What happens when I see a chiropractor?
A Chiropractor’s first concern is to find out what is wrong and so when you see a chiropractor for the first time, they will do a detailed assessment of your health which can last anything from between 30 minutes and an hour. We do this so as to fully understand your history and the reasons behind any pain you might be experiencing but it’s nothing to worry about!
So that you’re prepared, note that during the assessment you might expect some or all of the following:
Will the treatment hurt?
Chiropractic treatment is usually painless unless an area is inflamed or swollen but, if this is the case, your chiropractor will alter the treatment to keep you comfortable. Don’t worry if you hear a clicking or popping noise when one of your joints is being manipulated - this is perfectly normal with this form of treatment.
Some patients have mild reactions such as temporary aches and pains after their spine or joints have been manipulated or after exercising. Remember, it is important that you talk to your Chiropractor if you feel worried about anything either during or after treatment.
What do I need to know before my treatment starts?
Your treatment is very much a partnership between you and your Chiropractor and so, before your treatment starts, your chiropractor will clearly explain (in language you can understand):
Ask your Chiropractor as many questions as you need to so you can be sure you understand what they have explained to you. Following the consultation, you will be advised what the cost of subsequent treatment will be and your chiropractor will then ask you to give permission for treatment.
To help you feel more at ease during a consultation, you or your Chiropractor may want another person to be there. This might be a clinic assistant or possibly a relative or friend. These arrangements should be made before your appointment, so please let your Chiropractor know in good time if it’s something you’d prefer. Equally, if you would prefer to have only the Chiropractor there, please inform the clinic – nothing will be done without your consent and we will respect your privacy and dignity at all times.
How many visits will I need?
After your first examination and diagnosis, the number and length of subsequent sessions will be determined based on your condition and the treatment you need.
The Chiropractor will review your progress regularly and you will be asked to give your consent to any changes to your treatment plan. If your condition does not improve the chiropractor you are seeing will discuss carrying out further investigations or referring you to your GP.
Ultimately, the length of treatment will depend upon:
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
The likelihood of you having serious side effects following chiropractic treatment is extremely rare. As with any form of treatment or exercise that is applied to muscles and joints however, there can sometimes be minor short term pain or discomfort. In nearly all cases this is due to temporary irritation and quickly goes away. Some people may also experience symptoms such as mild headaches, stiffness or soreness, tiredness or a temporary increase in pain after their treatment. If you experience severe pain, or pain that continues for more than a day or so after your treatment, speak to your Chiropractor as soon as possible.
Do I need to tell my GP I am seeing a Chiropractor?
You do not need to let your GP know unless you wish to. With your permission, your chiropractor may send a report to your GP, with details of your condition and the treatment you are receiving. This is because your GP holds all your medical records, and it is in your interests for them to be complete and up to date.
Do I have to pay for my treatment?
You will need to pay for your treatment unless you are covered by Private Medical Insurance (PMI), a health cash plan or live in an area where there is NHS-funded chiropractic care. Treatments through the NHS are not widely available so please discuss to find out the situation in your area. If you have PMI, confirm with your provider that chiropractic treatment is covered and tell the chiropractor that this is how you will be paying for your treatment.
Can anyone call themselves a Chiropractor?
No. It is illegal for anyone in the UK to use the title ‘Chiropractor’ or to imply that they are a Chiropractor unless they are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).
By law the General Chiropractic Council:
Frequently Asked Questions