Chiropractic specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions which are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints and their effects on the nervous system.
Chiropractors use their hands to adjust the joints of the spine and extremities where signs of restriction in movement are found; this improves mobility and relieves pain. The body's own healing processes (which we normally recognise in its ability to heal bruises, cuts and broken bones) will then be able to get on with the task of improving health. This treatment is known as adjustment or manipulation
Poor, inadequate or incorrect function in the spine can cause irritation on the nerves that control posture and movement. This spinal nerve stress (which may be caused by factors such as an accident, poor diet, lack of exercise, poor posture, and anxiety) can lead to painful symptoms.
Irritation of tissues in one area can lead to pain (known as referred pain) in other parts of the body. Painful symptoms are warning signs which should not be ignored; a chiropractor is trained to diagnose the cause, and if indicated treatment using manipulation and other soft tissue techniques can often be beneficial. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or use surgical procedure.
Chiropractors train for a full five years. Studies include the medical sciences, clinical diagnostic skills, orthopaedic and neurological testing, taking and reading of x-rays. They are also trained to have a complete repertoire of chiropractic adjustment methods to suit the varied needs of patients and treat the whole range of musculoskeletal conditions.
Chiropractic treatment is suitable for all ages from new born to the elderly, it just means that the chiropractors alter their treatment approaches for the various challenges of the different age groups. It is also possible to have treatment if you have osteoarthritis or osteoporosis as well as sciatica, again treatment approaches would be molded for the individual.
The Chiropractor's learning continues throughout his/her professional career. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is now a statutory requirement, monitored by the General Chiropractic Council.