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Chiropractic Explained

Chiropractic Explained

My name’s Alun Walker, and as well as being a member of Welcome Gym High Wycombe, I’m a Doctor of Chiropractic, a treatment where a practitioner or chiropractor uses his hands to help relieve problems with bones, muscles and joints. My profession, some of the areas I cover in my work and the benefits of chiropractic are outlined below: -

What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a regulated primary healthcare profession. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent disorders of the musculoskeletal system, as well as the effects these disorders can have on general health. They have a specialist interest in neck and back pain, but when they assess patients, they take their entire physical, emotional and social wellbeing into account. Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care, which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.

Musculoskeletal Aches and Pains
When training, whether as an amateur sports or fitness enthusiast or as a professional, your body is prone to damage and pain. Repeated stresses can lead to a loss of proper movement in the bones of your joints, which in turn, can interfere with the healthy working of your muscles and nerves. You may have ignored the pain and carried on with your sport or fitness activity for too long without treatment. It’s not surprising that chiropractors often see patients with problems of the shoulder, neck, elbow, back, hip, knee and ankle.

Joint and muscle pain is not the only problem for people who exercise a lot recreationally or professionally. Many find that they reach a ‘threshold’ of ability, and cannot improve further, however hard they work and however much training they put in. This is why so many serious sportspeople consult chiropractors.

What Does Chiropractic Therapy Entail?
Your chiropractor will carry out a full examination and ask questions about your sporting life, posture, medical history and lifestyle, to discover the cause of your pain and make a diagnosis. Then your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific manipulation. This effective treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort around the injured area. Treatment will normally be followed by a rehabilitation plan, which may help to strengthen the affected area, improve your flexibility and assist in preventing future flare-ups. Chiropractic treatment aims to restore normal function to your joints and muscles and may increase your control, co-ordination and muscle strength.

Seeing A Chiropractor For Back Pain
Chiropractors specialise in assessing, diagnosing and managing conditions of the spine. They are highly trained in finding the cause of spinal pain. In the UK they undergo a minimum of four years’ full-time training. Importantly, chiropractors are regulated by law and must work within strict professional and ethical boundaries. Before starting treatment, a chiropractor will do a full assessment of your condition. Sometimes it may be necessary to refer you for other tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans or blood tests. It is important for your chiropractor to gather as much information about your back pain as possible, so that the most precise diagnosis can be made. Your chiropractor will then explain what is wrong, what can be done and what you can expect from chiropractic treatment.

Can Recurrence Of Painful Conditions Be Prevented?
This, of course, will depend upon the problem itself. It is vitally important that you warm up before you start exercising and stretch when you have finished. If you’ve been away from your sport for a long time, your body will be less fit and supple, making pain more likely. Your chiropractor will be able to advise you in either case. Some people think that ‘running it off’ is a good idea, but this is usually not the case. If your body is not working properly, you will continue to overload it, prolonging the healing process and risking further problems.

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