If your query isn’t answered below then please call Chiros Health Centre for some independent and unbiased advice on 01264 324924 or email info@chirosclinic.com

What is the difference between the three physical therapy professions: Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?

 Therapists have been treating muscular aches and pains for thousands of years. Long before the Roman Empire, there is evidence of massage techniques being used in India and of acupuncture in China. Greek athletes were massaged with aromatic oils, Roman soldiers and gladiators had their joints and muscles manipulated to improve flexibility and speed of movement as well as recovery from injuries sustained in combat. In terms of physical therapy, for many years in the British Isles, and Europe we had ‘bone setters’ who treated muscular conditions with which we are all familiar, such as neck and back pain. These individuals normally had these skills passed down from one generation to the next, unfortunately with little or no medical knowledge. Undoubtedly, this would have been of great concern to the medical authorities of the age.

Up until the 1870s there were no formal medical treatments for muscular conditions other than opiates (morphine), cocaine, and in some cases surgery. However, 1872 saw the emergence of the first science-based, medically-trained physical therapy.

Osteopathy was devised by a Canadian army surgeon, Andrew Taylor Still in 1872. His principals were based on the idea that correct mechanical structure would lead to improved bodily function, with an emphasis on maximizing the blood flow around the body. The principals were achieved with techniques (some old, and some new) such as massage, stretching, and manipulation of the joints of the body.

Chiropractic was devised by a Canadian (living in the USA) called Daniel Palmer in 1895.  His principals and techniques were similar to osteopathy but focused on maximising the functioning and efficiency of the nervous system, as opposed to the blood system.

About the same time, in the UK, four nurses established the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. They used massage and rehabilitation techniques such as those devised by the Swede Pehr-Henrik Ling, with the focus being on improving the functioning of the muscular system.

At Chiros Health Clinic we believe that the principals of all three professions are correct. To improve the body’s physical functioning, and ability to recover from injury therapists should use appropriate techniques to maximise the health and efficiency of the nervous system, the vascular system, and the musculo-skeletal system.

Who should I see, or what sort of treatment should I receive?

This is a very difficult question to answer, but as a general rule if you have pulled a muscle then physiotherapy, massage, sports therapy or acupuncture would be appropriate.  In some cases a particular injury could be treated by either of the above therapies. If there is any doubt as who you should see, Nick Richmond, Head of Practice at Chiros Health Clinic is available for a free, brief check-up to determine the nature of the problem. He will refer you to the most appropriate therapist


What is an adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustments can vary greatly, but generally they involve a quick impulse in a specific direction to restore proper movement to a joint. Some methods are done using the chiropractor’s hands or a hand-held instrument. There are many ways to adjust the spine and the most appropriate method will be chosen for each patient.

Will the treatment hurt?

Chiropractic treatment is usually painless unless an area is inflamed, in which case treatment will be modified. Very occasionally you may hear a clicking or popping sound when one of your joints is being adjusted – this is perfectly normal.

How many sessions will I need?

This will vary depending on the severity of the injury and how long you have had the injury. Your age, general fitness and health may also have an influence on how quickly you recover. Generally, two to four sessions are sufficient to notice if there are going to be any significant improvements in your condition. A course of treatment may also be prescribed for you, which may be two to four additionally sessions spread over several months.

If I have a medical condition, is it safe for me to have treatment?

There are numerous common medical conditions that exist and are perfectly safe to have treatment at the same time. These need to be checked with your practitioner who can then determine whether it is safe to proceed or that you need a referral to a GP or similar healthcare professional.

How can I prevent my condition/injury from returning?

After your initial course of treatment, your practitioner may suggest some rehabilitative exercises or refer you to another practitioner qualified to offer these exercises. Once your condition has stabilised you can use these exercises on a regular basis or enrol in one of our many exercise classes (pilates and yoga). Additionally, following a routine of general exercise (gym, walking and cycling) as well as having a good, balanced diet will also help prevent your injury from returning and promote a healthy lifestyle. It may also help the body to have a regular check-up, the frequency of which will depend on individual needs, some patients like to be treated every few months, whereas others are happy to be checked once a year.

How will I feel after treatment?

In addition to feeling less pain from your injuries or condition, occasionally you may have a post-treatment reaction phase, usually lasting up to two days: The most common reactions being slightly stiff, sore, achy, tired and, occasionally, headaches.

Should I work after treatment?

This would depend on the nature of your work. If you are office based you may want to rest for an hour before resuming work. However, if you work involves vigorous or strenuous activity it may be better to plan your treatment for the end of the day in order to give the body time to recuperate.