Chiropractic is a profession which specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions which are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints and their effects on the nervous system. The training of Chiropractors takes five years during which time medical subjects are studied to the level of GP’s and certain subjects (neurology, orthopaedics, radiology) to levels approaching consultants. After medicine and dentistry it is the third largest primary health care profession in the western world.
The body has the capability of healing itself. If, through accident or lifestyle, a joint or vertebra becomes slightly misaligned, it can affect the nervous system, causing pain, discomfort or even disease. Chiropractors restore normal alignment which allows the body’s tissues and structures to heal unhindered.
Chiropractors begin a first consultation by discussing the patient’s symptoms, medical history, lifestyle and posture. The patient is then examined using standard neurological and orthopaedic tests and the joints are tested in motion. Treatment is through the use of hand movements known as adjustments which restore normal motion in the joints.
Chiropractors use many different techniques to adjust the body, and frequently offer self-help advice as well. They may take x-rays and, if their examination identifies underlying disease, or a condition for which chiropractic is inappropriate, they will immediately refer the patient to a GP or consultant. Chiropractors do not use drugs or surgery.
• Chiropractic treatment is suitable for all ages including babies, pregnant women and the elderly.
Many health insurance companies now pay for chiropractic treatment and chiropractors are recognised as primary health care professionals by the medical establishment.