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Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine. Treatment consists of a wide range of manipulative techniques designed to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle spasm. Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession, so you do not need to be referred by your doctor. A chiropractor is trained to diagnose your problem and will refer you to another health-care practitioner if necessary. Chiropractors treat problems with joints, bones and muscles, and the effects they have on the nervous system. Working on all the joints of the body, concentrating particularly on the spine, they use their hands to make often gentle, specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) to improve the efficiency of the nervous system and release the body's natural healing ability. Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery. The effectiveness of chiropractic treatment is supported by research as well as by various USA government and medical organisations. Otherwise patients see chiropractors in a private capacity either through self referral or as a result of a referral from their Doctor, other doctor or health professional. Chiropractors also treat people who are seeking treatment through private health insurers.
History of Chiropractic
Written records from the ancient Greek and Chinese civilizations, dating back several thousand years, refer to spinal manipulation. The inception of modern chiropractic can be traced back to 1895 when Canadian Daniel David Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment and went on to found The Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in 1897. The 20th century saw the growth and development of the profession worldwide, gaining recognition and respect for the place it has taken in the primary care environment. Influential research has underpinned the development of the profession and has come both from both within and outside of the chiropractic research communities. Chiropractic is unique in that the profession is organised internationally and there are international standards for education.
Regulation of Chiropractic
In common with medical practitioners and dentists, all chiropractors are registered by law under the Chiropractors Act 1994 and the title 'Chiropractor' is protected under this legislation. The profession is statutorily regulated through the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and it is illegal to practise as a chiropractor without being registered with the GCC.