Conditions we treat
Chiropractic can be used to treat and manage many issues including these common painful conditions. Click on any of the headings to read more…
Back pain, sciatica and disc problems
Back pain is very common – some estimates are that four out of five people will suffer back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain can restrict your movement and cause misery, stress and discomfort. It can also cause people to take time off work which is very expensive for companies, costing a huge amount in sick pay and lost productivity.
Back pain can be caused by:
- poor lifting or carrying heavy weights incorrectly
- poor posture
- unsuitable beds or chairs
- sports or other injury
- general ‘wear and tear’
Chiropractic manipulation is recognised as being highly effective in treating back pain. In 1996, the Royal College of General Practitioners issued guidelines to GPs recommending manipulation within six weeks of the onset to relieve acute low back pain. Studies have shown chiropractic to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for low back conditions.
Chiropractors are trained to identify and treat the specific causes of back pain. Once they have treated you with manipulation, massage, specific stretches and trigger point therapy, they will advise you to follow a rehabilitation and maintenance care plan to prevent the condition from recurring. This will include looking carefully at your posture to prevent the condition from recurring.
Neck pain and whiplash
As most of us spend a lot of time sitting or working at computers, we can often get problems with our posture and our neck muscles can become tense. The very intricate joints of the neck can fail to function smoothly and effectively. This can cause headaches, migraine or other pain and can also put extra pressure on the joints in the neck which can irritate the spinal nerves. Sometimes, this can lead to ‘referred pain’, where you feel pain or pins and needles in other parts of your shoulders, arms or hands.
Your neck supports the weight of your head using a complicated system of joints, muscles and ligaments. If you fall or take a blow to your head, it can cause injury. Around 85% of all injuries to the neck are the result of motor vehicle collisions and are referred to as ‘whiplash’. Whiplash is a general term used to describe any injury where the neck has undergone sudden acceleration and deceleration. Examples include vehicle collisions, diving accidents and falls. Half of the people who have had such injuries still have considerable pain eight months after the incident and many suffer intermittent pain for up to two years. Whiplash injuries can occur when vehicles are travelling at speeds as low as 5mph, even when the vehicle itself shows little or no signs of damage.
The chiropractor will manipulate, massage and carry out specific stretches and trigger point therapy to help restore normal neck movement. The chiropractor will also give you some exercises to help your neck regain its strength and flexibility. She will also advise you on how best to adapt your posture which will also help relieve long-term pain and discomfort.
Chiropractors understand how every joint in the body works. The chiropractor will examine you to find whether the pain you are having in, for example, your elbow, knee or ankle, may actually be ‘referred pain’ from your spine or another joint. This is because nerve irritation in one area can sometimes lead to pain in another part or parts of the body.
Chiropractic can help treat conditions like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, repetitive strain injury (RSI), frozen shoulder, hip and knee pain.
Headache and migraine
Almost everyone gets a headache now and again. But if you take them for granted, you may be suffering more than you need to. Chiropractors can treat many of the causes of headaches.
Headaches can be the symptom of stress, through worry or overwork. This is because the muscles, ligaments and joints of the neck may fail to function smoothly and effectively which can cause headaches or migraines.
Chiropractors are trained to diagnose the causes of headaches and will then treat you appropriately, or refer you for further investigation or treatment elsewhere. Chiropractic treatments for headaches may involve manipulations (called ‘adjustments’) to the neck and upper back, soft tissue massage, specific stretches and trigger point therapy. The chiropractor will also advise you on exercises and posture to ensure the best possible response to treatment and to maintain your improvement.
Sports injuries may result from poor gait or posture, a lack of fitness or inadequate or the wrong equipment.
Taking part regularly in sports may leave you vulnerable to over-training or repetitive strain injuries. Whatever your age, these may have long-term and harmful effects.
Chiropractic treatment for sports injuries focuses on manipulating the spine, joints and muscles. This allows them to move correctly. The chiropractor will also advise you about exercises you can do to help maintain strength and flexibility.
Chiropractors not only treat sports injuries, but can also carry out pre-season checks to identify any areas of possible weakness before any injuries occur. Your chiropractor can also carry out regular checks to help maintain your best possible performance. Many top athletes and sportspeople attend their chiropractic clinic regularly to ensure they are at the top of their sport.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints which can cause considerable pain and discomfort. There are many causes of arthritis, including natural ageing and ‘wear and tear’.
The chiropractor will take a full case history and carry out an examination which may include x-rays. She will then be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and suggest suitable treatment. Some arthritic conditions respond well and can be ‘controlled’ by chiropractic care. Other conditions will gain pain relief and flexibility, but the chiropractor may also refer you to your GP for further treatment.
Chiropractic cannot reverse the degeneration of your joints but, by regular adjustment and manipulation, it can help you stay mobile and reduce pain and further ‘wear and tear’.