Frequently asked questions

Your most frequent questions about chiropractic care answered

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is the skill of using a specific force in a precise direction, applied to a joint that is fixated, “locked up”, or not moving properly. This adds motion to the joint, helping the joints to gradually regain more normal motion and function. The purpose of this safe and natural procedure is to permit improved spinal function, improved nervous system function, and improved health.
There are many ways to adjust the spine. Usually the chiropractor’s hands or a specially designed instrument delivers a brief and highly-accurate thrust. Some adjusting methods are quick, whereas others require a slow, constant or indirect pressure.

After years of university training and clinical experience, each chiropractor becomes highly skilled in the delivery of a variety of adjusting approaches.

How are chiropractors regulated?

Chiropractors are four to five year university trained, government regulated and government registered healthcare professionals. Government established chiropractic registration boards (The General Chiropractic Council) whose regulations chiropractors must strictly adhere to in order to maintain registration to practice – exist in the United Kingdom to ensure increased public safety for the British population. These bodies are responsible for maintaining the highest standards for all practitioners.

Is chiropractic care safe?

According to a New Zealand government inquiry, chiropractic care is remarkably safe.*
In relation to caring for neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs**. However, it is important to note that while chiropractic has an excellent safety record based on drug free non-invasive care, no form of healthcare is entirely free of potential adverse effects.

While some reports have attempted to associate chiropractic neck adjustments with an occurrence of a particular kind of stroke (vertebral artery dissection), research*** conducted in 2008 in the journal Spine – undertaken as part of the World Health Organisation Bone and Joint Decade Neck Pain Taskforce – provides the strongest support for the extremely high safety of chiropractic care. According to the study, increased risks of vertebral artery dissection were likely explained by patients with pre-existing stroke-related neck pain and headaches consulting chiropractors and primary care physicians before the occurrence of a stroke.

Furthermore, the research asserted that while there was an association of vertebral artery stroke with chiropractic patients under 45, a similar association existed between the same type of stroke and use of primary care physicians in all age groups.

In the study, researchers noted that patients are no more likely to suffer a stroke following chiropractic care than they would after visiting their family doctor’s office. Chiropractors use skill, not force or strength to conduct safe, effective adjustments.

Chiropractic care is a natural approach to better health that is safe and effective. Please feel free to discuss this matter with us.

What type of educational qualifications do chiropractors receive?

Today’s chiropractor is a highly educated professional. Chiropractic training in the UK involves a four or five year courses at either the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic or the Anglo-European college of Chiropractic.
Chiropractic education involves a special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, X-ray, spinal adjusting techniques and related subjects.

A chiropractor’s education never ends. After entering practice, all General Chiropractic Council (GCC) chiropractors must complete continuing professional development courses and seminars to upgrade and improve their skills and to stay current on the latest scientific research.

Is chiropractic care appropriate for children?

Since significant trauma can occur at birth, many parents choose to have their newborns checked for any spinal health related problems. Later, learning to walk, riding a bicycle, and other childhood activities can cause spinal health related problems. While a bandage and some comforting words can help a skinned knee, the potential underlying structural damage to the child’s spine, skull, pelvis and extremities is the unique domain of a chiropractor.
Many childhood health complaints that are brushed off as “growing pains” may be able to be traced to the spine. Chiropractic checkups may be able to identify these problems and may help avoid many of the health complaints seen later in adults. Chiropractors are equipped with the skills and knowledge to provide care especially tailored to the requirements of each individual.


Is chiropractic safe for over 65's?

More and more people are consulting chiropractors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, safe, natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
Restoring better spinal function may help improve lifestyle areas associated with the over 65’s age group including mobility, vitality, endurance, and appetite. Many patients report improvements with arthritic symptoms and other chronic ailments often associated with the aging process. The adjusting technique used by your chiropractor will be modified for maximum comfort and results.

How long will I need chiropractic care?

Long-standing spinal health related problems are often associated with muscle weakness or tension, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine. Many patients find that periodic chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful lives, or want to be at their very best, find that preventative visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health and preventing relapse.
Some patients seek chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of “crisis management” is usually more costly and time consuming, chiropractors stand ready to help all patients, regardless of their health goals.

How long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care is always up to you.

Do I need a referral from a GP to see a chiropractor?

Chiropractors are primary contact, primary healthcare practitioners – as such, no form of referral is required as a prerequisite to visit a chiropractor.

* Hasselberg, PD (1979). Chiropractic in New Zealand: Report of the Commission of Inquiry. Wellington, New Zealand: Government Printer.

** Dabbs, V., & Lauretti, W.J. (1995). A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation vs NSAIDS for the Treatment of Neck Pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 18 (8), 530-536.

*** Cassidy JD, Boyle B, Cote P, He Y, Hogg-Johnson S, Silver FL, Bondy SJ. Risk of vertebro-basilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population based case control and case crossover study. Spine 2008 Feb 15; 33 (4 suppl): S176-83