Jan "Jannie" Louw
My name is Jan Louw (most people call me Jannie) and I’m a chiropractor originally from South Africa.
As a child I participated in a lot of sports and it was originally with a cricket injury sustained through fast bowling that I was introduced to chiropractic.
After first trying conventional therapy for my back pain with no success, I was recommended to see a chiropractor by a family friend. It was and still is the only treatment that helps to keep my back feeling great. This very positive and swift improvement in my back pain inspired me to contemplate chiropractic as a career, and after first attending three years studying towards a Bachelor of Science degree at Stellenbosch University, I applied to study chiropractic.
After a rigorous selection process, I was accepted into the full time 6 year Masters degree in Chiropractic at the Durban Institute of Technology. I qualified with a Masters degree in Chiropractic in March 2005, after which I worked as a locum chiropractor throughout South Africa until deciding to make the UK my permanent home. I had to sit and pass the Test of Competence as a requirement set by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), which I did in March 2006.
My wife and I settled in Cornwall in April 2006 and have since enjoyed exploring huge parts of this beautiful county. We both enjoy kayaking, fishing, hiking and camping and love to spend time in the outdoors. Our two young children were both born here and we aim to let them experience the best of Cornwall while they are growing up.
I have enjoyed working with patients for many years in the Truro and North Cornwall areas, and since 2011 I have been working part time with Sophie Combarel, registered podiatrist and owner of The Copperhouse Clinic here in Hayle. Recently, I was offered a full time position as the principal chiropractor at the clinic, and was happy to further build on our joint working relationship. We are in the fortunate position here to have chiropractic, podiatry and deep tissue massage all under the same roof. Patients have found repeatedly that by combining these three different modalities they tend to recover a lot quicker from their biomechanical problems, and usually this will manifest into a much more permanent improvement in their symptoms.
No one is too old or too young to benefit from chiropractic treatment. As Cornwall is a popular retirement county, we naturally see a lot of octogenarians and I keep being amazed and impressed by the power of the human body to recover and heal itself so that the symptoms improve significantly and quickly in many cases, often without the need for painkillers or drugs. I like working with people of all shapes, sizes, ages, fitness levels and often end up treating whole families from babies, children, parents, grandparents and even sometimes great grandparents! I believe there are thousands of people here in Cornwall who go through life with a lot of aches and pains that they become used to, and this often prevents them from enjoying their daily activities and hobbies. My aim is to identify what is causing your pain and to treat the cause, or if it’s outside my scope of practice, refer you to the correct professional to help you. I regularly write referral letters to GP’s to request X-rays, MRI scans, Ultrasound scans, blood or urine tests in order to help identify a patient’s problem.
The main element of my treatment involves the chiropractic adjustment. This is a high velocity, low amplitude thrust delivered at a precise point along the spine in order to free up restricted or stiff joints. This is usually pain free, but if there is a lot of inflammation or pain present, I will use different techniques. These include using an Activator, Thompson drop piece adjustments, pelvic blocking as well as various soft tissue release techniques. One modality I enjoy using for its very effective release of stubborn muscle trigger points is dry needling. This involves using acupuncture needles inserted into myofascial trigger points and it is often surprising how quickly such a chronic muscle knot can release with this method. It is important that patients get involved in the recovery process and I will advise them on stretching and strengthening exercises, postural rehabilitation exercises, using icepacks or heat, or taking vitamins or food supplements where needed. Often very simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in a person’s symptoms.
All chiropractors practicing in the UK have to be registered with the GCC and renew this membership annually, after completing a mandatory Continual Professional Development process. I am registered with the General Chiropractic Council, the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa and a member of the British Chiropractic Association.