What Should You Expect On Your First Visit With Us?
Chiropractors are specialists of musculoskeletal and neurological health, therefore we need as much detailed information from you as possible in order to diagnose and treat what ails you personally. We strive to treat the individual not the symptoms since everyone is made up of the same bones, muscles, and nerves but unique in their structural assemby and lifestyle.
The intial visit will consist of overview of your personal and family health history, followed by a physical exam including orthopedic tests, a summary of findings, and lastly treatment options and agreed upon treatment.
Patient History and Symptoms:
In preparation for the chiropractic consultation, the patient will be asked to fill out forms that provide background information about his or her symptoms and condition. Types of questions typically include:
Patients are usually asked to provide information on family medical history, any pre-existing medical conditions or prior injuries, and previous and current health providers and treatments.
- When and how did the pain start?
- Where is it located and how would you rate it on a 0-10 pain scale?
- Describe the pain - is it sharp, dull, searing/burning, or throbbing? Does it come and go, or is it continual?
- Did the pain start as a result of an injury?
- What activities/circumstances makes it better or worse?
The Chiropractic Exam:
A thorough chiropractic exam includes general tests such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and reflexes, as well as specific orthopedic and neurological tests to assess:
Further chiropractic tests may be necessary to assess the affected area, such as having the patient move in a specific manner, posture analysis, or chiropractic manipulation of the affected body part. Unless deemed necessary by either doctor x-rays are not taken at the initial appointment. X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, etc. are referred out as necessary.
- Range of motion of the affected part
- Muscle tone
- Muscle strength
- Neurological integrity
Patient Diagnosis after Chiropractic Exam:
Findings from the combination of the above described history, physical exam, and any required diagnostic studies leads to a specific diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established, the chiropractor will determine if the condition will respond to chiropractic care
At the end of the patient's intitial visit, the chiropractor will explain the patient's: diagnosed condition, possibly layout an individualized chiropractic treatmnent plan (or subsequent treatments to follow), and if applicable, anticipated length of chiropractic care plan.
Manual adjustments to key joint dysfunctions which are discussed in the diagnosis post-exam.
Following adjustment and manual soft tissue work, modalities are used to improve soft tissue healing and pain control, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, intersegmental cervical or lumbar traction, or trigger point dry needling.
If applicable to your diagnosis and treatment, strengthening and/or stretching exercises are provided to improve muscle balance, strength, and coordination. Patient education is always provided to improve posture and motor control, as well as possibly reduce anxiety. Other treatments such as massage, heat/cold application, and education on ergonomics and nutrition.