What is chiropractic?
Chiropractors specialise in assessing, diagnosing and managing conditions of the spine. They are highly trained in finding the cause of pain in the spine. In the UK they undergo a minimum of four years’ full-time training. Importantly, chiropractors are regulated by law and must work within strict professional and ethical boundaries.
Chiropractors’ patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people. Patients seek treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, joint pains, headaches caused by neck problems, and prevention of migraine and conditions arising from sports injury.
There are many different approaches and techniques used by chiropractors, because of this the treatment approach taken by one chiropractor might be significantly different from that of another.
Before starting treatment, your chiropractor will undertake a full assessment. This will involve taking details about your condition, current health and medical history, and performing a physical examination. Sometimes it may be necessary to refer you for other tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans or blood tests. It is important for your chiropractor to gather as much information about your neck pain as possible so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Before starting treatment, your chiropractor will explain what is wrong, what can be done and what can be expected from chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.
Chiropractic treatment involves safe, often gentle, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Apart from manipulation, chiropractors may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle.
The staff are always helpful, professional and friendly.
Conditions that can be helped:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis
- General aches and pains from joints, muscle spasms and cramp
- Headache caused by neck problems
- Frozen shoulder, shoulder from back and neck problems
- Elbow pain or tennis elbow from back and neck problems
- Prevention of migraine
- Sporting aches and pains
Back pain is very common. Most people will suffer one or more episodes of back pain during their lives. In many cases, it starts suddenly and gets better quickly, without the need for any treatment.
However, back pain can be painful, debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can also be associated with other symptoms, such as leg pain or sciatica. It may start following a specific incident, such as bending awkwardly or lifting a heavy weight. Or it can develop gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture, an uncomfortable work position or repetitive strain.
Neck pain is very common. Most people will suffer one or more episodes of neck pain during their lives. In many cases, it starts suddenly and gets better quickly, without the need for any treatment.
However, neck pain can be painful, debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can also be associated with other symptoms, such as arm pain or headaches. Neck pain may start following a traumatic incident, such as a road traffic collision, or it may start gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture or an uncomfortable work position.
Types of Neck Pain:
There are many different types of neck pain, with different causes. The key to getting the right treatment is to establish which type of neck pain you may be suffering from.
The majority of people with neck pain are suffering from what is known as ‘simple’ or ‘mechanical’ neck pain.
This means that the pain is not related to any serious underlying condition and there are no trapped or compressed nerves. We do not always know the exact tissues that are involved in simple neck pain. Muscles, joints and ligaments can all be involved. Simple neck pain can be caused by poor posture or tension in the neck or shoulders. Poor sleeping patterns or an awkward sitting position can cause strains and sprains in the soft tissue of the neck.
As we get older, wear and tear may contribute to neck pain. The shock-absorbing pads between the bones of the neck (known as intervertebral discs) can narrow with age and this can cause stiffness, pain and make it difficult to move.
Neck pain may follow trauma. Sports injuries, minor falls and bumps may give rise to neck pain. Road traffic collisions may result in injuries to the soft tissues of the neck, and are often referred to as whiplash-associated disorders.
Simple neck pain is relatively common. Less frequently, the nerves in the neck can become trapped, compressed or irritated. There can be many reasons why this happens but damaged discs or wear and tear can lead to pain spreading to the shoulder and arm. This can be accompanied by pins and needles, tingling, numbness and weakness in all or part of the arm or hand.
Symptoms of Neck Pain:
Neck pain can be very uncomfortable as the tissues and structures of the neck are very susceptible to pain.
Neck pain can be felt in one or both sides of the neck, in the base of the skull and into the shoulders. It can be a sharp or dull pain, and can spread as far as the arm and hand, even as far as the fingers.
If the pain does not go after a few days, or starts to get worse, it is worth seeking professional advice.