Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about Chiropractic. The answers we've provided for you below have been provided by The British Chiropractic Association and General Chiropractic Council.
What is Chiropractic?
The word "Chiropractic" is taken from two Greek words and literally means "manual practice"; or, in other words, treatment by manipulation.
Chiropractic is an independent branch of health care that specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the joints, particularly those of the spine and their effects on the nervous system. X-rays are sometimes used in the diagnosis and a Chiropractor carries out treatment by specific manipulation and other treatment techniques. Drugs and surgery are not used.
Can anyone call themselves a Chiropractor?
No. 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 General Chiropractic Council (GCC) having fulfilled a rigorous post graduate education.
What do Chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors are mainly involved in the treatment of common musculo-skeletal complaints. About half of all patients who consult a chiropractor do so because of lower back pain.
What will happen when I visit a Chiropractor?
During the first consultation a full case history is taken. As well as asking details about your principal disorder, your Chiropractor will want to know details of your past medical history. On your first visit, females will be asked to wear a gown if happy and males to disrobe.
Your chiropractor will examine carefully the area that is giving you trouble and other areas that are relevant. The examination will vary according to each individual and will include many neurological tests.
Following your examination a full explanation of your problem will be given and, with your permission, the treatment will begin. Occasionally, you may be advised to return to your GP or Consultant.
Treatment will be appropriate and respectful to your age and condition and will usually involve gentle manipulation of joints, massage, exercise and lifestyle advice. It is a myth that Chiropractors only manipulate the spine. They will also look for other areas that affect or are affected by any misalignment.
How long will it take to get better?
The number of treatments varies. We will strive to relieve pain as soon as possible. Results of a survey show that a patient with low-back pain attends a chiropractor, on average, for six treatments. This varies considerably and may be greater in number, especially in chronic cases, or less in others.
What sort of response will I have to treatment?
Some patients feel light and loose following treatment and others feel relaxation or tiredness due to the sudden release of muscular tension. Many are amazed at the reduction of pain and are irritated that they had not started treatment sooner. Others, again, may feel little difference to begin with.
What about my general practitioner?
Most patients consult a Chiropractor directly, usually after personal recommendation. In recent years, General Practitioners have increasingly been referring patients for chiropractic treatment.