What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises
in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions
related to the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body,
particularly those of the spine.
Because Chiropractors are primary contact practitioners, you
do not need to be referred by your Doctor. But if for some reason
your Chiropractor feels unable to help, you will be referred to
another health-care practitioner if necessary.
The treatment consists of a wide range of gentle manipulative
techniques designed to improve the function of the joints, whilst
relieving pain and muscle spasm. Spinal dysfunction and misalignment
can cause many pain syndromes, as well as contributing to other
health problems. Misalignment can be caused by postural issues,
working practices, repetitive movements, injuries, emotional stress
or even environmental stress (such as the toxins we take into our
body in the form of processed foods, alcohol, cigarettes, and even
pollution). In women, dysfunction commonly originates in pregnancy,
and with childbirth.
Chiropractic does not involve the use of drugs or surgery, but
by employing manipulation or adjustment of the dysfunctional/misaligned
areas of the body, compression of spinal nerves, inflammation and
muscle spasm is reduced, which promotes healing, and improves the
efficiency of the nervous system, producing optimum health & well
Chiropractors are amongst the worlds most highly trained and
skilled specialists in manipulative therapy.
Chiropractic is a regulated profession. The British Chiropractic
Association (BCA) was founded in 1925, and represents over 50% of
UK Chiropractors. All BCA Chiropractors will have undergone a minimum
four year, full-time, internationally accredited undergraduate course,
and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC),
the UK’s statutory regulator for the profession. The BCA aims to
promote, encourage and maintain high standards of conduct, practice,
education and training within the profession.
The effectiveness of Chiropractic.
Chiropractic treatment is supported by research, as well as by various
government and medical organisations. (For further information on
research please see the links page). Chiropractic may be available
to patients under the umbrella of the NHS, but this will depend
on the situation within specific Primary Care Trusts. Generally,
patients will see Chiropractors in a private capacity, either through
self referral, or as a result of referral from their GP, other doctor
or health professional. BCA Chiropractors also treat people who
are seeking treatment through private health insurance schemes.
Risks associated with Chiropractic treatment:
Chiropractic has far fewer risks than many other comparable disciplines.
Serious side effects are extremely uncommon. Very rarely manipulation
of the neck has been linked with strokes. Data varies, but current
information suggests the incidence is less than 1: 1,000,000 treatments.
Further data suggests that incidence is 1:5,870,000 treatments.
To put this in context, significant risk for any therapeutic intervention
is defined as 1 incident, in every 10,000. (Data obtained from the
British Chiropractic Association).
The history of Chiropractic.
Written records from the ancient Greek and Chinese civilisations,
dating back several thousand years, refer to spinal manipulation.
The inception of modern Chiropractic can be traced back to 1895,
when Canadian, Daniel David Palmer, performed the first chiropractic
adjustment, and went on to form the Palmer School of Chiropractic,
in Davenport Iowa in 1897.
The 20th century saw the growth and development of the profession
worldwide, gaining recognition and respect for the place it has
taken in the primary care environment. Influential research has
underpinned the development of the profession, and has come from
both within and outside the chiropractic research communities.