is a regulated profession that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of
biomechanical disorders of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, particularly involving the spine.
Spinal dysfunction and misalignment can be brought on by a number of factors associated with
modern day living, including accidents, physical stress, mental stress, anxiety, poor diet,
lack of exercise and repetitive movements. Loss of normal function of the spinal bones can
cause compression, irritation and inflammation of the joints, muscles and nerves that exit
from between the spinal vertebrae. These spinal nerves supply virtually every part of your body.
Through this neural connection, spinal problems can affect the function of muscles, joints and organs and interfere with optimum health.
Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that the nervous system controls the function of
virtually every tissue, cell, organ and system of the body. In majority of the cases the
treatment is aimed at normalising the function and alignment of the spinal vertebrae and
the surrounding soft tissues. Chiropractors use specific manipulation of these joints to
restore their normal function. The aim is to increase mobility, decrease any pain or discomfort
and remove any possibe nerve root irritation.
Chiropractic can help relieve pain, dysfunction and discomfort from practically every part
of the body by releasing the inherent power of the body to heal itself. Not only does it
offer hands-on pain management, but it can also promote optimum health and give a general
sense of well-being as the body balances itself through treatment and exercises and starts
to function without interference. An important part of chiropractic management of your health is to
ensure that once you get better, you will also stay that way. The ultimate goal is to restore
and optimize your health and then keep you that way.
History of Chiropractic
'Chiropractic' is derived from the Greek words 'kheir' and 'praxis', meaning 'to do
by hand'. This describes chiropractic as a drug-free, natural, non-invasive science.
The use of manipulation has been documented for almost 4000 years, first in China and
Greece. Hippocrates (400 BC) was the first person to link spinal misalignment with ill
health and there are records of spinal manipulation for back problems since that time.
Modern chiropractic was founded by Daniel David Palmer in Davenport, Iowa in 1895. He
came up with the term chiropractic and founded the first chiropractic teaching school
in 1897. Chiropractic reached the UK in the early 1900's. Over the past hundred years
chiropractic has expanded to become the world's third largest health care profession
after medicine and dentistry.
How does it work?
Chiropractic works by identifying the underlying cause of pain or health problem and
then correcting it. No surgery or drugs are involved - it's all natural! In fact, one
of the first aims is to get patient away from using pain killers. Pain killers
may numb the pain but do not work to solve the underlying cause of pain. Furthermore, all
drugs have side effects, some of which can be dangerous. Chiropractors offer
hands-on treatment to deliver chiropractic adjustments. This is the application of
precise force in accurate direction on a specific joint that is out of alignment
or not moving properly. When spinal vertebrae are not functioning properly, the
surrounding muscles and spinal nerves may become irritated, inflamed and compressed.
Adjustments can help the bones to realign and joints to regain their normal function.
Chiropractic education and statutory regulation
Chiropractors are very well trained health care professionals. On average five years
full-time university studies are required. The studies include anatomy, neurology,
physiology, pathology, biochemistry, behavioural sciences, diagnosis and manipulative
skills to mention but a few. In the UK all practicing chiropractors are required by law
to register with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). The GCC's primary function is
to protect the patient by operating statutory regulation for chiropractors and setting
the standards for chiropractic education, practice and conduct.
Today chiropractors are the world's most highly trained and skilled specialists in