What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, management and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractors are probably best known for their treatment of back pain.

Chiropractors take a mechanical approach to the body. They use their hands to treat, for example to ‘adjust’ the spine, but also employ other methods, including prescription of therapeutic exercises.

The title chiropractor is protected under law in the UK. So that the public is protected against poor standards of practice, only those who are judged to be suitably qualified and of good health and character may describe themselves as chiropractors. It is illegal to describe oneself a chiropractor, or to claim to practise chiropractic, without being registered with the General Chiropractic Council.

A little history

Chiropractic started in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. It's founder was a man named Daniel David Palmer. According to Palmer, he gave the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895.

Daniel David Palmer, founder of chiropractic

Daniel David Palmer

Palmer made bold claims for chiropractic, stating it to be effective not only in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems, but also in conditions such as deafness and heart disease. His son, Bartlett Joshua Palmer, who also practised chiropractic, made similar claims. Many of the Palmers' claims for chiropractic have not been proven scientifically.

At Furness Chiropractic we try to take account of research that helps us understand what works and what doesn't. We try to be realistic about what we can and cannot achieve.

"The best practitioners do not make bold unsubstantiated claims for chiropractic care, appreciating that chiropractic does not offer the panacea envisioned by its founders. Instead they take a more modest stance, openly and honestly discussing areas of uncertainty with patients in order to facilitate understanding and inform decision making." (Wilson FJH, 2017. In: The Praeger Handbook of Chiropractic Health Care (Edited by C Hawk), p. 49. Praeger, Santa Barbara, USA.)