How’s your back? A few aches and pains? Nothing that the doctor can really give a definitive diagnosis for? Are you now considering taking matters into your own hands and like more and more people are you exploring the possibility of visiting a Chiropractor?
The inception of modern chiropractic can be traced back to 1895 when Canadian Daniel David Palmer performed the first Chiropractic adjustment and went on to found The Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1897.
The 20th century saw the growth and development of the profession worldwide, gaining recognition and respect for the place it has taken in the primary care environment. Influential research has underpinned the development of the profession and has come both from both within and outside of the chiropractic research communities.
Chiropractic is the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions, which are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints and their associated effects on the nervous system. The training of Chiropractors takes five years during which time medical subjects are studied to the level of GP’s and in other subjects (neurology, orthopaedics, radiology) to levels approaching consultants. After medicine and dentistry it is the third largest primary health care profession in the western world.
At a first consultation Chiropractors begin by discussing the patient’s symptoms, medical history, lifestyle and posture. The patient is then examined using standard neurological and orthopaedic tests and the joints are tested in motion. Treatment is through the use of hand movements known as adjustments, which restore normal motion in the joints.
The body has the capability to heal itself. If, through accident or lifestyle, a joint or vertebra becomes slightly misaligned, it can affect the nervous system, causing pain, discomfort or even disease. Chiropractors can restore normal alignment, which allows the body’s tissues and structures to heal.
Chiropractors use many different techniques to adjust the body, and always offer self-help advice as well and in fact the patient that follows the instructions of his Chiropractor at home is the one who will do the best, as in most things, we have to start by helping ourselves! X-rays may be taken and, if examination identifies underlying disease, or a condition for which chiropractic is inappropriate, immediate referral to a GP or consultant will follow. Chiropractors do not use drugs or undertake surgery.
It is perhaps less well known that Chiropractic treatment is suitable for all ages including pregnant women and the elderly and even babies and infants.
Many health insurance companies now pay for chiropractic treatment and chiropractors are recognised as primary health care professionals by the medical establishment. And many Chiropractors have clinic sessions early in the morning or in the early evening to fit in with busy working schedules. Fees vary, of course, but generally speaking are not beyond the reach of most.
I spoke to one Chiropractor who has his practice in The South of the UK. Dr. Robert Wilson MSc(Chiro) DC. came to the UK from South Africa and told me that his interest in Chiropractic started through his experience with the martial arts, as a gym instructor and during the time that he was in the army as a paramedic. In particular Dr. Wilson was concerned about the over use of medication in all areas and felt that Chiropractic, which relies in part on the body’s own ability to heal itself, was an area to which he could make a positive contribution.
Dr. Wilson told me that his patients vary in age from a baby of 10 days old with infantile colic to a 97 year old. ‘Obviously when you are dealing with a 20 stone rugby player your technique will be different to that used on a frail 97 year old.’ The most common complaint of the patients Dr. Wilson sees is lower back and neck pain which he attributes to the increase in bad posture, primarily amongst those sitting in front of computers for long periods.
So if that pain in the back is still niggling, perhaps it’s time that you looked into Chiropractic, it could be the answer you’ve been looking for!