What is Chiropractic?
- A primary health care profession
- Diagnoses and treats problems with the joints, muscles, and nerves
- Government regulated
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, muscles, ligaments/tendons and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine.
It is government regulated and only those who have completed a 4–5year degree at an accredited university and who are registered with the General Chiropractic Council may call themselves a Chiropractor.
Treatment consists of a wide range of manipulative techniques designed to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle tension. Our examination and treatment is based on the principles of ‘Best Practice’ and the profession is constantly furthering it’s body of research worldwide.
All the evidence is that chiropractic is a safe and effective form of care when provided by registered chiropractors. The approach to care that chiropractors take is recommended in the relevant European guidelines and the Department of Health's Musculoskeletal Services Framework (the guidelines used by medical doctors).
What to Expect
- A full case history and hands-on examination
- An explanation of what’s causing your pain and how we can treat it
- Treatment on your first visit
- Advice on what to do at home to help
- First visit takes about 1–1.5hrs
- Following treatments take 20–40mins
A full case history will be taken of the details of your complaint. I will then carry out a relevant orthopaedic and neurological examination to make an assessment of your condition. This will involve the removal of outer clothing around the problem area (a gown is always provided for your comfort). Then active and passive tests will be done, as well as a hands-on examination of the area, with the aim of finding out what is causing your problem.
Next I will explain the findings of these tests and what the most likely cause of your problem is (the diagnosis). We will then discuss whether chiropractic can help, what is the best treatment option for you, how likely it is you will get improvement (the prognosis) and how long it may take. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have on any aspect of your care. Advice will also be given on what to do at home to optimise your recovery.
You will receive treatment on your first visit if you wish, and if it is appropriate for you. If further investigation is required, such as an x-ray, you will be advised at this time.
Types of Treatment
- Manipulation / adjustments / mobilisations
- Medical acupuncture
- Massage and soft-tissue techniques
- One, some or many techniques may be used
Manipulation, or an ‘adjustment’, is a quick, controlled, impulse applied to a joint which has restricted motion. One or several clicks or pops may be heard or felt when the impulse occurs (it is the same process occurring as when your knuckles click). It improves the function of the joints and can help surrounding muscles to relax and return to normal.
Flexion-distraction is a slow, gentle type of treatment that gradually stretches and releases the lower back. It works well to help sciatica caused by disc lesions or lateral canal stenosis. It's also a good alternative treatment for mechanical back pain for those who like a gentle relaxing approach.
Medical acupuncture is the use of fine acupuncture needles to reduce muscle tension and pain. (It is not the same as Traditional Chinese Acupuncture.)
Massage and other soft tissue techniques involve deep tissue massage, slow and fast stretches, and facial release techniques.
If you’re unsure about receiving any type of treatment please feel free to discuss your concerns with me, there are often different ways to treat the same problem depending on your preference and what is most practical.
What to Bring
- Your prescription (if you have one)
- A friend or family member
If your complaint involves your low back, hip, pelvis or legs, you can bring some loose, soft shorts to wear during the examination and treatment.
If you are taking medications it can be useful to bring your prescription.
If you feel nervous or would just like an extra pair of ears to help remember any information or advice, you’re very welcome to bring a friend or family member.
How many treatments it will take
- Varies depending on the individual and the condition,
- Can range from one or two sessions, to several.
This can vary considerably from one or two treatments to many, spread over several months. It depends on things like how long you’ve had the problem, if there are underlying issues, if there are continuing stresses to your body, your general level of health and fitness, how much you follow our advice at home, and many other factors.
We will always have a continual subjective and objective assessment of how you are progressing to make sure you’re receiving the most appropriate care.