Despite being around for over a century, chiropractic care is still greeted with some scepticism. With approximately 3,000 registered chiropractors in the UK, it is hard to question the success of the field, even in the face of limited input from the NHS, and, if you should mention it to an experienced medical practitioner, you may be met with raised eyebrows.
But, that seems a little unfair, doesn’t it?
Here, we tackle some of the popular misconceptions and surprising factors that continue to dog the field of chiropractic care:
1. You must be referred to a chiropractor by your doctor.
No. Chiropractors are independent practitioners who can be approached by whoever needs their services. As part of a health plan (depending, of course, on your condition), your GP may suggest seeing a chiropractor for a number of different reasons. But, this is also a notion you may have on your own, meaning the only waiting list you will be on is the chiropractor’s own. It is sometimes suggested you discuss your options with your GP, but if you have already exhausted painkillers, it might be time to book an appointment with a registered chiropractor.
2. Chiropractors aren’t doctors, so why should I trust them?
You are right. Chiropractors are not medically trained doctors. They cannot diagnose you, but they know your spine inside and out. It is, after years of training, their area of complete expertise and they know how best to treat you, whatever your condition.
Many chiropractors enhance their practise further by completing specialist postgraduate courses so that they can treat people under the age of 18.
3. The process is painful
If you have never been to a chiropractor before, you may have seen it in a film and believe it to be the equivalent of a rough massage. With characters groaning in agony/ecstasy, you may even think that, in order for chiropractic treatment to be successful, it has to hurt.
However, adjustments of your joints generally do not hurt. It is more a case of eliminating pain that has been hindering you and your life up until the appointment.
4. You must keep going back to the chiropractor
Again, no. Your first appointment is to agree a treatment plan with your chiropractor and the number of sessions after that depends on your condition. The plan is something that is to be done WITH you and not to you. The relationship between yourself and the professional should be a partnership that can be ended at any time, if you feel like its run its course. Despite this, they do want the best for you and will work to relieve you of any pain you have been feeling.