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Chartered physiotherapists welcome call for more research into spinal manipulation

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

The article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, is to be welcomed for its call for more research into the area.

The article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 'Neurological complications of cervical spine manipulation', March 2001, is to be welcomed for its call for more research into the area.

At the same time, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has moved to reassure patients that they are in safe hands when receiving treatment from chartered physiotherapists.

Phil Gray, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: 'We would like to reassure patients that all qualified physiotherapists are required to operate to strict guidelines regarding spinal manipulation. These have been developed jointly by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Osteopathic Association of Great Britain, and the British Chiropractic Association, in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners.

'The BSM report states categorically that the researchers did not know who had performed the manipulations. They assumed that the patients had seen a physiotherapist, osteopath, or chiropractor, but had no way of knowing this, nor if the practitioner had been qualified to a recognised standard.

'Previous research has reported a low risk with spinal manipulation, provided patients are selected and assessed properly, and the treatment is carried out by a trained therapist or practitioner. Manipulation is just one of the treatments which a chartered physiotherapist can use, and in fact, very few patients receive spinal manipulation. However, this preliminary report raises important issues and the CSP wholeheartedly supports the call for a long-term study to further inform practice.

'It is to be hoped that this would also lead to legislation governing who is allowed to spinally manipulate patients and therefore greater protection of the public.'

Because the title 'physiotherapist' is not protected by current legislation, when selecting a physiotherapist, people should always ensure they have the letters MCSP (Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) or SRP (State Registered Physiotherapist) after their name, to ensure that they are properly qualified.

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The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country's 35,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. Physiotherapy is Britain's fourth largest health profession after medicine, nursing and midwifery.

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