What is Chiropractic?
“A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effect of those disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustments and other joint and soft tissue manipulation” source WFC
Chiropractors are qualified health professionals who offer treatment for problems with the bones, joints and muscles that support the body (the ‘musculoskeletal system’).
Problems may occur as a result of accidents, illness, poor posture, lack of exercise, sports injury – or simply everyday wear and tear. These problems tend to cause pressure on the nerves in the body.
There is no typical chiropractic patient. Those seeking help and advice include both young and older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and people who do sport.
Chiropractors treat a wide variety of conditions, including back, neck or joint pain and conditions arising from sports injury. They also treat headaches caused by neck problems, as well as helping patients with migraine prevention.
Treatment by a chiropractor involves manipulation – very precise handling or movement – of the spine or joints to remedy the problem. Sometimes manipulation moves the spine or joints further than they would usually move. A chiropractor may also give you advice on exercise, self-help, diet and lifestyle. Some may also offer rehabilitation programmes.
Most patients decide to visit a chiropractor themselves, but some may be referred by a doctor. Chiropractors are trained to recognise when chiropractic treatment will not help a medical condition, and will refer a patient to a GP when necessary.
Most chiropractors work in the private sector, either alone or in a group practice, and some offer services through the NHS.
All chiropractors in the UK must be registered by law with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and meet these requirements:
- A degree in chiropractic (recognised by the GCC)
- No health issues that may prevent safe treatment
- Valid indemnity insurance
- A commitment to maintain their skills and knowledge.
Chiropractors registered with GCC sign up to the GCC Code of Conduct. This outlines minimum standards that are required to practise safely in the UK. Patients using a chiropractor registered with uthe GCC can be reassured that they will receive safe treatment and a high standard of care with a competent, well-trained professional.
Any chiropractor not meeting the General Chiropractic Council’s Code may be suspended from working as a chiropractor and, if necessary, removed from the register altogether, making it illegal for them to practise in the UK.