Frequently Asked Questions
How long is an appointment?
The initial consultation takes, on average, about 45 minutes and a treatment session about 15 minutes, but this will vary according to your condition and your needs.
What happens during your initial consultation?
Your chiropractor will begin your initial consultation by taking a full case history. Then you will undergo standard orthopaedic and neurological tests and the movement of your spine and related joints will be checked. If X-rays are necessary to assist the diagnosis, these may be taken on the premises. Chiropractors are trained and qualified to take and interpret X-rays. If your chiropractor identifies an underlying condition for which other treatment is appropriate, you will be referred to your GP or another specialist without delay. Even for such conditions, however, Chiropractic may be very helpful in providing additional relief. As well as using manipulation, massage and stretching, your chiropractor may use additional techniques, having first explained exactly how they work.
How long and how many treatments will it take to get better?
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 make regular visits. Discuss this with your chiropractor, who will explain your treatment programme to you.
For whom is chiropractic suitable?
Chiropractors treat people of all ages from all walks of life. Every person’s needs and requirements are assessed individually. Chiropractors have a wide range of treatment options and techniques at their disposal to ensure that the correct treatment is given to each individual. Whether you are in your 90’s or a budding athlete, you will receive a package of care that is the most appropriate for you.
Will my doctor approve?
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.
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 normal, and does not hurt.
Will treatment hurt?
Generally, chiropractic treatment does not hurt – although there may be some minor short-term discomfort which quickly passes for most patients. For instance, if you have acute inflammation or muscle spasm, when even the lightest touch hurts, there may be some discomfort. However, due to a wide range of treatment techniques and options, your treatment will be modified to suit your needs so that treatment is as comfortable as possible. Sometimes, if you have had a problem for some time, you may feel sore whilst your body starts to adjust to the change, a bit like how you may ache the day after exercise if you are not accustomed to it. Your chiropractor will tell you if this is likely to happen.
Are all patients adjusted in the same way?
No. Your treatment programme will be tailored to your specific needs.
What is the difference between chiropractic and osteopathy?
There are differences in technique and approach, as well as some similarities. Chiropractors are trained and qualified to take x-rays. The important factor is that the practitioner is well-qualified. Both professions now have statutory regulation.
Why should I return if I'm feeling fine?
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. 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.
Can I adjust myself? Is there anything wrong with me 'cracking ' my neck or back myself?
You cannot properly control an adjustment to yourself and your relief may only be temporary. If you feel you want to 'crack' your joints, it may be because you need an adjustment. Consult your chiropractor!
What is the British Chiropractic Association?
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA), founded in 1925, represents over 50% of UK chiropractors. All BCA chiropractors will have undergone a minimum four-year full-time internationally-accredited undergraduate course and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council, the UK's statutory regulator for the profession. The BCA aim to promote, encourage and maintain high standards of conduct, practice, education and training within the profession in the UK.
What is the General Chiropractic Council?
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.