Derived from Greek, chiropractic means ‘to perform with hands’, which suggests that the manual treatment of the joints and muscles of the body is the most important part of the chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractic has been used for thousands of years, with evidence of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks using it, although modern chiropractic treatments, as we know them today, were not founded until 1895 when American doctor Daniel David Palmer took to practicing chiropractics.
These days, chiropractors must be specially educated in treating the joints and muscles with their hands, and will have to undertake and pass a course accredited by the General Chiropractic Council. Subjects studied on this course include, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, behavioural science, nutrition and infectious diseases. Students are then taught how to integrate this knowledge into the chiropractic treatment.
In June 2001 the term ‘chiropractor’ became protected by law so that, like a medical doctor or dentist, anyone calling themselves a chiropractor must be registered with the professional council, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).
In general terms chiropractic is a holistic form of healthcare that treats problems and disorders of the spine, skull, joints and muscles to improve overall health and relieve pain. The focus of this kind of treatment is on strain, damage or distortion to the spine and the way this affects the rest of the body.
If you want to see a chiropractor you will probably have to see them privately and pay for your treatment because this service is not readily available on the NHS, and therefore many GPs are reluctant to refer you for chiropractic treatment. However, chiropractic may be available to some patients on the NHS, but this will depend on the situation within a specific NHS Primary Care Trust.
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) was founded in 1925 and is the industry’s main trade association, representing more than 50 per cent of chiropractors in the UK.