Chiropractic

Dr Jonathan Pitman (Doctor of Chiropractic)

Chiropractor & Sports Physiologist
Tel: 01823 325 325

My History

Having completed my A-Levels at Wellington School I decided to read Applied Sports Science at The University of Glamorgan in south Wales. I completed this degree in 1999 when I came back to Somerset to join the team at the Belvedere Centre as a Sports Physiologist. I worked with local sporting teams and youngsters to give them sports specific training and help them achieve their optimal performance.

I knew there was more I could be doing to help these individuals so I decided to become a Sports Therapist which was the perfect addition to my degree. I worked with great success and gained valuable experience during these years but still felt there was more that could be done to help some of my patients. I decided to become a doctor of chiropractic and studied at the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic. I feel now, that my patients can receive the very best of care.

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession. It is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.  There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal manipulation or adjustment (World Federation of Chiropractic, 1999). Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery.

Is chiropractic effective?

A Medical Research Council clinical trial and its follow-up, reported in the British Medical Journal in 1990 and 1995, found that chiropractic treatment of back pain was more effective than hospital outpatient treatment.  The European Commission Acute Low Back Pain Guidelines includes manipulation as an effective treatment for low back pain. There have been up-to-date studies on neck and lower back pain. These have indicated the immediate beneficial effects of chiropractic treatment on decreasing pain and increasing ranges of movement associated with acute neck pain. Similar studies have also been indicated for the lower back.

Is Chiropractic safe?

Chiropractic is extremely safe when carried out by a properly qualified doctor of chiropractic and is supported by research as well as by various UK government and medical organisations. The Royal College of General Practitioners issued guidelines in 1996 for GPs which recommend manipulative treatment within the first six weeks for patients with low back pain. They also state that the risks of manipulation are very low in skilled hands. Many people take medication such as anti-inflammatory painkillers for headaches, low back or neck pain. There is now extensive and recognised research to indicate that chiropractic treatment is significantly safer than painkillers and spinal surgery in some cases.

What to expect?

Chiropractors are primary diagnostic physicians and as such patients will receive an extensive examination with the outcome explained in plain English. If the chiropractor feels you would benefit from treatment and accepts the case a plan of management will be explained, the likely length, intended treatment and outcome potentials. You will be informed of any possible risks and discuss any concerns you may have. The treatment will begin as soon as you fully understand what has been explained and you are happy to go ahead.

What causes the “popping” noise when I get Chiropractic treatment?  

The popping noise is a painless by-product of a chiropractic adjustment. During the adjustive procedure the joint in question is very slightly moved apart to restore the correct function and movement pattern. This movement of the joint causes the pressure inside the joint to reduce producing a popping noise.

What is subluxation and can it do me harm?

A subluxation complex or ‘subluxation’ is the term used by chiropractors to describe a loss of function in the spine and nervous system due to a reduction in its normal motion or alignment and this can affect the quality of your life (BCA).

What causes a visit to the chiropractor?

Chiropractors use the biopsychosocial model which involves taking into consideration structural, emotional and behavioural aspects of life. The majority of patients demonstrate a physical aspect to the presenting complaint. These can result from injury from such things as car accidents, a fall, during sport, repetitive motions or from simple relatively minor daily activities. The complaints as a result of minor activities are often caused by muscles not working correctly leading to biomechanical dysfunction in the spine or extremities. The nerves which travel close to spinal joints supplying the muscles may also be involved especially if the joints are not moving correctly. This dysfunction may not be painful and may for example just present as a decrease in range of movement. Minor activities such as bending, lifting or twisting incorrectly can be the point where the dysfunction presents in painful symptoms. Poor posture may also lead to back pain for example, spend long periods of time sitting at a desk or computer, watching TV or driving.

Emotional stress, anxiety or fear can lead to painful symptoms. These feelings lead to a tightening up of muscles whether conscious or not. Headaches and shoulders are a prime area for symptoms resulting from stress and anxiety although any area can be affected.