The recent spate of media coverage regarding Chiropractors and topics such as whether it is effective, safe, suitable for children, etc. has left a bad taste in the mouths of many patients and practitioners alike. However what is shown through the media is usually only half the story, and what is presented is more often than not a biased view, as this makes for a more interesting story.
It is true there are a lot of Chiropractors out there who may practice in a way that is dramatically different to other manual therapists, they have different philosophies and go about their business in ways which may not be up to standards in regards to evidence best practice. In lieu of this, I would like to offer you all a description of how I treat and manage my patients, in the hope you will see that there is very little difference between modern Chiropractors and Osteopaths, and a visit to either when you are in pain or just after a check-up will produce very similar, if not exactly the same results!
All consultations will start with a thorough history and exam in order to determine exactly what is happening with your body, and how best to approach treatment in each individual case. All patients will then receive a thorough explanation of their condition, an outline of a proposed treatment and given the chance to ask any questions they may have.
The treatment itself will begin with some soft tissue work or massage addressing any muscles that may be ‘tight’ or sore. If appropriate there will also be some stretches performed and some active muscle releases. If needed there may be some joint mobilization or manipulation, performed in order to restore proper movement and decrease pain.
Each standard consultation will go for 30 minutes – there will be no quick ‘cracking’ and sending you away feeling short changed, likewise I would never prescribe a treatment schedule that requires you to come in ‘twice a week for the rest of your life’. The number of treatments is based on the individuals complaint and response to treatment, and will be re-assessed every visit.
If that all sounds familiar it’s because that is the same approach to patients that an Osteopath would have. There is no difference between the two!
As with all forms of treatment there are risks involved with some of the techniques that may be used, but they are the same techniques employed by other manual therapists, and before any treatment is given informed consent will be obtained, meaning your practitioner will explain all the risks involved and offer alternatives that may have lower risks.
I think it is great that manual therapies (Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists) are all beginning to become more similar and work closer together, as we all strive to provide patients with what current research suggests is the best type of treatment for the individual and their needs.
Article written by Dr Joshua Murphy (Chiropractor)