What Evidence Is There To Prove That Chiropractic Treatment Works ?

Recent research has been carried out to review the findings of randomised controlled clinical trials. The clinical trials reviewed considered treatments including manipulation, mobilisation, massage and exercise. The research concluded that there were moderate to high levels of evidence of positive effects for:

  • back pain
  • leg pain
  • neck pain
  • migraine headaches
  • shoulder problems
  • tennis elbow
  • hip problems
  • knee problems
  • plantar fasciitis

From Bronfort G et al. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK Evidence Report. Chiropractic and Osteopathy 2010,18:3. The full report is available at

Is Chiropractic Recognised By The National Health Service ?

Chiropractors are primary care providers. Recent guidelines (NICE, May 2009) recommend spinal manipulation, supervised exercise programmes in small groups and acupuncture for treatment of persistent low back pain. The guidelines were produced by the National Centre for Health and Clinical Excellence after consideration of research evidence, and are recommendations made to healthcare professionals in the NHS. The guidelines can be seen at NICE guidelines on low back pain

Will It Hurt ?

It is rare for the actual adjustments to cause pain and because of the swift movements used with the McTimoney Chiropractic technique most patients find them comfortable to receive. Patients with severe acute pain may experience some pain during treatment for example when moving, lying down or changing position on the couch. Some patients experience discomfort following their treatment but this is usually short-lived. Any possible side-effects will be discussed at your visit.

How Many Treatments Will I Need ?

It is difficult to provide accurate information about this as it will depend upon the individual circumstances. Most people find between two and six sessions sufficient to address straightforward problems. The number and frequency of treatments will depend on a number of factors including,

  • age
  • extent of injury
  • duration of injury
  • general fitness
  • stress (muscle tension and stress on your nervous system)
  • posture

The anticipated number of sessions will be discussed with you prior to treatment. Once you’re up and running you can choose to schedule regular check-ups a few times a year (a maintenance programme) to keep chronic conditions under control.

Is It Safe ?

Chiropractors are primary care providers, trained to assess the medical status of their patients, and detect signs of any more serious underlying pathology. This enables them to see patients directly without the need for a medical referral. Where contraindications are present, a patient will be referred to his or her general practitioner for further diagnostic assessment before deciding on the appropriate course of treatment.

What If I Am Not Sure Whether I Need Chiropractic Treatment ?

Please feel free to ring me to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about the suitability of chiropractic treatment for you. This is, of course, without obligation and completely confidential, giving you an opportunity to talk about your condition if you wish.