Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects these disorders have on general health & well being. There is an emphasis on manual treatment including spinal manipulation or adjustment. Chiropractic is holistic, drug free and non-invasive. In the UK, chiropractors are independent primary care professionals registered with, and regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (www.gcc-uk.org). This means you do not have to be referred by your GP.
What conditions can chiropractic help?
The modern practice of chiropractic is mainly concerned with 'mechanical' disorders, such as back pain, (both acute and chronic), neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, osteo-arthritic hip or knee pain, and plantar fasciitis. Chiropractic can also help with headaches resulting from neck problems, migraine prevention, and the general relief of tension in the muscles, cramp, muscle spasm, etc.
The daily life of most people today is as physically stressful as ever. We may no longer be as active as we once were - working the fields etc - but we still impose stresses that the body has problems coping with. Activities such as sitting stationary for long periods, whether at work, in the car, or in front of the TV, can cause significant problems. Fortunately chiropractic care is very effective at helping to deal with this type of problem. However, the effects of chiropractic treatment are potentially very wide ranging. Patients have reported positive results for many diverse conditions that have not yet been ratified by conventional RCT's.
Because chiropractic is a gentle form of treatment with many modes of application, it is suitable for most people, from babies and young children, through adults (including when pregnant) to the elderly.
If, after taking a medical history and a full examination, I believe that your condition is not suitable for chiropractic care, or would benefit from other professional intervention, I will advise you of this and make any appropriate referrals.
What to expect when you go to a chiropractor
Holistic treatment for back pain and many other conditions. Chiropractors aim to improve function, and provide pain relief - naturally. Treatment often involves the use of specific, usually very gentle adjustments. These adjustments often involve the spine, but may include any of the body's joints. The adjustments aim to restore normal movement and function to the joint, and therefore relieve pain.
Chiropractors deliver over 95% of manipulative therapy worldwide, and are the recognised experts at this type of treatment.
Because no two people are the same and each will have different problems, no two visits will be exactly the same. However, when you first arrive I will need to find out about why you are here, and what events in your past may have an influence on your current condition. Although I try to keep paperwork to a minimum, there will be a few forms to fill in - sorry! Any information you tell me is strictly confidential - just like at your GP. No one else will be allowed to see your notes without permission.
This initial information will start to give me an idea of what your problem may be. I will then need to carry out a physical examination to gain further information. The examination will concentrate on your nerves, muscles and joints, but may include other tests (eg blood pressure) to gain an overall idea of your health status. During the initial examination I will probably need you to change into a gown (that I will supply) so that I can fully examine the area of concern.
However, later treatment visits may not always require you to get changed if you are wearing suitable light / loose clothing. For many patients this examination is all that is required. However, I may feel that further information and tests are needed (eg x-rays or blood tests) so I will then refer you to an appropriate health professional.
Providing I have enough information, I will then explain what I believe your problem to be, and what we can do about it. You can ask any questions you like at any stage.
If we are both happy, we can then proceed with your first treatment. After all this hard work you may be pleasantly surprised at how quick and comfortable this may be! Finally on this first visit I will probably give you some advice about what to do before your next treatment.
Subsequent treatment visits will be much quicker. I will assess what progress has been made, and ensure your treatment plan is still appropriate, then perform any adjustments and other treatments required. You are always in control of your program. If you are not happy with any aspects of your care please let me know.
Is chiropractic safe?
When performed by a properly trained, registered practitioner, chiropractic treatment is a very safe form of therapy, with few adverse side effects. Numerous studies from around the world have demonstrated both the efficacy as well as the safety of chiropractic treatment. If you would like to read about some of this research, just click on the link to the British Chiropractic Association website http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/, and follow the links to the Research section.
It is interesting to note that as far back as 1996, the Royal College of GPs issued clinical guidelines on the management of acute low back pain, that states 'the risks of manipulation are very low in skilled hands' and that manipulative treatment should be considered for patients who needed additional help with pain relief.
Chiropractor training in the UK consists of a minimum of 4 years full time university education, giving extensive training in both the theoretical and practical aspects of chiropractic. The education includes training in recognising potential risk factors so that appropriate treatment can be offered to all patients. If I have any concerns about your suitability for chiropractic treatment I will discuss these with you before treatment commences. Remember that your treatment plan will be individually tailored to your own personal situation.