A Chiropractor is a health professional concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.
Chiropractors specialise in using manual methods (working using their hands) to diagnose, treat and prevent mechanical disorders of the spine, joints and muscles. Mechanical disorders are those when bones or joints have been stretched or fallen out of their natural position.
Treatment consists of stretching and manipulation (moving) of the joints. The main purpose is to realign (put back in the correct position) the spine and other skeletal structures of the body. Chiropractors are also concerned with the effects that misaligned joints have on the nervous system. By restoring the natural position of the bones and joints, they believe that the body will be more able to heal itself of a range of related problems, such as headaches or back pain.
All UK chiropractors must, by law, register with the General Chiropractic Council. They must keep to the legal standards of education, conduct and practice set by the GCC. It is an offence for a person to describe himself or herself as a chiropractor unless GCC registered.
Many chiropractors only treat conditions related to the spine, such as lower back or neck pain. Some chiropractors, however, use the treatment on a wider range of conditions, including asthma, infant colic, irritable bowel syndrome and many more conditions.
There is good evidence that spinal manipulation is an effective treatment for persistent lower back pain. Conventional treatments for lower back pain include painkillers, exercise and physiotherapy.
Most people who use a chiropractor pay for private treatment. The cost of chiropractic varies and depends on the length of a particular chiropractic session.
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