How Much Does a Chiropractor Cost and What Do You Get For Your Money?

Chiropractor treatment man

If you’re looking for information about how much a chiropractor costs, this page is for you. Here we publish prices, details about treatment processes, how long it takes to see results and what you can expect.

Chiropractic is a practice where trained chiropractors use their hands to manipulate muscles, bones and joints to relieve pain and other problems such as restricted movement and stiffness.

It’s a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment that in the UK is provided outside of the National Health Service who rarely cover chiropractic costs.

Most people who use chiropractic services do so for lower back pain but it’s also a popular treatment for:

  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Elbow pain, including tennis elbow
  • Wrist and forearm pain
  • Osteoarthritis in general

Chiropractic services have become more popular in recent decades although scientific studies show conflicting results with the treatment reported as being most effective for low back pain.

There is little evidence that chiropractic services can help with mental health problems, asthma and allergies, even though some chiropractors advertise that they can.

Do remember that chiropractic is not a mainstream medical procedure and is described by the NHS and most professionals as a complementary and alternative medicine.

Who Typically Uses the Services of a Chiropractor?

While there is no typical patient, anyone with pain in the back, muscles and/or joints can seek the advice of a chiropractor.

Those who have been involved in an accident, have poor posture, rarely exercise or play sports are also likely to visit a chiropractor.

Paying For Chiropractic Services in the UK

The National Health Services doesn’t normally pay for complementary and alternative treatments such as chiropractic.

Many private health insurance policies (such as BUPA) do cover chiropractic costs so if have a policy check with your insurer.

If neither the NHS nor your health insurer will pay for your treatment, you will be expected to pay the chiropractor costs.

How To Find a Good Chiropractor

While it’s always good to ask friends, work colleagues and relatives if they know of a good chiropractor, you should check that they are listed on the General Chiropractic Council’s database.

All chiropractors in the UK are required to register with the General Chiropractic Council and to become a chiropractor, they must:

  • Have a degree in chiropractic (recognised by the GCC)
  • Have no health issues that may prevent safe treatment
  • Take out indemnity insurance
  • Sign the GCC’s code of conduct

It is illegal for an unlicensed chiropractor to treat patients in the UK.

What Can Be Expected During The Initial Consultation?

The first visit to a chiropractor is usually the most expensive and often lasts for between 30 minutes and one hour.

You’ll be asked questions about your health issue and your health history, after which and with your consent, they’ll conduct a thorough physical examination which may involve some movement tests, stretching and holding stress positions.

Depending on your condition, the chiropractor may ask you to go for blood tests, an X-ray or an MRI scan if they feel it may help them to diagnose your condition.

Your chiropractor will then discuss their findings with you and propose a treatment plan, this should include a price per session and a guide to how many sessions you’ll need.

If your chiropractor doesn’t think this type of treatment is suitable, you may be referred to your GP for further tests and treatment.

What Happens During The First Chiropractic Treatment?

The exact treatment you’ll receive will depend on the health issue but chiropractors use a technique known as manipulation. This involves controlled but short, sharp and often forceful movements or thrusts into your body (usually the back) to manipulate the muscles, bones and joints.

Chiropractors try to adjust the body so there is less pressure on points that cause pain, such as nerves.

Don’t be surprised if you hear popping sounds, this is fluid moving inside of the joints.

How Long Does a Chiropractic Session Last?

While the initial consultation takes anything up to an hour, a typical chiropractic session lasts around 10 minutes, sometimes a little more or a little less. You can expect the chiropractor cost to be much less than the initial consultation.

What to Expect After The Session

You may experience some discomfort and stiffness after the session, this should subside after a few days.

Your chiropractor may suggest some stretches or stress positions for you to try at home.

There are also devices you can use to help improve your posture, you may be asked to consider using one.

How Many Sessions Are Needed to Treat Typical Pain?

There is no such thing as a typical patient or typical pain so it’s very difficult to suggest a timescale without first having a consultation.

You should, however, experience a noticeable reduction in pain for most treatments after 8 – 12 sessions.

Your chiropractor may suggest an ongoing treatment program, this is usually at a lower frequency than the initial treatment sessions.

How Much Does a Chiropractor Cost?

Chiropractor costs vary from location to location, the experience of the practitioner is also a factor.

We researched the prices of 30 chiropractors in the UK and below, you can see an average of the prices we received.

Chiropractor prices in London and the south were more expensive than other regions, use our figures below as a rough guide to chiropractor costs (updated in December 2019):

 London & SouthMidlands & S/WestNorth
Consultation and 1st Treatment£86£70£65
Follow up Treatments£46£38£34

Don’t forget; the chiropractor prices displayed above are an average of the prices we received. We’ve displayed the figures by approximate location.

This guide to chiropractor costs in the UK was researched and written by and was last updated in December 2019.

You can use the British Chiropractic Association’s handy Find a Chiropractor tool here.

Also, explore more of our helpful guides to healthcare costs in the UK here

Claire Mitchell