Perhaps one of the things that make people hesitant to see a chiropractor for examination and treatment is their ignorance of what happens during chiropractic care. Fear of the unknown – as we always say. Let’s have take a walk-through of a typical chiropractic office and the the activities inside.
What Happens at the Chiropractor Office?
The setting inside a chiropractic office or clinic including the intake procedure is familiar even for one who has not been there before. What will strike you initially though, is the treatment table used in the examination and treatment of patients. It is more elaborate and specially designed to facilitate physical examination and treatment of the patients in varying specific positions. In a typical visit to a chiropractor, you will undergo the following process: initial intake, physical examination, treatment, and a follow-up plan.
The initial intake is very similar to the intake procedure in a medical office. You will most likely be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding your condition and health history, noting risk factors you may have. More commonly, you will be asked to indicate or mark on a drawing of the human body the specific areas you are having discomfort in.
The intake will be followed by a routine physical exam. You will then undergo an examination that focuses on the areas you have a complaint on. The chiropractic doctor will most likely examine the entire length of your spine. This is necessary because even if you complain only of back pain, for example, the adaptations resulting from subluxations or injury in one area may result in secondary irritation to other parts of the spine. The chiropractor will likely take x-rays of your spine before treatment starts. Here he or she will be able to study the condition of the bone structure and soft tissues. Through this, the chiropractor will also be able to understand any anomalies in your spine, the extent of wear, and other factors that will help in the formulation of the treatment plan. Among the assessments done in the physical exam are range of motion tests, palpation, muscle strength comparisons, reflex testing, and neurological and orthopedic tests, all focusing on the main complaint.
After assessment has been made, the chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that will consider your general health, the extent of your injury and pain, the condition of your spine as regards to your previous injury and age, and most importantly what you want to achieve during the treatment. It is most important to discuss this with your chiropractor to let him or her know whether you simply want to get rid of the pain and discomfort or to start a comprehensive chiropractic care program for you. Adjustments in the spine area are the central focus of the chiropractic treatment. It consists of a combination of controlled force, direction, leverage, amplitude and velocity aimed at specific joints. It is a much simpler procedure compared to the surgical way of opening up a joint. Your chiropractor will also make adjustments in other joints, as necessary to improve overall structures. The frequency of your subsequent visits for treatment will depend on the severity of your condition, and how well your body responds to the adjustments. You should not have worries seeing chiropractors. They are competent professionals who live by the ideals of their profession and carry out their mandate, which is applying the scientific principles and techniques upon which chiropractic is based.