Although most people who consult a chiropractor have pain in their back or neck, chiropractic treatment can actually help with pain relief for a wide range of physical problems, ranging from headaches, repetitive strain injuries, shoulder pain and whiplash, to sports injuries.
On average, British Chiropractic Association Chiropractors have approximately between 60,000 and 70,000 patient appointments between them each week, which goes to show the great demand for chiropractors in the UK.
Here we give you the low down on the main problems treated by chiropractors and how the treatment helps:
Just about everyone suffers from back pain at some time in their life, and a recent survey carried out by the British Chiropractic Association found that one in three people in the UK are currently suffering from back pain.
A staggering 36% of back pain sufferers have been in pain for more than ten years and a further 12% for ‘as long as they can remember’. Back pain can prevent individuals carrying out daily activities which we can take for granted, such as sleep, exercise or even lifting children.
As well as treatment using specific adjustments done by hand to free stiff joints and reduce spinal problems including nerve irritation, a chiropractor may also use ice, heat or massage treatment to relieve back pain. They will also offer advice tackling everyday movements, such as bending, lifting and twisting, which can cause back pain.
Headaches are so common that most people just take a couple of pain relief tablets and put up with them. However, if you suffer from headaches regularly you may find that a chiropractor can treat the cause of your headaches.
The use of special procedures to relieve the tightness in your neck muscles, which is caused by stress and tension, can also be an effective treatment for headaches that arise from an injury or repetitive strain to your neck. Chiropractors can also help relieve the cause of migraines, as problems in the bones of your neck often trigger migraines.
Your chiropractor will be able to identify any stiffness in the joints of the neck and then treat them to improve their movement and relieve the muscle spasm and nerve irritation that may be causing your headaches.
As the neck supports the weight and movement of your head, it is not surprising that it sometimes becomes stiff or painful, particularly among people who spend much of their day driving, doing computer work, repetitive lifting and bending.
A chiropractor can treat your neck to free stiff joints and reduce neck pain. Chiropractors may also treat your neck to ease problems with your head, shoulders and arms, which are often caused by stiff neck joints.
From general pain in the joints to arthritis, spondylitis or rheumatics, chiropractic treatment can often relieve the pain of many kinds of joint problems. Some types of arthritis – such as rheumatoid arthritis – also have periods of inflammation and destruction of the joints causing severe pain, and although chiropractors cannot treat the cause of this kind of arthritis, they can help to relieve the disability that results from it once the inflammatory phase is over.
Other joint problems that chiropractors treat on a regular basis include, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, knee pain, and repetitive strain injury (RSI).
Whiplash injuries are not always caused by car accidents; a slip or fall can give you a whiplash-type injury and sudden movement, especially if repetitive, may cause a whiplash injury as well.
Chiropractic treatment for whiplash involves gentle, specific adjustments to your neck to relieve pain and restore normal movement to the neck area.
Whether you are an amateur sports player or a top professional, your body is prone to the same types of injuries. Chiropractors deal with a wide range of sports injuries on a daily basis, including hamstring and calf strains, Achilles tendon injuries, groin and thigh strains, lower back pain, neck pain and shoulder sprains.
Many chiropractors have areas of special interest in sport related injuries, and can help relieve pain and improve movement by using specific treatments to free stiff joints and reduce spinal nerve irritation.
Loss of joint movement in the spine can be caused by a number of different things, such as sporting injuries, workplace discomfort, stress, poor posture, accident, pregnancy or just the general wear and tear of life.
A chiropractor can use gentle manual movements to reduce the pain you feel and improve movement in the spine, so you can comfortably go about your daily routine. The chiropractor may also advise you on posture, bending and lifting to reduce the risk of spinal problems reoccurring.