The main use of Chiropractic is for musculoskeletal disorders such as neck, shoulder or other joint problems, spine and posture problems, as well as muscle problems, sciatica, RSI, sports injuries and it can also be useful in the treatment of migraine. Chiropractic is concerned with mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and health in general.

Chiropractors believe that the health of the spine and the associated nervous system can influence the health of the whole body. Treatments such as spine manipulation or adjustment are usually used. Chiropractors are regulated by law and refer to themselves as primary healthcare practitioners.

Over a quarter of doctors’ surgeries provide chiropractic or osteopathic treatment at the surgery or make referrals to chiropractors or osteopaths on the NHS. Clinical trials in the 1990s found that chiropractic treatment of back pain was almost more effective than hospital outpatient treatment, and chiropractic patients were more satisfied than those who had hospital outpatient treatment for back pain.

Chiropractic manipulation is recommended by the Royal College of General Practitioners for acute and sub-acute back pain, and some health insurance schemes cover chiropractic treatment. Consultations usually last between 30 minutes and one and half hours. The chiropractor will take a full case history, asking about medical conditions and lifestyle. The chiropractor will give a physical examination and possibly request an x-ray if thought necessary.

After the initial consultation the chiropractor will devise a treatment plan. Most conditions are treated within 4 to 12 sessions, a session lasting around 15-20 minutes. Some patients may feel mild discomfort straightaway after treatment, which should pass quite quickly.

Chiropractic manipulation should be avoided if the patient has an inflammatory or malignant spine condition, recent fractures or severe osteoporosis. Some steroids and anti-coagulants are also contraindicated.