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Chiropractors are primary healthcare professionals concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effect of these disorders on the functioning of the nervous system and general health.
Their aim is to relieve pain, increase mobility and to get patients back to full health and movement. Treatment involves using the hands to apply a specific force to adjust the joints of the body. Chiropractors treat chronic and acute conditions which include back, shoulder and neck problems and joint, posture and muscle issues, as well as sports injuries.
The profession takes a holistic approach to the needs of patients, considering physical, psychological and social factors, and recognises the value of working with other healthcare practitioners. The treatment is designed to encourage the body's natural healing process and it does not include surgery or drugs.
Typical work activities
The majority of a chiropractor's time is spent in individual consultations. These consultations will involve diagnosis and treatment and include:
taking detailed medical histories, including information on previous injuries, surgery, general health and lifestyle;
conducting physical examinations of patients, focusing on the spine and posture, and noting the range of movement;
taking and interpreting x-rays, as appropriate;
checking blood pressure and performing other medical tests;
establishing an appropriate treatment or management plan for the patient;
performing adjustments of the joints of the spine and extremities using hands or specialist equipment;
performing soft tissue therapies, such as massage;
educating and advising patients on rehabilitation exercises to aid long-term recovery and techniques to ensure health is maintained;
keeping accurate and confidential clinical records