Chiropractic FAQs

Commonly asked questions

about chiropractic treatment


People are often curious about what Chiropractic actually is and how it works.

Here are some answers to the questions that we are most commonly asked.

Bristol Chiropractic Clinic
Why might I need to visit a chiropractor?
The usual thought that springs to mind is that ‘chiropractors treat backs’. However, there is so much more that chiropractic treatment can help with – all to do with the framework and bones and muscles that support the body (the musculoskeletal system). This means that if you have aches or pains in your joints or muscles, chiropractic care might be the best way forward for you!
Is there a difference between Chiropractic and Osteopathy?
Yes there is – each practice uses different techniques and approaches, as well as some that are similar. However, the most important aspect to look for, when deciding on whether to seek chiropractic or osteopathic treatment is that the practitioner is well-qualified. It is important that the practitioner meets the statutory regulations in order to best treat your needs.
Is Chiropractic treatment approved by doctors?
Chiropractic is becoming increasingly recognised by GPs as an effective complementary treatment for aches and pains, particularly those in the back area. Some doctors are less keen to refer their patients to chiropractors, however, a GP’s referral is not required to visit a chiropractor.
Can anyone call themselves a chiropractor in the UK?
No they cannot. It is illegal for anyone in the UK to use the title ‘chiropractor’ or to suggest that they are a chiropractor unless they are fully qualified and registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). Trained chiropractors who are not registered with the GCC, however, may continue to practice as long as they do not call themselves ‘chiropractors’.
Would I be able to get treatment through the NHS?
Curently, the availability of chiropractic is not widespread on the NHS. It is possible, in some circumstances, that GP’s are able to purchase chiropractic treatment on behalf of their patients through the NHS. There are many insurance companies who will also now pay for chiropractic treatment.
Are all patients given the same treatment?
No they are not – As chiropractic treatment is so specific to your body and your needs, it is tailored specifically for you.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
So long as treatment is carried out by qualified chiropractic practitioner, Chiropractic is remarkable safe. Chiropractic training teaches the practitioner to recognise the correct procedures for treating your pains and so applies the correct amount of pressure in the correct places.
Should I come back, even though I feel fine?
Your chiropractic practitioner may have treated you and you feel fine. However, it is important to recognise the cause of your pains – your lifestyle for example. Although the first treatments may help you to feel ok in the short term, ongoing treatment helps to relieve pain for longer and acts to prevent long term damage and pain.
What is the popping noise of the adjustment?
The scientific reason behind the pop! In your spine, you have joints called synovial joints which produce synovial fluid. This fluid is what lubricates the joints to allow them to move and nourish them to keep them strong. In creating synovial fluid, your body produces a gas in the joints which, when the joints are gapped, or opened, is released creating a distinctive popping sound – a bit like opening a champagne bottle!
Have I got a ‘slipped disc’ or a ‘trapped nerve’?
Perhaps – although these terms are used to describe a large number of conditions. The best option is to visit us and your chiropractor will be able to make a more specific diagnosis and explain your condition to you.
Does treatment hurt?
When carried out correctly by a qualified practitioner, chiropractic manipulation is not painful. Should you be suffering from acute muscle spasm, where even the lightest touch can be painful, you may experience some expected discomfort. Sometimes, if you’ve suffered from a problem for a long amount of time, you may feel sore after your treatment as your body begins to adjust. Your chiropractor will let you know if this is likely to happen to you.
How do chiropractors get trained and become qualified?
In order to become a qualified chiropractor, you must take at least four years of full-time undergraduate study. Following successful completion of either an MSc or MChiro (Master of Chiropractic) degree, chiropractors are able to take another year of training providing them with a postgraduate training in chiropractic. Once qualified, chiropractors must register with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) in order to call themselves a ‘Chiropractor’.
How long will my treatment take?
Usually, your first consultation session will take around forty five minutes. Following this, a chiropractic treatment session, on average, lasts around 20-30 minutes. This, of course, will vary according to your specific needs.
How many treatment sessions will I need?
This is entirely down to your specific condition and treatment needs. On average, a course of chiropractic treatment may entail five or six visits spread out over two or three weeks. This will be something your chiropractic practitioner will be able to advise you on with more specificity.
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