Chiropractic is recognised as a safe and effective method of manipulation that can help greatly in cases where the joints of the body are not moving as they should. The patient will usually suffer from restricted movement in a particular area, accompanied by a lot of discomfort or even significant pain. The source of the trouble often, but not exclusively, involves the spine or neck area of the body. A good chiropractor will be able to make an accurate diagnosis of exactly where the seat of the problem is before recommending an appropriate mode of treatment.
The first and most obvious option is to apply some kind of gentle manipulation to the muscles under the skin to ascertain if that can free things up somewhat, but there are many other techniques that can be brought into use. Sometimes an ice or heat pad may be placed directly over the area or a technique known as ‘dry needling’ (intramuscular stimulation) may be considered necessary. Ultrasound is another proven method known to bring to bring rapid improvement and relief to the patient.
What all these treatments have in common is that none involves any kind of invasive surgery or the use of drugs. Chiropractic is essentially about removing dysfunction in joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves by simple, yet effective methods. In the course of treatment the chiropractor will often advise the patient on the many ways they can actually help themselves, for example by following a healthy lifestyle which includes an element of moderate exercise, and trying to maintain good body posture.
The therapy has been around for well over a century now, having originated in Canada in 1895. The very first practitioner, Daniel David Palmer, moved down into Iowa in the USA and set up a practice there which became very successful. From such small beginnings chiropractic eventually grew to become what it is today: an internationally recognised medical therapy that is practised all over the world.
Here in the United Kingdom practice of the therapy is governed by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), a body which was established by the British Parliament to regulate and oversee the development of the profession. Standards are set high, a great deal of integrity is demanded and control is strict: it is actually illegal for anyone in this country to describe themselves as a chiropractor unless they are registered with the GCC. Patients in turn can have peace of mind when they come to visit a chiropractor, secure in the knowledge that their practitioner will be a true professional holding the best credentials. More than half of the UK’s chiropractors are also proud members of the United Chiropractic Association (UCA), an organisation which has been in existence since 1925. Membership enables them to keep in touch with their colleagues throughout the country, exchanging knowledge and keeping up with the latest developments in their chosen profession.