What is Chiropractic?
The word "Chiropractic" is taken from two Greek words and literally means "manual practice"; or, in other words, treatment by manipulation.
Chiropractic is an independent branch of medicine that specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the joints, particularly those of the spine and their effects on the nervous system. X-rays are often used in the diagnosis and a chiropractor carries out treatment by specific manipulation. Drugs and surgery are not used.
Research, various government and medical organisations have authenticated the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment (see external links, below, for further details). As chiropractors, we offer evidence-based quality care.
What do chiropractors treat?
To the 'average man or woman on the street' a chiropractor is someone who 'does' backs and may be deals with disc problems and sciatica. This image of a chiropractor has arisen through word of mouth, press articles and TV. As with may things, despite the urban myths that might abound, the former claims now have to stand up to thorough scientific scrutiny as to their true efficacy.
In 2009 the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) commissioned a study to review the current evidence as to the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment on a whole list of conditions and symptoms.
Although the report had some shortcomings, it concluded that there was strong evidence for the benefit of chiropractic treatment in cases of:-
- acute and chronic low back pain
- acute and chronic neck pain
- neck pains associated with some road traffic accidents
- shoulder girdle pain and dysfunction
- frozen shoulder
- tennis elbow
- muscle pain relief in cases of hip and knee osteo-arthritis
- headaches and dizziness secondary to neck problems
- migraine type headaches
There are many other areas where, although there is limited strong evidence, the chiropractic has been found to be benefical eg sports injuries.
Research trials are on going throughout the world in various chiropractic colleges and establishments to provide further strong evidence of treatment on an ever-increasing number of conditions.
The most common conditions we treat in the Malvern clinic include back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint stiffness, postural problems, sports injuries and muscle pain; however there are few musculoskeletal conditions that we cannot improve to some extent!
Is A Chiropractor Properly Qualified?
Since 1925 The British Chiropractors' Association has maintained a register of members, all of whom have graduated from recognised chiropractic colleges. These members must subscribe to the code of ethics, rules and by-laws laid down by the Association to regulate relationships between a chiropractor and his/her patients. (In 1984 the Association changed its name to The British Chiropractic Association.)
The responsibility for the register is now held by an independent body, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), since the passing of The Chiropractic Act of 1994. The register was opened in July, 1999 and after the 15th June, 2001 it became illegal for anyone not registered to call themselves a chiropractor. Both chiropractors at the practice are on the GCC Register and are members of The British Chiropractic Association.
What About My General Practitioner?
Most patients consult a chiropractor directly, usually after personal recommendation. You do not need a GP referral to visit a chiropractor - we are a primary healthcare profession. However, general practitioners are allowed by the General Medical Council to refer patients to chiropractors if they are sure that the chiropractor is the proper person to deal with the patient's condition.
What Is The Difference Between Chiropractors and Osteopaths?
In most countries, chiropractors are better known than osteopaths. Their forms of treatment have similarities, but there are important differences in their techniques. The important fact is that now, due to legislation, only genuinely qualified osteopaths and chiropractors are allowed to practise in the UK.
Where Can I Find Any Further Information About Chiropractic and What Chiropractors Treat?
The chiropractic profession is regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC): www.gcc-uk.org
and supported by The British Chiropractic Association (BCA): www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk Both websites offer more information about the profession and what we treat. They also include links to numerous research papers, endorsing the profession.