Chiropractic treatment is generally painless, and some patients feel immediate relief after treatment. Patients who come in with moderate to severe pain may experience temporary discomfort. If this is the case an ice pack (covered with a towel) placed on the area for approximately 15 minutes will help.
Chiropractors aren’t actually ‘cracking your bones’. We use a specific adjustment to stretch the joint to get it back to its full range of motion. The ‘crack’ is a popping of gas bubbles within the joint and is totally normal.
In simple terms, both osteopaths and chiropractors tend to treat similar conditions with similar techniques. The distinction between chiropractors and osteopaths stem from a subtle difference in philosophy. Traditional osteopaths believed that all problems stemmed from the vascular system and traditional chiropractors believed that all problems stemmed from the nervous system.
Chiropractors and physiotherapists have a large overlap in their professions. They both treat musculoskeletal problems with the aim to increase function, decrease pain, and increase strength. The approach of each of the professions is slightly different. Generally, but not exclusively, speaking chiropractors favour a more passive approach at first (mobilisations, adjustments, soft tissue work) and then as treatment progresses an active approach is incorporated. Physiotherapists tend to go straight for the active approach (exercises and self-mobilisation).
You do not have to contact your GP before visiting a chiropractor if you do not wish to. Chiropractors are primary care practitioners, which mean they deal with the public directly as opposed to from a referral. If you are claiming through your health insurance then a GP referral may be necessary but it is always best to check with your health insurer first.
Official guidelines from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) suggest early referral for manipulative treatment, such as that performed by a chiropractor, is the most effective way of dealing with acute and chronic lower back pain.
There is a range of scientific evidence from randomised clinical trials (Bronfort Report) to prove the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for a variety of conditions including lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, dizziness, leg pain, and arm pain.
Chiropractic has far fewer risks than many other treatments for your problem. Serious side effects are extremely uncommon and research shows that chiropractic is one of the safest and most effective forms of treatment available. Your chiropractor will, of course, be happy to discuss all your concerns regarding treatment.
Chiropractic is covered by most private health insurers, check with your provider to see if you will be covered.
All chiropractors are registered with the General Chiropractic Council and are members of the British Chiropractic Association. The General Chiropractic Council are the body established by parliament to regulate and develop the chiropractic profession. It is a criminal offence to call yourself a chiropractor if you are not registered with the General Chiropractic Council. In order to be registered with the General Chiropractic Council you have to have completed a degree in chiropractic (Currently a 4 or 5 year Master of Chiropractic degree) from an accredited university.
It is not possible to determine how many visits a person will need without a consultation. After your initial consultation the chiropractor will go through the results and explain how many treatments it will take to get rid of the pain and prevent the problem coming again.