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What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic is the largest primary healthcare profession in the world, after medicine and dentistry. Chiropractic is also the first allied health profession to achieve Royal College status.
It emphasizes manual therapy including joint and soft tissue manipulation and mobilisation as well as stretching and strengthening exercises, and health and lifestyle counselling.
Chiropractors are regulated by statute and may therefore treat and diagnose conditions for which suitably qualified medical advice should be sought.
What training is required to become a doctor of chiropractic?
Chiropractors must undertake a minimum of 4800 hours training; the course is similar in length, size and complexity to medicine and is spread full-time over 4-6 years. Chiropractors then typiclaly undertake a further year of clinical based training The medical disciplines are covered in detail, such as anatomy, pathology, physiology, general diagnosis and radiology. There is a greater focus on neurology and orthopaedics (the study of nerves, muscles and joints), biomechanics and a focus on manual treatment methods e.g. manipulation, mobilisation, stretching, soft tissue work and rehabiltiation exercises rather than medication or surgery (although this is studied, it is in less detail than medicine).
Chiropractors are trained to take and read X-rays. If you have any X-rays, CT scans or MRIs, then these are useful to bring with you to your appointment.
A chiropractor's education is on-going, and after entering practice, all General Chiropractic Council (GCC) chiropractors must complete continuing professional development (CPD) courses and seminars to enhance and improve their skills, and to stay current with the latest scientific research.
What can I expect on my first visit?
A detailed case history will be taken focusing on the pain of complaint and also to assess your general health. This is to ensure that the treatment provided is tailored to, and suitable for you. The examination will consist of neurological, orthopaedic and chiropractic testing i.e. assessing the functioning of your joints, muscles and nerves.
The purpose of the initial consultation is to determine the cause of the condition, rather than simply looking to treat the symptoms.
You will be given the diagnosis (what is wrong), details of treatment and the prognosis (how long it will take) all in plain, easy to understand language. You will also be given additional information such as postural advice as well as information on an exercise programme to complement your treatment. If you have any questions relating to this or at any other time, feel free to ask.
If there are instances that require further investigation (e.g. laboratory testing, X-Rays, MRIs) you will be referred as necessary.
For your comfort, all treatment is fully clothed where possible, otherwise gowns are available.
What are the benefits of chiropractic?
You will receive a clearly explained, orthodox clinical diagnosis followed by proven treatments that aim to address the root-cause of the problem, as well as treating the pain itself. To supplement your care, you will be given self-help exercises that aim to stretch, mobilise and strengthen the affected area. You may also receive advice on nutrition, relaxation to supplement your care further. According to the Department of Health, "Chiropractors provide evidence-based, timely and effective assessment, diagnosis and management”.
Chiropractic care is proven to treat a wide variety of complaints including back pain, neck pain, headaches arising from the neck, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, knee and hip pain, including from osteoarthritis, general aches, pains and muscle spasms and cervigogenic dizziness (arising from the neck) and more. Full details of the evidence supporting treatment can be found on the British Chiropractic Association website.
Who regulates chiropractic?
The General Chiropractic Council is the parliament established board to regulate and develop the chiropractic profession. Chiropractors must adhere strictly to its regulations in order to stay in practice and must keep-up-to date with training. These measures are set up to ensure public safety and maintain the highest standards for practioners.
It is illegal for anyone to call themselves or imply there are a chiropractor without holding the necessary qualifications. If someone claims to be a chiropractor and is not on the General Chiropractic Council website, they are not a chiropractor.
What makes the South Coast Clinic different?
The clinic provides a wide range of therapies and treatments from mutliple disciplines, that importantly, are proven to work. The South Coast Clinic combines multilple therapies for maxiumum benefit - at no additional cost to you. Even if you have had care elsewhere and perhaps were told nothing more could be done, a different approach could improve your health and reduce your pain. You will receive a comprehensive assesment to determine the best possible care, whether it is within in the clinic or referral to another specialist.
Is chiropractic recommended by the Department of Health?
Yes, due to the large body of evidence exisitng for its efficacy, it is included in the Department of Health Musculoskeletal Services Framework.
It is also included in the National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines for the NHS and other health professionals.