What is Chiropractic?
Today, chiropractic is the largest primary healthcare profession in the western world after medicine and dentistry. It focuses on problems involving the muscles, skeleton and nervous system, and their effects on general health. Chiropractors practise a drug-free, hands-on approach including patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. They are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises.
Chiropractors are able to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement as a result of tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as badly lifting a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for long periods of time. The injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain and reduced function. Manipulation of the affected joint and tissues restores mobility so helping alleviate pain and muscle tightness. Correct alignment or your spine ensures that your body’s nerve supply works efficiently.
The following are some conditions commonly presented in clinic which often benefit from chiropractic treatment, but the list is extensive:
~ Back, neck and shoulder pain
~ Pain, discomfort and stiffness in joints and bones
~ Migraine and tension headaches
~ Muscular aches and pains
~ Whiplash injury
~ Sports injuries
~ Pain during pregnancy
~ Postural problems
Chiropractors recognise the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other healthcare providers when in the best interests of the patient.
X-rays are not routinely used, and McTimoney chiropractors rely on their finely tuned sense of touch to palpate subluxations in the spine.
What to expect at your first visit
Your first appointment usually takes around 1 hour.
Your chiropractor will take a full case history regarding your general health background as well as details of your symptoms. This will help in assessing and analysing your particular problem. They will then carry out neurological and orthopaedic testing which will help identify the cause of the problem and aid in the development of a working diagnosis and treatment plan. The chiropractor will talk through the diagnosis and treatment plan with you and answer any questions. They will not commence any treatment before gaining your consent to treat.
McTimoney Chiropractors have a very finely tuned sense of touch, developed in their four years of training, which enables them to identify misalignments of the vertebrae and other bones. Upon finding a problem, your chiropractor will use one of a number of light, swift and dexterous techniques, characteristic of McTimoney chiropractic, to adjust each individual bone that requires it.
If your chiropractor discovers or suspects a problem, which requires medical investigation or an X-ray, they will refer you to your GP. Wherever possible your McTimoney chiropractor will work in co-operation with your GP. Should it be necessary, your chiropractor can also refer you directly for an MRI scan (self pay).
Will I get help and advice to ensure that the problem does not reoccur?
Yes. You will receive postural advice after the treatment to help your body get the most benefit from the adjustments you have received, and to raise your awareness of simple things that you may doing every day which may be exacerbating your problem. You may also be given some basic exercises or stretches to do if your chiropractor feels that would be beneficial.
Can anyone call themselves a Chiropractor?
No. It is illegal for anyone on the UK to use the title “chiropractor” or imply that they are a chiropractor unless they are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC)
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions needed varies considerably depending on:
Your age: you generally heal more slowly as you get older.
The nature of the problem: a simple backache will often clear more quickly than a sciatic problem. How long you have had the problem: generally, yesterday’s injury will resolve faster than one of 20 years’ standing.
Most patients need between three and six sessions at weekly intervals, but your chiropractor will give you a better idea of the proposed treatment plan after they have examined you at the first session.
What is McTimoney Chiropractic?
The McTimoney approach to chiropractic is based on a whole body assessment of the individual, concentrating not only on structural misalignments and subluxations, but also on their general wellbeing and quality of life. As the body works as a whole, it seems clear that it should be treated as a whole, and whilst it is certainly true that people usually seek relief from pain, the aim of a McTimoney chiropractor is to stimulate the body’s own self-healing mechanism and facilitate a return to optimum health.
This is achieved through a series of fast, low-force adjustments of the spine, sacrum, pelvis and the cranium. The arms and legs are routinely mobilised at every treatment. This series of light re-balancing adjustments is comfortable for the patient to receive and means that the approach is suitable for all age groups from the very young to the old and frail. McTimoney chiropractors will always give postural advice to help adjustments hold in order to minimise recurrences of problems in the future.