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What do we treat?

What Does Chiropractic Treat?

Chiropractic is mainly known for being successful in relieving of back pain, neck pain and headaches. However, it is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions due to problems with the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine.

So not only do we treat the spine, but the whole body to ensure that all your body parts work together the best they can. As well as providing relief from pain and discomfort it can also enhance sports performance and general well being.

We use a wide range of techniques including manipulation and mobilisation, combined with essential life-style and postural changes as well as exercises designed to achieve the best possible long-term outcome.

It is suitable for all ages and we can tailor it suit a variety of pre-existing conditions including arthritis, osteoporosis and many others.

The spinal column is a very complex flexible structure consisting of 24 vertebrae stacked on top of each other connected by 23 discs and 51 joints. The head and brain sit at the top and the pelvis is at the bottom. It is held together by a web of muscles and ligaments.

The spinal cord sits in a canal running the full length of the spine. 25 pairs of spinal nerves each exit through narrow gaps between adjacent vertebrae. Each nerve supplies an area of the skin with sensation, controls muscle relaxation and contraction, and generally conveys messages between your brain and the rest of your body. Stiffness, degeneration and disc problems can cause local pain and may also interfere with nerve function causing pain, inflammation, numbness, tingling and weakness in the trunk, arms or legs, such as sciatica.

Many joint and muscle pains, aches and cramps respond well to chiropractic management as can neck related headaches, and migraines.

As a result of the considerable scientific body of evidence regarding chiropractic care (spinal manipulation), international clinical guidelines in both Europe and North America recommend spinal manipulation as a first "line of defence" in treating spinal conditions. Major clinical studies comparing chiropractic care of spinal ailments with other commonly used treatments have been carried out in the UK and published in the British Medical Journal. These studies have proven that chiropractic care provides excellent results and is very cost-effective.

GP guidelines also recommend referral for complementary treatment such as chiropractic if their`management has not resolved the problem within 3 weeks or immediately if the condition has been present for more than 4 weeks when first presenting.

January 2011 -  Maintenance Care Using Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Lower Back Pain.

The Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report - Feb 2010

The guidelines on management of low back pain published in May 2009 by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends up to 12 weeks of manual therapy including manipulation. The institute discourages the taking of x-rays and the use of spinal injections. MRI scans should only be ordered if serious pathology is suspected, or if surgery is considered a treatment option and that only after extensive trials of conservative care, such as chiropractic.

The NICE published quick reference guide can be found here (PDF - 287kb).

In March 2006 The General Practitioners Committee published the Guidance for Referral to Complementary Therapists. To view it click here (PDF - 41kb)

The General Chiropractic Council published a flowchart for the GP Care Pathway. This can be found here (PDF - 159kb).

The Primary Care Pathway for Musculoskeletal Disorders published in 2003 by the Institute for Musculoskeletal Research and Clinical Implementation (IMRCI) is here (PDF - 20kb).

The European Guidelines for the Management of Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain In Primary Care are here (PDF - 274kb),

"...chiropractic has been demonstrated to be more effective for the management of lower back pain than conventional hospital outpatient care"

British Medical Journal, 2004.

"...spinal manipulation is a cost effective addition to "best care" for back pain"

British Medical Journal, 2004.

"...patients receiving chiropractic care for lower back pain were more satisfied with their care than patients receiving hospital outpatient care"
British Medical Journal, 1995.

Chiropractors are regulated by the the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).

The legal framework within which chiropractors practise in the UK is comprehensive and, therefore, very detailed. It consists of the Chiropractors Act 1994 (the primary legislation) and 15 associated Statutory Instruments, commonly called 'the Rules' (the secondary legislation).

Chiropractors have to comply with a variety of other more general legal requirements, for example health and safety and data protection. More detailed information regarding the practice of chiropractic can be found on www.gcc-uk.org, the website of the General Chiropractic Council. Information about the British Chiropractic Association can be found on www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk.

What is chiropractic all about?

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