Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions that are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints and muscles. The profession has statutory regulation through the General Chiropractic Council (GCC); it is illegal to practise as a chiropractor without being registered with the GCC. www.gcc- uk.org
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is the largest and longest-standing association for chiropractors in the UK, requiring the highest standards of education, training and conduct from its members.
A primary health care profession with statutory regulation
Diagnosis is reached only after proper examination and observation of the patient, including:
Treatment consists of a wide range of manipulative techniques appropriate to the patient and his/her condition, designed to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle spasm. Such skilled manipulation is very specific and directed at individual joints in order to restore optimal joint and muscle function.
BCA chiropractors support the treatment they offer with individual advice about the patient’s lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help in managing the condition and preventing a recurrence of the problem.
X-rays may be used in the diagnostic process. Some chiropractors use other treatment modalities, eg ultrasound and interferential, soft tissue or massage techniques and many incorporate functional rehabilitation exercises.
Conditions suitable for treatment
95% of back pain is mechanical in origin, and can be treated by a chiropractor – with full responsibility for the patient – in a primary care setting. However, a letter of referral from the patient’s GP, together with details of any previous investigations, treatment or X-ray findings, is helpful, and a report from the chiropractor will follow. Chiropractors treat patients from newborn to the elderly and conditions suitable for chiropractic treatment include: