Chiropractic therapy is a type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Chiropractors use their hands to relieve their client of disorders of the bones, joints and muscles. Chiropractic should not be used as a substitute for visiting a GP.
Chiropractic treatments are often used for musculoskeletal conditions which include:
- lower back pain
- neck pain
- shoulder pain and problems
- slipped discs
- leg pain and sciatica
- pain or problems with hip, knee, ankle and foot joints
- pain or problems with elbow, wrist and hand joints
However, some chiropractors have insisted that they can also treat issues such as asthma, period pains, high blood pressure, headaches and migraines. Chiropractic sessions are used most successfully on persistent lower back pain.
Chiropractic sessions are based upon manipulation of the spine although they can include general advice given to the client on their lifestyle including their diet and regular exercise to improve the client’s wellbeing. Treatment usually lasts from 15-30 minutes and can involve several sessions. Initially a chiropractor will assess their client’s pain and may even arrange for x-rays of the spine to be taken and a treatment plan made.
During a chiropractic session, the client will be asked to remove their upper body clothing so that the spine can be manipulated. Chiropractors may apply short sharp thrusts to the spine, move the client’s joints through different positions or stretch muscles in specific directions. This should be relatively painless unless the injury has made that part of the body inflamed.