What Is Chiropractic?

Low back pain, neck pain, sports injuries

Chiropractors are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions which are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints and their effects on the nervous system.

Chiropractors use their hands to adjust the joints of the spine and extremities where signs of restriction in movement are found; this improves mobility and relieves pain. The body’s own healing processes (which we normally recognise in its ability to heal bruises, cuts and broken bones) will then be able to get on with the task of improving health. This treatment is known as ‘adjustment’ or ‘manipulation’.

Poor, inadequate or incorrect function in the spine can cause irritation of the nerves that control posture and movement. This spinal nerve stress (which may be caused by factors such as accident, poor diet, lack of exercise, poor posture and anxiety) can lead to the symptoms of discomfort and pain.

By manipulating joints, chiropractors stimulate the joint movement receptors – the body’s position sensors which provide feedback to the brain on where the joint is in space. This stimulation can affect the way the nervous system works. Depending on where the nerve irritation has occurred in the spine, symptoms may include the following:

Symptoms
  • Back pain and stiffness
  • Sciatica or numbness
  • Restricted spinal joint movement
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Migraines, headaches
  • Joint pains/stiffness
Problems
  • Disc problems and arthritis.
  • Sprains, muscle imbalances
  • Sprains, strains, cartilage issues
  • Arthritis
  • Sports injuries

This is because the irritation of the nerve in one area can sometimes lead to pain (known as ‘referred’ pain) in other parts of the body. Painful symptoms are a warning sign which should not be ignored; a chiropractor is trained to diagnose the cause, and if indicated treat using manipulation. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or use surgical procedures.

Know More

A Brief History of Chiropractic

All British Chiropractic Association Chiropractors have undergone a minimum of a four-year, full-time, internationally accredited degree course. Studies include the medical sciences, clinical diagnostic skills, orthopaedic and neurological testing, taking and reading of x-rays. They are also trained to have a complete repertoire of chiropractic adjustment menthods to suit the varied needs of patients and treat the whole range of musculoskeletal conditions.

Soon after graduation, Chiropractors follow a postgraduate training scheme (PRT), which provides the framework for a period of postgraduate training and professional development. PRT enables newly qualified chiropractors to work in professional clinical settings in regular contact with more experienced colleagues who act as trainers/mentors. In addition to practical clinical aspects, further structured education is provided.

Each graduate is partnered with a recognised Chiropractic Trainer with whom they have regular contact. Each graduate must fulfil a range of learning requirements. Newly graduated Chiropractors thus complete the smooth transition to autonomous professional practice in the clinical setting.

The Chiropractor’s learning continues throughout his/her professional career. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is now a statutory requirement, monitored by the General Chiropractic Council.

Statutory Regulation of Chiropractic

The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) is a UK-wide statutory body with regulatory powers, established by the Chiropractors Act 1994. It has four main duties:

To protect the public by establishing and operating a scheme of statutory regulation for chiropractors, similar to the arrangements that cover other health professionals

  • To set the standards of chiropractic education, practice and conduct
  • To ensure the development of the profession of chiropractic, using a model of continuous improvement in practice
  • To promote the profession of chiropractic so that its contribution to the health of the nation is understood and recognised

Since June 2001 the title of ‘chiropractor’ has been protected by law and it is a criminal offence, liable to prosecution, to describe oneself as any sort of chiropractor without being registered with the GCC.

For more detail, please visit the GCC Website.

Chiropractic Training

All British Chiropractic Association Chiropractors have undergone a minimum of a four-year, full-time, internationally accredited degree course. Studies include the medical sciences, clinical diagnostic skills, orthopaedic and neurological testing, taking and reading of x-rays. They are also trained to have a complete repertoire of chiropractic adjustment menthods to suit the varied needs of patients and treat the whole range of musculoskeletal conditions.

Soon after graduation, Chiropractors follow a postgraduate training scheme (PRT), which provides the framework for a period of postgraduate training and professional development. PRT enables newly qualified chiropractors to work in professional clinical settings in regular contact with more experienced colleagues who act as trainers/mentors. In addition to practical clinical aspects, further structured education is provided. Each graduate is partnered with a recognised Chiropractic Trainer with whom they have regular contact. Each graduate must fulfil a range of learning requirements. Newly graduated Chiropractors thus complete the smooth transition to autonomous professional practice in the clinical setting.

The Chiropractor’s learning continues throughout his/her professional career. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is now a statutory requirement, monitored by the General Chiropractic Council.