Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about Chiropractic. The answers we’ve provided for you below have been provided by The British Chiropractic Association and General Chiropractic Council.
Chiropractic is an independent branch of health care that specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the joints, particularly those of the spine. X-rays are sometimes used in the diagnosis and a Chiropractor carries out treatment by specific manipulation and other treatment techniques. Drugs and surgery are not used.
By law, the GCC must
- check those who apply for registration to make sure that they have a Chiropractic qualification, are of good character and are physically and mentally fit
- set and monitor standards of education and training
- set standards of practice and conduct
- deal with any complaints about the conduct or practice of Chiropractors.
Following your examination a full explanation of your problem a treatment regime proposal will be discussed. Occasionally, you may be advised to return to your GP or Consultant. We can refer you directly to a Consultant, for privately funded appointments. Most Insurance companies require a GP referral for Consultant appointment.
Treatment will be appropriate to your age and condition and may be manipulation of joints, massage, therapeutic ultrasound and or laser, exercise and lifestyle advice. It is a myth that Chiropractors only manipulate joints and have extensive training at undergraduate and postgraduate level in appropriate treatments for mechanical spinal and muscle/joint pain and dysfunction.
Visit our ‘What to Expect’ page for further information.
Patients seldom get better at a constant rate, so it is not unusual for a patient who has been getting better to suffer a temporary relapse before treatment continues again.
Some patients who improve slowly to begin with suddenly reach a stage where they improve rapidly. Others who improve quickly to begin with may take longer to recover fully.
Following a course of treatment, some patients request an occasional check-up to make sure they maintain their improvement.
Some patients who do not benefit are those who expect immediate improvement and failing to respond at once, discontinue treatment. The chances of improvement are always helped by following your chiropractor’s advice.
Chiropractors use high velocity and low amplitude thrusts to mobilise joints in a specific direction, and Osteopaths tend to use long lever manipulation. Some practitioners use conventional electrotherapy equipment like ultrasound and laser as additional treatment modalities. Both professions use accompanying soft tissue techniques including exercise and stretching, as well as a broad spectrum of lifestyle advice.
Chiropractors use X-rays about five times more frequently than Osteopaths and also make fuller use of other diagnostic tests. Differences in theory are mostly historical: early Osteopaths believed that the effect of their treatment was on the blood circulation; whereas chiropractors emphasised the role of the nervous system. Research is more and more demonstrating, both are correct. Both strive to help the musculoskeletal system work as effectively as possible.
It is probably true to say that the practical differences have become fewer over the years and both professions suffer from misconceptions about their counterpart’s work.
There may be occasions when you want another health professional to look at your x-rays or other medical images. In these circumstances your Chiropractor will be willing to release them to you or (with your consent) to your health professional of choice, a CD copy can be made available to you for a nominal charge.
Under the Data Protection Act, you are entitled to a copy of your health record, including any x-rays or other medical images, and your Chiropractor may make a reasonable charge for the copy. The maximum charge that can be made is £50.
Do please ask your Chiropractor if you have any questions about the information set out in this notice.
For a free copy of the Code of Practice please telephone 0845 601 1796 or visit www.gcc-uk.org.
(Issued by the General Chiropractic Council, September 2005 (updated February 2006)