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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a chiropractor?

Chiropractor’s are spinal care experts that are equipped to detect and analyse restricted segmental spinal joint movement. Using specialised techniques to restore this movement, they therefore improve whole body function and health.

Chiropractors have specialized training in enabling them to restore lack of movement to all other non-spinal joints (e.g. hips, knees, and shoulders).

What training must a registered Chiropractor undergo?

Chiropractic training requires a 5-year full-time university course to medical degree standards, with emphasis on spinal conditions and precise manual treatments.

This rigorous training makes chiropractors the only primary health care physicians that are specialized in restoring spinal segmental joint movement.

What can chiropractors help with?

Chiropractors help by reducing pain and improving function in the following areas of the body (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Low back, neck, mid-back, and chest
  • Hip, knee, foot, and ankle
  • Shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand
  • Relief of nerve pressure: sciatic nerve, femoral nerve, carpal tunnel, cervical nerves
  • Headaches and migraines

How often will I need to visit?

Your chiropractor will advise you of this during your first visit as it varies for each patient and their specific condition.

I am not sure if Chiropractic treatment is for me – what do you suggest?

Book in for a free 10 minute consultation and meet our chiropractor who will talk you through chiropractic care and answer your questions. After this chat you can decide if we can help you.

Will I receive treatment on my first visit?

The chiropractor will carry out a consultation and chiropractic examination on your first visit, your initial treatment will take place after the report of findings at your second visit.

Will treatment hurt?

Chiropractic treatment should not be painful when carried out by a qualified practitioner. Every patient responds differently to treatment and our chiropractors tailor treatment plans to the needs of individual patients.

Do I need a referral to a different specialist?

In cases where we suspect there may be a serious underlying pathology and/or where an image will help in the management of a condition, we do refer directly for either an X-ray or and MRI scan.

If we consider other special tests are required we will advise a patient to visit their GP with a referral letter if required.

How does Chiropractic Care provide more than just pain relief?

As well as relief of symptoms such as pain, Chiropractic Care allows all patients to improve their overall wellbeing and health.

Our aims are for patients to have improved spinal function and health, to be able to exercise safely to improve spinal hygiene, and to give an understanding of nutrition to improve the health of your spine and every other cell in your body.

What do spinal adjustments do?

Chiropractors provide precise impulses to spinal joints, which not only restores their motion but by affecting neurophysiological pathways of the whole body also:

  • Relaxes tension in local tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments)
  • Alleviates pain
  • Speeds up the healing process (the immune system)
  • Reduces inflammation and swelling
  • Improves tissue perfusion (blood flow)
  • Normalises the tone of the nervous system to balance the whole body and take pressure off other joints

Am I too old for chiropractic care?

We routinely treat people in the age range 80-90 and as a rule find that they are very responsive to treatment, and feel healthier and happier.

What is the evidence for chiropractic care?

There is a range of evidence to indicate that chiropractic care is safe and effective. This evidence includes:

  • In clinical trials by the Medical Research Council, chiropractic has been found to be more effective than hospital outpatient treatment for low back pain (1).
  • An Medical Research Council-funded study estimated the effect of adding exercise classes, spinal manipulation delivered in NHS or private premises, or manipulation followed by exercise to “best care” in general practice for patients consulting with back pain. Spinal manipulation improved back function more than exercise alone. Spinal manipulation and exercise together had the best improvement after 1 year (2).
  • For those who are failing to return to normal activities with acute non-specific low back pain, spinal manipulation should be considered (3).
  • The European Commission Research Directorate General recommends a short course of spinal manipulation/mobilisation as a treatment option for chronic low back pain (4)
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends a course of manual therapy including spinal manipulation for persistent non-specific low back pain (5).
  • Update of the UK Evidence Report on Manual Therapies: In summary, the report demonstrates robust randomised controlled trial (RCT) evidence that the care offered by chiropractors is effective for a wide range of conditions including back pain, neck pain, pain associated with hip and knee osteoarthritis, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, and some types of headache (6).

Does neck manipulation cause stroke? – The evidence.

A study published in 2009 (8) showed the simple mistake of assuming that “correlation = causation”. Whilst it appeared that more patients who had a stroke visited chiropractors, and thus extrapolated that neck manipulation causes strokes, a higher amount of patients who had a stroke visited their GP (Primary Care Practitioner or PCP). On the same assumption you would think that GPs are causing strokes, which of course is not true. The study quotes “We also found strong associations between PCP visits and subsequent VBA stroke. A plausible explanation for this is that patients with head and neck pain due to vertebral artery dissection seek care for these symptoms, which precede more than 80% of VBA strokes. Since it is unlikely that PCPs cause stroke while caring for these patients, we can assume that the observed association between recent PCP care and VBA stroke represents the background risk associated with patients seeking care for dissection-related symptoms leading to VBA stroke. Because the association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke is not greater than the association between PCP visits and VBA stroke, there is no excess risk of VBA stroke from chiropractic care.”

A recent meta-analysis study (7) summarising current research data shows that There is no convincing evidence to support a causal link between chiropractic manipulation and CAD”. Actual association between a visit to a chiropractor and neck artery dissection may be because patients who are undergoing a neck artery dissection (pre-stroke) more frequently have headaches and neck pain. Patients with headaches and neck pain more frequently visit chiropractors, thus in some studies it appears that those who visit chiropractors have more neck artery dissection. 

Chiropractic Treatment and its Safety

Chiropractic was founded in the late 19th century and is widely used across the world by Chiropractors to detect abnormal positions of the vertebrae in the spine and restore these vertebrae to their normal positions.

With good spinal hygiene our whole health is better, we have more energy and more vitality for life. Chiropractic is the only way to detect and improve restricted segmental spinal joint movement. Normalising movement in the spine articulations directly affects nerve pathways and helps whole body function, as well as minimising long term wear and tear (arthritis) in the spine and other joints.

We hope the following will give you reassurance as to the safety of Chiropractic:

- Chiropractic is a very safe form of treatment but, like most health treatment interventions, some side effects may occur. Most often this would be temporary symptoms such as pain, redness, soreness or, more usually, swelling, around the area being treated.

- Treatments employed by Chiropractors are actually statistically safer than many other conservative treatment options (such as ibuprofen and other pain killers). There are very few medical interventions, if any, that carry no risk at all. For example, taking anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) for two months has been suggested to cause death from stomach bleeds in 1 in 1200 patients (Pain 2000;85:169-182).

- In the UK, Chiropractors are regulated by law and are required to adhere to strict Codes of Practice, in the same way as dentists and doctors. The profession is statutorily regulated through the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). Chiropractors undergo a minimum of four years training in the UK at Master Degree level to qualify before joining the stautory register. Members of the public therefore can be assured they are seeking care from a porfessional who meets stringent standards of education and practice. 

- A 2010 study quoted by Edzard Ernst has been widely discredited. Ernst conveniently overlooked the many, many studies that support the use of Chiropractic Care* and, moreover, show that the risks associated with treatment are very low indeed. Indeed a UK research study (and noticeably absent from his review), published in Spine in 2007, studied 50,000 neck manipulations received by nearly 20,000 Chiropractic patients. There were no serious adverse events identified. To put this in context, a ‘significant risk’ for any therapeutic intervention (such as pain medication) is defined as 1 in 10,000.

- Chiropractors are trained to identify risk factors and do not proceed with treatment if there is any doubt as to the patient’s suitability. Any potential risks from treatment would always be discussed with patients and treatment would not proceed without informed consent.


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1. Meade, T.W., Dyer, S., Browne, W. and Frank, A.O., 1995. Randomised comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient management for low back pain: results from extended follow up. Bmj311(7001), pp.349-351.

2. UK Beam Trial Team, 2004. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. Bmj329(7479), p.1377.

3. COST B13 Working Group on Guidelines for the Management of Acute Low Back Pain in Primary Care, 2006. European guidelines for the management of acute nonspecific low back pain in primary care. Eur Spine J15(suppl 2), pp.S169-91.

4. Airaksinen, O., Brox, J.I., Cedraschi, C., Hildebrandt, J., Klaber-Moffett, J., Kovacs, F., Mannion, A.F., Reis, S., Staal, J.B., Ursin, H. and Zanoli, G., 2006. Chapter 4 European guidelines for the management of chronic nonspecific low back pain. European spine journal15, pp.s192-s300.

5. Savigny, P., Watson, P. and Underwood, M., 2009. Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain: summary of NICE guidance. BMJ338, p.b1805.

6. Clar, C., Tsertsvadze, A., Hundt, G.L., Clarke, A. and Sutcliffe, P., 2014. Clinical effectiveness of manual therapy for the management of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal conditions: systematic review and update of UK evidence report. Chiropractic & manual therapies22(1), p.1.

7. Church, E.W., Sieg, E.P., Zalatimo, O., Hussain, N.S., Glantz, M. and Harbaugh, R.E., 2016. Systematic review and meta-analysis of chiropractic care and cervical artery dissection: no evidence for causation. Cureus8(2).

8. Cassidy, J.D., Boyle, E., Côté, P., He, Y., Hogg-Johnson, S., Silver, F.L. and Bondy, S.J., 2009. Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics32(2), pp.S201-S208.