Patient questions & answers
Please find a list of the most frequent questions and answers from our patients.
Increasingly, GPs are recognising chiropractic as an effective complementary treatment, particularly for back pain. You do not need a GP’s referral to visit a chiropractor.
Some GPs are able to purchase chiropractic treatment for their patients on the NHS. Many health insurance companies will now pay for chiropractic treatment.
The first consultation takes, on average, 15-30 minutes, and a treatment session about 15 minutes, but this will vary according to your condition and your needs.
Your recovery is dependent on many factors – the problem, the length of time you have had it and your own commitment to any rehabilitative exercises and treatment visits which your chiropractor may recommend. Every case is assessed individually. It is important to keep your appointments and follow your care plan. Discuss this with your chiropractor, who will explain your treatment programme to you.
Chiropractic treatment is suitable for everyone, including newborn babies, the elderly, pregnant women and sports enthusiasts. Once you are better, your chiropractor will help you to maintain your own health, and keep your body working as it should, by offering exercise and lifestyle advice for you to follow in the future.
What is the popping noise of the adjustment? When the two surfaces of a joint are moved apart rapidly, as happens in a chiropractic adjustment, there is a change of pressure within the joint space. This may sometimes cause a bubble of gas to ‘pop’ – but this sound is not significant, and does not hurt.
These are common, general terms used to describe a multitude of conditions. Your chiropractor will make a more specific diagnosis and explain your condition to you.
Manipulation, when carried out correctly by a qualified practitioner, is not painful. If you have acute muscle spasm, when even the lightest touch hurts, there may be some discomfort. Sometimes, if you have had a problem for some time, you may feel sore whilst your body starts to adjust. Your chiropractor will tell you if this is likely to happen.
No. Your treatment programme will be tailored to your specific needs.
Yes. The strength of chiropractic is that it can help prevent discomfort and pain, and is suitable for everyone. It is entirely appropriate to visit a chiropractor even if you have no pain, as restrictions in movement can often be detected before symptoms appear.
There are differences in technique and approach, as well as some similarities. Chiropractors are trained and qualified to take and interpret x-rays. The important factor is that the practitioner is well-qualified. Both professions now have statutory regulation.
Chiropractic is remarkably safe when treatment is carried out by a properly qualified practitioner. Your chiropractor is trained to recognise conditions which require referral elsewhere, and after assessing individual circumstances can treat you even after surgery.
Your chiropractor has treated you, so allowing your body to heal, but if you continue the lifestyle which caused the original condition, regular treatment should also continue.
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is the largest and longest-established association for chiropractors in the UK, representing 70% of internationally accredited UK chiropractors. We aim to promote, encourage and maintain high standards of conduct, practice, education and training within the profession in this country.All our members have undergone a minimum of a four-year full-time internationally-accredited degree course and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council, the UK’s statutory regulator for the profession. For more information visit the BCA Website.
The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) is a UK-wide statutory body with regulatory powers, established by the Chiropractors Act 1994. It has three main duties:
- To protect the public by establishing and operating a scheme of statutory regulation for chiropractors, similar to the arrangements that cover other health professionals;
- To set the standards of chiropractic education, practice and conduct;
- To ensure the development of the profession of chiropractic, using a model of continuous improvement in practice.
Since June 2001 the title of ‘chiropractor’ has been protected by law and it is a criminal offence, liable to prosecution, to describe oneself as any sort of chiropractor without being registered with the GCC.For more detail, please visit the GCC Website.
Particularly for low back pain, yes. The Clinical Standards Advisory Group recommended in 1994 that there should be earlier access to the manipulative therapies and a redistribution of resources within the NHS to make this happen. In September 1996 the Royal College of General Practitioners issued guidelines for GPs which recommend manipulative treatment within the first six weeks for patients with low back pain. They also state that the risks of manipulation are very low in skilled hands.The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidelines in 2009 to improve the early management of persistent non-specific low-back pain. The guidelines recommend what care and advice the NHS should offer to people affected by low-back pain. NICE assessed the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of available treatments and one recommendation is to offer a course of manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, spinal mobilisation and massage. This treatment may be provided by a range of health professionals, including chiropractors.