Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the functions of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation. (Definition by World Federation of Chiropractic, 2001)
Chiropractors focus on the relationship between your body’s structure and function and how that in turn affects optimal health. By restoring normal function to the musculoskeletal system chiropractors can play a major part in relieving disorders arising from accidents, stress, lack of exercise, poor posture, and everyday wear and tear that happens to us all. Treatment consists of a wide range of manipulative techniques designed to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle spasm.
We provide care for patients of all ages, who present with a range of acute and chronic conditions. As well as advice about self-help, exercise, diet and lifestyle, chiropractors provide support for pain management, sports injuries and active rehabilitation. An integrated and holistic approach is taken to the health needs of patients, considering physical, psychological and social factors.
The effectiveness of chiropractic treatment is supported by research as well as by various UK government and medical organisations. Patients see chiropractors in a private capacity either through self referral or as a result of a referral from their GP, other doctor or health professional. We also treat people who are seeking treatment through private health insurers.
Education and Training
Chiropractors are required to study for a minimum of 4 years at undergraduate level. The syllabus covers in depth training in a variety of subjects including life sciences, biomechanics, clinical medicine and differential diagnosis. Practitioners also undergo practical training in adjustment and supervised clinical training, where they have hands-on practice at treating patients.
Graduates who are members of the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) undertake an additional year of supervised training as a requirement of membership. The General Chiropractic Council has a mandatory requirement for chiropractors to undertake a program of continuing professional development, (CPD), as a condition of annual re-registration.
There are two fully internationally accredited institutions offering a full time course in the UK; Anglo European College of Chiropractic (AECC) and Welsh Institute of Chiropractic at the University of Glamorgan (WIOC).
The General Chiropractic Council (GCC) is a UK-wide statutory body with regulatory powers, established by the Chiropractors Act 1994. It has four main duties:
- To protect the public by establishing and operating a scheme of statutory regulation for chiropractors, similar to the arrangements that cover other health professionals
- To set the standards of chiropractic education, conduct and practice
- To ensure the development of the profession of chiropractic, using a model of continuous improvement in practice
Since 14 June 2001 the title of ‘chiropractor’ has been protected by law and it is a criminal offence for anyone to describe themselves as any sort of chiropractor without being registered with the GCC.
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA)
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is the largest and longest-standing association for chiropractors in the UK, requiring the highest standards of education, training and conduct from its members.
Founded in 1925, members abide by a strict code of ethics and the association only accepts members who have graduated from an internationally recognised college of chiropractic education after a minimum of four years full-time training.
The BCA ensures its chiropractors maintain high standards of conduct, practice, education and training. All BCA members are covered by a high quality professional indemnity insurance and the Association operates a robust professional standards and complaints management process. The BCA was a founder member of the European Chiropractors Union and the World Federation of Chiropractic.