What is a Chiropractor?
When Chiropractors are introduced they are often asked, just what is a Chiropractor? “Are they a type of doctor?” many people ask. Do they go to medical school? Faith healer, specialist, or something else entirely? The answer isn’t simple, but it is interesting. Let’s take a more in depth look at just what a Chiropractor is and how they help their patients.
Who Should Use a Chiropractor?
Probably just about everyone could use the benefits gained from a session with a Chiropractor at some point in their life. Methods for manipulating or mobilising or adjusting the spine seem to have existed in most cultures and have been around for thousands of years. Sometimes these methods are referred to as “bone-setting” and there are references to “back walking” and other means of manipulating the spine and the skeletal system in both the ancient Egyptian and Chinese cultures.
Today, in Thailand, there are many who practice a form of deep massage and manipulation which is a tradition that goes back a number of centuries. All of these peoples have learned that these types of treatments can be beneficial. Chiropractic is in origin essentially a nineteenth century attempt at systemising this pre-medical approach to spinal manipulation and which has subsequently developed enormously over the years and which, further, also attempts to take into account modern evidence-based scientific understanding of musculoskeletal pain.
Chiropractic is a non-medical treatment method. The term Chiropractic has its origins in the Greek words chiros or “hand” and prakticos, meaning “to do”. So Chiropractic is something “done by hand”. Chiropractic is an entirely natural process based on manual skills of palpation, manipulation, mobilisation and adjustment. There is no surgery or invasive procedures or drugs used in the application of Chiropractic methods.
People who come to Chiropractors seeking relief from back, neck or shoulder pain are from all walks of life and all age groups. Lawyers, bankers, housewives, truck drivers and computer programmers are examples of some of the people whose activities or lifestyles have caused compromise to their skeletal system causing them pain and and perhaps reduced flexibility. Chiropractors will look at range of movement at various joints and also at the alignment of the pelvis and spine. If there is one characteristic feature of the McTimoney Chiropractic approach to musculoskeletal care it is the attention given to the alignment of the spine, pelvis, head and limbs whilst standing, sitting, lying down and walking.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
When you visit a chiropractor’s office with a pain somewhere in your body, the Chiropractor will assess the motion of the spine and pelvis to see if everything is flexing, extending and rotating as it should. Similarly, the static alignment of the patient will also be considered. Really, these might almost be considered as two ways of looking at the same thing. That is, if the spine has a good range of movement one might predict it is likely to have quite good alignment. Similarly, if a spine and pelvis align well, then one might expect that at least the potential for movement and a good range of motion would also be there.
In the same way, the quality of the muscles (too tight or too loose – facilitated or inhibited) may affect the alignment of the spine and pelvis. Or, the problem might be looked at the other way round, the alignment of spine may be influencing the tightness or looseness of the muscles. For example, if there is poor alignment of the spine then one might imagine certain muscles may have to overtighten (overwork) to protect the structure of the spine. From this point, one could then foresee such muscles sometimes might end up going into spasm.
When a patient arrives at the Hunter Clinic, a full case history will be taken to find out exactly what’s been going on and for how long. A full examination will also be performed to get best possible understanding of the patient’s problem and form a clear “clinical impression” of how the patient has reached their current state. The patient is made aware of what is going on at every stage – from evaluation through the treatment process. The patient is always free to ask questionsor give feedback as the treatment continues.
Hopefully, this brief article gives you some idea of what a Chiropractor is. If you are suffering with musculoskeletal pain, including back, neck, shoulder, joint or muscle pain, the Hunter Clinic would like to help. Call 07855 916 602 to set up an appointment at one of our three London clinics in Canary Wharf, The City (near Moorgate) or in Blackheath (SE3).