With Jannie Louw
Chiropractic has grown from a tiny profession - outlawed and ridiculed - to become the third largest independent health profession in the Western World, exceeded only by orthodox medicine and dentistry.
Despite what you may have heard about Chiropractic and what it involves, there is still a lot of myth that can surround it.
The treatment is safe, effective and specific. Treating the cause of your problem not the symptoms, so that your body can be given the 'tools' it needs to heal itself.
Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine. Chiropractic is one of the most popular treatments currently available. Why? Because it works and it offers a natural approach to health, minimising the need for drugs, painkillers or surgery.
The word "chiropractic" comes from two Greek words "chiro", (from the word "cheir" meaning "hand") and "practic" (from the word "pratten" meaning "to do"). So, at its essence, chiropractic means to do by hand.
The Chiropractic profession is a distinct form of health care that dates back as far as 1895. However, even some of the earliest healers in the history of the world understood the relationship between health and the condition of the spine. Hippocrates himself said; "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases."
Chiropractic treatment is based on this premise that the spine is literally the backbone of human health. Misalignments and restrictions of the vertebrae and/ or associated joints can cause interference within the nervous system. This can stem from such things as poor posture, muscle weakness/ tightness, trauma or arthritis and in turn can lead to diminished function, pain and illness. The Chiropractor is trained to analyse and correct these misalignments through specific spinal adjustments.
This skilled form of manipulation allows the nervous system to function properly and the body in turn, to start healing itself.
Chiropractic can help a number of conditions including:
Low Back Pain
General Aches and Pains
Is the Chiropractic Profession Regulated?
Yes. Every practising Chiropractor must pay and register with the General Chiropractic Council. This legislates and regulates the profession to make sure standards are kept high. Every Chiropractor must carry out Continued Professional Development by attending seminars and courses to enable their knowledge to stay current and evidence based. Written proof of this must be submitted to the GCC every year in order for the Chiropractor to remain on the register.
In line with UK legislation, foreign registered chiropractors are legally bound to practice under the role of Osteomyology with the UK Association for Osteomyologists, or register with the UK General Chiropractic Council.
Are Chiropractors Well Trained?
Chiropractors undergo 5 years of in depth and rigorous training. We not only learn about the spine, but are trained in every joint of the body, from the jaw to the big toe! We are fully trained in taking and reading x- rays and also learn about other illnesses and conditions, so that we can identify if your problem is one that needs further investigation through taking an x- ray or by referring you to a different health professional, like your doctor
Following Chiropractic treatment it is very common and usual to feel sore. You may even feel that the original level of pain increases. This is normal.
When a joint is inflamed, just like when you sprain an ankle, it swells and becomes hot and red. When this happens, our body produces chemical substances that irritate the nerves in the area. This in turn causes pain and is the body’s way of signalling that there is a problem.
The process of healing within the body is not always as fast as we would like it to be. This is one of the most frustrating elements, not just for you but also for your Chiropractor! The Chiropractic adjustment not only helps to get the involved joints moving better by mechanically stretching them, it stimulates your nervous system to kick start a healing response. For this to be initiated, the inflammation must temporarily increase. This makes the blood vessels widen, allowing those chemical irritants to be flushed away and the healing process to begin. So the old saying “no pain no gain” is often actually quite apt!
What to do
Ice is the best natural anti- inflammatory you will find. And it’s free. Before reaching for the Ibruprofen, grab your bag of peas!
Wrap in a tea towel- (do not place directly on the skin as this can cause ice burning)
Place over the area of pain as discussed with your Chiropractor
Leave on the area for 20 minutes
It is usual for the area to feel a dull achey pain when the ice is first placed on. Always leave an hour in between each time you ice the area.
Our joints like movement. Remember that pain is just a signal. Feeling pain on movement does not mean you’re making the problem worse. Gently moving and stretching helps keep the joints mobile and speeds up the healing process. But be careful, don’t do anything strenuous and don’t over do it!
If you are worried, have any severe increase in pain or if any new symptoms develop, call the clinic or pop in and we will be happy to check you over or give you advice.