Frequently Asked Questions
For whom is chiropractic and osteopathy suitable?
Chiropractic and osteopathic treatment is suitable for everyone - including newborn babies, the elderly, pregnant women and sports enthusiasts. Once you are better, your practitioner 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.
Is there scientific proof that chiropractic and osteopathy works?
Particularly for lower 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 lower 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 lower back pain. The guidelines recommend what care and advice the NHS should offer to people affected by lower 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 and osteopaths. Under each condition we treat, you will find a list of supporting evidence for chiropractic and osteopathic care.
Are chiropractic and osteopathic adjustments safe, even if I've already had surgery?
Chiropractic and osteopathy is remarkably safe when treatment is carried out by a properly qualified practitioner. Our practitioners are trained to recognise conditions which require referral elsewhere and, after assessing individual circumstances, we can often treat you even after surgery.
What is the General Chiropractic Council and the General Osteopathic Council?
The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) is a UK-wide statutory body with regulatory powers, which was 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
The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) is the regulator of the practice of osteopathy in the United Kingdom. The GOsC was established in 1997 following the Osteopaths Act (1993) to 'provide for the regulation of the profession of osteopathy' with the primary aim of protecting the public.
What is the difference between chiropractic and osteopathy?
Chiropractors and osteopaths employ very similar adjusting techniques and, while they train at different schools, their goals for their patients are identical. Our chiropractors and osteopaths undertake coaching and continuing professional development together; therefore, you will find very little difference between the two types of practitioners.
Will my doctor approve?
Yes, as chiropractic and osteopathy are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which produces guidelines for GPs. Both disciplines are commissioned by the NHS to provide services for people suffering from neck and lower back pain, and they are governed by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) respectively in a way that is similar to GPs being governed by the General Medical Council (GMC).
It is illegal for a chiropractor or an osteopath to practice without official registration, and without adequate professional indemnity insurance.
Will treatment hurt?
Adjustments, when carried out correctly by a qualified practitioner, are not painful. If you have an acute muscle spasm (when even the lightest of touches hurts), there may be some discomfort.
Sometimes, if you have had a problem for a while, you may feel sore while your body starts to adjust. Please be advised that your practitioner will tell you if this is likely to happen.
What does my first visit include?
You can find out more about your first appointment here.
Should I bring my family for checks?
Yes, as the strengths of chiropractic and osteopathy is that they can help prevent discomfort and pain, as well as being suitable for everyone. It is entirely appropriate to visit a chiropractor or osteopath even if you have no pain, as restrictions in movement can often be detected before symptoms appear.
What does a follow-up appointment include?
You can find out more about follow-up appointments here.
Have I got a ‘trapped nerve’ or a ‘slipped disc’?
These are common, general terms used to describe a multitude of conditions. Your practitioner will make a more specific diagnosis and explain your condition to you.
Are all patients adjusted in the same way?
No, as your course of care will be tailored to your specific needs.
What is the ‘popping’ noise of the adjustment?
When the two surfaces of a joint are moved apart rapidly, as happens in an adjustment, there is a change of pressure within the joint space. This may sometimes cause a bubble of gas to 'pop' (known as a cavitation), but this sound is not significant and does not hurt.
How long does an appointment last?
Both your first consultation and your Report of Findings (RoF) appointment, which typically includes your first adjustment, last around 30 minutes each. Your RoF appointment will usually be scheduled on the same day or the day after your first consultation. Adjustment sessions last about 10 minutes, but this will vary according to your condition and needs.
How many adjustments will I require?
The number of adjustments will always depend on your condition, so please look up your condition here.
How long will it take until I feel better?
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 adjustments; however, 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 Report of Findings (RoF) appointment, your practitioner will give you an informed estimate as to how long you can expect the course of care to take. They will keep you up to date with your prognosis throughout your care, and you will undergo a review appointment every six sessions; however, following your practitioner's advice is strongly recommended to help you to get better more quickly.
Also, 'better' means different things to different people. Some people come to see us merely to get out of pain, whereas the majority of people come to see us to get well and stay well. Some people with chronic conditions recognise the fact that they may always have some discomfort, but derive a huge amount of benefit from regular adjustments - keeping them functioning at their very best.
Why should I return if I'm feeling fine?
When your practitioner has completed your course of care - allowing your body to heal, but you then continue with the lifestyle which caused the original condition - regular adjustments will reduce the likelihood of the condition returning, as well as ensuring you continue to function at your very best.
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. We invite you to book an appointment with our fully trained practitioners.
Can I pay in advance for my care?
We have options for pre-payments if this is what you wish to do, and your practitioner will discuss these with you at your appointment.
Will my private insurance company cover my treatment?
Most policies cover our care, although some require a GP referral or pre-authorisation from your insurer. We issue a receipt for any payments made and these can be claimed back from your insurer.
Can I get treatment on the NHS?
Unfortunately, Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group have not yet offered a contract for chiropractic treatment.