Here at Back In Action we believe that everyone deserves to be healthy. Chiropractic is a profession that seeks to help people get well without intervention from either drugs or surgery. Literally meaning “by hand”, this specialised profession blends craft and science to naturally assist your body’s healing mechanisms to perform at their peak. The most important aspect to anyone’s health and well-being is how well the body can adapt and maintain its balance in an ever-changing world.
Although we have become a profession that specializes in the treatment of disorders such as lumbago, neck pain, and headaches etc; at Back In Action we also look beyond your current set of symptoms.
The most important aspect to anyone’s health and well-being is how well the body can adapt and maintain its balance in an ever-changing world.
The body’s central nervous system, the information superhighway, co-ordinates the body’s response to any input, from a change in heart rate with exercise, to a controlled release of hormones with mood.
The 26 moveable bones of the spine house and protect the central nervous system below the skull. The spine is a structural compromise between the need to protect these delicate and vital nerves, with the need to provide a rigid support for the body, whilst allowing natural motion. This means the spine itself is a complex concentration of muscles, bones and joints, all intimately connected to each other, and forming the foundation for our upright posture.
What To Expect On Arrival
We will typically email you in advance of your initial consultation, confirming your appointment time, letting you know what to expect, and including the basic paperwork. If this can’t be done in advance, we ask that you arrive 10 minutes in advance to fill in a patient information form and a consent form.
After the paperwork has been completed, you will be invited through to the treatment room, where Aidan will take your case history. Initially this will be your report of what is wrong; followed by his questioning you for further details. These will include an overview of your past medical history, and family history.
Next is the physical examination, where we prod and poke at you to see what causes the pain. For this you will be asked to undress as required; usually this is to the underwear (medical gowns are available for modesty), but this is not always the case. Aidan will then guide you through a series of movements and tests which may be a little tender.
After the chiropractor has tidied up the notes, he will then give you a report of the findings for your case, explaining what he has found, what it means, and what he suggests we do about it. Sometimes we may require further information at this stage; such as details from your GP, or an MRI scan, for example.
The vast majority of our patients, however, will proceed straight to treatment; the details of which will have just been given to you. This will include a “dry run” of the treatment itself, to get you used to what to expect. Typical treatment will consist of manual therapy, some physical homework for yourself and some non-physical homework, but not all 3 aspects are always appropriate.
Who Can Benefit From Chiropractic Treatments
The early, formative years are those of learning new skills. Along the way children may lose their balance; they trip, they slip, they tumble, and they fall. Chiropractic care can be useful for more prolonged “little knocks”.
As we progress through life, the things we do affect the person we become. All traumas, whether physical (e.g. sport), emotional (e.g. stress), or even chemical (e.g. alcohol) will have a detrimental effect on our muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and ultimately, the nervous system. Chiropractic is important at this time helping us to maintain an active lifestyle into our later years.
Throughout our lives we will all experience acute episodes of pain, even when we cannot identify the cause. This is where shorter-term management of the dysfunction is at its most appropriate to help us make a full recovery, and to repair the damage, whilst some slight lifestyle improvements can help minimise any recurrence later in life.
The later stages of life can be a time of reflection, a time of action, or both. Those with aches and pains often use this time to seek the comfort of prescription medications, often waiting “on list” to replace parts that are wearing out. Chiropractic care at this stage is subtle and gentle, but no less important than that given earlier in life.
It is a misfortune of evolution that the human body has had 1.5 – 2 million years to evolve an upright posture; compared with about 210 – 270 million years spent on 4 legs. With our mammalian cousins the spine’s supportive role is to act as an archway, with the body suspended below it. In humans it now has to act like a pillar, with all the weight hanging off the front. The spine is doing a job it isn’t fully evolved for, and generally copes remarkably well.
However, this does mean that we are prone to injure the joints of the spine, which can sensitise the vital nerves in the immediate vicinity. A visit to the chiropractor helps remove this pressure, allowing the nerves to do their job, which includes assisting the healing process at the joint itself. However, seeing a chiropractor for 20 minutes every few months is NOT more important than looking after yourself for the 131,000 minutes – which is why we will encourage (but hopefully not preach) you to live more healthily, and to use your body more effectively
Typical chiropractic treatment consists of far more than the spinal manipulative therapy* that most of us think of, and may not even involve any actual hands on work. We take an holistic approach to our patients, realising that whilst the spine may be a central source of our pains and problems, it is far from the only cause. We therefore assess the health status of the entire patient, not just the spine – indeed, not just the body; and advise on how best to treat the whole patient. Whilst chiropractic intervention is usually in the form of a manual therapy, it is often very gentle in its approach, and certainly includes advice on self-care. NB: detailed, patient-centred advice absolutely is considered to be treatment, even though it can be provided without laying hands on the patient.
You will also find that much of chiropractic care is aimed at helping you to help yourself. The chiropractor can only do so much; we can treat what needs to be treated, but for your body to heal, it needs your help. Your chiropractor will give you a wide range of advice, including the use of other therapies, of exercises you can do, or lifestyle changes that may help your body (e.g. the ergonomics of your car seat; or nutritional advice), or even different ways of thinking about your pain. We are happy to share the management of your condition, both with your GP and other therapists.
Through all these things, we aim to aid you in reducing the chances of a recurrence of your problems, and to help you to manage any future episodes without the need for intervention. For patients on a maintenance programme, we aim to provide relief before you even notice any pain, whilst helping keep good habits and lifestyle choices at the front of your mind; helping you to fulfill your potential in life.
* Having said that, manipulation is still the most common single treatment given. The purpose of manipulation is to free up joints that aren’t moving to their full ability, usually as a result of damage to the ligaments of that joint. During manipulation the joint will be taken past its current limit, but within its normal. This is often associated with a clicking sound as gas dissolved in the fluid of the joint separates as the joint expands. This is the equivalent of stitching a cut – it doesn’t “mend” you, it just helps you to heal more efficiently
When Can I Expect To Feel Better
How long until I feel better?:
No reliable prediction can be made for how many treatments you yourself will require. We treat a huge range of conditions, and everybody responds to treatment differently – not to mention that everyone is different when it comes to following advice. Some patients experience almost instant relief; others discover that the healing process can take several months. Every patient recovers at their own pace.
Factors which can affect the healing process include how long you’ve already had the problem, your age, your overall health condition, diet and the attitude of yourself, and those around you and even the language you use in your inner monologue. All we can say is that we average 4.2 chiropractic treatments per patient (calculated January 2020), and that if you are not responding to care, we will cease and re-evaluate.
Most of our patients come to us with a specific problem, usually of a fairly brief duration. We usually expect to be able to help these patients sort out their physical issues and to cease care when we feel we can be of no further benefit. “Find it, Help it, Leave it”.
Patients often wish to continue care after they’ve recovered. The purpose of this is to maintain your spine in a good condition, and to catch problems before you may be aware of them, a bit like servicing your car, or going to the dentist. This care is recommended on an individual basis, and typically involves a treatment every 2-6 months. Research suggests that longer standing, and more recurrent conditions tend to respond better to this mode of care.
As part of our sponsorship agreements with some of the local sports clubs, we offer discounted treatments of sports massage or chiropractic. These can be used to either treat 1-3 specific injuries per year, or to try to keep them at bay by preventing repetitive / accumulative injuries. See here for details.
I apologise for the American-ness of this following video – despite being made by the IFEC (French Chiropractic Institute)