Chiropractic is a primary health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system – and the effects of these disorders on general health.
Chiropractic care is used to treat back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs and headaches but it is also very effective in helping with problems such as arthritis pain, sport injuries and many more. Learn more about conditions and problems that can be helped by chiropractic care here.
Doctors of Chiropractic (or Chiropractors) practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.
Like GPs and dentists, Chiropractors are state registered by a government body (The General Chiropractic Council).
Your brain and nervous system control and monitor the proper function of every cell, tissue and organ in your body. The nervous system and brain communicate with your body by sending and receiving messages across your network of nerves. These nerves enter your brain via your spinal cord which is protected by 24 movable spinal bones called vertebrae.
When one or move of your vertebrae move out of position they can create pressure on or irritate the nerves entering and exiting our spinal cord. Such interference can also occur in other joints such as our ankles, hips, knees, shoulder and elbows. This pressure or irritation on the nerves hampers their ability to send the vital messages to and from the brain – frequently this causes pain and will affect the functioning of the cell, muscle or organ that the nerves connect with. This problem is called a vertebral subluxation.
It is the responsibility of your Doctor of Chiropractic to locate subluxations, and reduce or correct them. This is done through a series of highly specific chiropractic adjustments to the spine or joints which involves your chiropractor using his or her hands to apply a controlled manipulation of the joint.
Adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, allowing tissues to heal and enabling the nervous system to communicate freely again. Once your nervous system is free from obstruction, it can get on with its job of keeping you alive and healthy. Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be the experts at correcting subluxations.
There is more clinical evidence to support the efficacy of chiropractic than any other complementary discipline. Click here for examples of chiropractic research.
If you have never been to a chiropractor before, you may be wondering what it is all about and if it is appropriate for you.
Chiropractic is a proven primary health care that works on the nervous system.
Chiropractors use their hands to adjust specific joints of your spine and limbs where signs of restriction in movement are found. This treatment is known as an adjustment. Adjustments relieve pain, improve mobility and, by freeing up the nervous system, enable your body’s own healing process to get on with the task of looking after your health.
Chiropractic is appropriate for all ages of people: from babies to elderly people, and for all types of people: from pregnant women to new mums, from sports people to office workers, people recovering from injuries and surgery, etc.
It even works for people who are sceptical because chiropractic has more clinical evidence to support its efficacy than any other complementary discipline.
This is your exciting first step towards better health. After booking your initial consultation with our friendly front desk staff, simply turn up a few minutes prior to your appointment so that you have time to fill in a brief form.
You will meet your chiropractor and discuss your health history in detail and your hopes for better health. You will then have a thorough examination including neurological and orthopaedic tests. Digital infrared thermal imaging is used to evaluate the prime area of concern and sometimes, if required, diagnostic x-rays maybe be taken.
If required, you may be asked to wear a gown for this examination although this won't be necessary for subsequent visits. We will respect your privacy and dignity at all times.
At your next visit, we'll tell you our findings (report of findings – ROF) in plain English and show you what we've found and explain our conclusions. You will also receive a printed copy of your DITI results, this is important as these images will be compared to later images taken as we monitor your progress. If you would benefit from seeing another specialist, we will refer you.
If Chiropractic care is appropriate, we will create a programme specifically for you. This may include you following a treatment programme combined with nutritional support and lifestyle advice on diet and exercise.
Chiropractic can easily be fitted into your everyday routine. Future visits will only take a few minutes of your time as we follow your care programme and monitor your progress.
Cranial Facial Release (CFR) is an advanced endo-nasal “Balloon Assisted” cranial adjusting technique that has been used quite successfully in the treatment of various neurological and structural disorders. It is a specialized technique that was derived from an earlier form of endo-nasal cranial adjusting called Bilateral Nasal Specific (BNS) pioneered by chiropractor Richard Stober in the 1960's and 70's. CFR was originated by Dr. Adam Del Torto, DC and is an offshoot of BNS, but is much more specific and much less invasive.
Do I need to be referred to a chiropractor by my GP?
No. Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession, so you do not need to be referred by your doctor. A chiropractor is trained to diagnose your problem and will refer you to another health-care practitioner if necessary. However, if you have medical insurance, some companies such as BUPA require a letter of referral from your GP.
Will treatment hurt?
Generally, a Chiropractic adjustment does not hurt – although there may be some minor short-term discomfort which quickly passes for most patients. You will normally find that follow-up treatments are much more pleasant, as your symptoms improve and you feel more at ease with your chiropractor.
Do chiropractors use x-rays?
Chiropractors are trained and licensed to take and read x-rays, however, any decision to take x-rays will be made in consultation with you. If we believe that x-rays are necessary for diagnostic purposes, we will refer you to our local private facilities.
Is Chiropractic Safe?
Yes, chiropractic treatment has been proven to be extremely safe, much safer in fact than taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories or having an anaesthetic during surgery. Chiropractic is a holistic, non-invasive approach to health. No surgery or drugs are involved. Chiropractic is the world’s third largest health care profession after medicine and dentistry and over the past 100 years millions of people have found help from chiropractic care, even after surgery. Your chiropractor will explain possible risks of treatment and discuss any concerns you may have prior to commencing with treatment.
What is the difference between chiropractic and osteopathy?
Chiropractors are trained differently and also have different techniques. In general terms chiropractors tend to focus on nerve and joint function and are also trained to take and interpret x-rays which osteopaths are not. Both professions have statutory regulation.
Why isn’t chiropractic available on the NHS?
Chiropractic is sometimes available on the NHS – it just depends on the individual primary care trusts. Unfortunately in our region, chiropractic care is not funded. Chiropractic is, however, covered by many healthcare insurance companies including BUPA and AXA PPP.
Who would benefit from chiropractic?
Chiropractic is suitable for all ages and can help with a wide range of aches and pains from head to toe. It can help relieve pain and symptoms such as headaches, back problems, stiffness, stress, sports injuries, whiplash, sciatica – aches and pains in almost every part of the body from tip to toe. Chiropractic also gives a general sense of well being as the body balances itself through treatment. It is suitable for all ages, even pregnant women, people with arthritis or children with colic.
Can you help me improve my sports performance?
Yes, many patients have found significant improvement in their sports performance through Chiropractic. If you’ve had a sports injury, your we can help you recover quicker, with less pain and with minimal resultant dysfunction. More importantly we can determine any underlying dysfunction, and by correcting it, stop your problem from recurring.
How often will I need to come?
On going chiropractic care can continue the healing process and help prevent your problem returning. In the beginning you will need more frequent adjustments in order to mobilise your spine and improve spinal function – this will usually result in the relief of ache or pain. The frequency of your visits is reduces as you respond to improved spinal function.
What training does a chiropractor have?
Chiropractors are highly trained primary contact health care professionals. On average a five-year, full-time university degree is required at an internationally recognised institution. The studies include anatomy, neurology, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, behavioural sciences, diagnosis and manipulative skills to mention but a few. Today chiropractors are the world’s most qualified and skilled professionals in manipulative therapy.
Is chiropractic suitable during pregnancy?
Yes, Chiropractic treatment is suitable and safe throughout the pregnancy, during labour and after giving birth. Chiropractic care can help with common problems associated with pregnancy such as pain in the back, pelvis and rib cage, and it can make labour easier through the balancing effect it has on the joints and ligaments. Talk to your chiropractor to learn more about how we can support you through your pregnancy and afterwards.
Can babies and children be treated?
Yes, people of all ages can benefit from Chiropractic care, although treatment techniques of the newborn obviously differ dramatically from those of adults. It is a good idea to have babies checked soon after birth. Any spinal or joint problems can then be dealt with early on before they cause further health problems. Chiropractors have also treated babies and children successfully for many years with a variety of health problems, such as hyperactivity and bedwetting and much more so please talk to your chiropractor to find out more!
Is chiropractic suitable after surgery?
Yes, chiropractic treatment is suitable after surgery in most cases. Your chiropractor will be able to advise according to your specific case. Post-surgical chiropractic treatment is aimed at balancing the weight bearing of the joints and to minimise premature spinal decay. Many patients who find they suffer with pain after surgery have found help from Chiropractic. Furthermore many patients have avoided unnecessary surgery and are enjoying life pain-free, thanks to chiropractic care. Talk to your Chiropractor to find out more.
What is the clicking or popping sound that I sometimes hear during an adjustment?
During chiropractic treatment you may experience clicking or popping sound coming from the joints. The sound is simply the harmless release of gas into the fluid in the joint – rather like if you crack your knuckles (which you shouldn’t do, by the way!).
How long will it take to get well?
Healing takes time and differs from person to person.
Who regulates chiropractic?
All chiropractors must be registered with, and are regulated by, the General Chiropractic Council.
Royal College of General Practitioners Guidelines.
“The Royal College of General Practitioners guidelines state that the effectiveness of manipulation is supported by strong evidence in 19 randomised controlled trials. Manipulation provides improvement in pain and activity levels and high patient satisfaction. The risks of manipulation are very low in skilled hands.”
UK Beam Trial Team. (2004). Back pain, exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care, British Medical Journal, 329 (7479), p. 1377.
“The cost effectiveness and efficacy in improving quality of life of adding spinal manipulation and/or exercise to GP care for back pain was measured. Spinal manipulation, with or without exercise, improved back pain symptoms more than exercise or GP care alone and spinal manipulation was the best value for money.”
Blokland, M .P. et al. (2000). Chiropractic treatment in workers with musculoskeletal complaints. Journal of Neuromusculoskeletal System, 8 (1), pp. 17-23.
“Of the 103 employees presenting with musculoskeletal conditions referred to a chiropractor by their employers, every single person was able to either remain at work or had returned to work within eight treatments.”
Meade, T.W., et al. (1990). Low back pain of mechanical origin: randomised comparison of chiropractic from hospital outpatient treatment, British Medical Journal, 300, pp. 1431-1437.
“A UK study compared the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment to hospital outpatient treatment (physiotherapy). At two years, those treated by chiropractic had improved their pain-disability Owestry scores by 7 per cent more than hospital care. Those treated with chiropractic showed greater improvements in back mobility, pain-free days and lowered drug use. Only 21 per cent of those given chiropractic had time off work compared to 35 per cent of hospital patients.”
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