A chiropractor is a health professional who is trained to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent musculoskeletal system disorders. By definition, this is anything to do with the bones, joints and muscles and the effects that these disorders can have on the nervous system and general health.
Although chiropractic treatment is usually recognised for treating back and neck pain, they can also offer consultations relating to a range of other conditions.
How does a chiropractor treat medical conditions?
A chiropractor will use a range of techniques to help reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility which includes hands-on manipulation of the spine. Other than manipulation, they may use ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as providing advice about posture and lifestyle. A chiropractor can also recommend an x-ray if they believe it is a necessity.
Are chiropractors regulated in the UK?
The Chiropractors Act 1994 provides statutory regulation for the profession and the title ‘chiropractor’ is protected under this legislation. Chiropractors are regulated in the UK by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) to ensure the safety of patients undergoing chiropractic treatment. The GCC is an independent statutory body established by parliament.
Visiting a chiropractor
When you visit a chiropractor for the first time they will perform a detailed assessment of your health including requesting information about your current conditions, your medical history and overall health. If at this point your chiropractor does not think they will be able to help with your recovery, they may refer you to another healthcare professional or your GP.
After assessing your condition, your chiropractor will carry out a physical examination (unless there is a specific reason this cannot be done). You may be asked to remove some of your clothes and a gown will be available if needed.
Your chiropractor will perform a series of tests that could include the assessment of your posture and of your range of movement. If necessary, your chiropractor may require you to have further diagnostic tests dome such as X-ray, MRI or CT or a blood test. If these are necessary, they will explain for what reason, how and when they will be arranged.
When a diagnosis has been made following any tests required, your chiropractor will explain to you what it wrong and if they believe chiropractic treatment will help, they will give you a treatment/care plan which will set out what you can expect, the cost and the treatment options that are available to you.
You may also be given advice about exercise and lifestyle changes that will help you to manage your condition and assist with recovery. Your chiropractor will be happy to answer any questions you have and if you are satisfied will ask you to provide written consent for your treatment to begin.
Your chiropractor will keep all details about your health and treatment strictly confidential.
How much does a chiropractor charge?
The cost of chiropractic treatment may vary depending on the experience of your chiropractor and the length of treatment you receive.