Chiropractors specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and management of problems arising from the joints, muscles and nerves. Whilst chiropractors treat the whole body, particular emphasis is placed on the function of the spine and how any dysfunction may be affecting the nervous system.
Chiropractic takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing and anyone can benefit from chiropractic care, from babies and children, through adulthood, and into later years. It has been helping people from all walks of life since the first ever chiropractic treatment was given in 1895.
Conditions that chiropractors treat are very varied but they include:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Disc injuries and sciatica
- Shoulder / elbow / wrist pain
- Hip / knee / ankle pain
- Sports injuries
- Pelvic girdle pain of pregnancy
Chiropractic is the third largest health profession in the western world after orthodox medicine and dentistry (World Federation of Chiropractic, 1999). Chiropractic treatment is also mentioned as the preferred treatment for back pain in clinical guidelines throughout the world, and is included in the NICE guidelines in the UK (National Institute of Clinical Excellence).
Chiropractors use a number of different treatment techniques, including skilled and specific spinal and extremity manipulation / adjustments, soft tissue work and prescription of specific targeted home exercises. There are also a number of extremely gentle non-manipulative techniques as suited to the patient's preference, age and condition. BCA (British Chiropractic Association) chiropractors are also qualified to take and read X-rays, which is one of the major differences between chiropractic and physiotherapy, osteopathy, or McTimoney.