Musculoskeletal disorders place a heavy burden on the NHS in the UK. Traditionally, treatment for these disorders has been confined to hospital outpatient departments, but this is likely to change with the announcement by the Department of Health of an extension to the choice of provider of Musculoskeletal (MSK) services for back and neck pain, underpinned by the principles of extending patient choice, driving up quality, reducing cost and enabling innovation.
Chiropractors are well placed to deliver high quality evidence-based care for back and neck pain, as has already been illustrated by the highly successful, award-winning service in the NE Essex NHS Trust. Chiropractors from the British Chiropractic Association have recently been working with the NHS and the Department of Health to look at how commissioners can work locally with chiropractors and use chiropractors as Any Qualified Providers (AQP) for the treatment of back and neck pain.
Chiropractors are well placed to deliver high quality evidence-based care for back and neck pain.
Working with Chiropractors
Modern chiropractors in the UK are trained to treat a variety of MSK conditions however, in practise, treatment of back and neck pain constitutes a major part of their practise.
Chiropractic is a health profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and management of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly those of the spine and their effects on the nervous system. Chiropractors may treat all the joints of the body, but more commonly the muscles, joints and ligaments of the spine often with manual therapy using their hands to perform a wide range of skilled, precise manipulation, mobilisation or soft tissue techniques.
BCA chiropractors provide a ‘package of care’ including a biopsychosocial assessment whereby they support their treatment with cognitive interventions such as individual counselling and advice about the patient's lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help in managing the condition and preventing it from recurring. Some chiropractors are also trained in medical acupuncture/dry needling.