.
Although chiropractors are best known for treating back and neck pain, patients also consult us regarding a wide range of other musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractors may use a variety of techniques other than manipulation, including soft tissue work, ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice on posture and lifestyle.
Your chiropractor is qualified to treat all ages and to adapt your treatment to account for other medical problems that you may have. Chiropractors are also trained to recognise when it is appropriate to refer for further investigations or treatment elsewhere if the condition falls outside their scope of practice.
A chiropractor’s first concern is to find out what is wrong.
CONDITIONS WE TREAT
Many conditions and complaints can be effectively treated by chiropractors; from those commonly associated with chiropractic such as low back pain, through to the management of migraine pain, minor sports injuries and nerve entrapment.
Chiropractic can help to relieve:
General Acute and Chronic Back Ache
General Joint Aches, Pains and Stiffness
Mechanical Neck Pain
Prevention of Migraines
Muscle spasm / Cramp
Hip / Knee Osteoarthritis (as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments and exercise)
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
With chiropractic care, not only do symptoms subside, people often report feeling:
- Relief from pain
- Increased movement and mobility
- Increased vitality
- More restful sleep
- Reduced tension
WHAT IS A CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT?
An adjustment is something that is unique to chiropractors. It can also be called a manipulation. Adjustments are highly specific and gentle thrusts into a restricted and misaligned joint. This restores the movement of the joint and removes any interference from the associated nerve. Often you may hear a ‘popping’ noise. This is a natural phenomenon of air being released in the joint and nothing to be concerned about.
CAN ANYONE CALL THEMSELVES A CHIROPRACTOR?
No. Chiropractic is a regulated profession. It is illegal for anyone in the UK to use the title ‘Chiropractor’ or to imply that they are a chiropractor unless they are registered with the statutory body the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). In common with medical practitioners and dentists, all chiropractors are registered by law under the Chiropractors Act 1994 and the title ‘Chiropractor’ is protected under this legislation. The GCC sets the standards of education in chiropractic and all chiropractors must have graduated from an accredited institution before being accepted onto the Register. In order to maintain annual registration chiropractors must continually update their skills through methods of continuing professional development (CPD). All chiropractors must have insurance cover.
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY TREATMENT?
You will need to pay for your treatment unless you are covered by Private Medical Insurance (PMI) or a health cash plan, or live in an area where there is NHS-funded chiropractic care. Treatment through the NHS is not widely available at the moment, so it is a good idea to talk to your GP or chiropractor to find out the situation in your area. If you have PMI, confirm with your provider that chiropractic treatment is covered and tell the chiropractor that this is how you will be paying for treatment.
HOW MANY VISITS WILL I NEED?
This will depend on:
- your condition
- how severe it is
- how long you have had the condition
- how you respond to treatment
- how much of your chiropractor’s advice you follow
After your first examination and diagnosis, the number of follow-up visits will depend on your condition and the treatment you need. The chiropractor will review your progress regularly and you will be asked to give your consent to any changes to your treatment plan. They will discuss carrying out further investigations or referring you to your GP if your condition does not improve.
DO I NEED TO TELL MY GP?
No, you do not need to let your GP know unless you want to. With your permission, your chiropractor may send a report to your GP, with details of your condition and the treatment you are receiving. This is because your GP holds all your medical records, and it is in your interests for them to be complete and up to date.
WILL THE TREATMENT HURT?
No, generally chiropractic treatment is usually painless unless an area is inflamed (swollen). In the acute stage of presentation, there may be some increased discomfort when your chiropractor addresses the root cause of your pain. Don’t worry if you hear a clicking or popping noise when one of your joints is being manipulated – this is perfectly normal with this form of treatment. Some patients have mild reactions such as temporary aches and pains after their spine or joints have been manipulated or after exercising. It is important that you talk to your chiropractor if you feel worried about anything either during or after treatment.