Introduction to chiropractic
According to the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), chiropractic is “a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health”.
Chiropractors (practitioners of chiropractic) use their hands to treat disorders of the bones, muscles and joints. Treatments that involve using the hands in this way are called “manual therapies”.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques, with an emphasis on manipulation of the spine. They may also offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, and rehabilitation programmes that involve exercises to do in your own time.
Chiropractic professionals (Chiropractors) are in primary care of the neuromusculoskeletal conditions and are not therapists that are limited to one form of treatment. In addition that are able to diagnosis conditions not of a neuromuscloskeletal origin and refer to the appropriate health care provider.
Chiropractors are experts in the spinal conditions and function. No other profession has the extensive research into the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the spine as chiropractic.
Why the are chiropractors so excited about the spine?
The spine has many functions but most importantly to protect and connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body. The nerves cells in our brain and spine are the only cells that cannot reproduce themselves, they can repair but only if non-lethal damage has occurred.
The spine is the main protection for the nerves cells and if it is dysfunctional the nerves are more prone to damage and possible loss.
The nerves that run through your spine control:
- Muscle movement
- Blood pressure and movement
Therefore keeping good spinal hygiene decreases the risk of spinal nerve damage.
- Initial Assessment
- Chiropractic FAQ
Conditions commonly treated by chiropractors
Chiropractic treatments are often used for musculoskeletal conditions (which affect the muscles, bones and joints).
These conditions include:
- lower back pain
- neck pain
- shoulder pain and problems
- slipped discs
- leg pain and sciatica
- pain or problems with hip, knee, ankle and foot joints
- pain or problems with elbow, wrist and hand joints
They may also use chiropractic treatments to maintain overall good health.
Some chiropractors only treat conditions related to the spine, such as lower back or neck pain. While Thrive Clinic does not claim to treat visceral (organ) conditions, many patients have reported improvement.
The GCC says that the care provided by chiropractors should be “informed by the best available evidence, the preferences of the patient and the expertise of practitioners”.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines to the NHS on the use of treatments and care of patients. Currently, NICE recommends that spinal manipulation – as practised by chiropractors – be considered as a treatment option for one condition, which is:
- persistent low back pain (that has lasted longer than six weeks, and less than one year)
Read the NICE guidelines on early management of persistent non-specific low back pain (PDF, 104kb).
Guidance from the General Chiropractic Council
The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) says that treatment provided by chiropractors should:
- be informed by the best available evidence, the preferences of the patient and the expertise of practitioners
- be appropriate to the patient’s current state of health and health needs
- minimise risks to that patient