Chiropractic is the third largest health profession in the western world after orthodox medicine and dentistry (World Federation of Chiropractic, 1999). It has been helping people from all backgrounds and all walks of life since the first ever chiropractic treatment was given in 1895.

It is a primary healthcare profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and management of problems arising from the mechanical dysfunction of the joints, muscles and nerves. Whilst chiropractors treat the whole body, particular emphasis is placed on the function of the spine and how any dysfunction may be affecting the nervous system.

Chiropractic takes a holistic, or whole body, approach to health and wellbeing and anyone can benefit from chiropractic care, from babies and children, through adulthood, and into later years. The title of chiropractor is protected by law as the profession is statutorily regulated through the General Chiropractic Council (GCC); it is illegal to practise as a chiropractor without being registered by the GCC.

Chiropractic plays a major role in relieving disorders arising from:

  • accidents
  • stress
  • lack of exercise
  • poor posture
  • illness
  • sports injuries
  • wear and tear
  • pregnancy-induced

As such, conditions that chiropractors treat are very varied but they include:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Disc injuries and sciatica
  • Shoulder / elbow / wrist pain
  • Hip / knee / ankle pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Pelvic girdle pain of pregnancy

Chiropractic treatment is also mentioned as the preferred treatment for back pain in clinical guidelines throughout the world, and is included in the NICE guidelines in the UK (National Institute of Clinical Excellence).

Chiropractic treatment utilises manual therapy including skilled and specific spinal and extremity manipulation / adjustments, along with soft tissue work, muscle release techniques, trigger point work, and prescription of specific targeted home exercises. There are also a number of non-manipulative techniques as suited to the patients preference, age and condition. Chiropractors are also qualified to take and read X-rays, which is one of the major differences between chiropractic and physiotherapy or osteopathy.

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