What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a system of complementary medicine that is primarily concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal problems.
It focuses on misalignments and dysfunction of the joints. Particularly concentrating on joints of the spine, and their relationship with the nervous system, the muscles and the other tissues of the body.
What does Chiropractic treat?
Chiropractic has been showed to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including:
- Low back pain
- Hip and groin problems
- Leg and knee pain
- Foot and ankle pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder and arm pain
- Wrist and hand pain
- Degenerative joint disease/ osteoarthritis
What techniques will be used?
Chiropractors use a comprehensive range of tests, including orthopaedic testing, postural examination and palpation (feel). In addition, a series of functional muscle tests might be performed to assess each area of the body in isolation and of the body as a whole. Supplementary medical tests or x-rays may occasionally be recommended.
Injured tissues often lead to compensations in other areas of the body, which can be experienced as pain. This approach allows the practitioner to determine which tissues are injured and to identify the primary cause of these injuries.
A variety of treatment methods are used by chiropractors, which will be selected according to patient needs. These might include mobilisation and soft tissue work or postural and ergonomic advice. However, the primary tool is the chiropractic ‘adjustment’, which is a quick specific movement applied to a spinal joint by hand.
An adjustment involves a very fast motion which often produces an audible noise as gas is released within in the joint itself. They should not cause any pain and have been shown to reduce spasm and pain, while improving range of motion, locally and of the body as a whole.
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The General Chiropractic Council has a leaflet with more about what to expect when you see a chiropractor.