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Is Chiropractic Effective for pain relief?

According to recent statistics in the UK, nearly 10 million people suffer from chronic pain, with back pain and killing sciatic nerve pain being the most common form. Persistent pain can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, affecting their ability to work and carry out daily activities.

With the rise in popularity of chiropractic, many individuals are turning to this non-invasive, drug-free approach for pain reduction and relief. In fact, according to a recent survey, more than 80% of people who have tried chiropractic for their pain reported significant improvements. So, is chiropractic effective for pain relief?

Chiropractic Patient Study for Low Back pain results

One study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 2011 found that 94 percent of patients with low back pain experienced a reduction in their symptoms after chiropractic therapy. The study also found that 80 percent of patients reported improvements in their general health and wellness. Here is the link to the study:

Another study published in the same journal in 2016 reviewed a large number of existing studies on chiropractic and found that spinal adjustments (manipulations) is an effective treatment for low back pain, cervical pain, and headaches. Here is the link to the study:

That’s just a couple of sources suggesting that Chiropractic is an effective solution for low back pain, cervical pain and headaches. Let’s explore the research and evidence behind this question further in this article.

Chiropractic Adjustments and How it Works Explained

Chiropractic spinal and other joint adjustments are a central component of chiropractic, but many people are still unsure about what they involve and how they work. Chiropractic manipulations are a manual adjustment that involves the application of precise force to specific joints in the body, with the aim of improving joint mobility, reducing pain, and restoring function.

During a chiropractic adjustment, a chiropractor will use their hands to apply a quick and controlled force to a specific joint in the body. This force may be applied in a variety of ways, including through a sudden, high-velocity thrust or a more gradual, low-force mobilization.

A skilled Chiropractor will combine a number of variables to perform a safe and effective adjustment such as: the location of the joint, the type of adjustment, the hand position, the depth of the adjustment, the speed at which the adjustment is performed, the precise amount of force employed and the direction of the thrust.

The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to improve joint mobility, optimise nerve flow and restore proper alignment to the musculoskeletal system. By doing so, chiropractic therapy can help to reduce pain, stiffness, and inflammation, whilst also improving overall function and range of motion as nerve flow is restored.

Research has shown that spinal adjustments can be effective for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, including back pain, pain in the neck and shoulders, and headaches. In fact, a recent study found that chiropractic therapy was associated with a 49% reduction in opioid use among patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

The study, titled “Association Between Chiropractic Use and Opioid Receipt Among Patients with Spinal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” analyzed data from 62,000 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. The researchers found that patients who received chiropractic treatment were 49% less likely to receive an opioid prescription compared to those who did not receive chiropractic treatment.

Spinal manipulation using Chiropractic therapy for acute and chronic pain

Manipulating the spine is a non-invasive, drug-free therapy that involves applying controlled force to the joints of the spine to alleviate pain and improve function. This therapy is commonly used in chiropractic and osteopathy to treat a wide range of acute and persistent pain conditions.

Research has shown that spine-based manipulation is an effective treatment for conditions such as low back pain, neck & shoulder pain, and headaches. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that manipulating the spine was more effective at reducing pain and improving function in patients with low back pain than other conventional treatments.

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to perform manipulations of the spine, including manual adjustments, instrument-assisted adjustments, and flexion-distraction manipulation. During the procedure, the chiropractor will apply a controlled force to the affected joint, causing it to move beyond its usual range of motion. This can result in a cracking or popping sound, which is a normal and harmless side effect of the treatment. The purpose of the adjustment is to improve the position of the joint and restoring it to a normal range.

Manipulation of the spine is considered safe, but as with any medical treatment, there are potential risks and side effects. Your chiropractor will assess your medical history and perform a thorough examination to determine if spinal manipulation is a safe and appropriate treatment for you.

If you are experiencing acute or persistent pain and are seeking a non-invasive, drug-free solution, manipulating the spine using chiropractic therapy may be the right choice for you.


What Does Chiropractic Therapy for Chronic Pain Involve?

Chiropractic therapy can be an effective approach for managing prolonged pain. Prolonged pain (aka Chronic) is a complex condition that can arise from a variety of underlying causes, including injury, nerve damage, and chronic health conditions. Unlike acute pain, which is typically caused by an injury or trauma and lasts for a short period of time, continuing pain is ongoing and can persist for weeks, months, or even years. Medically speaking, a pain that has been there for 12 weeks or more is considered chronic.

Chiropractors use a range of treatment modalities to address constant pain, including spinal adjustments and manipulations, soft tissue therapy, and rehabilitation exercises. One of the primary goals of chiropractic therapy is to correct spinal misalignments or subluxations (misalignments) that can contribute to persistent pain. By performing spinal adjustments, chiropractors can realign the spine, promote proper nerve function, and alleviate pain symptoms.

In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors may also provide ergonomic advice, stretching techniques, and rehabilitation exercises to help patients manage prolonged pain. These techniques can help improve range of motion, reduce muscle tension, and strengthen supporting muscles, which can all contribute to pain reduction and relief.

One of the key benefits of chiropractic therapy for persistent pain is its ability to address underlying causes of pain rather than simply masking symptoms. By correcting spinal misalignments and addressing other factors that contribute to pain, chiropractic can help patients achieve long-term relief from long-standing pain.

Another important aspect of chiropractic therapy for recurring pain is the neuroplastic effect. This effect occurs as a result of regular adjustments and refers to the way in which the brain adapts to changes in the body. With each adjustment, the brain gradually integrates the changes, eventually leading to pain-free movement and improved overall health.

What types of conditions does chiropractic help with?

Chiropractic therapy is a holistic and non-invasive approach to treating a wide range of health conditions. Here are the main categories of conditions that chiropractic may help with:

Musculoskeletal Conditions:

Back Pain:

Chiropractic is a well-known treatment for back pain. Chiropractors use spinal adjustments, massage therapy, and other techniques to alleviate pain and improve mobility.

Neck & Shoulder Pain:

Neck & shoulder pain is another common condition that chiropractors can help with. By manipulating the cervical spine, chiropractors can help reduce pain and improve range of motion.

Joint Pain:

Chiropractors can also help with joint pain caused by conditions like arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis. They use gentle manipulation to reduce inflammation and improve joint function.

Soft Tissue Injuries:

Chiropractic can help with soft tissue injuries like strains, sprains, and whiplash. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to reduce pain, inflammation, and muscle tension.

Neurological Conditions:

Headaches and Migraines:

Chiropractic can be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines.


Chiropractors can help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by sciatica, a condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Chiropractic can help alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist.

Other Conditions:

Digestive Issues:

Chiropractic improves the brain body communication which in turn promotes improved health. Based on reviews and reports from Chiropractic clients it is suggested that Chiropractic may also help with digestive issues like acid reflux, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. By manipulating the spine, they can help improve nerve function and alleviate symptoms. Chiropractic clients have reported improvements in the following areas.

Pregnancy-Related Issues:


Chiropractic can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy, such as back pain, sciatica, and joint pain.

Fatigue and insomnia:

Chiropractic can help improve sleep quality and alleviate fatigue by reducing pain and tension in the body.

Stress levels:

Chiropractic manipulation therapy can help reduce stress levels by improving nervous system function and promoting relaxation.

Shoulder injuries:

Chiropractic therapy can help relieve pain and restore mobility in the shoulder joint caused by injuries such as rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder, and shoulder impingement syndrome.

Postural imbalances:

Poor posture can lead to a variety of musculoskeletal problems, including back pain, neck & shoulder pain, and headaches. Chiropractors can identify and correct postural imbalances through adjustments and exercises.

Other Non-categorised issues:

Chiropractic may help with a wide range of conditions, including musculoskeletal, neurological, joint-specific, and other imbalances. Muscularskeletal conditions may include upper back pain, pain in the neck, mid back pain, loss of strength, sciatica, sacroiliac joint issues, shoulder pain, bad posture, disc problems, athletic performance, lower back pain, pins and needles, frozen shoulder, muscle stiffness, hip problems, and knee and ankle pain. Neurological conditions may include fibromyalgia, headaches and range of motion issues, balance and coordination and tinnitus, while joint-specific conditions may include arthritis.

Chiropractic can be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions especially back pain, neck pain, headaches and sciatica. If you are experiencing any of the issues listed, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors.


What things does a Chiropractic Healing Plan include?

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques and treatment modalities to address some of the condition listed in the previous section.

Spinal adjustments , can be used for both acute and chronic persistent pain by correcting misalignments in the spine that may be causing nerve irritation and pain.

Chiropractors may also use soft tissue therapy , such as massage or trigger point therapy, to alleviate muscle tension and promote healing.

Ergonomics and rehabilitation exercises and stretches are also a key component of chiropractic therapy. Chiropractors may provide patients with specific exercises and stretches to help improve their posture, mobility, and strength, which can help prevent future injuries and pain.

Chiropractic is effective for both acute and persistent pain alleviation , as it addresses the underlying causes of pain rather than just masking the symptoms. By correcting misalignments in the spine, chiropractors can help alleviate nerve irritation and promote the body’s natural healing processes.

Chiropractic therapy has also been shown to have a neuroplastic effect , meaning that with each adjustment, the body becomes more accustomed to its proper alignment, eventually leading to long-lasting relief of pain.


7 Research based Benefits of Chiropractic

Lumbar Disc Herniation: This study found that patients with lumbar disc herniation showed significant clinical improvement after receiving high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust-style chiropractic spinal adjustments. (Source:

Spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain “: This study evaluated the effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain and found it to be as effective as conventional care. (Source: (2019)

Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report “: This study evaluated the effectiveness of manual therapies for lower back pain, neck pain, and chronic lower back pain and found that they were effective in providing relief. (Source:

Effectiveness of chiropractic care to improve sensorimotor function associated with falls risk in older people: a randomized controlled trial “: This study found that chiropractic care can improve balance and coordination in older people and reduce falls risk. (Source: by Holt et al. (2016)

Chiropractic therapy for migraine: a randomized, controlled trial “: This study found that chiropractic care can reduce the effects of migraines. (Source:

The efficacy of spinal adjustments, amitriptyline and the combination of both therapies for the prophylaxis of migraine headache “: This study found that spinal adjustments are as effective as amitriptyline for preventing migraines. (Source:

Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal adjustments “: This study found that chiropractic manipulation is effective in treating acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion. (Source:

Efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilization for low back pain and pain in the neck: a systematic review and best evidence synthesis “: This study evaluated the efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilization for low back pain and pain in the neck and found them to be effective treatments. (Source:

Answering the Critics: Hard Chiropractic Pain Relief FAQs

What does a chiropractor do for lower back pain?

Chiropractors use non-invasive techniques to address the root cause of lower back pain. They will perform a physical exam and may use diagnostic imaging to identify misalignments in the spine. Chiropractors will then use manual manipulation techniques to adjust the spine, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pressure on nerves.

They may also use other modalities such as electrical stimulation, heat or cold therapy, and therapeutic exercise to help manage pain and improve mobility. Chiropractors can also provide lifestyle recommendations and ergonomic advice to help prevent future episodes of lower back pain.

As a critic you may ask yourself what are Chiropractic benefits and disadvantages? So please keep reading.

Is Chiropractic pseudoscience?

Chiropractic is a form of conservative medicine that focuses on the musculoskeletal system and is not considered a pseudoscience. It’s considered a form of holistic conservative care. There is an increasing body or knowledge and studies that confirm its positive health benefits.

Chiropractic is not without controversy. While there is growing evidence supporting the use of chiropractic therapy for certain conditions, such as low back pain, some critics argue that the science behind chiropractic is not always robust, and some of the techniques used by chiropractors are not always evidence based.

We recognise the need for further research and study to underpin and evidence the benefits of Chiropractic. In this article we’ve aimed to do that in a small way by sharing some available studies.

Thankfully, there are many other studies that support the effectiveness of chiropractic manipulations for various conditions, and most patients find it to be a helpful and effective form of treatment.

What are the biggest disadvantages of Chiropractic?

While chiropractic can offer many benefits, there are some potential disadvantages to consider. Chiropractic is only covered under the national health services (NHS) under certain conditions, yet not widely available. Another disadvantage is that chiropractic therapy may not be effective for all conditions or for all patients, and it is important to work with a qualified chiropractor who can assess your needs and provide appropriate care.

What toxins are released after chiropractic adjustments?

At present there is no evidence to suggest that chiropractic manipulations release toxins in the body. There are however recognised hormonal benefits produced through chiropractic. Chiropractors recommend drinking plenty of mineral water to aid the body’s natural toxin elimination system. See the section titled “Chemical and Hormonal Benefits of Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments” further down on this page.

Why Chiropractic care is bad?

Chiropractic is not inherently bad, but like any healthcare practice, there are potential risks and drawbacks. The success rate of Chiropractic care across the industry is remarkably high, around the 80% of people across the industry experience good to excellent results.

As for the risks, there are some people who may have pre-existing conditions or injuries that could be worsened by chiropractic manipulations.

We recognise that individual results vary and that the overall results across the boards are good. When performed by a licensed and qualified chiropractor, chiropractic care can be a safe and effective way to address certain types of pain and injuries.

What do doctors think of Chiropractors?

The opinions of doctors on chiropractors vary depending on the individual doctor and their experiences. However, many medical doctors recognize the benefits of chiropractic care and refer their patients to chiropractors for certain conditions.

In fact, some chiropractors work in conjunction with medical doctors to provide integrated care for patients. It’s important to remember that chiropractors and medical doctors have different areas of expertise, and there may be cases where a patient may need both types of care.

How to find a Bupa recognised Chiropractor near me?

To find a Bupa recognized chiropractor near you, you can visit the Bupa website and use their “Find a Specialist” tool. This tool allows you to search for chiropractors in your area who are recognized by Bupa and meet their quality standards. Additionally, you can ask for recommendations from friends, family, or other healthcare providers who may have experience with chiropractors in your area.

Get started on your healing Journey

Overall, chiropractic manipulations have been found to offer a wide range of health benefits to the body, beyond just alleviating the pain. If you’re looking to improve your overall health and wellbeing, consider incorporating chiropractic care into your wellness routine.

Call our 24/7 helpline on tel: 020 8948 9102 today to get started on your healing journey. Healing Hands Chiropractic delivers One of the UK’s most thorough Chiropractic Assessment available. To learn more about our unique approach visit:

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