What happens when I visit a chiropractor for the first time?


Normally your first visit will last around 45 minutes.

During this time we will:
* Take a full case history
* May ask you to remove some of your clothes, a gown will be provided for female patients. Please tell me if you feel uncomfortable about this.
* Will ask your permission to give you a thorough physical examination (this will include neurological and orthopaedic tests, if necessary)
* May send you for x-rays or other imaging (MRI) if needed.

A chiropractor’s first concern is to find out what is wrong. They will also check for signs of any serious conditions for which you would need to go to your GP or to hospital.

What is chiropractic treatment?

Chiropractors are concerned with the framework of bones and muscles that support the body (the musculoskeletal system). Some problems of the musculoskeletal system can be caused by accidents, stress, lack of exercise, poor posture, illness and every day wear and tear. These problems may cause pressure on the nerves in the body.

Depending on your condition, we may manipulate parts of your spine or joints and give you advice on exercise, self-help, diet and lifestyle. You may be given rehabilitation exercises if appropriate.

Manipulation involves precisely handling or moving joints, or parts of the spine, sometimes moving them further than they would normally move.

Chiropractic treatment is usually painless unless an area is inflamed (swollen). If this is the case we will alter the treatment. 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 a mild reaction such as temporary aches and pains after their spine or joints have been manipulated or after exercising.

It is important to talk to us if you feel worried about anything either during or after treatment.


Will the treatment hurt?
Treatment is very much a partnership between you and your chiropractor.
Before you treatment starts they will explain to you clearly:
* What they found in the examination
* The treatment plan they propose
* The benefits and any significant risks associated with your condition and proposed treatment
* They will tell you how much you will have to pay.

Ask me as many questions as you need to be sure that you understand what they have told you. They will then ask you to give your permission for treatment (your consent).
If it will help you to feel more at ease during your consultation you may want another person to be there. This might be, for example, a friend or relative or a clinic assistant. Please let me know in good time if you wish it to be a clinic assistant.
If you would prefer to be by yourself, please let us know. They will not do anything without your consent, and will respect your privacy and dignity at all times.

How many visits will I need?
This will depend on:
* Your condition
* How severe it is
* How long you have had the condition
* How you respond to treatment
* How much of the advice you follow

After your first examination and diagnosis, how long any further visits take will depend on your condition and the treatment you need.
We will review your progress regularly and you will be asked to give your consent to any changes to your treatment plan. We will discuss carrying out further investigations or referring you to your GP if your condition does not improve.


Do I need to tell my GP?
You do not need to let your GP know unless you want to. With your permission, we 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) or a health cash plan. Please confirm with your provider that chiropractic treatment is covered and let us know that is how you will be paying for 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. All chiropractors must have insurance cover for claims made against them.

By law The General Chiropractic Council must:
* Check people who apply for registration to make sure that they have a chiropractic qualification, are of good character and are physically and mentally fit
* Set and monitor standards of education and training
* Set standards of practice and conduct
* Deal with any complaints about the conduct or practice of chiropractors
and can be contacted at:

General Chiropractic Council
44 Wicklow Street
London WC1X 9HL

Call: 020 7713 5155
email: enquiries@gcc-uk.org