What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic manual therapies, best known for relieving lower back pain, however, most Chiropractors will treat the whole body, back, neck and limbs. A Chiropractor appears to concentrate on spinal joint function but really we are fascinated with the spine because there are 31 pairs of nerves that exit each side of the spine, which innervate muscles, ligaments and skin. These same nerve roots also innervate organs and glands. When the spine or any joint in the body is not functioning correctly it can cause inflammation and back pain due to disturbed nerve function.
A Chiropractor applies gentle pressure to a specific joint of the spine or limb that is dysfunctional. This results in reduced pain and inflammation and restored function to the affected area relieving back pain, migraines, cervico-genic headaches, knee or shoulder problems. However, something to keep in mind, only 10% of each nerve root that exits the spine, stimulate pain. The other 90% regulate other bodily functions which when disturbed are not so easily detected. Therefore, don’t think you have to be in pain to benefit from Chiropractic care.
Chiropractic is not just for pain relief; it’s for health.
This exercise is a very clever neurological exercise to improve posture and relieve upper body pain. Read more about it here.
The benefits of Chiropractic
You may be wondering if a Chiropractor can help you. Below is a list of common injuries, problems, conditions that Chiropractic has been proven to help with, based on the lastest research results.
Chiropractors has been proven to help with:
- Headache (cervicogenic headache arising from the neck)
- Migraine prevention
- Neck pain (mechanical, not whiplash)
- Joint pain
- Minor sports injuries and tensions
- Elbow pain and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Rotator cuff injuries, disease or disoders
- Shoulder complaints, disfunction, disorders and pain
- Shoulder soft tissue disorders
- Hip and knee pain from Osteoarthritis (with adjunct treatments and exercise)
- Acute, chronic and general mechanical backache, back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Generalised aches and pains
- Ankle sprain (short term management)
- Plantar fascitis (short term management)
- Reducing tension and enhancing the ability to relax (through lifestyle advice)
Chiropractors may help a large range of conditions/problems; some that you may surprise you! So if there is a condition that you or a family member is suffering with, please contact us for more information as to whether chiropractic may help.
Chiropractic is not just for pain relief; it’s for health.
Your first visit
We understand that the first visit can be stressful, don’t worry, our team is very good and we can help you through this new experience.
Your initial consultation at Coast Chiropractic Clinic will take approximately 45 minutes.
On arrival at the clinic you will be asked to complete a form if you have not already done this by email. If you need help with this, our reception staff will be more than happy to assist you.
Anne French, our Chiropractor, will then ask you questions to gather a detailed health history and further questions regarding your presenting complaint and what has happened over the course of your life that may have potentially caused the problem along with other relevant lifestyle questions, such as your work position, sleeping position, typical food intake, etc.
Our Chiropractor will then perform a very thorough physical examination including postural, range of motion tests, orthopedic and neurological tests. In most cases, we are able to do this exam with you fully clothed. If required, you may be asked to have further tests or be sent for X-rays, but only if necessary.
Our Chiropractor will then discuss her findings with you, giving you a diagnosis and a plan of treatment. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have about your concerns.
Our Chiropractor will usually treat you after discussing her findings and plan of treatment. However, occassionally, other tests may be needed for further investigation before beginning treatment.
All chiropractors practicing in the UK must be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). To do so they must have graduated from an accredited institution, which takes a minimum of 4-5 years of study. Subjects of study include: anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, pharmacology, orthopaedics, injury rehab, nutrition, diagnosis and radiology.
Our Chiropractor, Anne French, graduated from the AECC, has a BSc (Hons), MSc Chiropractic, and is a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Chiropractors must also complete 30 hours of Continual Professional Development (CPD) each year to remain up-to-date with their skills and knowledge and qualify for registration with the GCC.
Is Chiropractic safe?
Yes. Chiropractic care is very safe when performed by a registered Chiropractor.
A thorough examination is essential for the Chiropractor to diagnose your condition and assess your needs. They will only adjust you if is appropriate to do so. If the Chiropractor believes your case is outside her scope of practice she will refer you to the appropriate medical professional.
What is the popping sound?
When you are adjusted, you may or may not hear a popping sound. The popping sound is simply a release of gas when the joint is moved like popping your knuckle. It is NOT the bones cracking!
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies from patient to patient. This all depends on your presenting complaint, your health, your lifestyle habits and how well you have looked after yourself over the course of your life (yes, it really makes a difference).
Anne will give you a plan of treatment on your initial consultation, as is required by the GCC. This will give you an idea of what to expect but nothing is written in stone, it is your body and always your decision; we give you our professional experience and advice.
Many patients decide to continue with ongoing, periodic Chiropractic care as they recognise the benefits they receive and realise that Chiropractic treatment is about health and not just pain relief.
If you require x-rays you will be referred to a local x-ray service. The x-rays will then be reviewed and analysed by a Radiologist and your Chiropractor. Your x-ray results will be discussed at your next convenient treatment.
Do I need to be referred by my GP?
No, you do not need to be referred by your GP: Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners. A GP will often refer patients to a chiropractor and vice versa as required.
Is Chiropractic care available on the NHS?
Please check with your GP to see if your local Primary Care Trust has funding for chiropractic treatment. In May 2009, The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recognised chiropractic as a treatment for low back pain. NICE recommended “offering a course of manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, comprising up to a maximum of nine sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks” www.nice.org.uk/CG88 NICE provides guidance to the NHS, sets quality standards and manages a national database to improve people’s health and prevent and treat ill health.
Can I claim on my private health insurance?
In most cases health care insurance providers cover chiropractic care. Some providers may also require a referral from a GP to claim. We recommend that you contact your insurance company to check your level of cover. You are required to pay for your treatment and then make your claim directly with your insurer. Please advise us when making your appointment if you will be claiming on insurance.
What is the difference between Chiropractic and Osteopathy?
This is one of the most common questions asked at the clinic, so common I wrote a Blog on it (just follow this link). However, I truly believe, it makes no difference whether you see a Chiropractor or an Osteopath. Our training is very similar (in the UK). We treatment similar conditions, we are all a little different due to our personal passions or beliefs about health, therefore we have found our own way of practicing in our profession. All that really matters is that you can communicate with the practitioner, they listen and they have a passion to help you.