1) What type of problems can be treated?
Some of the areas where Chiropractic is recognised as being successful include the following:
- General Pain arising from joints, muscle spasms and cramp
- Neck stiffness and soreness
- Pain caused by poor posture
- Some types of Headache
- Shoulder Problems such as rotator cuff injuries
- Short-term management of ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis
- Elbow Pain and tennis elbow of musculoskeletal origin
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and we may be able to help with other problems, you are welcome to contact us regarding your specific issues.
2) What is Chiropractic treatment?
After a full assessment of your condition, assuming chiropractic treatment is appropriate, our Chiropractors will usually undertake manual adjustments using a range of techniques. These can improve joint function and help relieve pain.
3) 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 GCC. As well as being able to demonstrate an approved qualification (commonly bachelor or masters degree), in order to stay registered, Chiropractors must also undergo a minimum 30 hours continuing professional development annually.
4) Is chiropractic care safe?
Yes, 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. Patients may experience some side affects such as feeling more uncomfortable, stiff or tired for a day or so – these effects are normally minor and do not last for very long.
It is important that you talk to your chiropractor if you have any questions during any part of your care.
5) Do I need to contact my General Practitioner?
Not unless you wish to. Your Chiropractor may send a report to your General Practitioner (with your permission) informing your GP of your problem and the treatment that has been given. This may also include a consultant radiologist report on any x rays taken; a copy will also be given to you. Obviously you do not have to visit your GP for an ‘Off Work Certificate’ as your Chiropractor can give you one. GPs are recommended by their Royal College that manipulation is the best form of treatment for the vast majority of mechanical back problems.
6) Can chiropractic care help me?
Chiropractic is an effective form of care for back and neck pain, as well as a range of other conditions including shoulder, leg and arm pain, and some sports injuries. You may also see an improvement in some types of headaches.
7) How many appointments will I need?
There are no set numbers as this will depend on your problem. An average number is about 6-12 spread over 1-2 months. If the problem has a history of reccurring or is a degenerative condition, a regular maintenance appointment would be a very good idea.
8) How long will it take before I am better?
Most problems will need a short course of treatment. Very occasionally for minor problems, only a couple of treatments may be needed. The vast majority though, will need a course designed for their particular problem. The majority of treatments will take place in the first three to six weeks depending on condition. As your problem improves you will be put on to a longer period between sessions until you are able to stay clear and have no relapses. In this period rehabilitation exercises will be prescribed to help strengthen any damaged area. For those with more chronic cases, maintenance treatment may be suggested for the long-term to maintain improvement.
9) How often do 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 reduced as you respond to improved spinal function. There is no doubt that many patients benefit from regular chiropractic care at intervals of time that may vary, depending on factors such as the condition for which they are being treated, the type of work they do and other activities that they engage in. For example:
- A carpet layer who had suffered lower back problems might visit a chiropractor every couple of months to prevent a recurrence of that problem, while maintaining his health in between visits by following the chiropractor’s advice.
- A professional footballer might be kept under weekly review by a chiropractor
- A person suffering a chronic condition over a long period of time could benefit from chiropractic care at regular intervals.
10) Do I have to have an x-ray?
Your chiropractor will only recommend that an x-ray be taken if there is a valid clinical reason for doing so. Like all health professionals, chiropractors must comply with the legislation that governs the use of x-rays – the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000.
11) Can I get chiropractic care on the NHS?
It is always worth asking your GP or Health Board if NHS funding is available for chiropractic. As yet, it is not widespread even though chiropractic care is included in the Musculoskeletal Services Framework published by the Department of Health. There is also a pilot scheme in Northern Ireland that includes funding for chiropractic. Perhaps what is needed now is the application of ‘patient power’ so that the choice of chiropractic care is open to more of those who can benefit from it.
12) Why do some chiropractors call themselves doctors?
In the UK the courtesy title ‘Dr’ is used by medical doctors, dentists, vets and chiropractors. The title ‘Dr’ is not protected in law, and may be used by chiropractors providing they make it clear that:
- they are registered chiropractors
- they are not registered medical practitioners