Chiropractors are particularly well known for their manipulation (or adjustments) of the joints of the spine. Where a joint is stiff or not moving effectively, they apply a gentle, safe and quick movement to the joint using their hands. This creates a popping or clicking noise and the goal is to restore correct movement to the stiff area. Even though is can be a little noisy, it’s usually painless, quick and can be very effective.  So how does Chiropractic (and this specific form of treatment) help?

It was once thought that these adjustments pushed bones of the spine back into place and prevented nerves from being pinched. Because the nerves were no longer pinched, it restored nerve flow to various parts of the body. Some chiropractors claim this to be the reason why other, more general health issues, seemed to improve with chiropractic care. In some cases, this may not be beyond possibility, however, these claims have not been proven with rigorous scientific studies. As it stands, they are just claims.

The Evidence – How Chiropractic Helps

The more up-to-date and evidence-based viewpoint adopted by most chiropractors now is that these spinal adjustments simply improve movement to stiff areas. As a result it has been proven with rigorous scientific studies that chiropractic can help conditions like:

  • Headaches arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
  • Joint pains, including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis.
  • Back pain and Lumbago
  • Mechanical neck pain
  • Minor sports injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder complaints

Bronfort et al. 2010

Almost all evidence-based chiropractors realise that their manipulation is a fantastic tool to get people better, but of course, it can’t help everything. Therefore you’ll find that they will combine the manipulation with other techniques.

This means they can help more conditions and have a quicker or more lasting effect on their patients! Win win!

Other common techniques chiropractors use involve soft tissue (muscle/fascia) techniques of various forms, dry needling (a form of acupuncture) and exercise rehabilitation.

You can see now, that chiropractic is not a stand alone treatment. Modern chiropractors offer a “package of care”. It also means that each chiropractor is different to one another because they may choose a slightly different package of care for their patients.

But because of their particular skill in joint manipulation, chiropractors will always be known for this safe and effective treatment technique.

Choosing an evidence based Chiropractor who can help you

It can be hard to choose the right practitioner and difficult to know how one Chiropractor may differ from another.  A clue might be to look at what terminology is being used on their websites. Are they claiming to push bones back in place and remove nerve interference (unproven)? Or are they claiming to restore movement to stiff joints and therefore help things like back pain, neck pain, headaches and sports injuries (proven)? This can be one way of seeing if your chiropractor is up to date. The British Chiropractic Association website can also be helpful to narrowing down your search.

Here at The Chiropractic Clinic New Malden, all our therapists offer a package of care and strive to remain up to date and evidence based.  We are always happy to discuss any initial questions you might have via email or phone before you book your first appointment and can offer free 15 minute screening sessions to make sure we are the right place for you and your condition.