What is Chiropractic?

With kind permission of Randy Glasbergen

A hands-on form of health-care, chiropractic is concerned with the functional relationship between the nervous system (which regulates the whole body) and the musculo-skeletal system (joints and bones). Thus, for example, misalignment of the spine (the source of the nervous system) may cause blockages along nerve pathways leading to a negative effect on body function that may manifest in symptoms of discomfort, pain or restriction in movement.

It is a science-based discipline: a safe, natural (non-invasive, drug-free) form of treatment that seeks to restore the body’s natural equilibrium and activate its self-healing mechanisms. We look to the latest research results to ensure that we offer treatment in the way that works best.

Chiropractic treatment involves manipulation of the joints of the spine or other joints of the body. An “adjustment” is a short impulse to the joint, resulting in an audible ‘crack’ as the joint is released. Don’t be alarmed – the crack is simply the sound of gas bubbles popping in the fluid of the joint as the pressure is released. Performed skilfully, chiropractic treatment usually does not hurt although there may be some minor short-term discomfort, which quickly subsides.

The chiropractic profession is regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) which sets the standards of good practice and professional conduct for the profession.

Chiropractors study full time for up to five years to degree level followed by a one year “internship” before qualifying as a “Doctor of Chiropractic”. The GCC requires chiropractors to continually broaden and deepen their knowledge by completing a minimum number of hours every year through a system of continuing professional development.

Following an assessment by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) of the safety, effectiveness and cost of spinal mobilisation and manipulation provided by chiropractors, NICE have published guidelines encouraging GPs to make more referrals to improve the treatment and management of non-specific low back pain.

Useful Links for Back Pain:

  • NICE – National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guideline for management of Low Back Pain.
  • The Bronfort Report – Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Bronfort G, et al. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010; 18:3
  • Acupuncture – British Medical Acupuncture Society patient information regarding conditions responsive to acupuncture.
  • BCA – British Chiropractic Association explains Low Back Pain.

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