The Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic helps a wide variety of musculoskeletal and neurological complaints and can also play a vital role in helping you live a healthy lifestyle. Here are some researched benefits of chiropractic care:
Relief of Lower back pain and Neck pain: A combination of chiropractic care and therapeutic exercises gave excellent results in a population of over 100 injured workers (Aspegren et al 2009).
Improves your balance (Proprioception): A study involving 60 adults over 65 years of age showed a significant improvement in balance (proprioception) when receiving chiropractic care. This suggests that communication pathways between the brain and body were improved and bodily awareness was increased (Holt et al 2016).
Improves Joint mobility and range of motion:For example, a significant improvement in ankle joint function was found when using chiropractic mobilisation (Silva et al 2017).
Reduces Stress: A 2017 study examined PET scans (brain scans) of people receiving chiropractic care. They found that regular care improved blood flow and oxygen flow to areas of the brain associated with stress. Movement, posture, emotions, learning and memory centres of the brain all improved after a chiropractic adjustment (Inami et al 2017).
Improves the communication between the brain and body: A single session of spinal adjustments of dysfunctional vertebral segments in patients altered somatosensory processing at the cortical level, particularly within the prefrontal cortex. This means the area of the brain which processes sensory input (information coming in) and motor output (information going out) to the body was stimulated (Lelic et al 2016).
Boosts your immunity: A recent study in 2015 by Kolberg and colleagues demonstrated an increase in antioxidants (superoxide dismutase and glutathione) after 5 weeks of chiropractic adjustments. Antioxidants clear up damaging free radicals which can harm your health.
Influences the nerves that control the heart: an interesting study done in 2006 showed that spinal adjustments to the thoracic spine (midback) had a direct effect on heart rate variability (Budgell 2006).
How we work
Our short term aims:
- To help ease your pain naturally
- Restore movement and alignment where natural and possible
- Connect you to your unique body; to feel free and comfortable within it
Our long term aims:
- Support you on your journey; listen and advise if appropriate on movement, diet, other healing therapies / therapists
- Help you figure out the messages your body is trying to tell you
- Reduce your physical, chemical and emotional stress levels so your tolerance is increased
How do we work together?
- This is a partnership, you are not passive in the process. Please be active in your healing; ask questions, give feedback and experiment with lifestyle / stress reduction advice
- Be open minded and receptive to healing
- Take responsibility for your own health. We are here to support you, not ‘fix’ you
- Your body is unique. Everybody responds to slightly different approaches and techniques. This takes time to figure out. We need an initial course of treatments close together, to get to know your body and needs
- Keep committed to the treatment plan. Remember healing takes time and it can be a bumpy road so please be patient
- After your initial symptoms have reduced, we’ll focus on stress reduction, prevention and maintenance if that’s what you want
- Pain can be an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. Listen to your bodies message
What will happen in a treatment?
- With our hands we adjust joints which is adding extra movement and energy into a joint space
- we mobilise and traction the joints to increase the range of movement and space within the joint
- we massage and stretch the muscles and fascia to work out tension and adhesions
- we listen to your feedback and give advice
- we refer you for extra investigations e.g X-rays or to another health care practitioner if appropriate
- We encourage stress reduction, prevention strategies and regular chiropractic care to support you on a long term basis
A typical treatment course looks like:
- First consultation: exchange of information. We find out about you and we explain how we can help
- Treatments 1 to 4 as close together as possible (ideal 2 per week)
- Treatment 5 / 6 Reassess. Look at progression. Consider referral if appropriate
- Treatment 6 + If symptoms have resolved start to space out treatments
- Move from symptomatic relief care into regular maintenance / preventative care (monthly tends to suit majority but there is no ideal here)
A bit of background on Chiropractic
The World Federation of Chiropractic defines chiropractic as “A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal manipulation or adjustment.”Chiropractic is a primary health care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of neuromuscoluoskeletal conditions that occur secondary to the mechanical dysfunction of joints and muscles.
Founded in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer, Chiropractic is now the third largest healthcare Profession in the West after Dentistry and Medicine. Although a relatively “new” profession, records dating back several thousand years from ancient Greek and Chinese civilizations refer to spinal manipulation.
The profession is regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and it is illegal to practice in the UK without being registered with the GCC.
In the UK, Chiropractors undergo a minimum of four years internationally accredited training covering topics such as anatomy, neurology, radiography and orthopaedics. The training is extensive and it has to be updated yearly in order to maintain registration with the GCC.