What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is the largest form of health care in the world after medicine and dentistry. We specialise in the care of back pain and spinal problems. Because of our specialist understanding of the body mechanics we are also experts at dealing with other joint problems.
Our approach is aimed at restoring normal movement to the joints, particularly the ones in the spine and pelvis. These have a vital role in protecting the nerves which come out of the spine to go to all parts of the body. Any abnormal function of the spine can have repercussions almost anywhere in the body.
For example when someone complains of pins and needles in the arm this can be due to a nerve being pinched in the neck; restriction of the spine between the shoulder blades can contribute to tightness of the chest; pain going down the leg to the foots occurs because of pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is often due to a disc that bulges or slips in the lower back.
Chiropractic focuses on the relationship of structure and function (as coordinated by the nervous system), and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of your health.
Chiropractic is now a registered profession with the General Chiropractic Council and registered chiropractors have all graduated from an approved institution after five years of study and follow a rigid code of ethics.
Chiropractic is now accepted as an effective form of care for both chronic and acute low back pain. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the body that formulates management guidelines for GP's has included chiropractic in its recommendations. It states:
"If you choose a course of manual therapy, this should include up to nine sessions over a period of up to twelve weeks. There are a number of different types of manual therapy, including manipulation, mobilisation and massage. Mobilisation and massage are performed by a wide variety of healthcare practitioners. Manipulation can be performed by chiropractors, osteopaths as well as by specially trained doctors and physiotherapists."
NICE also recommends advice that have long been part of the chiropractic management of back conditions, particularly the following:
- advise people that staying physically active as much as possibe is likely to help
- provide people with advice and information to help them manage their lower back problem
- offer an exercise programme tailored to the individual that may include exercise to strengthen muscles, improve posture and stretching.
All this requires expertise in identifying the problem, understanding the reasons behind it and developing a management programme that will deal with all aspects of your condition. This can only be carried out by a practitioner that knows and understands your spine inside out. Chiropractors have always included such life style improvements as part of their treatment.
- From the Royal College of Chiropractors read all about the accumulating evidence for the effectiveness of Chiropractic.
- From the British Chiropractic Association, for more information on Chiropractic and for locating a Chiropractor anywhere in the UK.
- From the General Chiropractic Council for more information on the registration of Chiropractors in the UK, their various duties towards patients and their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirements.
- And from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic for the education and training of Chiropractors and details of courses.