What Qualifications Do Chiropractors Possess and What Conditions Can They Treat?
What is a chiropractic practitioner?
If you’re currently experiencing discomfort in your back, shoulders, neck, knees or similar areas, then chiropractic care may be of value to you. Chiropractic practitioners are certified therapeutic specialists who utilise their hands to alleviate soreness in the bones and muscles throughout the body. The following is a summary of what chiropractors’ core responsibilities are, the education and schooling they undergo, what your first visit to a chiropractic clinic entails and any risks that chiropractic treatment may involve.
Qualifications and Schooling
While a chiropractor is indeed a health industry specialist, they do not have medical degrees like a physician does. They do however have comprehensive education in the area of chiropractic treatment and are trade certified specialists in their own right. Before becoming a qualified practitioner, all chiropractors must first obtain a Bachelor of Science (BSc), upon which they are then required to undertake a multi-year chiropractic course which is divided into theory and practical teaching.
Like physicians, chiropractors can elect to pursue a specific discipline. For this, they must complete extra training which may take a further 2-3 years. In total, there are in excess of one hundred unique chiropractic techniques, with no particular ones considered superior to others. No matter which areas a chiropractor chooses to concentrate on, they are all required to obtain a professional licence by successfully passing an exam.
Like any professional in the health industry, they’re also required to attend regular seminars and stay in touch with the latest industry information and techniques.
In all, chiropractors treat a vast range of ailments and conditions including:
- Back Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Pain
- Sports Injuries
- Dance Related Injuries
- Neck Pain and Stiffness
Many chiropractors also have a depth of knowledge in the area of nutrition and can help create a dietary plan for you.
What happens at your first visit to a chiropractor?
At your initial appointment, your chiropractor will ask you to supply them with all necessary information regarding your health history and will conduct a physical analysis. In some cases, your chiropractor may ask for supplementary assessments to be performed including X-rays, to help eliminate the possibility that your pain is attributed to broken bones or other underlying illnesses.
Following this, your chiropractor may commence with the chiropractic treatment itself. Depending on your ailment and the chosen method of treatment, this will involve you either sitting or lying down upon a purpose built chiropractic table. Throughout the session, you may be asked to assume multiple positions to ensure that your chiropractic specialist can massage and treat the various parts of your back, arms, legs, shoulders, neck and knees.
Do not be alarmed if become aware of any loud splitting or snapping sounds, as this is merely the result of your chiropractor administering purposeful amounts of force to each joint in the treated area.
Are there any risks involved with chiropractic care?
When your treatment is conducted by an industry certified chiropractor, the risks of bodily harm or adverse reactions are extremely remote. In a very small number of cases, patients may suffer a herniated disc in the spinal region. Although the reported incidences are negligible, suffering a stroke as a result of neck treatment is also a possibility.
In cases where patients have witnessed the sudden and unexplained onset of pain or other symptoms, it’s strongly advised to consult a physician before arranging an appointment with a chiropractor.
Other ailments that may call for alternative care include:
- Imbalance of the spine
- Chronic osteoporosis
- Patients who are deemed to be at a heightened chance of suffering a stroke
Before any chiropractic care is sought to treat a particular condition, patients are always advised to speak with their GP.
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