What is Chiropractic
Chiropractic is a major primary contact healthcare profession whose practitioners undergo a minimum of four years’ full-time university training, followed by ongoing post-graduate study to deliver a comprehensive healthcare package for a range of conditions that have neurological or musculoskeletal causes.
The training includes medical sciences: anatomy, neuroanatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, epidemiology and pathology with the addition of biomechanics. This is followed by pre-clinical sciences: neurology, orthopaedics, general medicine and diagnosis, whilst learning the hands-on techniques that will form the basis of clinical practice.
In the UK, all the training centres now exceed the minimum requirements and the final 1 to 2yrs years of training (depending on college) are spent in a clinical setting working towards a Master’s degree.
During this period, the student interns also start to treat patients in the training clinics. One of the methods used to do this is applying therapeutic and adjustive techniques to the spine and joints of the body. There are many different techniques, each with different adjustments, and many chiropractors learn several different approaches so they can tailor their treatment to the individual patient’s requirements and preferences. Chiropractors typically use their hands or specialised clinical instrumentation to adjust the joints of the spine and body, and advise exercise and follow-up care to rehabilitate areas of chronic damage and to prevent recurrence.
Why a McTimoney Chiropractor?
Chiropractors practise a drug-free, hands-on approach including patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. They are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises. The purpose of chiropractic care is to relieve pain and discomfort, and increase mobility via the adjustments and appropriate rehabilitation. Some of the most common causes of pain are incorrect lifting, sporting accidents, falls, stress, and poor posture. This can lead to pain, numbness, pins and needles, or restricted mobility.
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 may undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain and reduced function. Manipulation of the affected joint and tissues aims to restore mobility so helping alleviate pain and muscle tightness.
McTimoney Chiropractic is traditionally considered a light or low force technique.
Please refer to the McTimoney Associations website to read more.
What will I expect in my 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 appropriate physical assessments 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.
Upon finding a problem, your chiropractor will use one of a number of light, swift and dexterous techniques, characteristic of McTimoney Chiropractic, to make adjustments where needed. If appropriately trained your chiropractor may also use low force adjusting instruments.
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.
Follow up appointments are pre-booked to consist of 30 mins, 45 mins, or 1 hour slots, as they are tailored to your specific individual needs. Treatment is not performed unnecessarily, therefore not all of the time may be needed in every sessions.
You have the right to suspend or cancel treatment at anytime but a minimum of 24 hours notice is required.
How many sessions will I need?
This will vary in relation to age, nature of your problem and your lifestyle.
- Age: you generally heal more slowly as you get older.
- Nature of the problem: for example, a simple backache will often clear more quickly than a sciatic problem.
- How long you have had the problem: generally, a recent injury will resolve faster than one of many years standing.
If it is decided that yours is a condition amenable to chiropractic management, treatment will start on your first visit; if I can’t help you, I will do my best to find the person who can.
On average most patients need between three and six sessions at weekly intervals, but you will be given a better idea of the proposed treatment plan after a thorough case history and examination at the first session.
Some problems can be recurrent owing to the levels of damage sustained or the daily stresses and strains put on certain areas of your body. If this is likely to be the case, I will try to gauge the rate of return and arrange a programme of occasional prevention care if you require it. Lifestyle and rehabilitation advice, or the inclusion of other healthcare individuals if appropriate, aims to minimise the need for treatments and helps you access your maximum health potential.
If you have made what we feel to be a full recovery, your records will be retained for a minimum of eight years just in case anything else goes wrong.
Conditions commonly seen
- Ankle sprain (short term management)
- Elbow pain and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck, but not isolated occurrences
- Headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
- Inability to relax
- Joint pains
- Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments and exercise
- General, acute and chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)
- Generalised aches and pains
- Low back pain (Lumbago)
- Mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following injury i.e. whiplash)
- Migraine prevention
- Minor sports injuries and tensions
- Muscle spasms
- Plantar fasciitis (short term management)
- Rotator cuff injuries, disease or disorders
- Shoulder complaints (dysfunction, disorders and pain)
- Soft tissue disorders of the shoulder
Chiropractors are trained to work with pregnant women, babies and children.
There is no upper age limit or lower age limit to have chiropractic treatment.
Many conditions overlap or are related. If there is any uncertainty that your problem can be treated, a consultation and examination can be booked before commencing treatment with a view to seeing if chiropractic treatment can help you.