What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic was first developed in the 1890's in America, by D D Palmer. He named the profession from the Greek words for 'done by hand'. Today, in the UK, chiropractic is a fast growing, independent, health care profession.

Chiropractic is grounded in the principle that the body can heal itself when the skeletal system is correctly aligned. When misaligned the theory is that nerve transmission is disrupted, causing pain and reduced function and mobility. Chiropractic achieves improved nerve function by means of adjustment of the skeletal system where misalignments are detected, thus promoting healing from within, reducing pain and increasing mobility.

Most chiropractic visits arise due to a person experiencing pain, though some people come with no particular problem, but just want to maximise their own health. Most quickly notice other benefits, aside from relief of pain. They may feel they have more energy, or are sleeping better, or just feel well within themselves.

During the initial consultation, the patient will be asked about the current complaint, whether there are chronic health problems, their lifestyle, medical care received, and any medications currently being taken. The current complaint, if there is one, will be asked about in detail, including how long it has been a problem, how it has progressed, and whether it is the result of an injury or occurred spontaneously, and if the result of an injury, how that injury occurred. Range of motion testing, orthopaedic testing and neurological testing will follow where relevant. X-rays are not routinely used.

After treatment, self-help advice is often offered in order to help restore function and reduce pain more quickly, or to reduce the likelihood of further episodes.