What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a primary healthcare profession that specialises in the examination, diagnosis and management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, muscles and nerves of the body.
Most people associate chiropractic care with just the treatment of back pain, neck pain and headaches. However, at West Wickham Chiropractic we have a holistic approach to find the underlying cause of your problem.
Patients commonly present to a chiropractor with the following complaints:
- Back pain or neck pain;
- Migraine or tension headaches;
- Sporting injuries and the enhancement of sporting performance;
- Whiplash related problems;
- Poor posture and work related aches and pains;
- Limb pain, numbness and tingling;
- Arthritic and other joint problems.
What does an initial chiropractic consultation entail?
You will be welcomed at reception by clinic staff and given some forms to fill in before the consultation, so please arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow for this. The chiropractor will take a thorough history which will inquire in detail the reason you are visiting the clinic and also some other general health topics. From there, the chiropractor will ask you to enter a cubicle, dress down to the underwear and put on a treatment gown.
An examination will follow involving chiropractic, neurological and orthopaedic testing to determine which structures are not functioning optimally. After the examination the chiropractor will talk about the best options for you, whether it be chiropractic care or referral to the GP or alternative professional.
If the patient is a candidate for chiropractic care, details of the treatment will be explained including all the benefits and risks.
What does chiropractic treatment involve?
Chiropractic is a profession best known for the manipulation of joints and helping with back pain. A chiropractic adjustment (manipulation) is the application of a specific and gentle push in a precise direction to a joint in order to restore its normal motion, reduce muscle spasm and alleviate associated pain. The chiropractic manipulation can commonly be associated with a ‘clicking’ or ‘popping’ noise. This is harmless and certainly nothing to worry about. The scientific term for this noise is a ‘cavitation.’ Cavitations are the release of gases (nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide) when the joint is stretched and the pressure inside the joint is decreased.
Our chiropractors are trained in a wide range of treatments, not just manipulation, to help you get moving at your best. Every year they further their skills by learning new techniques with further education and training. That we we can be sure we are offering you the best level of care.
Does the treatment carry any risks and will it hurt?
The therapies employed by chiropractors carry far fewer risks than other possible treatment options. Serious side effects are extremely uncommon. Very rarely, manipulation of the neck has been linked with strokes, although research has not definitively proved this and has shown that chiropractic can be one of the safest and most effective forms of treatment available for certain conditions. Please ask the chiropractor to discuss any concerns you may have. A chiropractic adjustment does not normally hurt, although there may be some minor discomfort which quickly passes.
Follow-up treatments are usually very pleasant as symptoms improve.
How many treatment sessions will you need?
The number of treatments you need will depend upon the nature of the presenting complaint (how long the back pain has been there) and how you as an individual respond to Chiropractic care. External factors like age, compliance of practitioner advice and mental attitude will influence the speed of recovery.
There are normally several phases of care:
Of course, the patient is always in charge of their treatment and may choose to follow the practitioner’s advice or not. Some patients simply want pain relief – but beware, experience and research show that the problem will likely recur at a later date; most opt for sorting the problem fully as long term wise it is not only cost efficient, but more importantly it is the best thing for your joints.