Frequently Asked Questions
If the frequently asked questions do not give you the answer to your question(s) please contact us.
At your initial consultation, your chiropractor will carry out a thorough assessment which will usually include a physical examination. You may be asked to remove some of your clothing, often down to your underwear, but this will depend on the nature and location of your problem. You will be offered a gown to wear and given a private area in which to undress. If you would also like to wear some shorts, then you are very welcome to bring a pair with you.
At subsequent treatment sessions, whether (and how much) you need to undress will depending on the area that is being treated and the nature of your condition. Patient gowns will always be provided, but otherwise we suggest you wear flexible clothing, and again you can wear shorts if you wish.
We are always aware of your privacy and dignity, and should you have any concerns, please talk to your chiropractor where a solution can usually be found.
Your chiropractor will give you as much time as is required. It is important that treatment is not hurried, and we will always give you time to ask any questions you may have along the way. It is important that treatment is not hurried, and we will always give you time to ask any questions you may have along the way.
Most patients make an appointment to see a chiropractor without having been referred by their GP. However, we are very happy to keep in touch with your GP and (with your consent) will write and explain the result of our assessment and details of any chiropractic care that you are receiving.
After an initial assessment, if we feel that it is more appropriate for you to be seen by a different healthcare professional, then (again with your consent) we will ensure that you are referred to your GP, or other healthcare professional, as appropriate.
Chiropractic is a health profession that specialises in the management of musculoskeletal problems. We do this by using a range of different evidence-based approaches but are perhaps best known for manipulation of the joints and muscles of your neck, back and pelvis (as well as the rest of your body). Essentially, the aim of treatment is to restore normal function and mobility, as well as relieving pain and tension.
Our chiropractors at Skelian are skilled in a number of different areas and, in addition to manipulation, they provide a package of care that is individually tailored to each patient, and can include some of the following different approaches:
- Postural advice
- Exercises and stretches
- Pain management techniques
- Nutritional advice
- Psychological support
- Massage and stretching
- Dry needling (medical acupuncture)
- Supportive taping
There are more similarities than differences between the two professions. Both chiropractors and osteopaths are involved in the management and treatment of “musculoskeletal complaints” (problems with muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and bones), and both are also government regulated meaning that it is illegal to call yourself a chiropractor or osteopath unless you are properly qualified.
A quick search of the internet will reveal a range of different comparisons between the professions, but most of these are historical or generalisations. However, surveys do suggest that chiropractors use specific joint manipulation (often called “chiropractic adjustments”) much more frequently that osteopaths.
When selecting any healthcare professional, it is important to check they are registered with their regulatory body (the General Chiropractic Council for Chiropractors). Many patients come to see us following a recommendation from friends or family, and it is important that your feel confident with whoever you decide to see. All the Chiropractors at Skelian are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and are fully insured through membership of the British Chiropractic Association (BCA).
The chiropractors at Skelian use a variety of different techniques to treat a range of back, neck and other conditions. Experiencing mild or moderate discomfort during or following treatment is not unusual, but usually is short-lived and depends to some degree on how much pain you are experiencing when you come to see us. However, the treatment techniques that we use are individualised for every patient and we take great care to ensure that you are comfortable and happy with the treatment provided. Many patients report that treatment is in fact quite a pleasant experience.
Although painkillers can be very helpful, and do have a role to play when you are in severe pain, they rarely address the underlying cause of a problem. For example, lower back pain is often the result of the body compensating due to asymmetry or a restriction, or even another problem somewhere else.
Medications can also be associated with side effects, particularly stronger medications such as opiates (codeine, morphine) and strong anti-inflammatories (naproxen), especially when taken for any prolonged period of time. For this reason, we work with patients during the painful phase to try and lessen symptoms as quickly as possible and therefore reduce the need to take any drugs. However, please note that you should seek the advice of your GP before making any changes to prescribed medications.
Compared to other medical interventions, chiropractic is a very safe form of treatment. At Skelian, your safety is paramount to us and we have robust risk management procedures in place to ensure the very highest standards of care. To properly assess any problem, your chiropractor will take a detailed medical history and perform a thorough examination to help establish a diagnosis and identify any underlying concerns.
Your chiropractor will explain what they believe the problem is and how they might be able to help. If you need to be referred elsewhere, or if any investigations are thought to be necessary, the reasons for this will be explained. You will be asked for your consent to treatment only after the risks and benefits have been explained, alternatives and expected outcomes have been discussed, and the details of a treatment plan have been agreed with you. After a course of treatment has started, we are always mindful of how we can further reduce any possible risks and improve your comfort.
Chiropractors frequently use specific joint manipulations when treating their patients that are often referred to as ‘chiropractic adjustments’. There are a number of different techniques used on different areas of the body, and some are associated with a clicking or popping sound. The chiropractors at Skelian are experienced in using a range of different techniques and will discuss all the options available to patients before agreeing an individualised treatment plan, that meets their needs and preferences.
The adjustment itself involves the chiropractor applying a controlled but quick ‘thrust’ to a joint, in order to stretch that area and the surrounding tissues. When the joint is rapidly stretched, gas bubbles form within the joint and this can associated with a popping sound.
Some people regularly attempt to click their own neck and back and, although there is no solid evidence to say that this is harmful, we recommend that any manipulation is performed by a qualified healthcare professional (and not friends or family) in order to ensure that it is as safe as possible.
Although you may get a sense of short-term relief from clicking your own joints, you may find that it does not address the root cause of the problem. Chiropractors are trained to help find the source of what may be causing any discomfort and then safely treat these involved areas.
Patients of all ages come and see us at Skelian Chiropractic Clinic. It is a misconception that you may be too old to receive chiropractic treatment, although the techniques and approaches we use will vary depending the nature of the complaint, as well as your overall health status. The methods in which we treat someone who is 21, will be very different to those we use to treat someone who is 91.
As we age it is common to put aches and pains down to ‘old age’, but this is not necessarily the case. We have patients in their 80’s and 90’s that regularly come to see us for chiropractic treatment and massage, and chiropractic can be a helpful way to deal with the discomfort that can occurs from day-to-day activities. We also give practical lifestyle advice in order to help you remain as healthy as possible, whatever your age.
Chiropractors see patients with a range of conditions and it is important to recognise that each case is treated individually. There are lots of different factors that affect how quickly you can respond to treatment, such as: how long you have had a problem, your medical history, lifestyle, general activity levels and the nature of what has actually occurred.
It is important for us to thoroughly discuss your medical history and examine you in order to determine the likely source of the problem. Once this has been done, we will set out a realistic time frame and discuss expectations for your recovery. In the majority of cases, with what we consider ‘mechanical disorders’ (where there is no structural damage or significant disease involved) you can expect to see changes in as little as 1-2 weeks. Not all patients respond as quickly to treatment, but your chiropractor will always monitor your progress and keep talking to you about expectations.
Lower back pain is very common with 80% of the population experiencing it at some point in their lives. However, if it persists, then it is not generally considered ‘normal’. Patients often consult us after having experienced back pain for several months, or sometime years, after thinking they just have to live with it.
The current ‘NICE guidelines’ recommend considering manual therapy, as part of a treatment package to address your lower back pain (with or without sciatica), alongside remaining active and participating in an exercise programme, all of which we can assist you with here at Skelian Chiropractic Clinic. If we suspect there is a pathology (something sinister) causing your lower back pain, then we will investigate or refer you as appropriate, but for the majority of lower back pain and sciatica cases, you will not require either an MRI or surgery.