Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell when you need a Chiropractic treatment?

Most of the time the answer is no. When you have a misalignment in your spine it can hurt but often these misalignments are often painless. Misalignments often lie just under the surface much like a dental cavity creating a problem but going unnoticed until it causes pain. This explains why people can be showering, washing their hair or picking something off the floor and 'all of a sudden' their back goes 'out' or they experience sudden neck ache or back pain. Remember, pain is an indicator that you have a problem and in itself is not the actual problem.

How do I know if I need to see a Chiropractor?

Just like a balanced diet, regular dental check-ups and being active, Chiropractic care helps you to reach your full health potential. Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, should eat well, remain active and have a healthy spine. You have regular dental check-ups; you get your car serviced regularly so it does not break down, so why not look after your spine? Remember, your teeth can be replaced, your spine cannot!

What does a Chiropractor do?

A Chiropractor is a health care professional whose purpose is to diagnose and treat mechanical disorders of the spine and musculo-skeletal system with the intention of affecting the nervous system and improving health. It is based on the premise that a spinal joint dysfunction can interfere with the nervous system and result in many different conditions of diminished health.

Chiropractors at this clinic have a vast array of assessment and treatment modalities at their disposal. See techniques and services in the about us section for further information.

How often do I need treatment?

The misalignments in your back are more often a result of lifestyle and how your back reacts to this lifestyle. We will not just treat your back and leave it at that; we will have a thorough look at your lifestyle; how you work, what sports you do, how you sleep, and even discuss your nutritional needs if this is deemed necessary. It is important for us to explain to you how to be responsible for your own back and as such we will create a program of exercises to retrain your nervous system and to improve your musculo-skeletal functioning and general health.

Does it hurt?

High quality spinal manipulation is usually painless. Chiropractors are also highly qualified in many non manipulative techniques. See techniques and services in the about us section for further information.

I've heard that Chiropractors 'crack' your bones?

The spinal correction may cause a noise such as you hear when your knuckles pop. This is not the bones cracking. The noise is the pressure being released between the misaligned vertebrae, much like the built up pressure being released from inside a canned drink when it's opened. We now know that this pressure acts like a glue holding the joints together even tighter.

What should I wear?

On your first visit you will be asked to undress to your underwear. Women are given hospital type robe to wear, which opens at the back. Men are also given the option to wear a robe if they wish. Patients are given plenty of time to undress in privacy and the Chiropractor will only enter the room after knocking on the door.

Can I bring some one with me into the treatment room?

Of course you can. We welcome the presence of partners, friends or family in to the treatment room. We want our patients to feel relaxed and always welcome questions form anyone present. We also find out from other people present how often our patients are doing their exercises!

Are all patients treated the same way?

Each treatment is tailored individually to suit the patient based on their age and the nature of the condition being treated. Young patients are adjusted differently to adults and elderly patients are adjusted differently again.

Once I go to a Chiropractor do I have to keep going?

Absolutely not! Once is better than never, though most people choose to continue to receive the benefits of chiropractic care as part of an ongoing desire to stay well. Your Chiropractor treats only those vertebrae that are malfunctioning, restoring your body back to the way it was designed to be. Just like exercise or eating properly, when you feel your spine moving comfortably, you will probably also notice when something's not quite right.

Can my GP refer me to a Chiropractor

Yes, The British Medical Association notes that "There is also no problem with GPs referring patients to practitioners in Chiropractic who are registered with the relevant statutory regulatory bodies, as a similar means of redress is available to the patient."

Can I treat myself?

No, it's impossible to correctly manipulate your own spine. It is possible to make your spine pop and feel better, but it's not possible to find the misalignment that's causing the problem and specifically adjust it and make it better. If you rely on manipulating yourself or having someone who is not a Chiropractor adjust you, the parts of your spine that pop will become loose and unstable, while the real problem (the locked misalignment) will become stuck and decay. Chiropractors would never attempt to adjust themselves. They go to another Chiropractor to receive their adjustments.

Is Chiropractic safe?

Chiropractic is one of the safest health professions in the world. Your Chiropractor will do a thorough examination and may take x-rays to determine if there is any reason why you can't be helped through Chiropractic care. All relevant medical facts will be noted and any concern regarding the safety of treatment offered will be discussed with you by the Chiropractor.

The World Health Organization states that when "employed skillfully and appropriately, Chiropractic care is safe and effective for the prevention and management of a number of health problems.” The International Chiropractic Association (ICA) suggests that Chiropractic is one of the safest health professions and Chiropractors have some of the lowest malpractice insurance premiums in the health care industry. As with all interventions, there are risks associated with spinal manipulation. It is generally accepted that these include vertebrobasilar accidents (VBA), strokes and spinal disc herniation. A 1996 Danish Chiropractic study confirmed the risk of stroke to be low, and determined that the greatest risk is with manipulation of the first two vertebrae of the cervical spine, particularly passive rotation of the neck, known as the "master cervical" or "rotary break." Estimates of serious complications range from 1 in 400,000 manipulations to 0 in 5 million manipulations. In comparison, there is a 3-4% rate of complications for cervical spine surgery, and 4,000-10,000 deaths per million neck surgeries.

Can a person who has had back surgery or fracture still see a Chiropractor?

Definitely! Conditions such as these often place extra stress and tensions on the spine and tissues. Leaving this extra stress unchecked can cause further problems in other areas. The Chiropractor takes all of these factors into account to insure your spine is kept in peak condition.

What kind of education does a Chiropractor have?

A UK trained Chiropractor has 4-5 years of Chiropractic schooling. The course covers similar basic sciences as are covered by medical doctors with the addition of studying spinal care, exercise, radiography and advanced radiology in place of emergency procedures, surgery and detailed pharmacology.

What's the difference between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy?

Chiropractors are able to take, read and diagnose x-rays. Most Chiropractic clinics have x-ray machines inhouse and X-rays have been an integral part of chiropractic training for nearly 100 years. When clinically required X-rays can help provide specific information on joint condition and help formulate a more detailed treatment program.

Both Chiropractors and Osteopaths are highly skilled joint manipulators, where as most Physiotherapists perform more gentle mobilising techniques. The significant benefit of high velocity, low amplitude joint manipulation for low back and neck pain has been researched with many very positive studies. We believe at this clinic that there is a common ground where all three professions should work together to produce the best possible treatment outcome for patients.

We often send patients to specialist Physiotherapists like Tim Shepherd, who is an authority on lower limb injuries.

There are no strict guidelines on treatment protocols for any of the three professions, so there can be a wide range of treatment options available to each profession. For instance all three professions teach rehabilitative exercises and run acupuncture courses, but not all professionals from each discipline learn or use these techniques.