Chiropractic is a primary health care profession specialising in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effect of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and on general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal manipulation or adjustment (World Federation of Chiropractic 1999).
It uses gentle manipulative techniques, often called adjustments, to restore correct function and mobility to the joints. Soft tissue treatment is often used to relax tight muscles. Advice on exercises, stretches and ergonomics is also frequently given.
It is a safe and effective treatment for many common conditions and is recommended in the UK and European Clinical Guidelines for the management of acute low back pain.
In 1995 a study undertaken for the British Medical Research Council found that chiropractic treatment was a more cost effective way of treating lower back pain when compared to hospital outpatient treatment of lower back pain.
Whilst chiropractic is often associated with the treatment of lower back pain, chiropractors are also trained to treat many other areas of the body from headaches to sprained ankles.
The initial consultation will take approximately 45 minutes. A full case history will be taken and an appropriate physical examination will be carried out. Gowns are provided for female patients and your privacy and dignity will be respected at all times.
The examination consists of standard orthopaedic, neurological and chiropractic tests and where necessary, blood pressure reading and examination of the abdomen or heart & lungs. If further imaging is required, such as X-rays or MRI, you may be referred to your GP.
All information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
Once a diagnosis and treatment plan have been established, you will be given a report of findings that will clearly explain details of your condition. A date for objective re-evaluation of your case will then be set.
Treatment will commence as soon as possible, usually on your first visit.
If chiropractic treatment is not suitable for your condition, we will advise on the best alternative course of action.
Every case is individually assessed and the frequency and duration of treatment will vary between individuals and particular conditions. More recent injuries (depending on severity) tend to respond to fewer visits and symptoms can often be managed in relatively few treatments.
Recurrent conditions or problems that have been present for longer than three months tend to be more stubborn and will often require a longer course of treatment.
In some cases regular check ups may be useful in managing a particular condition and maintaining optimum function and mobility.
A new patient visit will last between 45 minutes and an hour and a standard treatment visit will last for up to 30 minutes.