What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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The UK regulatory body, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), frequently expresses the view that those involved in National Health Service (NHS) healthcare commissioning should fund chiropractic care. The following links may be helpful to NHS healthcare commissioners, and others, in reaching an informed decision regarding chiropractic in the UK.   NOTE: Section S3.2 of the GCC's Code of Practice and Standard of Proficiency (effective from 30th June 2010) requires that the care selected and provided by chiropractors ""must be informed by the best available evidence"" and minimise risks to the patient.


Related links


Beware the spinal trap

The Meade Report criticism

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"Overall, mechanical conditions of the musculoskeletal system were felt to be treated effectively by chiropractic intervention and there was 100% agreement that it was beneficial in treating mechanical dysfunctions of the spine. Non-musculoskeletal conditions in adults, including asthma (64%), gastro-intestinal complaints (61%) and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) (70%), were considered conditions that can benefit from chiropractic management. Opinions on the treatment of osteoporosis (43%), obesity (26%), hypertension (42%) and infertility (30%) were less conclusive. Childhood musculoskeletal and muscular conditions, infantile colic, otitis media and asthma were perceived to benefit from chiropractic intervention by more than 50% of the respondents. Statistically significant differences between chiropractors of different associations in the UK were present, particularly regarding the benefits of chiropractic treatment for non-musculoskeletal conditions…..Traditional chiropractic beliefs (chiropractic philosophy) were deemed important by 76% of the respondents and 63% considered subluxation to be central to chiropractic intervention." Aranka Pollentier and Jennifer M. Langworthy, Clinical Chiropractic, Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 147-155. (September 2007) [pdf]

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A test which was designed to find out whether the regulation of the UK osteopathic and chiropractic professions had any impact on the research activity in the areas of efficacy and safety concluded that "[These] data do not support the hypothesis that regulation of a healthcare field will increase research in that area". Further comments in this editorial include "Regulation should be a step towards professionalism, which, in turn, should stimulate research activity and eventually lead to answers to the most pressing open questions… Regulating uncertainties, it seems generates regulated uncertainties rather than certainties." P. Canter and E. Ernst, 'The effect of statutory regulation of osteopathy and chiropractic on research activity in the UK', Physical Therapy (2005) [pdf]

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"I was quite surprised when I went to see my chiropractor about my spinal problems that it says that chiropractic could be successful for people with hay fever." John Austin, MP, Question 64, Select Committee on Health, United Kingdom Parliament (17th June 2004)

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Majority of newly elected chiropractic members to the General Chiropractic Council (UK regulatory body) reported to support a more conservative orientation, leaning away from the medically-oriented musculoskeletal definition of chiropractic to a more traditional subluxation-based orientation. The Chiropractic Choice (June 2002) [See link below for the second page of this report — pdf]

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This investigation revealed that the vast majority of UK chiropractors are interested in providing their services through the NHS, but only on a part-time basis and in a way that most closely resembles private practice. Concludes that "National health care reform and the statutory self-regulation of chiropractors have brought this closer to a more widespread reality. However, to prosper in this setting, the profession may benefit from a greater understanding of the competing priorities and constraints faced by NHS purchasers, who, for their part, should be prepared to implement policy based on evidence". Investigation undertaken by the IMRCI (AECC), UK. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (January 2002)

NOTE: Most chiropractors in the UK currently work in private practice.