Frequently Asked Questions
Is there scientific proof that chiropractic works?
Particularly for low back pain, yes. The Clinical Standards Advisory Group recommended in 1994 that there should be earlier access to the manipulative therapies and a redistribution of resources within the NHS to make this happen. In September 1996 the Royal College of General Practitioners issued guidelines for GPs which recommend manipulative treatment within the first six weeks for patients with low back pain. They also state that the risks of manipulation are very low in skilled hands.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidelines in 2009 to improve the early management of persistent non-specific low-back pain. The guidelines recommend what care and advice the NHS should offer to people affected by low-back pain. NICE assessed the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of available treatments and one recommendation is to offer a course of manual therapy, including spinal manipulation, spinal mobilisation and massage. This treatment may be provided by a range of health professionals, including chiropractors.
Under each condition we treat you will find a list of supporting evidence for chiropractic care.
What is the General Chiropractic Council?
The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) is a UK-wide statutory body with regulatory powers, established by the Chiropractors Act 1994. It has four main duties: To protect the public by establishing and operating a scheme of statutory regulation for chiropractors, similar to the arrangements that cover other health professionals;
To set the standards of chiropractic education, practice and conduct;
To ensure the development of the profession of chiropractic, using a model of continuous improvement in practice;
To promote the profession of chiropractic so that its contribution to the health of the nation is understood and recognised.Since June 2001 the title of 'chiropractor' has been protected by law and it is a criminal offence, liable to prosecution, to describe oneself as any sort of chiropractor without being registered with the GCC. For more detail,please visit the GCC Website.
What is the British Chiropractic Association?
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is the largest and longest-established association for chiropractors in the UK, representing 70% of internationally accredited UK chiropractors. We aim to promote, encourage and maintain high standards of conduct, practice, education and training within the profession in this country. All our members have undergone a minimum of a four-year full-time internationally-accredited degree course and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council, the UK's statutory regulator for the profession. For more information visit the BCA Website
Can I adjust myself? Is there anything wrong with me 'cracking ' my neck or back myself?
You cannot properly control an adjustment to yourself and your relief may only be temporary. If you feel you want to 'crack' your joints, it is because you need an adjustment. Consult your chiropractor!
Why should I return if I'm feeling fine?
Your chiropractor has treated you, so allowing your body to heal, but if you continue the lifestyle which caused the original condition, regular treatment should also continue.
For whom is chiropractic suitable?
Chiropractic treatment is suitable for everyone, including newborn babies, the elderly, pregnant women and sports enthusiasts. Once you are better, your chiropractor will help you to maintain your own health, and keep your body working as it should, by offering exercise and lifestyle advice for you to follow in the future.
What is the popping noise of the adjustment?
When the two surfaces of a joint are moved apart rapidly, as happens in a chiropractic adjustment, there is a change of pressure within the joint space. This may sometimes cause a bubble of gas to 'pop' (a cavitation) - but this sound is not significant, and does not hurt.
Have I got a "trapped nerve" or "slipped disc"?
These are common, general terms used to describe a multitude of conditions. Your chiropractor will make a more specific diagnosis and explain your condition to you.
Will treatment hurt?
Manipulation, when carried out correctly by a qualified practitioner, is not painful. If you have acute muscle spasm, when even the lightest touch hurts, there may be some discomfort. Sometimes, if you have had a problem for some time, you may feel sore whilst your body starts to adjust. Your chiropractor will tell you if this is likely to happen.
Are all patients adjusted in the same way?
No. Your treatment programme will be tailored to your specific needs.
Should I bring my family for chiropractic checks?
Yes. The strength of chiropractic is that it can help prevent discomfort and pain, and is suitable for everyone. It is entirely appropriate to visit a chiropractor even if you have no pain, as restrictions in movement can often be detected before symptoms appear.
What is the difference between chiropractic and osteopathy?
There are differences in technique and approach, as well as some similarities. Chiropractors are trained and qualified to take and interpret x-rays. The important factor is that the practitioner is well-qualified. Both professions now have statutory regulation.
Is chiropractic treatment safe, even if I've already had surgery?
Chiropractic is remarkably safe when treatment is carried out by a properly qualified practitioner. Your chiropractor is trained to recognise conditions which require referral elsewhere, and after assessing individual circumstances can treat you even after surgery.
What does your first visit include?
You can find out more about your first appointment here.
What does a follow-up appointment include?
You can find out about followup appointments here.
How many treatments will I require?
The number of treatments will always depend on your condition, you can find out more here.
Can I pay in advance for my care?
We have options for pre-payments if this is what you wish to do. Your chiropractor will discuss these with you at your appointment.
Will my private insurance company cover my treatment?
Most policies cover our care. Some require a GP referral or pre-authorisation from your insurer.
How Long Will It Take?
This is very much down to the individual. As a rough guide, young, fit and healthy patients with more recent problems will probably take fewer treatments, whilst the older, less fit or indeed the less healthy individual will probably take a few more. Different conditions take different lengths of time to heal as well, for example, a facet joint sprain will heal a lot more quickly than a disc herniation.
At your first visit your chiropractor will give you as clear an idea as they can as to how long you can expect it to take. Usually after 2-3 sessions they will be able to predict with more accuracy how many sessions you are likely to require, so they will keep you up to date with your prognosis throughout your care.
A very important factor in you getting better quickly is following your Chiropractor's advice. The frequency of visits they recommend to you is based on what they believe in their professional opinion you need to get better quickly, and stay better for the long term.
Will my Doctor approve?
Yes. Chiropractic is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which produces guidelines for GPs. Chiropractors are commissioned by the NHS to provide services for people suffering from neck and low back pain. Chiropractors are governed by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) in a similar way in which GPs are governed by the General Medical Council (GMC), and it is illegal for a Chiropractor to practice without registration with the GCC, and without adequate professional indemnity insurance.
Can I get treatment on the NHS?
If you are registered with a GP within the Merseyside area (Halton, St Helens, Liverpool, Knowsley or Sefton) your GP can refer you to Alba Chiropractic Clinic for treatment. Unfortunately the CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) in the surrounding areas, such as Warrington, have not yet offered a contract for Chiropractic, however this is something we are pursuing, and we will keep you posted.
How long does an appointment last?
The first consultation takes, on average, about 45 minutes, and a treatment session about 15 minutes, but this will vary according to your condition and your needs.