Are Chiropractors qualified?
Since the passing of the Chiropractors act in 1994 the title Chiropractor has been protected by law and therefore only practitioners registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), the regula-tory body, can call themselves Chiropractors.
Educational standards are set by the GCC and each Chiropractor must graduate from an accredit-ed institution prior to being accepted onto the regulatory register.
What training do Chiropractors have?
All of our Chiropractors have undergone a minimum of 4 years undergraduate Masters level study. Chiropractors have training in a variety of subjects including, anatomy, physiology, neurology, pharmacology, radiology, biomechanics and differential diagnoses. Chiropractic students are trained to identify red flags which may require onward referral and to look for contraindications to treatment.
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA), the largest of the professional associations, only ac-cepts graduates who have undertaken a minimum four-year full-time internationally-accredited course. Graduates, who are members of the BCA, also undertake an additional year of post-graduate supervised training as a requirement of membership.
What is the difference between a Chiropractor, Osteopath and Physiotherapist?
Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists are all grouped under the term manual therapists. There is more overlap between the three disciplines than differences. Each discipline has a differ-ent approach to treating the same type of conditions. All are statutorily regulated by their respective governing bodies and are highly trained, having completed a university degree programme.
Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths operate mainly in private practice whilst physiotherapists are more commonly found within the NHS but there is an increasing number setting up private practic-es.
All the different disciplines aim to decrease pain by increasing movement and strengthening weak-nesses found within the body and so the patient has an active part in the treatment process.
Traditionally Chiropractors and Osteopaths traditionally employ manipulation where physiothera-pists employ mobilisation. Our Chiropractors are trained in both these techniques as well as many more including medical acupuncture.
Patients often present with a range of conditions including neck pain, low back pain, head-aches/migraines, sciatica, extremity joint problems and ligament and tendon sprains/strains.
We would recommend that you undertake research and ensure you are happy with your practition-er and the treatment provided. Ensure you see a registered practitioner by searching on the appro-priate professional bodies website. For Chiropractors the website is www.gcc-uk.org.
Is Chiropractic Right for Me?
Chiropractic is suitable for patients of any age. The main focus is on restoring normal (or optimal) movement of a joint or muscle to not only alleviate pain but to keep it that way. A number of our patients see the benefit and opt to continue with their care and have frequent check-ups throughout the year.
In addition through aiming for optimal movement and function of joints and muscles benefits may include increased coordination, better range of motion and in some cases improved personal best results in sports activities.
What is the ‘clicking’ sound that occurs when joints are adjusted?
It is quite common during manipulation to hear a ‘click’ sound which is very similar to the sound of someone clicking their knuckles. This is quite harmless and is simply the sound of gas bubbles popping in the fluid of the joints as pressure is released.
Does manipulation hurt?
Manipulation is a safe, non-invasive, hands on technique to restore joint movement. It is a pain free technique. However, if you are in pain and the body is inflamed it is not unusual to feel a little achey or sore post-treatment and this usually settles down within 48 hours.
What if I don’t like the ‘being clicked’?
The choice is up to you. There is no need to follow a course of joint manipulation, where clicking occurs, as opposed to joint mobilisation.
Joint manipulation generally restores normal movement faster and often means a patient spends less time in discomfort. However, clinical studies have indicated that after a 3 month period there is usually no difference in pain levels between the two techniques provided a regular course of either treatment is followed.
Do Chiropractors just treat spinal pain?
Although many conditions relating to pain in the extremities (e.g. knee and shoulder pain) originate as a consequence of spinal dysfunction other elements maybe responsible for local areas of pain.
The principles of treating the spinal joint and soft tissues can also be applied to the extremities and therefore patients seek Chiropractic care for a number of these other conditions and sports related injuries. Chiropractors under go extensive training in diagnosing, treating and managing extremity joint and muscles problems as well as spinal issues.
Why has my pain suddenly occurred?
Often tension (or pain) develops due to repetitive movements from work or sport, poor posture, trauma such as whiplash and falls and stresses of daily life. You may have suffered with a pain on or off for a period of time and it is gradually increasing or it may have suddenly occurred. Usually this is not a surprise but rather your body’s warning sign to say that it can no longer compensate for the postural strain, repeated movement or life stresses and something needs to change.
What is a care plan?
A care plan is established with you at the initial meeting where your symptoms are discussed. The plan enables expectations from both the Chiropractor’s and your viewpoints to be agreed about the nature and frequency of treatment. These are tailored to individual complaints and sets out a course of treatment to help you get back on the road to recovery. The care plan will be revisited regularly depending on your response to previous treatment.
There are 3 phases of care: (1) Reduce Pain and Inflammation, (2) Restore Joint and Muscle Function, (3) Maintain the Benefits. Phases 1 and 2 are the fundamental phases to get on top of your complaint. Phase 3 is optional, this continues to maintain the benefits that have been achieved by providing supportive check-ups and regular intervals throughout the year to help prevent reoc-currence of a complaint.