What We Treat
Chiropractic is an effective treatment for:
> Back pain
> Neck pain
> Whiplash associated disorder
> Hip and groin pain
> Shoulder, arm and hand pain
> Sporting injuries
> Repetitive Strain Injuries/Overuse Injuries
> Muscular pain
> Arthritic pain and rheumatism
Back pain is a common condition, affecting up to 90% of adults at some point in their lifetime. Up to 50% of sufferers will have more than one episode. Back pain is not a specific disease, rather it is a symptom that may occur from a variety of different processes.
Back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost days at work. It is also one of the most common reasons for visiting the GP or a hospital's A and E department. In up to 85% of people with back pain, despite a thorough medical examination, no specific cause of the pain can be identified. Chiropractors, however, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, and hence will be able to determine the cause and correct method of treatment for your specific episode of back pain.
Chiropractic manipulation has been recognized as highly effective in treating back pain, and the Royal College of General Practitioners issued guidelines for GPs in 1996 which recommended manipulation within six weeks of onset for the relief of acute low back pain, a finding recently re-affirmed by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Neck pain is not a specific disease. It is a symptom which may occur from a variety of different diseases. Pain in the neck can be due to injury, a mechanical or muscular problem, a trapped nerve caused by a bulge in one of the discs between the vertebrae, or from arthritis of the neck. It can range from very mild discomfort to severe pain. Your Chiropractor is trained to diagnose the varying causes of neck pain and will be able to recommend a suitable treatment program.
Headaches (Migraines and Cervicogenic Headaches)
The causes of headaches are numerous. Your Chiropractor is trained to diagnose the varying causes of headaches and as such can recommend a suitable treatment program. Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be highly effective for migraines and cervicogenic headaches (headaches caused by referred pain from the neck).
Whiplash associated disorder
Whiplash injuries are also known as acceleration/deceleration injuries and need not be the result of car accidents. A slip or fall can give you a whiplash-type injury. In fact you do not have to hit your head or neck - a sudden movement, especially if it is repetitive, may cause injury.
The pain from whiplash often doesn't happen immediately after a trauma; it may be days or weeks later that the pain develops. Chiropractors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of whiplash, and hence will be able to determine the correct method of treatment for your specific episode.
Hip and groin pain
Apart from hip pain that is caused by a specific injury or arthritis, most pains in the hip, groin or top of the leg are caused by a mechanical overload from a problem elsewhere. This will usually be from the lower back or pelvis, but can also be from the knee or even the foot.
Recurring groin strains are common in sports people, especially footballers, and a distortion within the pelvis is often the root problem, which causes a weakness and an overload of the muscles and tendons in the groin.
Pain in this area often makes walking very difficult and patients often "seize up" if they have been sitting for too long. If a chronic groin or hip problem is not treated it may cause problems with the lower back as the sufferer starts to adapt the way he or she walks.
Chiropractors are also able to provide exercises and ergonomic advice which will help to limit the recurrence of the problem.
Shoulder, arm and hand pain
Whether your pain is as a result of a frozen shoulder, golfer's or tennis elbow, or as a result of a problem in the neck, your Chiropractor will be able to accurately diagnose the cause of your pain and suggest an appropriate treatment.
Whether you are an elite athlete, or a "weekend warrior" your body is prone to the same kind of injuries. It's not surprising that chiropractors often see patients with:
- Hamstring and calf strains
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Groin and thigh strains
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer's elbow
- Shoulder strains (rotator cuff injuries)
Treatment will normally be followed by a rehabilitation plan to strengthen the injured area, improve your flexibility and prevent future flare-ups. Indeed many top sports teams now have a chiropractor as part of their medical care.
Golf is inherently not good for the back, as bending forwards and twisting at the same time puts a lot of pressure on the spine and the supporting musculature. Additionally you are always twisting in the same direction, which will potentially create imbalances within the spine.
To minimise the negative impact that playing golf can have on the back make sure you warm up properly. This should include at least 5 minutes of walking to get the heart rate elevated and the blood pumping to the muscles. Once the muscles are warm, stretch and go through your swing motion before you hit that big first drive.
When you get on the golf course keep the swing smooth and don’t overreach. You will not hit the ball any further by snatching at it, but you will make yourself more prone to injury. Always use a trolley, rather than carrying your clubs. Furthermore, consider investing in a trolley you push, rather than pull, as this will mean you don’t have to walk with the spine twisted.
Repetitive Strain Injuries/Overuse Injuries
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a condition caused by performing a repetitive task over a prolonged period of time. RSI is more commonly associated with shoulder, arm and hand pain resulting from working for extended periods of time whilst typing at a computer. However, RSI can also be associated with other joints in other areas of the body e.g. Back pain. RSI is commonly results from performing repetitive manual tasks such as computer work, housework, typing and work of a laborious nature e.g. gardening.
Chiropractors look at how to successfully identify and treat the cause of this condition rather than simply treating the symptoms. Office ergonomics are often a very significant factor in RSI. We will provide you with advice on how to set up your office space and work environments in order to help to reduce the risk of developing RSI.
Muscular pain is usually the result of injury to the muscle, as in the case of a muscle pull, tear, or rupture. Other times, the muscular attachment to the bone (called the "tendon") becomes strained in a specific injury, or as the result of repetitive strain. Repetitive strain to the muscle or tendon can be caused by poor sitting postures, repetitive motions, and improper lifting. When this happens usually people don't realize that when they feel muscular pain, the surrounding joints and nerves may have also become affected.
Chiropractic treatment for muscular pain can include exercises, dry needling which is a form of acupuncture, specific muscular stretches, trigger point therapy and focused spinal or joint manipulation.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the commonest cause of vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation that you, or things around you, are moving, even when you are standing still. In BPPV, you get vertigo when you move your head in certain positions.
Attacks of vertigo in BPPV last for less than one minute (usually only a few seconds) and are almost always provoked by the following head movements:
- Moving your head to one side - for example, when turning in bed
- Tilting your head backwards to look up
- Bending your head down - for example, to tie your shoe laces
- BPPV responds very well to specific treatment and in many cases does not reoccur if properly managed.
Another potential cause of dizziness is cervicogenic dizziness. The diagnosis of cervicogenic dizziness is characterized by dizziness and disequilibrium that is associated with neck pain in patients with cervical pathology. Cervicogenic dizziness is believed to be due to abnormal afferent input from cervical proprioceptors in damaged tissues. Chiropractic treatment of the musculoskeletal condition may result in both reduced pain and dizziness.
Arthritic pain and rheumatism
The general wear and tear of a lifetime results in joints laying down extra areas of bone in an attempt to support damaged areas. Loss of movement in a "worn out" joint may cause nerve irritation and inflammation which could lead to pain. Osteoarthritis (commonly referred to as "arthritis") is a degenerative joint disease as the result of wear and tear, which mainly affects the weight-bearing joints and joints in the hands and wrists.
Degeneration of your joints is an irreversible process related to ageing, but your chiropractor can help improve joint function and reduce any nerve irritation and hence reduce pain. Many patients will also benefit from specific exercise programs that your chiropractor will provide.