Practitioner Steven A Rudd Doctor of Chiropractic & Fellow of the Royal College of Chiropractors
Definitions of Chiropractic
The WHO definition
World Health Organization, Guidelines on Chiropractic, 2005
Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.
The ACC definition
Association of Chiropractic Colleges, 1996
Chiropractors specialise in treating disorders of the spine, joints, musculoskeletal problems, and their affects upon the nervous system. Back Pain may be alleviated by using low force manipulation on specially designed tables. Certain types of neck pain, rotator cuff and minor sports injuries, and osteo-arthritic conditions are sometimes helped by Chiropractic manipulative treatment too.
Training and Treatment
All ages can consult a chiropractor. Our youngest patient was a newborn and our eldest is currently 96. Doctors of Chiropractic are also trained in radiology and are qualified to use x-rays to assist in diagnosis. Freedom Healthcare clinics use the Nuffield or Horder centre facilities in Sussex. Consultant radiologists assist us with X-ray or MRI studies. We get the results via email the same day.
Chiropractic was founded in 1895. I became a chiropractor myself after chiropractic transformed my health. See my article Why I became a chiropractor.
Training today in the UK is a 4-5 year BSc.MSc course similar in length and subject matter to medicine or dentistry. Some chiropractic institutions have offered a short part time course. Their graduates cannot join the British Chiropractic Association, but they can join the state register.
Choosing a Chiropractor in the UK
There are several types of Chiropractic from which you can choose. All UK chiropractors must be state registered with the GCC, (General Chiropractic Council). You can check if your Chiropractor is registered by accessing the register.
There are four main associations. The oldest and largest is the British Chiropractic Association founded in 1925. BCA members tend to represent the mainstream of the profession. They will offer you privacy during timed appointments, and will offer gowns. They will not treat you in an open plan office along with other patients, or spend only a few minutes with you per treatment. Usually, they will agree with WHICH magazine, which found that most people require about 11 treatments for the relief of low back pain*. If they offer a discount pre-payment scheme they will refund you any overpayment on request.
We recommend you see only BCA members. We will be pleased to refer you to your local BCA Chiropractor if you are too distant to consult us in Sussex. Experience might be another factor to look for in your Chiropractor. Steven Rudd has been in full time practice for over 30 years. Also you can evaluate a chiropractors post graduate education. The Royal College of Chiropractors monitors Chiropractors’ post graduate education and awards members for high achievement. The highest level is Fellowship, achieved by Steven Rudd in 2004, as indicated by FRCC after his name.
* Less if you are young and fit, more perhaps if you are older, have had the problem for a long time, or if you have several problems to be dealt with.